Amendment offered by Ms. McKinney
Ms. McKINNEY. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.
The CHAIRMAN pro tempore. Is the amendment one of those specifically listed in the order of the House of June 5, 1997?
Ms. McKINNEY. Yes, Mr. Chairman, it is.
The CHAIRMAN pro tempore. The Clerk will report the amendment.
The Clerk read as follows:
Amendment offered by Ms. McKinney: At the end of the bill add the following (and conform the table of contents accordingly):
DIVISION C–ARMS TRANSFERS CODE OF CONDUCT
TITLE XX–ARMS TRANSFERS CODE OF CONDUCT
SEC. 2001. SHORT TITLE. This title may be cited as the `Code of Conduct on Arms Transfers Act of 1997′.
SEC. 2002. FINDINGS. The Congress finds the following:
(1) Approximately 40,000,000 people, over 75 percent civilians, died as a result of civil and international wars fought with conventional weapons during the 45 years of the cold war, demonstrating that conventional weapons can in fact be weapons of mass destruction.
(2) Conflict has actually increased in the post cold war era, with 30 major armed conflicts in progress during 1995.
(3) War is both a human tragedy and an ongoing economic disaster affecting the entire world, including the United States and its economy, because it decimates both local investment and potential export markets.
(4) International trade in conventional weapons increases the risk and impact of war in an already over-militarized world, creating far more costs than benefits for the United States economy through increased United States defense and foreign assistance spending and reduced demand for United States civilian exports.
(5) The United Nations Register of Conventional Arms can be an effective first step in support of limitations on the supply of conventional weapons to developing countries and compliance with its reporting requirements by a foreign government can be an integral tool in determining the worthiness of such government for the receipt of United States military assistance and arms transfers.
(6) It is in the national security and economic interests of the United States to reduce dramatically the $840,000,000,000 that all countries spend on armed forces every year, $191,000,000,000 of which is spent by developing countries, an amount equivalent to 4 times the total bilateral and multilateral foreign assistance such countries receive every year.
(7) According to the Congressional Research Service, the United States supplies more conventional weapons to developing countries than all other countries combined, averaging $11,889,000,000 a year in agreements to supply such weapons to developing countries for the six years since the end of the cold war, 58 percent higher than the $7,515,000,000 a year in such agreements for the six years prior to the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
(8) Since the end of the cold war, 84 percent of United States arms transfers have been to developing countries are to countries with an undemocratic form of government whose citizens, according to the Department of State Country Reports on Human Rights Practices do not have the ability to peaceably change their form of government.
(9) Although a goal of United States foreign policy should be to work with foreign governments and international organizations to reduce militarization and dictatorship and therefore prevent conflicts before they arise, during 4 recent deployments of United States Armed Forces–to the Republic of Panama, the Persian Gulf, Somalia, and Haiti–such Armed Forces faced conventional weapons that had been provided or financed by the United States to undemocratic governments.
(10) The proliferation of conventional arms and conflicts around the globe are multilateral problems, and the fact that the United States has emerged as the world’s primary seller of conventional weapons, combined with the world leadership role of the United States, signifies that the United States is in a position to seek multilateral restraints on the competition for and transfers of conventional weapons.
(11) The Congress has the constitutional responsibility to participate with the executive branch in decisions to provide military assistance and arms transfers to a foreign government, and in the formulation of a policy designed to reduce dramatically the level of international militarization.
(12) A decision to provide military assistance and arms transfers to a government that is undemocratic, does not adequately protect human rights, is currently engaged in acts of armed aggression, or is not fully participating in the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, should require a higher level of scrutiny than does a decision to provide such assistance and arms transfers to a government to which these conditions do not apply.
SEC. 2003. PURPOSE. The purpose of this title is to provide clear policy guidelines and congressional responsibility for determining the eligibility of foreign governments to be considered for United States military assistance and arms transfers.
