THE WHITE HOUSE

                      Office of  the Press Secretary
                          (Camp David, Maryland)

For Immediate Release                                    July 14, 2000

                         STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

     Yesterday the House of Representatives passed a foreign operations
bill which includes certain positive elements but is nonetheless deeply
flawed.  I am pleased that members of both parties joined together to
support debt relief for the poorest of the poor nations, as illustrated by
the vote on Representative Maxine Waters amendment.  While this is an
encouraging step, I urge Congress to build on this support by fully funding
my request for debt reduction to fully implement the landmark Cologne debt
initiative.  I am also pleased that a majority in the House supports our
efforts to halt the global spread of AIDS. In Africa, AIDS is a  leading
cause of death and is undermining decades of effort to reduce mortality,
improve health, expand educational opportunities, and lift people out of

     However, it is unfortunate and unacceptable that this bill fails to
provide the resources necessary to support our efforts to keep building
peace and stability around the world.  The House bill  imposes deep,
untenable cuts to U.S. contributions to Multilateral Development Banks,
including the International Development Association which provides  loans
for the world?s neediest countries in areas like health, clean water
supplies, education, and other infrastructure needed for lasting poverty
reduction.  It is counterproductive to slash development loans that are
aimed at lifting the world?s poorest nations from poverty, as they reform
their social and economic policies, while providing debt relief to these
same nations for the same purpose.  To do so undermines efforts to lift
these countries from deepest poverty and sends them in the wrong direction
just when they are working to reverse the devastating spread of AIDS among
their people.  This bill also denies funding for other Multilateral
Development Banks,  including draining resources from efforts to encourage
developing nations to promote sound environmental policy. We must support
the efforts of Multilateral Development Banks and we must fully fund our
obligation to debt relief for the world?s poorest nations.

     This bill includes deep cuts in military assistance for nations
working with the United States to advance stability;  in particular, it
would drain essential funds necessary to support Mid-East peace. It also
cuts funding from the Ex-Im bank which supports the export of American
products overseas.

     Support for combating terrorism and nuclear proliferation is
inadequate. This bill fails to provide sufficient resources for work with
scientists of other nations to reduce the threat of  nuclear proliferation,
and it denies funds to an Administration initiative for anti-terrorism
security training.   By significantly cutting my request for funds to
support Eastern Europe and voluntary peacekeeping, the bill also fails to
provide the resources needed to implement a lasting peace in Kosovo and the
Balkans and to bring our troops home from that region as quickly as

     In addition, Congress should not maintain the unnecessary restrictions
on international family planning. We should not impose limitations on
foreign non-governmental organizations? use of their own money or their
ability to participate in the democratic process in their own country. The
bill also fails to provide sufficient funding for international family
planning and other USAID development activities, thereby inhibiting our
efforts to increase development assistance to Africa and Latin America.
     As this bill moves forward, I call on Congress to address the numerous
and serious problems in it and to produce a foreign operations bill I can


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