SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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AMENDING THE INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS IMMUNITIES ACT TO PROVIDE FOR THE APPLICABILITY OF THAT ACT
TO THE EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK;
WOMEN THROUGHOUT THE WORLD SHOULD JOIN TOGETHER FOR A WEEK OF EVENTS TO SPEAK UP FOR WORLD PEACE;
AND AFGHANISTAN FREEDOM SUPPORT ACT OF 2002
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED SEVENTH CONGRESS
H.R. 3656, H. Con. Res. 290,
and H.R. 3994
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MARCH 20, 2002
Serial No. 10768
Printed for the use of the Committee on International Relations
Available via the World Wide Web: http://www.house.gov/internationalrelations
COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois, Chairman
BENJAMIN A. GILMAN, New York
JAMES A. LEACH, Iowa
DOUG BEREUTER, Nebraska
CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH, New Jersey
DAN BURTON, Indiana
ELTON GALLEGLY, California
ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN, Florida
CASS BALLENGER, North Carolina
DANA ROHRABACHER, California
EDWARD R. ROYCE, California
PETER T. KING, New York
STEVE CHABOT, Ohio
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCAMO HOUGHTON, New York
JOHN M. McHUGH, New York
JOHN COOKSEY, Louisiana
THOMAS G. TANCREDO, Colorado
RON PAUL, Texas
NICK SMITH, Michigan
JOSEPH R. PITTS, Pennsylvania
DARRELL E. ISSA, California
ERIC CANTOR, Virginia
JEFF FLAKE, Arizona
BRIAN D. KERNS, Indiana
JO ANN DAVIS, Virginia
MARK GREEN, Wisconsin
TOM LANTOS, California
HOWARD L. BERMAN, California
GARY L. ACKERMAN, New York
ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA, American Samoa
DONALD M. PAYNE, New Jersey
ROBERT MENENDEZ, New Jersey
SHERROD BROWN, Ohio
CYNTHIA A. McKINNEY, Georgia
EARL F. HILLIARD, Alabama
BRAD SHERMAN, California
ROBERT WEXLER, Florida
Page 4 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCJIM DAVIS, Florida
ELIOT L. ENGEL, New York
WILLIAM D. DELAHUNT, Massachusetts
GREGORY W. MEEKS, New York
BARBARA LEE, California
JOSEPH CROWLEY, New York
JOSEPH M. HOEFFEL, Pennsylvania
EARL BLUMENAUER, Oregon
SHELLEY BERKLEY, Nevada
GRACE NAPOLITANO, California
ADAM B. SCHIFF, California
DIANE E. WATSON, California
THOMAS E. MOONEY, SR., Staff Director/General Counsel
ROBERT R. KING, Democratic Staff Director
HILLEL WEINBERG, Subcommittee Staff Director & Counsel
LIBERTY DUNN, Staff Associate
C O N T E N T S
Markup of H.R. 3656, To amend the International Organizations Immunities Act to provide for the applicability of that Act to the European Central Bank
Markup of H. Con. Res. 290, Expressing the sense of the Congress that women throughout the world should join together for a week of workshops, forums, and other events to speak up for world peace
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Markup of H.R. 3994, Afghanistan Freedom Support Act
Amendment to H.R. 3994, offered by the Honorable Dana Rohrabacher, a Representative in Congress from the State of California
Amendment to H.R. 3994, offered by the Honorable Joseph M. Hoeffel, a Representative in Congress from the State of Pennsylvania
Amendment to H.R. 3994, offered by the Honorable Barbara Lee, a Representative in Congress from the State of California
LETTERS, STATEMENTS, ETC., SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD
The Honorable Henry J. Hyde, a Representative in Congress from the State of Illinois, and Chairman, Committee on International Relations: Prepared statement
The Honorable Tom Lantos, a Representative in Congress from the State of California: Prepared statements
AMENDING THE INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS IMMUNITIES ACT TO PROVIDE FOR THE APPLICABILITY OF THAT ACT TO THE EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK; WOMEN THROUGHOUT THE WORLD SHOULD JOIN TOGETHER FOR A WEEK OF EVENTS TO SPEAK UP FOR WORLD PEACE; AND AFGHANISTAN FREEDOM SUPPORT ACT OF 2002
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 20, 2002
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House of Representatives,
Committee on International Relations,
The Committee met, pursuant to call, at 10:45 a.m. in Room 2172, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Henry J. Hyde presiding.
Chairman HYDE. The Committee will come to order. First, we are going to take up a couple of unanimous consent matters. The items on the agenda are H.R. 3656, To amend the International Organizations Immunities Act to provide for the applicability of that Act to the European Central Bank, and en bloc by unanimous consent we will hear H. Con. Res. 290, Expressing the sense of the Congress that women throughout the world should join together for a week of workshops, forums, and other events to speak up for world peace. I call them for the purposes of markup en bloc and move their favorable recommendation to the House. Is there any objection?
[H.R. 3656 and H. Con. Res. 290 follow:]
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Chairman HYDE. Without objection the Chairman is authorized to seek consideration of these measures on the Suspension Calendar, and without objection any Member may place his or her remarks in the record of today's proceedings.
Pursuant to notice, I now call up H.R. 3994, the Afghanistan Freedom Support Act, for purposes of markup and move its favorable recommendation to the House. Without objection, the bill will be considered as read and open for amendment at any point, and the Chair yields himself 5 minutes for purposes of a statement.
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[H.R. 3994 follows:]
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Page 14 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Chairman HYDE. I want to thank the Members here for joining me at today's meeting of the Committee. Today we will mark up several bills, among them the Afghanistan Freedom Support Act. This legislation was introduced yesterday and is co-sponsored by Ranking Member Mr. Lantos and myself.
This legislation will abet the Administration in developing a strategic approach to the assistance needs of Afghanistan. By authorizing a significant, 4-year, flexible fund for the purpose of dealing with the special situation we find in Afghanistan, this legislation will give the Administration great flexibility to design and implement a comprehensive assistance strategy in line with U.S. priorities and objectives in that troubled country. I look forward to today's debate and am encouraged by the bipartisan cooperation that has preceded introduction of this bill.
