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I think that we should certainly urge the President to sign the optional protocol at his earliest opportunity. Once that is signed, hopefully, the Senate will ratify the protocol.

The protocol simply says that we should have no youngsters under 17 in the armed forces and at 18 in combat. I don't believe that we here in the United States—it has been very rare instances, probably even nonexistent, in the last 50 years that the United States has used soldiers under the age of 18 in actual combat. They have had persons under 18, probably, in the military, but I would doubt very seriously if we have really had very many, if any, combatants under the age of 18.

I just support this resolution and urge its adoption.
I yield back the balance of my time.
Ms. Ros-LEHTINEN (presiding). Thank you, Mr. Payne.

Is there any further debate or amendment on the subcommittee recommendation?

If not, the question is on agreeing

Mr. ROHRABACHER. Madam Chairman, could I just say one thing? I would have felt more comfortable about this resolution if they had put 16 rather than 18. Because there were a lot of people that served in combat when they were under 18-a lot. But I am supporting it, anyway.

Ms. Ros-LEHTINEN. Thank you.

If not, the question is on agreeing to the subcommittee recommendation, as amended. As many as are in favor of the amendment, say aye. As many as are opposed, say no.

The amendment is agreed to. The previous question is ordered on the resolution, without objection.

The gentleman from California, Mr. Rohrabacher, is recognized to offer a motion.

Mr. ROHRABACHER. Madam Chairman, I move that the Chairman be requested to seek consideration of the pending resolution, as amended, on the suspension calendar.

Ms. Ros-LEHTINEN. The question is on the motion of the gentleman from California. As many as are in favor of the motion, say aye. As many as are 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 this resolution or a counterpart from the Senate. Further proceedings on this measure are postponed.

H. CON. RES. 319 CONGRATULATING THE REPUBLIC OF LATVIA We will now turn to H. Con. Res. 319. We will be considering this resolution which congratulates the Republic of Latvia. The Chair lays the resolution before the Committee. The clerk will report the title of the resolution.

Ms. BLOOMER. H. Con. Res. 319, a resolution congratulating the Republic of Latvia on the 10th anniversary of the reestablishment of its independence from the rule of the former Soviet Union.

Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. The resolution was not referred to subcommittee. Without objection, the clerk will read the preamble and Ms. BLOOMER. Whereas the United States had never recognized the forcible

Ms. Ros-LEHTINEN. Without objection, the resolution is considered as having been read and is open to amendment at any point.

[The bill appears in the appendix.]

Ms. Ros-LEHTINEN. I would like to recognize Mr. Gejdenson to introduce the resolution to the Committee. The gentleman is recognized for 5 minutes.

Mr. GEJDENSON. Thank you, Madam Chairman.

I think there are so many of us who spent years here moving resolutions on the Baltic States with the hope that someday we would see freedom for these countries, for one, my own mother's homeland, Lithuania. We were never sure that it would happen in our lifetime. That struggle continued here in the Congress, led by many people on this Committee, people on the Senate side like Mr. Durbin and others; and the fact that we have this success I think is something that gives us all hope whenever we see struggle and oppression around the world. The fact that the United States never recognized the forcible annexation, the resistance of the people of the Baltic States, in particular in this case Latvia, is something to give us all hope and encouragement.

I urge support for the resolution.

Ms. Ros-LEHTINEN. Any others who wish to be recognized on this resolution?

[The prepared statement of Mr. Gilman appears in the appendix.]

Ms. Ros-LEHTINEN. If there is no further debate, the gentleman from California, Mr. Rohrabacher, is recognized to offer a motion.

Mr. ROHRABACHER. Madam Chairman, I move that the Chairman be requested to seek consideration of the pending resolution as amended on the suspension calendar.

Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. The question is on the motion of the gentleman from California. As many as are in favor of the motion, say aye. As many as are opposed, say no.

The ayes have it. The motion is agreed to. Further proceedings on this measure are postponed.

