« ÎnapoiContinuă »
lated bill offered by our colleague, Mr. Kolbe of Arizona, whose language regarding third-party procurement monitoring will be offered as an amendment by Mr. Gejdenson. I ask my colleagues to support the amendment and to render their support for passage of H.R. 4697.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Ms. Ros-Lehtinen.
Any other Member seeking recognition? If not, I would like to just talk on Mr. Gejdenson's measure.
I am pleased to cosponsor your measure, a bill introduced by the Ranking Member. It amends the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to authorize the President to establish programs to combat by promoting principles of good governance designed to enhance oversight of private and public programs.
concur with Mr. Gejdenson that it is essential for our nation to assist emerging democracies by providing governments in developing nations with the tools necessary to account for the expenditure of public funds and the proper administration of government programs. Accountability and transparency in the administration of public programs is essential and are essential ingredients to instill confidence in government and necessary to ensure that democracy flourishes.
All too often, well-meaning programs and initiatives prove ineffective because the tools needed to guarantee their proper implementation and administration are lacking. This is an especially key problem in those societies without a track record of democratic practices and without the institutions needed to provide for adequate oversight.
It is also unquestionable that corruption poses a major impediment to sustainable development and deters foreign investment in those nations that need it the most. This bill addresses this growing problem directly and provides the tools needed to fight the corruption that stifles growth and democracy in the developing world. Accordingly, this bill authorizes the President to create in developing societies those very programs that ensure accountability and oversight of private and public programs of the United States. I urge its adoption.
Mr. GEJDENSON. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
Chairman GILMAN. The clerk will report the amendment.
Ms. BLOOMER. Amendment offered by Mr. Gejdenson.
Page 5, line
Mr. GEJDENSON. I ask unanimous consent that the amendment be considered as read.
Chairman GILMAN. Without objection.
I recognize Mr. Gejdenson on the amendment. [The amendment appears in the appendix.]
Mr. GEJDENSON. Mr. Chairman, the amendment simply adds third-party monitors of government procurement and supports the establishment of audit offices, inspectors general and third-party monitoring of government procurement process in the anticorruption agency. It is an excellent suggestion from Ms. Ros
Chairman GILMAN. Is there any discussion on the amendment? If not, all in favor of the amendment signify in the usual manner. Opposed?
The amendment is carried.
Are there any other Members seeking recognition or seeking to offer amendments?
If not, so that the Committee may report the bill we have under consideration with a single amendment, the Chair will make a unanimous consent request. Without objection, the Committee is deemed to have before it an amendment in the nature of a substitute consisting of the text of the bill as amended at this point. Without objection, the amendment in the nature of a substitute is deemed read, the previous question is ordered on the amendment, the amendment is adopted. Without objection, the previous question is ordered.
The gentleman from Nebraska, Mr. Bereuter, is recognized to offer a motion.
Mr. BEREUTER. Mr. Chairman, I move that the Chairman be requested to seek consideration of the pending bill as amended on the suspension calendar.
Chairman GILMAN. The question is now on the motion of the gentleman from Nebraska. Those in favor of the motion, signify by saying aye. Those opposed, say no.
The ayes have it. The motion is agreed to.
Without objection, the Chair or his designee is authorized to make motions under rule XXII with respect to a conference on the bill or a counterpart from the Senate. Further proceedings on this measure are postponed.
H. CON. RES. 322-REGARDING SOCIAL AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS IN VIETNAM
We will now proceed to H. Con. Res. 322 relating to the Vietnamese Americans. The Chair lays a resolution before the Committee. The clerk will report the title of the resolution.
Ms. BLOOMER. H. Con. Res. 322, a resolution expressing the sense of the Congress regarding Vietnamese Americans and others who seek to improve social and political conditions in Vietnam.
Chairman GILMAN. This resolution was considered by the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, marked up and reported with an amendment in the nature of a substitute reflected in a document labeled committee print now before the Members. Without objection, the subcommittee recommended amendment in the nature of a substitute shall be considered as original text for the purposes of amendment.
The clerk will read the preamble and text of the subcommittee recommendation in that order.
Ms. BLOOMER. Whereas the Armed Forces of the United States
[The original and amended bills appear in the appendix.]
Chairman GILMAN. Without objection, the Subcommittee recommendation is considered as having been read and is open to amendment at any point.
I now recognize the gentleman from Nebraska, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, Mr. Bereuter, to intro
duce the resolution in the Committee. The gentleman is recognized for 5 minutes.
Mr. BEREUTER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
H. Con. Res. 322 was introduced on May 11 by the gentleman from Virginia, Mr. Davis, to recognize the Vietnamese who fought bravely side by side with U.S. forces in Vietnam and to applaud those whose efforts focused international attention on human rights violations in Vietnam. The resolution was marked up by the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific on June 27.
Each year, on June 19, the Vietnamese American community traditionally commemorates those who gave their lives in the struggle to preserve the freedom of the former Republic of Vietnam. During the war, the armed forces of the Republic of Vietnam suffered enormous casualties, including over 250,000 killed and more than 750,000 wounded. They continued to suffer after the fighting ended when many were imprisoned and forced to undergo so-called reeducation. They continue their efforts even now, playing an important role in raising international awareness of human rights violations in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
Moreover, the Vietnamese American community in the United States, many of whom arrived as refugees with little but the clothes on their back, has made tremendous achievements and has contributed greatly to this country.