Last week, this Committee held a hearing on Afghanistan and heard testimony from two witnesses, Administrator Natsios of USAID and Under Secretary Larson from the State Department on the current assistance needs and challenges in Afghanistan. At that hearing, I was struck by the immense needs and the desperate situation facing the Afghan people even after their liberation from the rule of the Taliban. I was also struck by the variety of agencies involved, necessarily so, in securing a peaceful future for Afghanistan. As I said last Wednesday, it is not an overstatement to say that the work we accomplish over the next two or 3 years in Afghanistan will have a direct impact on U.S. national security. And how the Administration is organized to provide this assistance is a matter of concern to this Committee.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has been on the front lines, supporting the work of non-governmental organizations in delivering life-saving aid to remote villages affected not only by drought, but also by more than two decades of conflict. USAID is also equipping Afghanistan's classrooms and training its teachers; supporting the health system; exploring possibilities to rehabilitate the agricultural sector; and supporting the Interim Authority, by providing technical assistance for the Loya Jirga.
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The United Nations, supported strongly by the food donations and cash funding of the United States, continues to eradicate poppies and otherwise fight the trade in illicit drugs, feed hungry people, vaccinate Afghan children, assist the Interim Authority, and provide protection to refugees and internally displaced persons in Afghanistan and neighboring countries.
The Department of State also has an important role in ensuring overall coordination of U.S. assistance plans with U.S. policy. Beyond its policy coordination and diplomacy role, several bureaus in the State Department administer their own assistance programs or mandates for Afghanistan. Among these is the Bureau for Refugees, Population and Migration, which is responsible for refugee protection, assistance and resettlement. The Bureau for Political-Military Affairs is responsible for administering part of the United States' mine action program, specifically assistance to provide equipment and technical training to civilian demining teams. The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement is in charge of U.S. counternarcotics efforts in the region and around the world. The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor is also expected to advance U.S. goals in Afghanistan by funding programs that promote the respect for human rights and the development of democratic institutions.
The Defense Department continues its assistance activities inside Afghanistan, through the use of civil affairs teams who are working side-by-side with Afghan officials at the village-level to improve infrastructure by rebuilding roads, runways and schools. Earlier in the campaign, the Defense Department joined in the relief mission by air-dropping food rations to needy populations otherwise inaccessible by relief agencies and the United Nations.
Page 16 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In a recent announcement during the visit of Afghan Interim Authority Chair Hamid Karzi, Cabinet officials of the Bush Administration announced additional assistance activities to be administered by their respective departments: the Department of Labor, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Education. We understand that the Peace Corps, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the Trade Development Agency, and the Export-Import Bank each see a role for themselves in Afghanistan. Furthermore, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Treasury Department each have their own roles and programs in Afghanistan, either in the field or here in Washington through the ''interagency process.''
The purpose of today's meeting is to mark up legislation that will help the Administration manage the intricacies of U.S. assistance for Afghanistan in the months and years ahead. The United States has an essential role to play in Afghanistan's recovery from its darkest period. But the Administration needs a coherent strategy and structure in place necessary to achieving the United States objectives of eliminating terrorism, securing the peace, combating drugs, promoting democracy, delivering aid to those in need, and safeguarding the human and civil rights of all.
I now yield to the acting Ranking Member in Mr. Lantos's absence, Mr. Ackerman.
[The prepared statement of Chairman Hyde follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE HENRY J. HYDE, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, AND CHAIRMAN, COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
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H.R. 3994, THE AFGHANISTAN FREEDOM SUPPORT ACT OF 2002
Thank you for joining me at today's meeting of the Committee on International Relations.
Today, the Committee will mark-up several bills, first among them the Afghanistan Freedom Support Act. This legislation was introduced yesterday and is co-sponsored by Ranking Member Mr. Lantos and myself.
This legislation will abet the Administration in developing a strategic approach to the assistance needs of Afghanistan. By authorizing a significant, four-year, flexible fund for the purpose of dealing with the special situation we find in Afghanistan, this legislation will give the Administration great flexibility to design and implement a comprehensive assistance strategy in line with U.S. priorities and objectives in that troubled country. I look forward to today's debate and am encouraged by the bipartisan cooperation that has preceded introduction of this bill.
Last week, this Committee held a hearing on Afghanistan and heard testimony from two witnessesAdministrator Natsios of USAID and Under Secretary Larson from the State Departmenton the current assistance needs and challenges in Afghanistan. At that hearing, I was struck by the immense needs and the desperate situation facing the Afghan people even after their liberation from the rule of the Taliban. I was also struck by the variety of agencies involved, necessarily so, in securing a peaceful future for Afghanistan. As I said last Wednesday, it is not an overstatement to say that the work we accomplish over the next two or three years in Afghanistan will have a direct impact on U.S. national security. And how the Administration is organized to provide this assistance is a matter of concern to this Committee.
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The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has been on the front lines, supporting the work of non-governmental organizations in delivering life-saving aid to remote villages affected not only by drought, but also by more than two decades of conflict. USAID is also equipping Afghanistan's classrooms and training its teachers; supporting the health system; exploring opportunities to rehabilitate the agricultural sector; and supporting the Interim Authority, by providing technical assistance for the Loya Jirga.
The United Nations, supported strongly by the food donations and cash funding of the United States, continues to eradicate poppies and otherwise fight the trade in illicit drugs, feed hungry people, vaccinate Afghan children, assist the Interim Authority, and provide protection to refugees and internally displaced persons in Afghanistan and neighboring countries.
