Statement by the President: H.R. 4425 - Drug Trafficking in Colombia (7/13/00)
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release                                        July 13, 2000

                        STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

     Today I have signed into law H.R. 4425, which includes emergency
supplemental funding to bolster democracy and battle drug-trafficking in
Colombia, and to keep the peace and build stability in Kosovo.

     Colombia is a strong ally of the United States and the oldest
democracy in Latin America.  Today it is under attack -- from civil
conflict and drug trafficking that fuels violence, undercuts honest
enterprise, and undermines public confidence in democracy.

     President Andres Pastrana has worked with experts in his country and
elsewhere to put together ?Plan Colombia? -- a comprehensive plan to seek
peace, fight drugs, build the economy, and deepen democracy.    The
legislation I signed today represents America?s contribution to the
struggle.   It includes a ten-fold increase in U.S. funds to promote good
government, judicial reform, human rights protection, and economic
development.   It will increase incentives for the peaceful resolution of
the civil war, while helping the government staunch the flow of drugs to
our shores.

     As Colombians fight to build their democracy and block the illegal
drug trade, they are fighting for all of us.   If they are willing to take
up the fight, we should be willing to take on some of the cost.   I am
proud to sign legislation that appropriates funds for doing that.

     This legislation also funds our request for military operations in
Kosovo.   NATO forces won the war in 78 days; it will take longer to secure
a stable peace.   I applaud Congress for sending a message that we will
stand by our troops until the job is done.

     While I am pleased with Congressional action on Colombia and Kosovo,
this legislation is disappointing for what it leaves out.   It undercuts
U.S. interests by omitting funding for U.N. peacekeeping operations in
Southeast Europe, assistance for economic and democratic reforms, and
support for civilian infrastructure.   Such support is critical not only to
advance long-term stability in Southeast Europe, but also to create the
conditions for the eventual withdrawal of U.S. troops.

     I am also disappointed the bill does not include requested funding to
relieve the debts of the world?s poorest countries, delaying relief for
nations that have implemented far-reaching economic reforms.
Additionally, the bill offers inadequate funding for Mozambique and other
Southern African nations devastated by recent flooding.

     Finally, I am pleased the bill provides needed home energy assistance
for low-income families, which will be essential in the event of a
dangerous heat wave this summer, and provides further assistance, including
housing construction and repair, to the victims of Hurricane Floyd, some of
whom still lack permanent shelter.

                                   WILLIAM J. CLINTON

                                   THE WHITE HOUSE
                                   July 13, 2000


President and First Lady | Vice President and Mrs. Gore
Record of Progress | The Briefing Room
Gateway to Government | Contacting the White House | White House for Kids
White House History | White House Tours | Help
Privacy Statement


Site Map

Graphic Version

T H E   W H I T E   H O U S E