Earlier this year, the Committee passed and the House approved Mr. Rohrabacher's H. Con. Res. 295 on human rights and political oppression in Vietnam. There inevitably was some duplication of the two initiatives. Therefore, this Member, with the concurrence of the sponsor of the resolution, the gentleman from Virginia, Mr. Davis, offered an amendment in the nature of a substitute to H. Con. Res. 322 which eliminated the duplication with Mr. Rohrabacher's resolution. This resolution therefore now focuses on commemorating the service and sacrifices of the former members of the armed forces of the Republic of Vietnam. This resolution has many cosponsors on both sides of the aisle, including this Member. I would hope that all our colleagues will support this laudable resolution.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Bereuter.
Mr. GEJDENSON. Mr. Chairman, I join in commending you for moving this resolution. It is a good resolution. It recognizes the great contribution by the Vietnamese American community and their efforts to promote democracy and human rights in Vietnam. They are an important part of our society. I hope we move this resolution quickly.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Gejdenson.
Mr. ROHRABACHER. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I commend you, and I commend Mr. Bereuter for this.
As an original cosponsor, I strongly support this resolution by Mr. Davis of Virginia, as amended by Mr. Bereuter.
This amendment honors Vietnamese Americans, especially our allies who served in the South Vietnamese military during the war. For those of us who were in Vietnam-and I spent some time in a political operation in Vietnam in 1967 when I was 19 and there
I witnessed, along with Al Santoli who served in Vietnam as a soldier and is on my staff and who won three Purple Hearts in Vietnam-we witnessed the post-Cold War, post-Vietnam War refugee camps filled with these people who had been our allies and had left that country with little more than the clothes on their back.
We have been watching these refugees now and are inspired by them. I am very proud that, in my district, I represent Little Saigon. They are wonderful people. Many of them, as I say, came here with nothing, have now become one of the most successful residents of Orange County, and they are very fine citizens.
I am especially impressed with the younger generation of Vietnamese Americans, some of whom were born in those refugee camps right after the war in Vietnam, others who arrived here in the United States later on. These Vietnamese students, the younger generation, they excel in their studies, and they have become great Americans. Yet they have not forgotten the cause of freedom and the suffering of their homeland.
The abysmal failure of the Communist tyrants who have suppressed the Vietnamese people for the past 25 years is in stark contrast to the Vietnamese who found refuge in the United States and have turned their freedom into prosperity and into success and into an admirable life.
This is a profound evidence that, although what we were trying to do in Vietnam was defeat communism and we were not successful, that it was a noble cause, as Ronald Reagan called it in Vietnam, and that we were trying to give those people the opportunity to live in freedom. When they have it, as they have in the United States, they excel and they enjoy the freedom and are good citizens and are very responsible.
This resolution calls attention to the hard work and commitment to education and the hard work of first generation Vietnamese Americans, offering both a tribute to these new Americans and encouragement to never give up the struggle for human dignity.
Again, this does salute the soldiers who fought in Vietnam at our side. There is a memorial being built in my district to those proud Vietnamese soldiers who may have lost on the battlefield but someday will win the war for freedom in their country by offering a great example for freedom.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Rohrabacher.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
I want to commend Congressman Davis for this resolution, which makes clear that the U.S. Congress supports the efforts of the Vietnamese American community in calling attention to the need for human rights and democracy.
I know some language has been stripped out of this. Frankly, I think that is unfortunate. A little redundancy in calling attention to human rights abuses I think advances the ball, so I think that is unfortunate it was taken out.
But I do think it is important in this debate and especially on the floor that we speak about the fact that when Mr. Rohrabacher's amendment or resolution passed 418-2, our Ambassador to Vietnam was quoted as saying that it only reflects the views of a mi
nority of Americans. I hope that he was misquoted, but I am deeply concerned that the Vietnamese Government may get the wrong message from those kinds of reports about our Ambassador's remarks. Hopefully, when we take this to the floor, it will not again be misconstrued.
If we do not raise in a very tangible way the ongoing human rights abuses that are occurring there we can gloss over it, we have done that before, in country after country-it is unfortunate for those who suffer in prisons, for those who find themselves being persecuted because of their religious beliefs, those who are victimized by the two-child-per-couple policy. In addition, Vietnam continues to jam Radio Free Asia. If they are such great friends, why not become more open to other points of view?
So I do think we need to bring attention to it. Mr. Rohrabacher did. But, regrettably, our Ambassador, maybe unwittingly, certainly undermined the clear message that 418 members sent to the Vietnamese Government.
I do thank Mr. Davis again for offering this resolution.
I want to join in commending the gentleman from Virginia, Mr. Davis, for introducing this measure expressing the sense of Congress regarding the sacrifices of those who served in the armed forces in the former Republic of Vietnam.
I would like to thank the Chairman of the Asia Pacific Subcommittee, Mr. Bereuter, for his work in crafting the current language in the resolution. It is truly regrettable that, 10 years after the end of the Cold War, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is still a one-party state ruled and controlled by a Communist party which represses political and religious freedoms and commits numerous human rights abuses. It is appropriate that we recognize those who fought to oppose that tyranny which has fallen across Vietnam, and those who continue the vigil of struggling for freedom and democracy there.
I urge Hanoi to cease violations of human rights and to undertake the long-overdue liberalization of its moribund and stifling political system. The people of Vietnam clearly deserve better.
Finally, I call upon the Vietnamese Government to do all it can unilaterally to assist in bringing our POW/MIA's to a full accounting, to be able to return to American soil with all the information they have.
I want to praise this resolution for pointing out the injustice that tragically exists in Vietnam today. I commend Mr. Davis for introducing this resolution, his commitment to human rights and democracy in Vietnam. Accordingly, I request to be added to the list of cosponsors of the resolution.
I look forward to bringing the resolution to the floor at an early date.
Is there any further debate or amendment on the subcommittee recommendation?
If not, the question is on agreeing to the subcommittee recommendation as amended. As many as are in favor of the amendment, signify by saying aye. As many as opposed, signify by saying