The Department of State also has an important role in ensuring overall coordination of U.S. assistance plans with U.S. policy. Beyond its policy coordination and diplomacy role, several bureaus in the State Department administer their own assistance programs or mandates for Afghanistan. Among these is the Bureau for Refugees, Population and Migration which is responsible for refugee protection, assistance and resettlement. The Bureau for Political-Military Affairs is responsible for administering part of the United States' mine action program, specifically assistance to provide equipment and technical training to civilian demining teams. The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement is in charge of U.S. counternarcotics efforts in the region and around the world. The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor is also expected to advance U.S. goals in Afghanistan by funding programs that promote the respect for human rights and the development of democratic institutions.
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The Defense Department continues its assistance activities inside Afghanistan, through the use of Civil Affairs teams who are working side-by-side with Afghan officials at the village-level to improve infrastructure by rebuilding roads, runways and schools. Earlier in the campaign, the Defense Department joined in on the relief mission by air-dropping food rations to needy populations otherwise inaccessible by relief agencies and the United Nations.
In a recent announcement during the visit of Afghan Interim Authority Chair Hamid Karzai, Cabinet officials of the Bush Administration announced additional assistance activities to be administered by their respective departments: the Department of Labor, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Education. We understand that the Peace Corps, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the Trade Development Agency, and the Export-Import Bank of the United States each see a role for themselves in Afghanistan. Furthermore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Treasury Department each have their own roles and programs in Afghanistan, either in the field or here in Washington through the ''interagency process.''
The purpose of today's meeting is to mark up legislation that will help the Administration manage the intricacies of U.S. assistance for Afghanistan in the months and years ahead. The United States has an essential role to play in Afghanistan's recovery from its darkest period. But the Administration needs a coherent strategy and structure in place necessary to achieving United States objectives of eliminating terrorism, securing the peace, combating drugs, promoting democracy, delivering aid to those in need, and safeguarding the human and civil rights of all.
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Mr. ACKERMAN. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I want to thank you and your staff for the tremendous and successful effort to craft a bipartisan bill supporting rehabilitation and reconstruction assistance in Afghanistan. As I noted in my statement last week, it is important for the Congress to speak loudly and clearly regarding our long-term commitment to Afghanistan, and I think the compromise bill before us today does just that. As has been noted, the bill provides over a billion dollars for humanitarian relief, refugee assistance, rehabilitation, and reconstruction in Afghanistan. This assistance is linked to adherence to the Bonn process and to the progress on eradicating poppy, but in neither case is the aid so closely linked that it deprives the President of the flexibility necessary to pursue U.S. objectives in Afghanistan.
Throughout the bill the importance of the role of women is emphasized, from the structure of the future government to health care and education programs specifically for women and girls. In addition, the assistance has a particular focus on the agricultural economy in Afghanistan. I think this is especially important, given that the vast majority of Afghans live in rural areas and depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. The emphasis also dovetails nicely with our efforts to eradicate poppy by giving farmers a viable alternative to the narcotics trade.
The military assistance in the bill is appropriately limited to establishing peace and security in Afghanistan and to training an army and police force. In this regard, Mr. Chairman, I must express my disappointment with the news reports this morning that the U.N. will extend but not expand the multinational force currently in Afghanistan. As I mentioned last week, there is an immediate, short-term need for security in Afghanistan, and with all due respect to Secretary Rumsfeld, simply saying there is not a problem does not make it go away.
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Mr. Chairman, the bill is an excellent example of what can be accomplished through bipartisan efforts, and I want to commend you for your leadership and again thank you for working closely with us, and I urge my colleagues to support the bill.
At this time, Mr. Chairman, I would like to ask unanimous consent that the poignant words of Mr. Lantos be inserted in the record.
[The information referred to follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENTS OF THE HONORABLE TOM LANTOS, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
Mr. Chairman, this is a very straightforward measure to provide the European Central Bank (ECB) the same immunity from judicial process that we routinely provide to foreign central banks under the Foreign Services Immunities Act (FSIA).
The legislation has the strong support of the State Department, the Treasury Department, the Justice Department and the Federal Reserve.
The ECB was established in June of 1998 in accordance with the Treaty establishing the European Union (EU). The ECB is an independent legal entity owned by the central banks of the EU member states. Like any central bank, its role is to define and implement the monetary policy of the EU and to maintain price stability. It also conducts foreign exchange operations and holds the official foreign reserves of the EU states.
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Given the nature of the ECB it makes sense to extend to it the same legal treatment we routinely provide to other foreign central banks.
Unfortunately, since the ECB is a new type of central bank, it does not fit the definition of a foreign central bank under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA), and is therefore not granted the Immunities provided by that act.
The ECB is likewise excluded from the judicial process immunities normally provided to international organizations by the International Organizations Immunities Act (IOIA), because the IOIA only extends its immunities to international organizations of which the United States is a member.
Therefore, HR 3656 amends the IOIA to include its provisions to the European Central Bank ''in the same manner, to the same extent, and subject to the same conditions, as they may be extended to a public international organization in which the United States participates . . .''
This extension of the IOIA will simply provide the ECB with the same immunity we routinely grant to foreign central banks. I urge my colleagues to support its passage.
H. CON. RES. 290
Page 23 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. Chairman, it has been said that ''women hold up half the sky.'' When it comes to world peace, I believe that women are holding up more than half the sky. In war ravaged countries around the world, women are struggling to feed and clothe their families while warring factions destroy the economic and political institutions of their country.
From 1989 to the present, the world has experienced at least 70 civil wars and innumerable violent clashes that claim lives, destroy villages, and destabilize governments.
Women not only carry the burden of care during wartimes, but they also are more likely to be the victims of war, along with their children.
Women also stand up for peace. In Ireland, Sierra Leone, Kosova, Afghanistan, and other countries where civil conflict has dominated public life, women have formed underground movements, often neighborhood to neighborhood, to promote peace.
In 1999, African women from the entire continent met in Zanzibar to begin promoting throughout war-torn Africa a new movement that calls for building what they call ''a culture of peace.''
Mr. Chairman, this resolution asks women throughout the world to join together this year for one week before Mother's Day to speak up for world peace. This resolution asks women in hamlets, villages, cities, homes, and neighborhoods throughout the world to speak with one voiceto unite men, women and children for peace.