SEC. 2004. PROHIBITION OF UNITED STATES MILITARY ASSISTANCE AND ARMS TRANSFERS TO CERTAIN FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS. (a) Prohibition: Except as provided in subsections (b) and (c), beginning on and after October 1, 1998, United States military assistance and arms transfers may not be provided to a foreign government for a fiscal year unless the President certifies to the Congress for that fiscal year that such government meets the following requirements:
(1) Promotes democracy: Such government–
(A) was chosen by and permits free and fair elections;
(B) promotes civilian control of the military and security forces and has civilian institutions controlling the policy, operation, and spending of all law enforcement and security institutions, as well as the armed forces;
(C) promotes the rule of law, equality before the law, and respect for individual and minority rights, including freedom to speak, publish, associate, and organize; and
(D) promotes the strengthening of political, legislative, and civil institutions of democracy, as well as autonomous institutions to monitor the conduct of public officials and to combat corruption.
(2) Respects human rights: Such government–
(A) does not engage in gross violations of internationally recognized human rights, including–
(i) extra judicial or arbitrary executions;
(iii) torture or severe mistreatment;
(iv) prolonged arbitrary imprisonment;
(v) systematic official discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, national origin, or political affiliation; and
(vi) grave breaches of international laws of war or equivalent violations of the laws of war in internal conflicts;
(B) vigorously investigates, disciplines, and prosecutes those responsible for gross violations of internationally recognized human rights;
(C) permits access on a regular basis to political prisoners by international humanitarian organizations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross;
(D) promotes the independence of the judiciary and other official bodies that oversee the protection of human rights;
(E) does not impede the free functioning of domestic and international human rights organizations; and
(F) provides access on a regular basis to humanitarian organizations in situations of conflict or famine.
(3) Not engaged in certain acts of armed aggression: Such government is not currently engaged in acts of armed aggression in violation of international law.
(4) Full participation in U.N. register of conventional arms: Such government is fully participating in the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms. (b) Requirement for Continuing Compliance: Any certification with respect to a foreign government for a fiscal year under subsection (a) shall cease to be effective for that fiscal year if the President certifies to the Congress that such government has not continued to comply with the requirements contained in paragraphs (1) through (4) of such subsection. (c) Exemptions:
(1) In general: The prohibition contained in subsection (a) shall not apply with respect to a foreign government for a fiscal year if–
(A) subject to paragraph (2), the President submits a request for an exemption to the Congress containing a determination that it is in the national security interest of the United States to provide military assistance and arms transfers to such government; or
(B) the President determines that an emergency exists under which it is vital to the interest of the United States to provide military assistance and arms transfers to such government.
(2) Disapproval: A request for an exemption to provide military assistance and arms transfers to a foreign government shall not take effect, or shall cease to be effective, if a law is enacted disapproving such request. (d) Notifications to Congress:
(1) In general: The President shall submit to the Congress initial certifications under subsection (a) and requests for exemptions under subsection (c)(1)(A) in conjunction with the submission of the annual request for enactment of authorizations and appropriations for foreign assistance programs for a fiscal year and shall, where appropriate, submit additional or amended certifications and requests for exemptions at any time thereafter in the fiscal year.
(2) Determination with respect to emergency situations: The President, when, in his determination, it is not contrary to the national interest to do so, shall submit to the Congress at the earliest possible date reports containing determinations with respect to emergencies under subsection (c)(1)(B). Each such report shall contain a description of–
(A) the nature of the emergency;
(B) the type of military assistance and arms transfers provided to the foreign government; and
(C) the cost to the United States of such assistance and arms transfers.[Page: H3619] SEC. 2005. SENSE OF THE CONGRESS. It is the sense of the Congress that the Committee on International Relations of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate should hold hearings on–
(1) controversial certifications submitted under section 2004(a);
(2) all requests for exemptions submitted under section 2004(c)(1)(A); and
(3) all determinations with respect to emergencies under section 2004(c)(1)(B).
