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The Department Of State, Foreigh Operations And Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2008--Continued

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC



Mr. CANTOR. I thank the gentleman.

I rise today in support of the Smith-Stupak amendment to strike the language eliminating the vitally important protections of the Mexico City Policy. I just believe it's wrong to force American taxpayers to subsidize organizations who actively promote abortion in foreign nations.

In response to some of the arguments on the other side that this is not about promoting abortion or not, I disagree. It's really not about providing contraceptives. This is about promoting abortion. Because as the gentleman from New Jersey was trying to say before he was cut off, there are NGOs that are in compliance with the Mexico City Policy which means that they neither perform nor actively promote abortions as a method of family planning in other nations. It is they who are eligible for assistance under the Mexico City Policy. It is they who should be getting the benefit, not those organizations that are promoting abortions around the world that can substitute the provision of these contraceptives to then use that money available to go and pursue their other agenda.


Mr. CANTOR. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman.

Mr. Chairman, in all due respect to my good friend from California who knows I have a great deal of respect for him, this is not a sickening or pathetic amendment. It is not primitive, stupid or absurd, as it was described. It is not an ostrich amendment. And this is not a low blow, nor is anyone saying that the Speaker of this House is not an eloquent speaker and Representative as she goes forward out into the world as Speaker of this institution.

Nor would I tell my colleagues, is this an amendment about Member travel. No one says that we should not be about educating ourselves so that we can better effect public policy here in our roles as Members of this Congress and as Representatives of the constituents that elect us.

What this is about is about travel by an individual who is second in line to the President of the United States. Like it or not, for the 434 others of us, it does mean something different when the Speaker of the House goes somewhere.

As my friend from Iowa indicates, all reports say when the trip to Syria occurred, that somehow it was perceived on the ground and in the region that somehow the United States was embarking upon new foreign policy.

Frankly, Mr. Chairman, I would say from Iran's hot pursuit of nuclear weapons to Syria's eagerness to stir violence against our interests in the Middle East, America faces a growing list of terrorist states, as my good friend from California is well aware. And amidst such threats, the United States must speak forthrightly and with one voice.

Iran, Syria, North Korea, Sudan, Cuba, they all are feeble states whose interests are diametrically opposed to ours. Their regimes are vulnerable to international sanction, and they will not change until America and its allies apply enough pressure to endanger their regimes.

I would just say when the Speaker of the House goes to these nations and it is perceived that somehow we are capitulating, it goes against our interests. That is what this amendment is about.


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