Mr. Chairman, I cannot think of a more noble cause to lend our support. Not only must women's voices continue be build peace at the local level and through nongovernmental and unofficial venues, we must support bringing women's voices into the midst of civil conflicts, peace negotiations, and peace settlements to guarantee long-lasting peace.
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I urge my colleagues to support H Con Res. 290.
H.R. 3994, AFGHANISTAN FREEDOM SUPPORT ACT OF 2002
Mr. Chairman, I would like to thank you for your leadership in putting forward legislation to help Afghanistan get back on its feet and for the extraordinary spirit of cooperation that you and your staff have demonstrated in crafting a compromise bill that addresses the concerns and priorities on both sides of the aisle.
Mr. Chairman, as we move on to the next steps in the war on terrorism, it is critical that we finish the job we have begun in Afghanistan.
You and I both agree that the United States made a grave mistake when we walked away from Afghanistan after helping the Afghans repel the Soviet invasion. This time, we will not walk away. I believe this Congress and this Administration are unified in our commitment to help bring peace and stability to Afghanistan and end the use of that long-suffering nation as a base for narcotics and terrorism.
It is for this reason that I am pleased to join you today in introducing the Afghanistan Freedom Support Act of 2002.
This legislation takes the best ideas from H.R. 3427, the Afghanistan Freedom and Reconstruction which I introduced along with Gary Ackerman and 15 other members of this committee, and combines them with the priorities outlined in your original legislation.
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The product is a very strong bill that addresses the key concerns and priorities of this Committee but still allows a great deal of flexibility to the Administration.
I am pleased to note the increased assistance levels in the legislation. A total of $1.05 billion is authorized over four yearsover and above amounts already provided to Afghanistanfor the relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction of Afghanistan.
The bill also emphasizes the development of Afghanistan's agricultural sector by promoting land mine removal and the development of water and sanitation systems in rural areas. Hopefully, this aid will help stem further poppy cultivation.
Mr. Chairman, I also want to thank you for incorporating policy language from the Lantos/Ackerman legislation linking our assistance to the furtherance of the Bonn process, which laid the groundwork for democracy and good governance in Afghanistan.
The legislation before us today also contains strong language on the provision of assistance to meet the educational, health and vocational needs of women and the participation of women in government and civil society.
Finally, the bill underscores the need for security in Afghanistan and provides military assistance to help stand up an Afghan army and police force and to support those countries that are participating in a multi-national security force in Afghanistan or assisting in the war effort in Afghanistan.
Page 26 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC As the situation evolves, the needs in Afghanistan will change. This legislation gives the administration the flexibility to adapt our assistance to the changing needs and priorities.
Mr. Chairman, I hope and believe the Afghanistan Freedom Support Act will help to ensure that the U.S. stays engaged in Afghanistan's future, and will play a critical role in Afghanistan's development as a stable and prosperous nation.
I want to thank you for bringing this bill before the committee in a bi-partisan fashion and urge my colleagues to give their full support.
Chairman HYDE. Without objection so ordered. I am going to recognize Members for opening statements, but I would plead that they be succinct and brief because we do have some matters of business we want to get to. With that, I am pleased to recognize the Chairman Emeritus, Mr. Gilman.
Mr. GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I will abide by your admonition, and I want to thank you for holding this important markup of the Afghanistan Freedom Support Act. Afghanistan and the Afghan people are at a critical crossroads in their survival. Afghanistan has been torn apart by drought, fighting, and regional disputes. This has caused a humanitarian crisis that has left millions of Afghans with little hope and too much despair. The Afghanistan Freedom Support Act before us attempts to help Afghans help themselves. This bill authorizes $1.05 billion over 4 years for a broad range of development, for economic and anti-narcotics and security assistance for Afghanistan that will assist the Administration in its efforts to try to build a better future for the Afghan people.
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Mr. Chairman, the former King of Afghanistan, Zahir Shah, will within a few days be returning to Afghanistan to try to bring together a Loya Jirga, a grand assembly. The Afghanistan Freedom Support Act will help the former King, Chairman Karzai, Dr. Abdullah, and other representatives of the Afghan community to start this long-needed process of renewal. By helping them to bring out the best in Afghanistan, we will be helping ourselves and the rest of the world. Accordingly, I urge my colleagues to fully support this bill, and I thank you for yielding.
Chairman HYDE. I thank you. I am looking for a Democrat. I want to go this way and that way in an excess of fairness. Ms. Watson is seeking recognition.
Ms. WATSON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. While I generally support the concept of the Afghan Freedom Support Act, I also want to note that the Administration has pledged almost $300 million in assistance for Afghanistan for Fiscal Year 2002. The President's current budget, however, does not include specific funding for Afghanistan in a number of major aid programs, including development assistance, economic support funding, foreign military financing, and international military education and training. Instead, we have been told that the levels are left to be determined. I would suggest that the credibility of this bill would be significantly enhanced if the Administration presents a funding request for Afghanistan to this Committee. The vehicle of funding that the Administration intends to use, either as supplemental appropriations or whatever, is important. And I would hope that they would move on this very quickly. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman HYDE. Thank you. I have three requests to make an opening statement, and we will take them in order. Mr. Bereuter of Nebraska.
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Mr. BEREUTER. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I want to commend you and Mr. Lantos, Mr. Gilman, your staffs, and undoubtedly other colleagues for this legislation. I am in strong support of it. I have taken a particular interest in rural development and agricultural development. Your legislation, in fact, is more comprehensive than the language that I have placed in my own bill, so I am very much appreciative of that interest and emphasis.
I have three points I would like to bring to attention. The first two, I hope, can be the basis for some report language to accompany this bill. The first is to recognize the potential role of U.S. cooperatives and credit unions in economic assistance programs for Afghanistan. The U.S. cooperative development organizations have a very strong record of economic assistance programs in Muslim countries to develop decentralized, democratic institutions at a grassroots level through cooperatives and community-owned organizations.