We will have a brief recess while we consider the next resolution. [Recess.)

H. CON. RES. 232—U.S. CITIZENS TRAVELING IN MEXICO Ms. Ros-LEHTINEN. We will now consider H. Con. Res. 232 relating to the safety of Americans traveling in Mexico. The Chair lays the resolution before the Committee. The clerk will report the title of the resolution.

Ms. BLOOMER. H. Con. Res. 232, a resolution expressing the sense of Congress concerning the safety and well-being of United States citizens injured while traveling in Mexico.

Ms. Ros-LEHTINEN. This resolution was considered by the Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere Affairs, marked up and reported with an amendment in the nature of a substitute reflected in the 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 purpose of amendment. The clerk will read the preamble and the text of the subcommittee recommendation in that order. The clerk will read the subcommittee recommendation.

Ms. BLOOMER. Whereas hundreds of United States citizens travel by automobile to Mexico every day;

Whereas United States automobile insurance

Ms. Ros-LEHTINEN. Without objection, the subcommittee recommendation is considered as having been read and is open to amendment at any point.

[The original and amended bills appear in the appendix.]

Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. I would now recognize the gentleman from Connecticut, Mr. Gejdenson, to introduce it to the Committee. The gentleman is recognized for 5 minutes.

Mr. GEJDENSON. Madam Chairwoman, I support the excellent work done by the subcommittee and your work in this area. It is an issue that creates, sometimes, humanitarian crises for Americans who need medical treatment and may not be able to get a bond as a result of an automobile accident. I hope we pass this swiftly.

Ms. Ros-LEHTINEN. Thank you so much, Mr. Gejdenson.

I would like to recognize myself to congratulate Congressman Hunter for introducing this resolution and bringing it to our Committee's attention.

I also had a constituent who was severely impacted by the terrible situation for medical procedures on the return of U.S. citizens from Mexico. The Andrews family of my congressional district had a terrible car accident, and he is now in a horrible medical state. The Mexican Government, the officials and the ambulance service were not helpful in a dire, life-threatening situation. The family should not be concerned with having to gather thousands of dollars which are needed for the exit bond requirements by these ambulance services and the government.

We commend Mr. Hunter for bringing this resolution to the Committee's attention. We hope that the President does act on it and negotiate a settlement so that similar tragedies can be prevented in the future.

Is there any further debate or amendment on the subcommittee recommendation?

[The prepared statement of Mr. Gilman appears in the appendix.)

Ms. Ros-LEHTINEN. If not, the question is on agreeing to the subcommittee recommendation as amended. As many as are in favor of the amendment, say aye. As many as are opposed, say no.

The amendment is agreed to.

The gentleman from California, Mr. Rohrabacher, is recognized to offer a motion.

Mr. ROHRABACHER. Thank you.

Madam Chairman, I move that the Chairman be requested to seek consideration of the pending resolution as amended on the suspension calendar.

Ms. Ros-LEHTINEN. The question is the motion of the gentleman from California. As many as are in favor of the motion, say aye. As many as are opposed, say no.

Without objection, the Chair or his designee is authorized to makes motions under rule XXII with respect to a conference on this resolution or a counterpart from the Senate. Further proceedings on this matter are postponed.

We will have a brief recess while we consider the next resolution. [Recess.]

H. RES. 531-THE BOMBING IN BUENOS AIRES

Ms. Ros-LEHTINEN. The Committee will now consider H. Res. 531 relating to the bombing in Buenos Aires. The Chair lays the resolution before the Committee. The clerk will report the title of the resolution.

Ms. BLOOMER. H. Res. 531, a resolution condemning the 1994 attack on the AMIA Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires, Argentina, urging the Argentine Government to punish those responsible, and for other purposes.

Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. This resolution was not referred to the subcommittee. Without objection, the clerk will read the preamble and the text of the resolution in that order.