SEC. 2006. UNITED STATES MILITARY ASSISTANCE AND ARMS TRANSFERS DEFINED. For purposes of this title, the terms `United States military assistance and arms transfers’ and `military assistance and arms transfers’ mean–
(1) assistance under chapter 2 of part II of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (relating to military assistance), including the transfer of excess defense articles under section 516 of that Act ;
(2) assistance under chapter 5 of part II of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (relating to international military education and training); or
(3) the transfer of defense articles, defense services, or design and construction services under the Arms Export Control Act (excluding any transfer or other assistance under section 23 of such Act ), including defense articles and defense services licensed or approved for export under section 38 of that Act .
Ms. McKINNEY (during the reading). Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent that the amendment be considered as read and printed in the Record.
The CHAIRMAN pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentlewoman from Georgia?
There was no objection.
Ms. McKINNEY. Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent that I be recognized for 8 minutes.
The CHAIRMAN pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentlewoman from Georgia?
There was no objection.
Ms. McKINNEY. Mr. Chairman, I am very proud to offer the McKinney-Rohrabacher amendment, which I believe is a significant enhancement to the legislation we are now considering, the State Department authorization bill.
This is no longer a controversial amendment. Significant compromise and change have been incorporated into this new version of the Arms Trade Code of Conduct that I am introducing today. In the first version of the bill, the President would certify countries at the beginning of each fiscal year that comply with the code of conduct. If the President wanted to sell weapons to a noncomplying government, then the President would have to come to Congress requesting an exemption and have that exemption approved by a vote in Congress.
The administration and some Members of Congress felt this gave too much authority to Congress and deprived the President of his ability to make foreign policy. In the spirit of compromise, we have stripped the original bill of this language and now all that remains are the underlying values that motivated this bill in the first place, and that is that the United States ought not be in the business of supplying weapons to dictators.
Gone is the automatic trigger that some objected to. And so now the piece of legislation before us asks us to make the fundamental assertion of what we stand for in the world and whose side we are on. Is it that the United States of America that speaks eloquently on the subject of respect for human rights and democracy and democratic traditions is only paying lip service to these ideals when confronted with a hungry client wanting our advanced technology only to enhance their ability to torture and abuse their own population? Or do we stand with those people around the world who are victims of the world’s tyrants, who have no voice in the international arena and who only have the conscience of the world to help them?
This legislation helps to give the United States a conscience for the leaders around the world who do not have one. This legislation helps to give a voice to those people around the world who cannot speak out in their own countries. And finally, this legislation puts the international behavior of the United States in sync with our words, our beliefs, and our fundamental values.
The initial opponents of this bill did us a favor, really, by asking us to remove and cut certain sections of the bill, because what is left is the fundamental answer to the question, `Will we sell weapons to dictators?’
This bill is no longer about Presidential prerogatives being impinged on. This bill is no longer about too much congressional authority in the area of foreign policy-making. This bill is simply about whether we will apply the standards to our guns and tanks and missiles and bombs that we apply to computers and chemicals.
In this country, even a car is considered a lethal weapon, and we apply certain standards on who can operate a car. So getting a driver’s license and keeping that license subjects us all to certain competency requirements, certain standards. If we lose our license, then we fail to meet the requirements for operating the car. Do we not consider it important who purchases our rifles, tanks, guns, and bullets? We even have laws that govern and restrict the flow of certain information and knowledge. Should we not at least be concerned about who gets our weapons that kill people?
At home, after much struggle, we have come up with standards on who can buy a gun. Convicted felons and the mentally ill cannot buy guns legally in this country. Thank goodness we were able to pass the Brady bill so that we could stop certain purchases of guns. Passing the Brady bill was done, though, only after the unreasonableness and extremism of the NRA was demonstrated to the American public.
Unfortunately, the code of conduct has its own equivalent to the NRA which, I believe, is not only extreme but also reckless in its disregard of what happens when these weapons are delivered to our dictator clients.
In 1964, the United States made a decision to support Mobutu Sese Seko, who became a tyrant and a dictator to the people of Zaire. Over the course of the decades of our support for his dictatorship, we shipped almost $170 million of weapons to him. We provided $18 million of training to the military; 1,356 officers, virtually the entire Zairian officer corps, received officer training. A total of $187 million of U.S. military aid went to Zaire.
