Skip to comments.House Republican Will Try to Squash Ports Deal (Duncan Hunter)
Posted on 03/02/2006 6:26:44 PM PST by AntiGuv
WASHINGTON - One of the most prominent House Republicans on military issues said Thursday he would try to scuttle a Dubai-based company's effort to manage U.S. ports as lawmakers' complaints about the Bush administration's handling of the issue continued to spread.
"Dubai cannot be trusted," said Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and normally one of the administration's most trusted allies. He called the United Arab Emirates "a bazaar for terrorist nations" and asserted that the United States should not permit DP World to take over significant operations at six U.S. ports.
"I intend to do everything I can to kill the deal," Hunter said.
Across Capitol Hill, lawmakers criticized the Bush administration anew following disclosures that the United States had launched a fresh investigation Tuesday into a proposed business deal by a second Dubai-owned company. Also sparking the furor was word of a previously unconfirmed investigation into a separate transaction by a leading Israeli software firm.
The government initially approved DP World's $6.8 billion purchase of London-based Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co. But on Sunday, the administration agreed to a 45-day investigation of potential security risks to quell a political backlash.
"Too little, too late," Hunter said.
Opening a hearing on the matter, Hunter said it was "quite remarkable" that the administration did not initially undertake a full review of security implications, given that the company is owned by the United Arab Emirates "a bazaar for terrorist nations to receive prohibited components from sources from the free world and from the non-free world."
Hunter listed instances between 1994 and 2003 in which he said the country helped move materials for weapons of mass destruction, such as heavy water and high-speed electrical switches, to Pakistan, Iran and other countries. He plans to introduce legislation that would require U.S. companies to be the sole owners of infrastructure critical to national security.
The chairman's sharp remarks underscore the political tempest the White House has run into at a time when events in Iraq and renewed interest in the administration's failures in responding to Hurricane Katrina have pushed President Bush's popularity downward.
Sen. John Warner, R-Va., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has sided with the administration on the DP World deal. He and the White House have praised the United Arab Emirates as a key ally in the fight against terrorism.
Congressional GOP leaders want to wait for the results of the administration's new DP World investigation before considering legislation to delay or block the deal.
House Democrats tried to force a debate and vote on legislation Thursday that would require the 45-day security review and congressional approval of the takeover. That effort failed on a procedural, largely party-line vote.
Leading Democrats on the House Homeland Security Committee also asked the administration for details about all pending reviews of foreign business deals and any that have been conducted since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
The U.S. has conducted only 25 such investigations among 1,600 business transactions reviewed by the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States since 1988. The panel, made up of 12 government representatives, judges the security risks of foreign companies buying or investing in American industry.
Rep. Peter King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, complained that he learned about the second Dubai investigation from news reports, despite regular meetings and discussions with the administration and others on the ports issue recently.
"Maybe they still haven't gotten their act together over the last few days," said King, R-N.Y.
Senior U.S. officials told lawmakers they will try to inform Congress better in the future.
"We clearly have to do quite a bit in finding ways to provide you more promptly with the information you need," Deputy Treasury Secretary Robert Kimmitt told the Senate Banking Committee.
Dubai International Capital LLC confirmed Thursday it faced investigation over its plans to buy a British precision-engineering company, Doncasters Group Ltd., with plants in Georgia and Connecticut that make parts used in engines for military aircraft and tanks.
The same U.S. review panel also is investigating plans by an Israeli software company, Check Point Software Technologies Ltd., to purchase a smaller U.S. rival.
Kimmitt said U.S. officials notified congressional leaders and oversight committees about the second Dubai-related investigation Monday. The company's lawyers were notified the following day.
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these congress critters are worried about staying in power not about security.
The Republicans in the House don't have the luxury of six-year terms. They know that with 70% of the voters opposed to the UAE deal they will be sitting ducks in the fall elections if they go along with the President's ill-fated venture. If the Democrats manage to take the House over this, the President's term is effectively over. Just as in the Miers mess, the conservative Republicans better dig in and hold the line or they and the President will be toast.
Mindless hysteria. Duncan Hunter ought to know better.
So you finally admit that this is not about doing the right thing. It's all about politics.
Or is the man simply "stuck on stupid", as is usually the case when he attempts to grapple with an issue.
Have we forgotten anyone?
Don't forget the French!
But you see, they don't care. They don't know how to be winners, they've been in the minority for so long that they don't know how to handle power, that's why they are tossing it away. These idiots haven't stood by this president, and they're going to taste the bitter fruit of those actions when once again they are in the minority and this country is destroyed by terrorists. Then they'll weep and moan about why didn't anyone DO anything.
Right you are. After this, how can these geniuses continue to permit our armed forces to operate out of the UAE, Kuwait, or Bahrain? Isn't that an even more egregious example of getting foreigners involved in our national security?
If the Democrats take the House, it will be because these jerks hand it to them.
But at least you're not tryin to pass off their "problems" as principle, as we all know it's PANDERING.
You have hit the nail directly on the head.
The terrorists ARE winning this one.
Follow the body odor and round up the french.
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