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Capital Hill Watch Alert

Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Tsunami Relief, 2006(H.R. 4939)

The US House of Representatives is expected to vote either on March 15 or March 16, 2006, on the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Tsunami Relief, 2006 (H.R.4939) [To view the Full Text of the legislation visit: Full Text of Legislation

On March 8, 2006, to block the deal to transfer management of operations at key US ports to the state-run Dubai Ports World, the House Appropriations Committee overwhelmingly voted 62-2 to do so.  To the President's emergency spending request for hurricane relief and the war on terror, the panel passed the proposal as an amendment making it difficult for President Bush to carry out his veto threat.  

On March 10, 2006, a leadership spokesman said the US House of Representatives will go ahead with a vote, blocking the Dubai-owned company from managing US ports to ensure the firm sheds its US holdings as promised.

To allay concerns that the deal posed a threat to American national security, the United Arab Emirates company said it would transfer the ports to a US entity at the behest of Dubai's rule.  However, the reason this amendment must pass is that the statement delivered on the Senate floor by US Senator John Warner of Virginia left too many unanswered questions.  For example, the company said that it plans to transfer fully the US operation of Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company  Operations North America to a United States entity but failed to mention the words "divest" or "sell." It also did not mention the name of any buyers.

Critical assets of the US infrastructure posing a national security risk as well as carrying vital supplies to US military forces should not be owned by foreign companies.     

Additional Reading:     

The US House of Representatives  Committee on Appropriations:  

Chairman Lewis statement on DP-World Development
Port Amendment Language offered by Mr. Lewis. 
Dubai Ports World Amendment   

Articles: 

Dubai firm gives up stake in U.S. ports
House panel votes no on ports
House to vote on ports despite company promise

What Can You Do?

Urge your representative to TO SUPPORT  the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Tsunami Relief , 2006 (H.R. 4939) with an amendment to block the deal to transfer management of operations at key US ports to the state-run Dubai Ports World.

Contact Information:  

Capitol Hill Switchboard Numbers: 202-225-3121 or 202-224-3121 (Those numbers will direct you to the Capitol Hill operator. Ask for your representative's office.)

To go to your representative's website, find his E-mail or to find out who your representatives are... http://www.house.gov/house/MemberWWW.html

To electronically mail your U.S. House of Representative, go to http://www.house.gov/htbin/wrep_findrep.  

Addressing Correspondence:  

The Honorable (full name)
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515    

Dear Representative (last name):  

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