For over 4 decades the U.S. cooperatives and credit unions have been providing economic and technical assistance. Overseas, they are currently carrying out projects in 75 countries, and they have implemented highly successful projects in Islamic and Arab countries. They are prepared to join the U.S. Congress and the Administration in rebuilding Afghanistan and helping to build coalitions in Muslim countries to fight global terrorism. I hope that they are given a major role in this effort of U.S. and international assistance.
The second area I want to mention is a concern over the international institution structure that's being formed for agriculture development in Afghanistan. In a USAID-sponsored January meeting in Tashkant, Uzbekistan, to begin initial planning to address the immediate needs of Afghan farmers for seed, I understand that the formation of a consortium of stakeholders was discussed. While it seems that no formal agreement was reached on the structure of the consortium, the sole leadership and complete control appears to have been vested in the International Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA) based in Aleypo, Syria.
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My concerns are twofold. First, there appears to be no formal structure to the consortium. Therefore, no mechanism is in place to build a strategy for short, medium, and long-term action in Afghanistan. Second, there is no real indication that U.S. organizations will have a role in the consortium where their leadership would be a valuable asset. I believe that placing leadership of U.S. efforts to rebuild Afghanistan's agricultural sector in a Syrian-based, international organization overlooks the immense domestic capacity for leadership on this issue, as well as the overwhelming expertise of U.S. organizations and universities.
And third, Mr. Chairman, on a more parochial note but, I think, important, tomorrow in Afghanistanin fact, a few hours real timeis a very important day in Afghanistan. It is a traditional day when schools start in Afghanistan. Many children have been out of school for a long time, and, in fact, certain girls have never been to school in Afghanistan.
I am proud to say that with the assistance of USAID the University of Nebraska at Omaha, which has been a center for Afghan studies for over 20 years, has had in place, with private financing and their university financing, a printing capacity in Pakistan with all of the plates for school books. They have been adapted now in light of taking out language from the Taliban required language in school textbooks, but to the extent that the money has been made available, school books and classroom kits will be in the maximum number of Afghan schools tomorrow, with a heroic effort being conducted by people at USAID and University of Nebraska, Omaha. We need to look at this further and extend those resources so all of those children can get back to their classrooms. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
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Mr. MENENDEZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman, after the tragedy, abuse, and repression under the illegitimate Taliban regime, after the years of Soviet invasion, after the years of sustained domestic conflict thereafterwhich for many Afghan citizens sadly defines their way of lifeand after the years and years of life in refugee camps, today there is a glimmer of hope for the people of Afghanistan. When we vote on this assistance that the people of the United States will provide to the people of Afghanistan, we begin the long and arduous process of having the opportunity for Afghans to return to normality so that refugees may leave their camps and return to their villages, so that women can live their lives with dignity and not humiliation, so that all of the people of Afghanistan may have an opportunity to live their lives in peace, free of the scourge of Osama bin Laden and his mercenaries.
Last week, people the world over learned that Sharbot Gula, the teenage refugee girl whose 1985 photo on the cover of National Geographic captivated the world's attention, is now living a normal life with her family and three daughters in Afghanistan. In a way, that is what this hearing is about. It is about helping the people of Afghanistan get back to normal. But let us be clear, the assistance that we will approve for the people of Afghanistan is not motivated simply by philanthropy. While its motivation may include the humanitarian concerns of the American people, this assistance is intended to promote the best interests of the United States and, in this particular instance, seeks to bolster the war on terrorism. It is important that we keep that in mind today and that those who are so deeply skeptical about the value of foreign assistance keep that in mind as the President participates in the International Conference on Financing for Development in Monterey, Mexico.
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While we must fight terrorism on the battlefield, we must also fight it in the streets. We must combat poverty, despair, and hopelessness. Too often these conditions provide terrorists the willing, young recruits that fight side by side with the bin Ladens of the world. It is often easy to find fault with our international assistance efforts. I myself have sometimes been critical of the inefficiencies of delivering aid to the people who need it. What is more difficult, however, is designing and delivering assistance that makes a critical difference in people's lives, and that's what we are trying to do here today.
So I urge all of my colleagues to support the bill. This is not simply philanthropy. It is a humanitarian, forthright pursuit of our national interests, and I look forward to moving the bill, Mr. Chairman, and supporting it on the floor.
Chairman HYDE. Thank you, Mr. Menendez. Mr. Rohrabacher.
Mr. ROHRABACHER. Thank you very much. As you know, I have had a very special interest in Afghanistan over the years, and actually I have been chosen by the speaker to lead a delegation right after Easter to Afghanistan. I will be taking a copy of this legislation and will be discussing it with Mr. Karzai and with King Zahir Shah and coming back and reporting to this Committee what their reaction is to this legislation.
Today, of course, we are putting everyone who works for the United States government on notice that we are expecting them to be proactive in their involvement and in their efforts to see that our policy in Afghanistan succeeds. Our policy is the rebuilding of Afghanistan and the paying of a moral debt to the people of Afghanistan that is long overdue. We are also putting the world on notice that we will not just use our military to obtain our objectives, and there is nothing wrong with using our military to obtain military objectives, but we are also committed to helping the people of Afghanistan with our resources and our talents to help them live better lives. We can help them to build a decent country so that their people can live in peace, and they can live in prosperity and have decent lives for the first time in two decades.
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By the way, I might add that Gaddi Vasquez, the Director of the Peace Corps, has already been in Kabul. He slept in the rubble of the U.S. Embassy on a cot in order to show that the Peace Corps will be dramatically involved in this effort. We, through this legislation, are saying that everybody who works for these departments and agencies should take that same kind of initiative. We need in Afghanistan some concentration, as this legislation does, on democracy building. We also need to make sure that no one ever forgets the fact that Afghan children are being blown apart every day by mines that we did not help them clear up after the war with the Soviets was over. There are millions of land mines that we used to help defeat the Russians, then we did not come in to help them clear those mines for the safety of their own families.