What was that aid? 2,500 riot control kits; 2,000 military vehicles for crowd control; 2,000 rifles; $2 million worth of ammunition, and 24 military aircraft.
What we gave Mobutu was not military assistance to defend his country from outside intervention. What we gave to Mobutu was the means to control dissent and demonstrations. What we gave Mobutu was the means to control his own population and hence, to keep himself in power. As a result, we are complicit in how he used his military, trained and supplied by us.
This is the kind of end use that concerns us. This is the kind of end use that compelled Dr. Arias and four other Nobel Peace Prize winners to come together 2 weeks ago in New York to declare their support for the code of conduct. Dr. Oscar Arias brought together Jorge Ramos-Horta of East Timor, Betty Williams of Northern Ireland, His Excellency the Dalai Lama of Tibet, and our own Elie Wiesel. Organizations that have won the Noble Peace Prize were also represented at this press conference: Amnesty International, the American Friends Service Committee, and the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. Dr. Arias also had letters of support from Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Lech Walesa, and several others who were not able to attend. The gentleman from New York [Mr. Gilman] attended the press conference and was moved to a standing ovation after the remarks of Elie Wiesel.
So, people who have been recognized in the international community for their dedication to peace have come together to say that this legislation is necessary. How will history record those who do not support this legislation?
Member states of the European Union have already agreed to eight common criteria governing their own arms transfers. There is growing support for European Union-wide code of conduct among all of Europe’s governments. Germany, Sweden, The Netherlands, Belgium, and Ireland are all leading this fight. But the boldest steps have been taken by Tony Blair’s Britain. The New Labour Government has declared that centrality of human rights in its weapons sales is central to its decisions.
So we are not alone, those of us who want the United States to stand on the opposite side of whatever dictator is there with ready cash for our guns and bullets. History teaches us that those weapons do not end up in a remote depot, they end up either intimidating or `in’ people who want a better way of life and who dare to say so; who want freedom of expression and who dare to act; who want to live in a democracy as we do in this country and who dare to confront tyranny.
We are not alone at home either, even in this administration. The recently-confirmed CIA director, George Tenet, on May 6, 1997, at a session of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said the following:
`But the proliferation issue–and particularly the proliferation of ballistic missiles–and conventional weapons–we often ignore what the proliferation of conventional weapons means for U.S. forces–this issue is probably the greatest threat to U.S. forces and our men and women who deploy overseas than any other’ issue.
The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentlewoman from Georgia [Ms.McKinney] has expired.
(By unanimous consent, Ms. McKinney was allowed to proceed for 30 additional seconds.)[Page: H3620] Ms. McKINNEY. Mr. Chairman, I cannot say it any better than our CIA director. The issue before the Congress today is a national security issue and a moral issue. Seldom are we given such a stark opportunity to be on the right side of both issues. The Arms Trade Code of Conduct is just such an opportunity.
I ask my colleagues to vote for this amendment and let us be known by the values we espouse and not the weapons of oppression that we supply.
Mr. Chairman, U.S. weapons are currently being used in 39 of the world’s current 42 ethnic and territorial conflicts.
In the past 4 years, 85 percent of U.S. arms sales to the Third World have gone to undemocratic governments. The United States is responsible for 44 percent of all weapons deliveries in the world. The United States is unqualifiedly the arms dealer to the world, and the merchant for death to the world’s dictators.
Language requiring Congress to approve an arms sale to a dictator before it’s been made has been modified to give the President an automatic waiver for national security purposes which Congress could block after extensive debate.
A total of 453 American soldiers have been killed by armies strengthened by our own weapons and military training: Iraq, Saddam Hussein; Panama, Manuel Noriega; Somalia, Siad Barre, and Haiti, the Duvalier family.
