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Daily Press Briefing -- Western Hemisphere Affairs

Daily Press Briefing
Tom Casey, Deputy Spokesman
Washington, DC
November 2, 2007

Daily Press Briefing -- Western Hemisphere Affairs

Excerpts from the Daily Press Briefing of November 2, 2007, pertaining to Western Hemisphere Affairs.


U.S. Assistance for Flood Victims
Answering Congress' Questions on the Merida Initiative


QUESTION: Can we go to Mexico? Mexico has offered help to you during times of natural disaster such as during Katrina and lately in California during the fires. I'm wondering if the U.S. has offered any assistance to Mexico now because of this heavy flooding in Tabasco in the Gulf of Mexico.

MR. CASEY: I never got anything from AID on that. Someone asked that this morning. We owe you an answer on that. I know there is assistance that's being offered. I don't have the latest on that, but we'll get something posted for you this afternoon.

QUESTION: I have another one.

MR. CASEY: Sure.

QUESTION: Several officials from this building have been, you know, stressing the importance of this new initiative with Mexico, the Merida initiative. However, during the first hearing in Congress, many lawmakers complained about the lack of consultation. So I'm wondering if there's any concern here in this building about that this lack of consultation might actually hamper the chances of this initiative to pass in Congress.

MR. CASEY: Well, certainly, obviously we want to make sure that we work well with Congress on this. And if there are questions that members have, we want to be able to address them. I do know that there was quite an extensive amount of consultation done with the relevant committees before this decision was reached and announced. And certainly, though, we'll make sure that we work with Congress to continue to do so, because we believe that this is an initiative that's in the best interest of both our countries and will help us deal with some of the common problems we share in the border region.

QUESTION: Can you give us any readout about the reaction in Congress of this meeting with Mr. Shannon with the persons there?

MR. CASEY: I haven't talked to Tom about it. So no, I really don't have anything for you beyond what you may have heard from the members themselves.


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