Also in this legislation, we talk about crop substitution. Those thingsdemining, democracy building, and crop substitution for the poppiesare the three major agenda items at play today.
Finally, Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment that I will present that has three things in it. One, it adds $10 million for the Loya Jirga process, which we have neglected to put into this legislation, that will help us make sure that the very first steps toward democracy building is a success in Afghanistan. That $10 million will also be used for building democracy measures in the future, the planning of elections, et cetera. Also my amendment adds land mines to various sections of the bill, the clearing of these land mines as a priority item. I will be presenting that amendment later on.
I thank you, Mr. Chairman, for your leadership, and I would just remind my colleagues that this is our job. We have our troops over there doing their job now. They are risking their lives to make this a better world and to make our country more secure. Today we have to do our part, and we have to continue to do our part, to make sure that America shows its better side in our generosity and to repay a moral debt to the people of Afghanistan. Thank you very much.
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Chairman HYDE. The Chair will entertain two more opening statements and then get to the amendatory phase. We have enough Members here and that is sometimes a fragile situation. I do not want to lose them so we can move the legislation. Mr. Royce.
Mr. ROYCE. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Today, March 20th, is not only the first day of spring, but it is also the Afghan new year, and across Southern California Afghan-Americans are celebrating the liberation of the country from the Taliban. Mr. Rohrabacher and myself have been to a number of these celebrations. And at these celebrations the buzz in the crowd is about going back home to help in the rebuilding of the country.
Chairman Karzai has been traveling around the country and around the world to build support for his interim government, and at the same time his message is one to the Afghan diaspora, please return home to help. This January, he was out at Georgetown University to address a group of Afghan-Americans, and, again, his message was very, very specific and clear on this.
I had a chance a few weeks ago to travel to Kabul and to Bagram, Afghanistan, and help from Afghans here is sorely needed. In Southern California, as you know, Mr. Chairman, we have a very large Afghan-American population. They are engineers. They are bankers. They are businessmen. They want to go back home to rebuild, and I would like to see the U.S. Government take advantage of those who possess these communication and technical skills. They are willing to pick up and make great sacrifices for their homeland, but they need a little support to do that.
This is an issue I raised at the hearing last week. I want to commend you, Chairman, and I want to commend the Ranking Member for including in this bill language that I authored that will make it easier for Afghan-Americans to return and be constructive to that rebuilding effort. Mr. Chairman, again, I want to thank you for incorporating this language into this important legislation that you, the Ranking Member, and Chairman Gilman have advanced, and it should help as Afghanistan begins this rebuilding process.
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Chairman HYDE. Thank you, Mr. Royce. Dr. Paul of Texas.
Mr. PAUL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have just a very brief statement, but I do have a question for the Chairman. I wish I could join in the high hopes that are being expressed here today. I remain skeptical. I do not think the results will be quite what is hoped for. I do not see this as a productive use of the taxpayers' money, and I do not see a lot of good coming of this. A lot of good intentions, but I am really very skeptical of much coming from this.
First, social engineering and nation building are not part of our responsibility, and there is a lot of that in here. But the question I have is, I understand that the Administration has considered this legislation unnecessary and not all that helpful, I was wondering if the Chairman could clarify that position on whether or not this is the bill that the Administration would like?
Chairman HYDE. Yes. We are having an ongoing dialogue with the Administration and the State Department. We are discussing every aspect of this legislation. They have some positions that are not our positions. We have some that are not theirs. But in the finest tradition of democracy, we are going to continue talking, and we hope to persuade them to the wisdom of our position.
Mr. PAUL. I see the gentleman from Arizona would like to make a statement, but I figure we have run out of time unless I could yield to the gentleman. I will be glad to yield to Mr. Flake.
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Mr. FLAKE. I thank the gentleman for yielding. I just wanted to express some of the same concerns, particularly about the Administration's position. I think we may be a little ahead here. They have stated in their statement that the situation is very fluid there. I think the Administration is probably the best judge of that. They are in there a lot more than we are, and my concern is that we are moving out ahead of the Administration on this.
Mr. PAUL. I yield back.
Chairman HYDE. I thank both of you for your critiques. They will be fully considered. We are trying to provide the Administration with the tools and flexibility we think they need to administer assistance to the people of Afghanistan. As I say, I am optimistic that we can persuade them to the wisdom of our position. Are there any amendments? The gentlelady from California.
Ms. LEE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have an amendment at the desk.
Chairman HYDE. The clerk will report the amendment. The gentlelady clerk indicates she does not have the amendment.
Ms. LEE. Excuse me, Mr. Chairman. Let me
Chairman HYDE. Is Mr. Delahunt concealing the amendment?
Page 36 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. DELAHUNT. I refuse to answer that question.
Chairman HYDE. Do we have a copy of the amendment?
Ms. LEE. Yes.
Chairman HYDE. Here they come. If the gentlelady will temporarily withdraw her amendment, we will go to another, and then we will come back to you. All right? Mr. Rohrabacher.
Mr. ROHRABACHER. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
Chairman HYDE. The clerk will report the amendment.
Ms. RUSH. An amendment offered by Mr. Rohrabacher. Section 102, page six, line nine, after ''create jobs'' add ''facilitate clearance of land mines.'' In section 104, page eight, line 22, after [D], add [E], clearance of land mines. In section 104
[The amendment follows:]
Chairman HYDE. Without objection, further reading of the amendment is dispensed with. The gentleman is recognized for 5 minutes in support of his amendment.
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Mr. ROHRABACHER. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. As I stated in my opening statement, my amendment is to make sure that the clearing of land mines is one of our priorities. I believe the three priorities we have to have to succeed in Afghanistan are: Number one, democracy building; number two, clearing of land mines; and number three, crop substitution. Whereas crop substitution and the drug issue are very adequately dealt with in the legislation, I felt that the clearing of land mines was not, so my amendment would take care of that.
