July 27, 2007

Congress Moves to Limit SPP Funding

In an historic, first vote in Congress to restrict funding for the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) of North America, yesterday the House approved by a vote of 362 to 63 an amendment to H.R. 3074 (Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2008) “prohibiting the use of funds to participate in a working group pursuant to the Security and Prosperity Partnership.”

There’s been a growing buzz this year over the SPP and how it’s being used as a steppingstone to a North American Union (NAU). Eighteen state legislatures have introduced resolutions asking Congress to block the NAU; three states passed their anti-NAU resolution in one house; and three states passed their anti-NAU resolution in both houses.

Although there is a resolution (H. Con. Res. 40) in the House of Representatives “Expressing the sense of Congress that the United States should not … enter into a North American Union with Mexico and Canada,” there has been virtually no congressional oversight over SPP activities, such as the numerous “working groups” with representatives from the United States, Mexico, and Canada. That is to say, virtually no congressional oversight until yesterday, when the House voted overwhelmingly to approve Rep. Duncan Hunter’s (R-Calif.) amendment to prohibit any funds appropriated by the Transportation and Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act of 2008 from being used for U.S. participation in SPP working groups.

In a related development, on July 23, Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) introduced an amendment to H.R. 3093 (Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2008), stating “None of the funds in this Act shall be made available for the Security and Prosperity Partnership.” Thus, this amendment would permit no funding for the SPP from the funds appropriated for the Commerce Department in 2008. This is highly significant because the Commerce Department coordinates the “Prosperity” component of the SPP, including maintaining the official www.spp.gov website. A vote is possible on this amendment as early as today or tomorrow.


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