In fiscal year 1994 $7 billion of taxpayer money went to subsidize U.S. arms exports. In fiscal year 1995, that figure jumped to $7.6 billion. After agricultural price supports, this represents the largest subsidy program for business in the entire Federal budget–Welfare for Weapons dealers.
Our Government employs nearly 6,500 full time personnel to promote and service foreign arms sales by U.S. companies.
U.S. subsidies for arms transfers are scheduled to increase. The international market for U.S. arms is estimated to be around $12 to $16 billion per year. Therefore, our foreign customers aren’t even paying for the weapons that they get. And more than half of U.S. weapons sales will be paid for by the U.S. taxpayers.
In 1995, subsidies for arms exports accounted for over 50 percent of U.S. bilateral aid and more than 39 percent of total U.S. foreign aid. the emphasis on promoting weapons exports has come at the expense of programs designed to promote economic development and social welfare in these recipient nations. I’d much rather see us exporting tractors and seeds to dictators than guns and bullets.
The American arms trade policy is killing our citizens, destroying worldwide democracy, and sending us spiraling down a path of economic ruin.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower said, `There can be no peace without law. And there can be no law if we were to invoke one code of international conduct for those who oppose us and another for our friends.’ We must help to stop the arms trade boomerang. Over 300 organizations support the No Arms to Dictators Code of Conduct. Among these organizations are: Vietnam Veterans Of America Foundation, Young Women’s Christian Association–the YMCA–of America, and Bread of the World, and organizations of the Presbyterian, Lutheran, and Roman Catholic churches.
I would like to thank the hundreds of volunteers who have put thousands of hours into making the U.S. Code of Conduct our law.
Each of us must be concerned about what happens when we sell weapons to dictators.
I urge my colleagues to support the Arms Trade Code of Conduct.
Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the amendment, the Arms Transfer Code of Conduct, and it will be the first major reform of U.S. arms transfer policy in almost two decades.
The code of conduct highlights guiding principles on human rights and democracy, which I believe are important to America’s leadership role in the post-cold war era. This amendment would help stem the flow of U.S. weapons to countries that brutalize their own people.
The code of conduct would make it clear that in the 21st century the United States of America intends not just to be a military and economic superpower but a moral superpower as well. It signals an end to business as usual for human rights violators.
Mr. Chairman, two-thirds of all of our foreign military sales go to countries described by the State Department Country Reports on Human Rights Practices as human rights violators with undemocratic governments.
Mr. Chairman, a few years ago I made a trip to Croatia when it was under siege. The gentleman from Virginia, [Mr. Wolf], and I visited a city that was literally surrounded by tanks and by military, a place called Vukovar. Vukovar was finally leveled, but while we were there we saw the bomb casings and we saw the 500-pound bombs that were dropped. And I will never forget taking pictures of these bomb casings that had U.S. markings all over them.
I will never forget also talking to President Milosevic and trying to ask him to stop that carnage that was going on in Croatia. Later on it was rolled out to Bosnia. Much of their military capability came from the United States and then was used in a slaughterhouse fashion against people who were unarmed, women and children and men who were civilians.
Mr. Chairman, the code of conduct is not a threat to U.S. national security. It contains a provision for an emergency waiver that would allow the President to transfer arms to a country that does not meet the code’s criteria if U.S. national security really did require such a transfer, and it provides for an orderly process for Congress to consider other exceptions of nonemergency nature.
Mr. Chairman, year after year in human rights hearings in the Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights, which I now chair, we hear there is a disconnect in U.S. foreign policy between human rights and other considerations. Amnesty International put it best when it said about this administration’s human rights policy, that `Human rights is an island off the mainland of U.S. foreign policy.’ This amendment is a step toward closing the circle, connecting things that ought to be connected.
We must tell the world that freedom and democracy do matter. A good way to begin is by telling the world that the United States will not put deadly weapons into the hands of the enemies of freedom and democracy.
Mr. Chairman, I want to congratulate the gentlewoman from Georgia, [Ms. McKinney], and the gentleman from California, [Mr.Rohrabacher], for their good work in crafting this amendment, and again I rise in very strong support of it.