Also, my amendment would add $10 million to help those people establish and move forward with the Loya Jirga because there has not been a specific subsidy for that all-important meeting that's going to be taking place to lay the foundation for future elections. So the amendment adds $10 million for the Loya Jirga and for the planning of future elections. This is actually the first step in helping them establish some type of a democratic process.
Chairman HYDE. We believe the gentleman is making a worthwhile addition to the legislation and are disposed to accept it. Is there any further discussion?
Mr. DELAHUNT. Mr. Chairman.
Chairman HYDE. Who is seeking recognition? Mr. Delahunt. I am sorry. I did not recognize your voice.
Mr. DELAHUNT. I wanted to disclose that I did not have the gentlelady's amendment, but on this particular amendment I wanted to direct a question to Mr. Rohrabacher. First of all, I applaud him for the amendment. I think it is very apropos. I support it enthusiastically. And I want to commend him for being a leader on this issue. He was a prophet in his own time, speaking of the Taliban when no one would listen to him. So I have great respect for his insight and his knowledge of the realities of Afghanistan, and I want to say that publicly.
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At the same time, I do not know where he comes up with the figure, $10 million, but even beyond that, I would ask him whether he believes the amount that is authorized over 4 years, the $1.05 billion in the legislation, is adequate and sufficient enough to meet our, as he describes it, ''moral obligation'' to the people of Afghanistan, and I yield to the gentleman.
Mr. ROHRABACHER. I believe that money is well spent and that it does meet our moral obligation. I would prefer to see certain areas beefed up and other areas perhaps not as well financed. It is certainly a first good step, and it is a symbol to the people of the world that the United States means business. However, I would have to say that we as a body should be paying close attention, and if it appears that, for example, our other allies who have pledged other billions of dollars are not stepping forward, it behooves us to step forward to put pressure on them to do their part. If they do not, then we will do even more. However, as it stands now, if the other countries come through with the money that they have pledged, I think that that would be enough to help put Afghanistan on the right track.
Mr. DELAHUNT. Reclaiming my time, I respect the gentleman's opinion, and I will accept that. We have listened to promises from other nations elsewhere. I think of the example of Colombia in terms of social and economic development funds that were promised that have never been delivered,
Mr. ROHRABACHER. That's correct.
Mr. DELAHUNT [continuing]. And I am concerned about Afghanistan. I do not think we can do this on the cheap. I think we have got to do it right because a halfhearted attempt here could be disastrous for the people of Afghanistan.
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Mr. ROHRABACHER. This will be a message to the whole Islamic world. We have helped these people free themselves from the tyranny of the Taliban, and we used our military force to do so. We are telling the rest of the Islamic world, for example, in Iraq, if they free themselves from that tyranny, that we will not just turn our backs on them. We are going to not only use our military might, but use our economic might and our democratic know-how to work with people in the world who want a better life. Again, I think we have to assume that those people who have made their pledges will come through. If they do not, we need to step forward in a better way, even on our own part.
Mr. DELAHUNT. Well, again, I think it is a worthwhile investment. It is an investment that I believe in the long term will save American lives. I think it was the gentleman from New Jersey, Mr. Menendez, that said this is an investment in our defense, in our security. I think we learned on September 11th that foreign policy has come home, and I think it behooves us to reconsider the funding levels that we do provide in terms of foreign assistance because in the end it is going to be a lot cheaper.
Mr. ROHRABACHER. If the gentleman would yield just one moment.
Mr. DELAHUNT. I yield.
Mr. ROHRABACHER. I certainly buy the argument that what we are doing to help Afghanistan is, indeed, a defense of our own country, but let me just put another analysis on this. As most everyone in here knows, I am one of the only people on this Committee who actually was in Afghanistan during the war against the Soviets. As I was hiking to a particular battle in 1988, and it was one of the last major battles in which the Soviet troops were engaged with the mujaheddin, I was part of a very small unit of mujaheddin, about 15 of us, and as we saw this battle over the hills, a young, about 17-year-old, Afghan boy ran up to me. He said, ''I understand you are in politics in the United States,'' and he spoke almost perfect English. I said, ''Yes, I am in politics in the United States.'' He said, ''Are you a donkey, or are you an elephant?'' And I will never forget that.
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Chairman HYDE. He could tell by looking at you that you were not a donkey.
Mr. ROHRABACHER. Well, the bottom line was that in the end I was talking to this young person, and I said, ''What do you want to do after this war is over?'' Here was a 17-year-old kid, and he knew more about our political system than any of our children. In fact, he probably knew more about our political system by asking me that question than many Members of this Committee know about Afghanistan. I asked him, ''What do you want to do after the war?'' And he said, ''I would like to be an architect because I want to rebuild my country.'' That was in 1988, and I do not know if he even survived that battle or the war because I was only in that battle for a few days, and then I left, and I do not know if that young man is alive today.
Chairman HYDE. The gentleman's time has long expired.
Mr. ROHRABACHER. I would suggest there is a moral obligation to that young person and the people of Afghanistan to help them rebuild their country and have a decent life. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman HYDE. Is there any further discussion? We are prepared to accept the amendment.
Mr. ACKERMAN. Mr. Chairman.
Chairman HYDE. Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
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Mr. ACKERMAN. I just want to point out that the money that we are authorizing here, the over $1 billion, is over and above that moneyI think it is at least $300 millionthat has been made available by the President. And in the interest of the Reduction of Quibble Act, I think we are prepared to accept the amendment on our side as well.
Chairman HYDE. Very well. Without objection the amendment is agreed to. Is Ms. Lee ready with her amendment? Mr. Hoeffel has an amendment.
Mr. HOEFFEL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have an amendment at the desk.
Chairman HYDE. The clerk will report the amendment.
Ms. RUSH. An amendment offered by Mr. Hoeffel. In section 101 of the bill add at the end the following: subsection 6
Chairman HYDE. Without objection, further reading of the amendment is dispensed with. The gentleman is recognized for 5 minutes in support thereof.
