McCaul Opening Statement at Full Committee MarkupBlog
Washington, DC – House Foreign Affairs Committee Lead Republican Michael McCaul delivered the following opening statement at today’s full committee markup of various measures. In it, he expressed concern no bipartisan measures reinforcing U.S. support for the Cuban people’s fight for democracy and freedom were considered during the markup.
“Freedom loving people, democracy and civil liberties are – and should never become – partisan issues… [There] are bipartisan measures that reinforce these American principles that should be considered, I think, today. As Members of Congress and Americans, we have a moral obligation and duty to support the Cuban people and their aspirations for a free and democratic society.”
Lead Republican McCaul also highlighted the three Republican measures considered today, including “The Global Malnutrition Prevention and Treatment Act,” sponsored by Lead Republican McCaul (R-TX), Chairman Gregory Meeks (D-NY), and Reps. Kim (R-CA) and Houlahan (D-PA).
“An estimated 3.1 million children perish every year due to malnutrition. It’s really sad. Almost half of deaths among children under the age of five are linked to malnutrition – mainly in low- and middle-income countries…This bipartisan bill will support efforts to scale up targeted and effective nutrition programs in countries most at risk for severe malnutrition…so we can have a real impact on people’s lives around the world.”
-Opening Remarks as Delivered-
“Thank you Mr. Chairman and I call you my friend as well and I look forward to a bipartisan markup. The last markup we had was quite a grueling exercise and everyone got to debate their views out. But I always think this committee is best when we work together.
I’m pleased to be considering measures authored by my Republican colleagues including: Mr. Chabot’s Cambodia Democracy Act and Ms. Virginia Foxx’s War Crimes Rewards Expansion Act.
Also pleased that you will allow my bill on Global Malnutrition Prevention and Treatment Act go forward. I am proud to lead this bipartisan legislation with you sir, my good friend, alongside Representatives Kim and Houlahan.
An estimated 3.1 million children perish every year due to malnutrition. It’s really sad. Almost half of those deaths among children under the age of five are linked to malnutrition – mainly in low and middle income countries.
Every parent wants to be able to put food on the table. They want to be able to nourish their families and provide for themselves. Without proper nutrition children can’t learn, they go to school and develop into healthy and capable adults. We also know that a lack of nutrients in the early stages of a child’s life means a lifetime of developmental issues.
So, this bipartisan bill will support efforts to scale up targeted and effective nutrition programs in countries most at risk for severe malnutrition. We focus our efforts and leverage additional resources so we can have a real impact on people’s lives around the world.
I’m also proud of the work being done in the Texas community to tackle global food insecurity and malnutrition. Texas A&M, Baylor and UT Austin are pioneering cutting edge research to improve food security. And the Eleanor Crook Foundation, along with constituents in my district, are drawing attention to the needs of some of the most vulnerable people in the world. I also want to thank USAID and our implementing partners for their partnership to advance this important legislation.
And I’m pleased there are several important measures on this markup, I do believe, Mr. Chairman, but we are missing an important opportunity today.
This Committee should take action today to stand in solidarity with the Cuban people. This historic time, these protests on the island demonstrate the Cuban people’s struggle for freedom and all that it entails. America must support the Cuban people in their efforts. And we must hold the Cuban dictatorship and the regime accountable for their human rights violations.
This week, I had the opportunity to talk to many Cuban Americans at a rally across from the White House and I have to say it was very inspiring.
Freedom loving people, democracy, civil liberties are – and should never become – partisan issues. We always stand, Mr. Chairman, for democracy and freedom over tyranny and oppression. And that’s what our Founding Fathers stood for.
These are bipartisan measures that reinforce these American principles that should be considered, I think, today. As Members of Congress and Americans, we have a moral obligation and duty to support the Cuban people and their aspirations for a free and democratic society.
So, I hope on both sides of the aisle can come together and support democracy which is what this nation was founded on, the idea. America is an idea and it’s about freedom and democracy and not freedom and oppression. Communists, communism, communist dictators, socialist dictators, is not the answer.
I was also disappointed we didn’t bring up the Nord Stream 2 [pipeline]. I’ve been talking about this for quite some time, we’re relying on Putin’s pipeline to go into Europe.
As we shut down Keystone Pipeline, we allow Putin’s pipeline to go into Europe and the Russians attack Colonial Pipeline shutting down our own infrastructure in the United States.
Not to mention the poisoning of Navalny, which violated the Chemical Biological Warfare Treaty. Putin needs to be sanctioned for this horrific act of attacking his political opponents with chemical poison.
So, it is my sincere hope we can consider measures related to these topics at our next markup.
Again, like I said at the outset I am pleased to return to some bipartisanship, sir. I probably speak for almost every member of this committee when I say that, or maybe a couple, but I think the most of us agree with this.
If I could close, I really want to thank Ms. Manning, and Ms. Kim, and Mr. Wilson, on this committee, Ms. Salazar, and everyone on this committee for supporting the Afghan women.
You know, the decision’s been made to draw down and we respect that. But we have to protect the women. The Taliban is making huge advances across the country, when our military is out in just a matter of weeks, they will invade the capitals, and I fear for the plight for the women left behind and what will happen to them under a Taliban rule of Sharia Law where they cannot be educated, they will be tortured. We saw the school of 200 children, girls, being blown up.
And I think we still have, but we won’t have troops there anymore sir, I still think we have a moral obligation to protect them.
And with that, I yield back.”