House Backs Administration on Aid for Colombia 

House Backs Administration on Aid for Colombia 
Posted by FoM on March 29, 2000 at 23:11:00 PT
By Eric Pianin, Washington Post Staff Writer
Source: Washington Post
The House endorsed the administration's efforts to shore up Colombia's beleaguered government and combat Latin American drug traffickers as it considered passing a $12.6 billion emergency spending bill last night.House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), a staunch advocate of the Colombia aid, said the money is essential to stemming the flow of illegal drugs to the United States. 
Government officials say 90 percent of the cocaine and 65 percent of the heroin used in the United States come from Colombian."We can't ignore this issue," Hastert said. "We can't ignore it in this Congress, we can't ignore it on our street corners, and we can't ignore it in the place where this stuff comes from."The House fended off efforts to eliminate or reduce the Colombia aid, as Republicans also took steps to more than double President Clinton's original spending request.In addition to funds for military involvement in Kosovo and hurricane disaster relief, the "emergency" bill at issue last night also includes a host of apparently nonemergency items such as $20 million to help build a Food and Drug Administration laboratory in Los Angeles and $20 million for a federal abstinence education program for young people.Such items underscore the ease with which lawmakers are dipping into the giant surpluses generated by the booming economy. While there certainly is money with which to pay for many of these programs, the more Congress spends now the less money there will be down the road for the tax cuts or spending initiatives favored by presidential candidates  or the debt reduction urged by many lawmakers.By loading up the emergency bill with such provisions, lawmakers are able to add spending without technically busting the budget limits they have set for themselves.For instance, the fiscal 2001 budget plan approved only last week by the House would boost defense spending by only $1 billion above Clinton's request. Reps. Curt Weldon (R-Pa.), Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) and other Armed Services Committee Republicans had refused to support passage of the new budget until House GOP leaders promised them an extra $4 billion for defense as part of the emergency package.The House voted 289 to 130 yesterday to approve the additional funds, including money for equipment repairs and recruiting.Lawmakers previously added $1.6 billion to cover the Pentagon's soaring fuel costs and $854 million for the military's financially troubled health care program."This shows you the Republicans' fealty to their own budget lasted five days," said Rep. David R. Obey (Wis.), the ranking Democrat on the Appropriations Committee.Republicans said little to contradict Obey. "The problem is we're so far behind in many areas of our national defense structure that we do the best we can at every opportunity to catch up," said House Appropriations Committee Chairman C.W. Bill Young (R-Fla.), a defense hawk.Even as the House prepared to pass the bill today, the bill's fate was in doubt because of strong opposition from Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and Sen. Phil Gramm (R-Tex.), a member of the Budget Committee. Lott and Gramm contend the spending bill has become "bloated" and that Congress should deal with funds for Kosovo, Colombia and Hurricane Floyd disaster relief as part of the normal appropriations process for the next fiscal year.Congress has made ample use of emergency funding bills in recent years. Lawmakers approved $8.9 billion of emergency spending in 1997, $2.9 billion in 1998 and $15 billion last year.Gramm warned yesterday that emergency spending this year could mushroom to as much as $20 billion unless Congress shows restraint.The bill on the House floor bears only a passing resemblance to Clinton's original request. The president sought $5.1 billion earlier this year, including $1.2 billion for his two-year plan to support the government in Colombia and bolster its military efforts to fight the drug trade by reducing the production of cocaine and heroin.Under pressure from Hastert, the House Appropriations Committee added $500 million to the program's budget  to expand assistance to Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru  and $282.5 million for a high-tech communications surveillance system for federal drug enforcement officials.During a day-long floor debate, critics challenged the wisdom of the United States becoming involved in Colombia's long-running and bloody civil war and raised concerns about human rights violations and drug trafficking by Colombia's own military and paramilitary groups."This bill gives money to drug traffickers who kill other drug traffickers and murder innocent civilians," said Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.).By Eric PianinWashington Post Staff WriterThursday , March 30, 2000 ; A06  2000 The Washington Post Company Related Articles:Operation Conquistador, Feds Unveil New Strategy Drug War's Southern Front Aid Program Criticized Other Drug War
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help