[The amendment follows:]
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Mr. HOEFFEL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. My compliments to you and to Ranking Member Lantos for bringing this bill forward; Mr. Gilman and Mr. Ackerman as well. This $1 billion authorization for 4 years of aid to Afghanistan is the right thing to do. It is about matching what we have been providing to 12 other countries through the original Freedom Support Act designed to help the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union. So we are proposing a great deal of money compared to the original Freedom Support Act, which goes to 12 countries. We are proposing a great deal to one country, Afghanistan, and it surely needs it.
My amendment would add to the declaration of policy section of the bill a statement urging the United States and the international community to support similar efforts to develop democratic civil authorities and institutions in the broader Central Asia region. My amendment is not precise, Mr. Chairman. It does not appropriate more money. It would not shift away any of the $1 billion already identified in the bill for any other purpose, but it does ask this Committee to think bigger, and it asks this Congress to think better. One billion dollars is surely not enough in the long run to help Afghanistan not just to rebuild, but to redevelop and, in fact, empower its own citizens.
After World War II this country did a magnificent thing called the Marshall Plan, which was a $13 billion commitment over 4 years to rebuild 14 countries that had been decimated by that war. In today's dollars that would equal $100 billion. Now that's a great deal of money. With an annual Federal budget topping two trillion, with other countries of the world and other international institutions prepared to step forward, we could, though, consider a similar commitment to Central and South Asia and the Middle East if we want to do. As Mr. Rohrabacher quite properly says, send a good message to the Islamic world. I am all for that. This bill is a good start, but it is not enough. If we want to eradicate terrorism, that fight will extend beyond Afghanistan's borders. We need allies in countries where the terrorists continue to hide.
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We must look at a regional approach, not a piecemeal approach. We need to consider not just reconstruction and rebuilding of Afghanistan, but redevelopment and empowerment of the entire Central Asia region. Colin Powell has expressed to this Committee his interest in this concept. I hope that we will accept this amendment, which is general and contains no precise appropriation or authorization of money. In accepting this amendment, Mr. Chairman, I hope we will continue to think big and understand that we have some very broad obligations. We need a modern-day Marshall Plan. Let's call it the Powell Plan or perhaps the Hyde Amendment. Whatever it is, Mr. Chairman, let us do it, and let us get on with it. I thank the Chair for his courtesy and cooperation.
Chairman HYDE. I thank the gentleman. The Chair is certainly prepared to accept the amendment; however, there is further discussion. Mr. Pitts.
Mr. PITTS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I wonder if the author of the amendment would just clarify. When you mention, in the words of the amendment, ''broader Central Asia region,'' are you including South Asia, for instance, Pakistan as well as Afghanistan? Are you including the Caucasuses like Georgia, Armenia, or Azerbaijan? What do you mean by ''Central Asia''?
Mr. HOEFFEL. I basically mean the ''stans.'' I would like to include a much broader grouping of countries, as the gentleman just indicated, but there are problems of germaneness that limit how broad I can get. The Caucasuses are already receiving aid from the existing Freedom Support Act. Afghanistan is not, so this stand-alone bill is the right thing to do. I do hope the Committee will think in broader terms, though.
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Mr. PITTS. So you want all of the seven ''stans,'' including South Asia.
Mr. HOEFFEL. Yes. That is correct.
Mr. PITTS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman HYDE. Is there further discussion?
Chairman HYDE. If not, the amendment is accepted by unanimous consent. Are there further amendments? Ms. Lee is ready.
Ms. LEE. I believe I have an amendment at the desk now.
Ms. RUSH. An amendment offered by Ms. Lee. In section 102 of the bill, add at the end the following.
[The amendment follows:]
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Chairman HYDE. Without objection, further reading of the amendment is dispensed with, and the gentlelady is recognized for 5 minutes in support of her amendment.
Ms. LEE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. First, let me just say that I think this is a good bill. This is a bill that will help the new government of Afghanistan move forward and will ensure the United States' help in nation building in terms of the development of that country. I believe this is an excellent first start. I hope we do ultimately get the money that we need, the funding for all aspects of this legislation.
This amendment was actually sponsored by and authored by Congresswoman Juanita Millender-McDonald, the Co-Chair of the Women's Caucus, who is not a Member of this Committee, but I am offering this on her behalf. She has been a leader in ensuring that the inclusion of Afghan women is prominent in the rebuilding of their country. Under the interim administration, the Ministry for Women's Affairs will play an important and critical role in helping to secure peace and the democratic processes which we and the entire world want to see take place in Afghanistan. So what this amendment does is to include in the bill a provision to ensure that specific resources will be provided for the Ministry of Women's Affairs in Afghanistan to carry out their responsibilities for legal advocacy, education, vocational training, and women's health programs.
As girls begin school this week, I believe that this would be a fitting action to fulfill the United States' commitment to the restoration of the rights of Afghan women and girls. We are pleased that we have bipartisan agreement on this amendment, Mr. Chairman. I thank you for it, and once again, on behalf of Congresswoman Millender-McDonald from California, she has asked me to thank the Committee for supporting the amendment. This is truly an important part of this bill in ensuring that women play a prominent role in the building of a new nation.
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Chairman HYDE. Thank you. Is there further discussion?
Chairman HYDE. If not, the Chair is prepared to accept the amendment by unanimous consent, and it is so adopted.
Ms. LEE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman HYDE. Are there further amendments?
Chairman HYDE. If not, the question occurs on the motion to report the bill, H.R. 3994, favorably as amended. All in favor, say aye.
[A chorus of ayes.]
Chairman HYDE. Opposed nay.
Chairman HYDE. The ayes have it, and the motion to report favorably is adopted, a quorum being present. Without objection, the Chairman is authorized to move to go to conference pursuant to House Rule 22. Without objection, the staff is directed to make any technical and conforming changes. Without objection, the bill will be reported favorably to the House in the form of a single amendment in the nature of a substitute incorporating the amendments adopted here today. The Committee stands adjourned.
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[Whereupon, at 11:40 a.m., the Committee was adjourned.]