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House Begins Work on State Department Reauthorization

On May 10, the House began consideration of the FY2002 State Department reauthorization bill (H.R. 1646). Consideration of the legislation will resume on May 16, when Members will debate and vote on an amendment dealing with international family planning.

As approved by the committee last week, H.R. 1646 would reverse the Mexico City policy, which prohibits nongovernmental organizations that use their own money to perform abortions abroad or lobby foreign governments on abortion policy from receiving U.S. funds. The amendment, offered by Reps. Henry Hyde (R-IL), James Barcia (D-MI), Chris Smith (R-NJ), and James Oberstar (D-MN), would strip the language, permitting the Mexico City policy to remain in place.

Among other amendments, the House also will debate an amendment by Reps. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Connie Morella (R-MD) that would authorize through FY2003 certain provisions of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (P.L. 106-386) dealing with international trafficking. The amendment also would require that the programs established under the Act provide support for local, regional, and international nongovernmental organizations to provide services such as culturally and linguistically appropriate shelters, hotlines, education and training for trafficked women and girls, and other legal and social services.

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