Comment #5 posted by dddd on March 30, 2000 at 23:39:05 PT
Feeding Frenzy
Right on kaptinemoThese hogs are lined up at the trough,gorging themselves. In the normal,real world,these pigs would be considered criminals.These hogs are worse than any drug "kingpin",in the severity of their crimes....dddd
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #4 posted by kaptinemo on March 30, 2000 at 17:16:36 PT:
The Solemnity of Their Deliberations
I grew up living next to a farm, Every morning I'd hear the distant, echoing voice of the farmer calling his pigs to feed. What I witnessed on C-SPAN last night in regards to the matter of the above article bore an eerie resemblance to what I used to hear every day as an adolescent. Because, when shorn of their Brookes Brothers suits, their titles, positions, and ritual, it was no different than that long dead farmer shoutingSOOO-WEEE! SOOO-WEE! Heeeeere pigpigpigpigpig!It is no accident that those who squeeled the loudest at this latest trough had economic reasons for their actions. (And most likely, *personal economic reasons*; their investments are supposed to be placed in a 'blind trust', untouchable by them to avoid any semblence of a conflict of interest. Believe that one, and I have a nice bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell you; cash please, no checks.) A lot of the areas they represent, despite the supposed economic boom we are experiencing (ask some poor woman with kids who has to work two minimum wage jobs just to make ends meet how she likes this 'boom') are in fact still economically depressed. This latest boondoggle will be a Godsend to those lucky people who are closest to the trough, while those further away from it will receive, in classic 'trickle-down' style, the best of the rest.All while the DrugWar chugs merrily along, destabilizing our neighbors, pouring hard stuff into a country practicaly awash in white powders, more non-violent people wind up behind bars, and more of our rights are encroached upon... and more people suffer and die in this slow-motion human sacrifice we call the WoSD. But the pigs are too busy gorging themselves to notice. Remember who they were, because they have made it extraordinarily easy for you come November. 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by FoM on March 30, 2000 at 13:29:32 PT
House Approves Additional $4 Billion for Defense
This article is almost identical to the above one but a little different so I'm posting the link here.Peace, FoM!House Approves Additional $4 Billion for DefenseNearing Passage, $12.6 Billion Emergency Spending Bill Has Funds for Colombia, Non-EmergenciesBy Eric PianinWashington Post Staff WriterThursday, March 30, 2000; Page A06 The House last night approved $4 billion in extra money for the Pentagon as part of an emergency spending package that appears set for final approval today.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by legalizeit on March 30, 2000 at 12:16:15 PT
stupid idiot bureaucrats
I would really like to know why these mindless, greedy, unthrifty politicians keep getting re-elected. Perhaps their constituents are a bunch of old fogey Bible-thumpers and other religious types who are brainwashed into thinking that the status quo is working.They are going to suck us into yet another foreign situation we don't need to be in, for what? A chemical? Much more lethal chemicals are readily available in our grocery and drug stores! Kids die from "huffing" every day. Why aren't we blowing billions every year going to war to stomp out those substances?If they ever do make a dent in drug trade (doubtful given their past track record), drug prices will go up, making the stuff even more lucrative, then we'll see a crime wave like never before seen!Then maybe the old fogeys will be happy.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by dddd on March 30, 2000 at 02:26:33 PT
 Welcome to The Twilight Zone.....First off,the 1.3 or so billion,"aid" for Columbia is insane........It then becomes even more disgustingly astonishing,when the bill is refered to as; "The House endorsed the administration's efforts to shore up Colombia'sbeleaguered government and combat Latin American drug traffickers as itconsidered passing a $12.6 billion emergency spending bill last night.House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), a staunch advocate of theColombia aid, said the money is essential to stemming the flow of illegaldrugs to the United States. "This absurd sham is for 12.8 billion!..Yet a mere 10 percent ,(1.3billion+-),is the Columbian "aid" package,,,,the remainder is a PORK RANCH PARTY!!!... I dont believe.we didnt hear much news about the other 11 billion.I guess that was for stuff the "public need not concern themselves with"..........We get into the outer limits,when you realize what a strange circus of cuttin' deals,and slathering underhanded pork festivities our government consists of. Perhaps even stranger,is that the public is so distracted and focused in on the Columbia "aid" debate,as if it was 1.3 billion,with no mention of the 11 billion porkpile. Disgusting.....dddd 
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment

Name: Optional Password: 
Comment: [Please refrain from using profanity in your message]
Link URL: 
Link Title: