|00:00:01||WE ARE GOING TO RESPOND TO THESE ARGUMENTS THAT HAVE BEEN MADE.|
|00:00:13||WE'VE BEEN DEALING WITH THE ARMED FORCES, THE FARC, THE REVOLUTIONARY ARMED FORCES OF COLOMBIA, THE PARAMILITARY'S AND SERIOUS, SERIOUS PROBLEMS THAT HAVE EXISTED IN COLOMBIA.|
|00:00:27||NO ONE IS TRYING TO WHITE WASH OR DISMISS THE SERIOUS CHALLENGES THAT EXIST THERE.|
|00:00:33||BUT IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT NEARLY 2,000, NEARLY 2,000 LABOR LEADERS IN COLOMBIA, MR.|
|00:00:39||SPEAKER, HAVE AROUND-THE-CLOCK BODYGUARDS PROTECTING THEM AND IN COLOMBIA IT IS SAFER TO BE A UNIONIST THAN IT IS THE AVERAGE CITIZEN.|
|00:00:50||SO I'M NOT SAYING THAT THINGS ARE PERFECT.|
|00:00:52||NO ONE IS MAKING THAT CLAIM.|
|00:00:53||BUT WHEN WE'VE SEEN AN 85% DECREASE IN THE MURDER RATE SINCE 2002, WHEN WE'VE SEEN MORE MURDERS TAKE PLACE, TRAGICALLY IN SOME OF OUR CITIES, THAN HAVE TAKEN PLACE IN SOME AREAS OF COLOMBIA, THAT IS SOMETHING THAT HAS TO BE SEEN AS PROGRESS.|
|00:01:09||I YIELD MYSELF AN ADDITIONAL 15 SECONDS, MR.|
|00:01:14||TO SAY THAT I BELIEVE WE CAN IN A BIPARTISAN WAY WORK TO ADDRESS THESE VERY IMPORTANT ISSUES.|
|00:01:21||AND WE ARE GOING TO DO JUST THAT.|
|00:01:23||WE ARE GOING TO ENSURE THAT THIS KIND OF AGREEMENT EFFECTIVELY ADDRESSES THESE PROBLEMS.|
|00:01:29||MY FRIEND, MR. FARR, AND I HAVE SAT TOGETHER IN THE OFFICE OF THE FISS -- FISCALIA IN COLOMBIA, I YIELD MYSELF AN ADDITIONAL 15 SECONDS, WE HAVE SAT AND PAIN STAKINGLY, WITH SEVERAL OF OUR COLLEAGUES, DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS ALIKE, WE HAVE GONE THROUGH THESE PENDING CASES TO BRING ABOUT A RESOLUTION ON THIS ISSUE AND IN JUST A FEW MINUTES I'M GOING TO BE YIELDING TO MY FRIEND, MR.|
|00:01:52||FARR, TO TALK SPECIFICALLY ABOUT THIS AND THE CHALLENGES WE HAD.|
|00:01:55||WITH THAT, MR.|
|00:01:56||SPEAKER, I'M HAPPY TO YIELD A MINUTE AND A HALF TO MY VERY GOOD FRIEND, THE CHAIR OF THE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS WHO REPRESENTS WHAT SHE CALLS THE GATEWAY TO THE AMERICAS, I THINK LOS ANGELES COMES PRETTY CLOSE TO THAT, TOO, BUT MIAMI, MR.|
|00:02:09||SPEAKER IS THE GATEWAY TO THE AMERICAS AND THEY'RE VERY ABLY REPRESENTED BY MY COLLEAGUE, MS.|
Mr. DREIER. I yield myself an additional 15 seconds.
We have sat and painstakingly, with several other of our colleagues, Democrats and Republicans alike, gone through these pending cases to bring about a resolution on this issue; and in just a few minutes, I'm going to be yielding to my friend, Mr. Farr, to talk specifically about this and the challenges we have.
With that, Mr. Speaker, I am happy to yield 1 1/2 minutes to my very good friend, the chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, who represents what she calls the gateway to the Americas. I think Los Angeles comes pretty close to that too. But Miami, Mr. Speaker, is the gateway to the Americas, and they are very ably represented by our colleague from Florida (Ms. Ros-Lehtinen).