Congressman Jackson announced today his strong support for H.R. 2410 -- the Foreign Relations Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011. He said the bill "rebuilds and revitalizes our nation's capacity to engage in vigorous and robust foreign policy through enhanced diplomacy."
"After eight years of go-it-alone, cowboy foreign policy, this bill comes not a moment too soon. This measure is consistent with American tradition, providing the President and his administration with the tools needed for the kind of tough, principled diplomacy that will keep us safe," Jackson said.
"By enhancing and promoting U.S. diplomacy, this measure helps to restore the standing and strengthen the security of America."
Among its many provisions, H.R. 2410 ensures that the United States will meet its financial commitments to the United Nations and other international organizations. It also strengthens the arms control and nonproliferation capabilities of the U.S. State Department and reforms the system of export controls for military technology. Moreover, the measure increases the Peace Corps' budget to support President Obama's goal of doubling the number of Peace Corp volunteers.
H.R. 2410 also includes a provision to compensate the relatives of U.S. citizens killed in the 1998 embassy bombings in Africa. Congressman Jackson has led the effort to enact the measure in Congress for several years.
Jackson said, "For 11 years, the relatives of the U.S. citizens killed in the embassy bombing in Kenya have waited and waited for our government to provide a full accounting and proper redress for their painful loss. I'm pleased that this bill puts an end to an excruciatingly long wait and provides compensation to these families."
Jackson noted that the foreign relations legislation comes to the House floor a day after a terror suspect in the two American Embassy bombings, Ahmed Ghailani, arrived in a New York federal court to await trial. Jackson stated, "As our government brings a terror suspect in the al-Qaeda bombings to America to face justice, it must not turn its back on justice and restitution for the victims. This bill ensures that justice finally will prevail."
The bill authorizes $18 million for the U.S. State Department to compensate the families of the embassy bombing victims. It also authorizes compensation -- a death gratuity -- for families of persons killed while serving on a U.S. diplomatic or consular mission abroad since January 1, 1998.