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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
April 9, 2008
Just the Facts: Ensuring a Vote on the U.S. - Colombia Free Trade Agreement
President Bush Sends Congress Legislation To Implement U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement, Urges Bipartisan Support
"For the last 16 months, we've worked with congressional leaders to set a schedule for the consideration of the Colombian free trade agreement. While we'll continue to work closely with Congress, the need for this agreement is too urgent the stakes for our national security are too high to allow this year to end without a vote. By statute, Congress has 90 legislative days to complete action once I transmit a bill implementing this agreement. Waiting any longer to send up the legislation would run the risk of Congress adjourning without the agreement ever getting voted on."
President George W. Bush, 4/7/08
For Over A Year, The President And His Administration Have Reached Out To The House And Senate Leadership To Build A Bipartisan Path For Consideration Of The Agreement:
55: The Administration led Congressional delegations to Colombia for 55 Members of Congress so they could see the country's progress first-hand.
144: Administration officials have delivered remarks educating the public about the benefits of free trade to U.S. workers in at least 144 cities throughout the United States.
444: Since August 2007, cabinet and sub-cabinet officials have held at least 444 free trade agreement-related meetings or phone calls with Members of Congress including:
265: At least 265 meetings with Democrats.
179: At least 179 meetings with Republicans.
27: At least 27 meetings or calls with Democratic Congressional leadership.
The U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement Has Received Overwhelming Support From Outside Sources:
54: There have been 54 former high-ranking government officials, both Democrats and Republicans, who have signed letters supporting the Colombia trade agreement along with other free trade agreements.
100: Newspapers have published approximately 100 op-eds and editorials favoring one or all of the pending agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea and the free trade agreement with Peru.
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