Ms. BLOOMER. Whereas on July 18, 1994

Ms. Ros-LEHTINEN. Without objection, the resolution is considered as having been read and is open to amendment at any point.

[The bill appears in the appendix.]

Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. I would like to recognize me as the sponsor of the resolution for introduction of the resolution to the Committee, and I recognize myself for 5 minutes.

Mr. Chairman, I wish to thank you for expediting the consideration of this resolution and commend you for your ongoing commitment to combating terrorism and specifically for seeking the truth regarding the heinous terrorist attack against the Jewish community in Argentina.

On July 18, 1994, a dark cloud of fear and anguish enveloped the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina, when 86 innocent human beings were killed and 300 were wounded as a result of the bombing of the Jewish Community Center. The immediate reaction from the Argentine Government was firm. The expressed commitments filled those of Jewish faith with hope and confidence that justice would be served. The promises made, however, provided a false sense of security for all of the people of Argentina and for the community of the democratic nations of our hemisphere who believed that the culprits would be found and punished in an expeditious manner.

However, 6 years after the bombing, justice, peace and security continue to be somewhat illusive concepts. It was clear that this attack and the earlier one on the Israeli embassy were part of a campaign of violence targeted at the Jewish community in Argentina and throughout the world by radical militant groups in the Middle East.

Circumstantial evidence would later support this connection, attributing the bombing to the terrorist group Hezbollah based in Lebanon and sponsored by Iran. Yes, Iran, a country which is no longer considered to be a “rogue state” but merely a “country of concern.

Additional evidence indicates that the tri-border area with Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil was used to channel resources for the purposes of carrying out this terrorist attack.

While the initial publicity and international focus has greatly diminished, the scars and wounds have not. These will not begin to heal until an investigation is pursued with vigor and determination, and until effective action is taken by all to ensure that justice is served.

Every citizen of every society has a right to live in peace and liberty, free from the threat of terrorism. The democratic countries in our hemisphere have all reiterated their commitment to ensure and protect this right for all. This means the United States and all of our regional allies will share in the responsibility, unite in condemning such terrible acts, and render their cautious support to the new Argentine Administration that has expressed the political will to pursue the investigation into the bombing to its ultimate conclusion.

These goals are found in our resolution today, Mr. Chairman. H. Res. 531 serves not only as a road map to the case but details the legal and moral obligations which require us to act. It reiterates the condemnation of the bombing, but, more importantly, it serves as a tool to publicly honor and remember the victims of this terrorist attack. It makes a series of recommendations and requests which will send an unequivocal message to all that the United States considers the resolution of this case a priority. That we are prepared to take the necessary steps to help make this goal a reality and that we work with our regional neighbors as well as the Government of Argentina, and provide them with assistance when requested. It underscores the U.S. position that terrorism in all of its manifestations will not be tolerated, that we will not be held hostage by a band of thugs who use terror and violence to undermine the peace and stability of free and democratic nations.

We have 18 cosponsors, and 18 is the corresponding numerical value afforded to the Hebrew chai, which means life. This resolution is precisely about life. For the sake of the victims, for the sake of the hemisphere and global security, and for the sake of justice, I ask our colleagues to support this resolution, Mr. Chairman.

I would like to recognize the Ranking Member, Mr. Gejdenson, for his remarks.

Mr. GEJDENSON. Madam Chairman, I commend you for your efforts. I am ready to offer an amendment whenever it is appropriate.

Ms. Ros-LEHTINEN. Thank you.

Does the clerk have the amendment? The clerk will distribute the amendment.

Mr. GEJDENSON. If I might explain the amendment.

Ms. Ros-LEHTINEN. Mr. Gejdenson is recognized to explain his amendment. The clerk will read the amendment first.

Ms. BLOOMER. Amendment offered by Mr. Gejdenson.
Mr. GEJDENSON. I move the amendment be considered as read.
[The amendment appears in the appendix.]
Ms. Ros-LEHTINEN. Without objection.

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