Foreign Affairs Committee Passes Amendment to Withhold State Department Funds from Argentina
WASHINGTON, July 21, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- American Task Force Argentina (ATFA), a coalition of 40 taxpayer, investor, educator, Latino and agriculture organizations, today commended Representative Connie Mack (R-FL) for his amendment to H.R. 2583, the Foreign Relations Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012. The amendment would prohibit State Department funds from being used to benefit certain countries that actively thwart U.S. interests, covering specifically Argentina, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Ecuador and Bolivia. Passage of Representative Mack's amendment is a first legislative step towards holding Argentina accountable for its long-term efforts to avoid paying its debts to foreign lenders, including flouting more than 100 U.S. court judgments upholding the rights of American lenders.
"Inclusion of this amendment in the Foreign Relations Authorization Act is a serious step towards holding Argentina accountable for its outstanding debts – $3.5 billion of which are owed to U.S. creditors," said ATFA Executive Director Robert Raben. "Representative Mack has made it clear that Argentina was included in the amendment because of its refusal to honor over 100 U.S. court judgments. The Argentine government must take this amendment seriously as an important step in a sequence of legislative consequences for its failure to repay debts from its 2001 debt default."
The amendment was passed as part of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs markup of H.R. 2583 - Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2012. This legislation is expected to be reported out of committee today and will likely be passed as part of the State Department funding by the entire House.
"As the sponsor of the Judgment Evading Foreign States Accountability Act, H.R. 1798, Representative Mack is a leader in the U.S. Congress on the issue of Argentina's refusal to recognize its unpaid debts," said Raben. "ATFA applauds his efforts to bring attention to the affect that Argentina's bad acts have had on U.S. citizens and encourage Argentina to once again become responsible a nation in the Western Hemisphere."
Representative Mack's amendment states, "None of the funds authorized to be appropriated under this Act may be made available for assistance to the governments of Argentina, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Ecuador or Bolivia."
Click here to view full text of H.R. 2583.
Click here to view Representative Mack's amendment.
Made up of an alliance of diverse organizations, ATFA's leadership includes Executive Director Robert Raben, a former Assistant Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice, and is co-chaired by The Honorable Robert J. Shapiro, former Under Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs in the Clinton Administration, and Ambassador Nancy Soderberg, Ambassador at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in New York from 1997 to 2001.
SOURCE American Task Force Argentina