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Chairman Benjamin A. Gilman

Markup Statement

H.Con.Res. 319, Latvia's 10th Anniversary of Independence
Thursday, June 29th, 2000

I would like to take a moment to express my support for this Resolution.

I am certain that all of us on this Committee appreciate how difficult it has been for countries such as Latvia to move forward with badly-needed political and economic reforms over the last decade. Many of us also recall the challenges the Latvian people and their neighbors in Lithuania and Estonia had to overcome to regain their independence ten years ago.

This Resolution congratulates the Latvian people for their success in regaining their rightful independence- and commends them for carrying forward with the reforms that should lay the foundation for their full integration into European and Western institutions.

I support the resolution.

Chairman Benjamin A. Gilman
Markup of H. Con Res. 232

Regarding Americans Injured While Traveling in Mexico

June 29, 2000

I want to commend Representative Duncan Hunter for introducing this resolution and bringing this matter to the Committee's attention. This resolution urges the President to continue to negotiate with the Government of Mexico to establish procedures for the expedited return of U.S. citizens injured in Mexico.

There is good reason for the Congress to pass this resolution. United States citizens who do not purchase additional automobile insurance required by Mexican government and are injured in an automobile accident are subject to a bond requirements before they can return to the United States for medical treatment.

On August 24, 1999, Donald Kraft of Southern California was involved in an automobile accident in Baja California, in which he suffered a broken neck and other injuries. Mr. Kraft was forced to wait 18 hours before authorities approved his return to the United states - only after his family posted a bond to cover damages for the collision. Mr. Kraft died a few days later in San Diego.

The United States and Mexico should work together so we can avoid similar tragedies in the future.

I ask my colleagues on the Committee to join me in supporting this resolution.

Statement of Chairman Benjamin A. Gilman

Markup of H. Res. 531
Buenos Aires Bombing
June 29, 2000

I want to commend the gentle lady from Florida, Ms. Ros-Lehtinen, and the bipartisan group of co-sponsors of this resolution for insuring that the U.S. Congress properly marks the unhappy occasion of the sixth anniversary of the 1994 terrorist bombing of the AMIA Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires.

I have long been interested in seeing that this heinous crime is resolved, and those responsible are brought to justice. At my suggestion, the Argentine government created a $2 million reward program to help obtain information to resolve this act of terrorism.

Last year, the Argentine Congress passed important legislation that allows investigating Judge Juan Jose' Galeano to engage in plea bargaining. Nonetheless, the trail of the Argentinian citizens charged with involvement in this terrorist bombing has, regrettably, been much delayed.

Six years is too long a time to let pass without justice.

During his recent visit to the United States, President Fernando de la Rua made a point of visiting the Holocaust Museum and issuing a public apology for the role Argentina played in harboring Nazis after World War II.

President De La Rua said, and I quote, "Today, before you and before the world, I want to express my most sincere pain and to ask forgiveness that this happened, that Nazis were hidden among us."

I believe in President De La Rua's sincerity and thank him for his important statement.

Solving this terrible crime and bringing those responsible to justice is the proper way to bring hearing to the still-open wounds in Argentina.

I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this important resolution.

Statement of Chairman Benjamin A. Gilman
Markup of H. R. 4528

The International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000
June 29, 2000

I introduced H.R. 4528, the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000, along with Mr. Hinchey of New York, to encourage undergraduate college students to study abroad for a year. I believe that Americans need to be prepared to operate in an international environment and economy.

This preparation starts at a young age, and is the reason we want to assist college-level students to study abroad. One of the best ways to prepare our your people for this global society is to allow them to experience life outside the United States.

This bill will do that by authorizing $1.5 million dollars to be made available to the State Department of individual student grants of up to $5,000. The grants are targeted to assist lower students who otherwise would not be able to consider a study aborad program. These incentive grants are to be used to cover travel or other expenses related to studying overseas.

The intention of the bill is to work within the existing college campus study abroad programs. The grants would allow college and universities to reach out to low income students that may not have considered such study because of the additional travel and living expenses. It expands the pool of students who will benefit personally and later professionally from an internationally-oriented education.

Developed with the assistance of college administrators and exchange experts, it is hoped that a streamlined program will encourage more students to participate in an overseas educational program and motivate them to learn and apply a foreign language. These experiences and skills will serve them well as they enter the workforce. Through these grants I want to help prepare and motivate our young students to participate in the international arena.

I have received letters of support for the legislation from the Institute of International Education, the American Council on Education, which represents eighteen hundred colleges and universities, and the President of the State University of New York at New Paltz, who also represents the American Association of State Colleges and Universities' Global Responsibilities Committee.

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Mr. GILMAN introduced the following bill; which was referred to the
Committee on


To amend the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 and the Arms Export Control Act to make improvements to certain defense and security assistance provisions under those Acts, to authorize the transfer of naval vessels to certain foreign countries, and for other purposes.

1 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa2 tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, 3 SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.


This Act may be cited as the "Defense and Security

5 Assistance Act of 2000".

June 29, 2000 (2:40 PM)

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