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News (Media Awareness Project) - House Democratic Leaders Press For Floor
Title:House Democratic Leaders Press For Floor
Published On:1997-03-11
Fetched On:2008-09-08 21:17:44
SSS(sorry so stale)

Contact Info for PR Newswire:

House Democratic Leader Richard A. Gephardt and House
Democratic Whip David Bonior today sent a letter to
International Relations Committee Chairman Rep. Benjamin
Gilman and ranking Democrat Lee Hamilton detailing their
support for decertification of Mexico as a drug war ally
with a waiver that would include an action plan to stepup
Mexico's drug interdiction efforts. The International
Relations Committee intends to markup legislation on
Thursday, March 6 pertaining to the President's recent
certification that Mexico is cooperating fully with the
United States in antinarcotic efforts.

A Copy of letter to Rep. Gilman follows: Dear Mr.
Chairman: We understand that on March 6, the Committee on
International Relations intends to mark up legislation
pertaining to the President's recent certification that
Mexico is cooperating fully with the United States in
antinarcotics efforts. We opposed this certification, and
are writing to request that you include language that
requires the Administration to report to Congress regularly
on its plan of action for antidrug cooperation between the
United States and Mexico for each year. We want to work
with you in putting together a package which we believe can
gain substantial bipartisan support. WASHINGTON, March 5
Drug trafficking is a serious problem that the United
States and Mexico share; fighting it therefore requires a
shared effort and shared responsibilities. Mexico is a
friend and ally of the United States, and we commend the
wellintentioned efforts of the Mexican people who are
committed to fighting the drug trade. However, despite our
close relationship with our neighbor, we disagree with the
certification of Mexico as an ally in our war on drugs.
The clear evidence of failures throughout the Mexican
system responsible for fighting this war the government,
military and police demands that the United States
change what we are doing and try something else. Mexican
prosecutors, police chiefs and politicians who challenge
the drug cartels are being assassinated. The vast majority
of marijuana, cocaine and psychotropic drugs in the United
States come through Mexico. We've got to send a message
that what we're doing just isn't working. The status quo is
unacceptable. Recent events make it clear that certifying
Mexico at this time is the wrong signal to send to the drug
kingpins. It says business as usual can continue. In light
of the above, we urged the President last week to decertify
Mexico but to waive sanctions as long as this waiver is
accompanied by comprehensive bilateral antinarcotics
efforts that include measurable targets for reducing the
flow of drugs into the United States. As your committee
considers legislation to this effect, we request that you
include a requirement that the Administration report to
Congress through regular consultations similar to the
peacekeeping consultations currently required by law on
its bilateral efforts with Mexico and other governments in
the region to achieve tangible progress in the fight
against drugs. Such consultations should include
information on the Administration's annual plan of action
for antidrug cooperation with Mexico, as well as the
specific objectives and measurable targets to be sought
each year. We believe that close consultation with Congress
on the Administration's specific plans to address the drug
problem confronting the United States and Mexico is
essential, and would help us and our Mexican partners take
the tough steps necessary to stem the hemorrhage of drugs
into our country. The American people are interested in
results, not more empty promises. As you know, the fight
against drugs requires resources. Consequently, we should
also encourage the Administration to define what steps and
resources are necessary to fight an effective battle
against the druglords and cartels. We appreciate your
consideration of our views as to what should be included in
legislation pertaining to the Mexico antidrug
certification. Achieving closer consultation on the
Administration's antidrug plan of action will ensure
regular review of the progress we are making and enable us
to increase our effectiveness in conjunction with the
Mexican Government in reducing the drug trade and
protecting our children. We look forward to working with
your committee as we address this serious issue. SOURCE
Office of the House Democratic Leader CONTACT: Laura
Nichols of the Office of the House Democratic Leader,
Member Comments
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