[Congressional Record Volume 164, Number 63 (Wednesday, April 18, 2018)]
[Pages S2284-S2287]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]


  Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, I know there is a lot of competition for 
the time right now, and I feel badly that I finally got to the point 
where, in order to get the message out--it is a message many people 
think is not significant, but I assure you that this is of grave 
importance not just to a country but to the entire continent of Africa.
  The House of Representatives, just last week, passed H. Res. 128 to 
chastise one of our closest allies on the African continent, Ethiopia. 
Although the legislation claims to support Ethiopia, the reality is 
that the resolution is outdated. It was written years ago and was 
blindly passed without consideration for the current situation in 
Ethiopia. It was also passed under a voice vote so that no one member 
of Congress would have to carry the stigma of being on the record 
voting for it.
  I know the House passed it because most of them have never been to 
Ethiopia and don't really know the miracle we have seen in that 
country. I know the transformation Ethiopia has made in economic and 
social development alongside their ongoing commitment to establishing 
security in the Horn of Africa.
  Since 2005, I have visited Ethiopia 18 different times, engaging and 
developing relationships with Prime Ministers, with Cabinet Ministers, 
legislators, businessmen, aid workers, and everyone else in between. 
There isn't another Member of Congress who has traveled in Ethiopia, 
engaged with the Ethiopian Government and the Ethiopian people more 
than I have.
  I say this for a reason. It is to show that I know something about 
Ethiopia. I know we have been here before. What happened last week has 
happened before. People don't even know it. So they passed a negative 
resolution on Ethiopia by voice vote. The resolution fails to 
understand the history of Ethiopia. I want to talk about that.
  Ethiopia is the oldest independent country in all of Africa, but one 
that is newly democratic. It is all new to them.
  There is also a Christian history to the nation, which nobody else 
has on the continent of Africa. Ethiopia is featured in both the Old 
Testament and the New Testament.
  In the New Testament, we hear about Philip. This is in Acts 8. Philip 
meets the Ethiopian eunuch on the road to Damascus. We find out later 
that the eunuch was actually the treasurer of the country of Ethiopia 
at that time. Philip told the eunuch about Jesus. He talked about the 
Old Testament and the Queen of Sheba and Solomon. There are over 50 of 
these mentions in the Bible. They had long conversations about Jesus.
  Philip was making these comments. Before the conversation was over, 
he baptized the eunuch. The eunuch went off to Ethiopia and took the 
first word of Jesus to Ethiopia. That is very significant.
  Coincidentally, while Addis Ababa is the capital of Ethiopia, there 
was a time when Aksum was the capital. That was many years ago. During 
the time of the Queen of Sheba, that was the capital of Ethiopia.
  Coincidentally, I happened to be in Ethiopia when a farmer in a field 
ran into some old relics, and they started excavating. They found out 
that was the palace of the Queen of Sheba. There had been discussion as 
to whether or not the Queen of Sheba was from Yemen or Ethiopia, but 
that was concrete proof they had discovered that it was the case. The 
story goes on and on.
  We all know about the Queen of Sheba and Solomon. Solomon had all the 
wealth in the world, and she wanted to meet Solomon. She went down to 
the Red Sea to see Solomon. Well, she got to Israel and she met 
Solomon. They were engaged very closely together. I think we all know 
that they ended up having a son who went back to his country.
  By the way, the part of the Old Testament I am quoting right now is 
in 1 Kings 10:1. That is about the trip between Israel and Ethiopia. 
Sheba and Solomon had a boy. The boy was Menelik. He was a very smart 
person. As he was growing up in years, before returning to their home 
country in Ethiopia, he actually took the Ark of the Covenant back to 
Ethiopia, where it is today in Aksum.
  A lot of people don't know that. If anyone questions what I am saying 
right now, there is a book written that was called ``The Sign and the 
Seal,'' by Graham Hancock. It is very well-documented. When you read 
that, you come to the conclusion that this is where the Ark of the 
Covenant is. I have been to the Ark of the Covenant with many Members 
of the Senate here--certainly, Senator Boozman from Arkansas, Senator 
Mike Enzi from Wyoming, Senator Mike Rounds from South Dakota, and many 
others. We have been up there and we have actually seen where this has 
taken place.
  I say this because there is that very rich history. It is all 
documented in both the Old Testament and the New Testament.
  The current controversy, and why we are here today, started back in 
the 1970s with a man named Mengistu. From 1974 to 1991, Mengistu was 
the leader of the communist Derg. This was the controlling party at 
that time. It is a communist party. They ran Ethiopia. It was a 
terrible time for Ethiopia. That was during one of the worst famines 
they had, which killed over a million people--perhaps the most 
significant famine in history in terms of deaths.
  Many Ethiopians fled during that time and relocated in the United 
States. That is understandable. The communists were booted out. A lot 
of the people, during the time they were still in, came to the United 
  It is interesting because the Ethiopians are very outstanding people. 
They are the kind that get things done when other people don't. That 
makes them different from all the other countries in Africa.
  So a lot of these Ethiopians came to America, and they have made 
great, really remarkable contributions to America, building 
organizations and getting involved. Rightfully so, they were outspoken 
against the brutal regime, but they haven't changed their outspokenness 
to reflect the changing conditions in Ethiopia.
  At the time that this took place, one person who was responsible, to 
a large extent, for getting rid of the communists and the communist 
threat in Ethiopia was a guy named Meles. He ran, he came from the 
bush, and he won. He ended up as Prime Minister. This is really the 
election that a lot of people don't like, and they forget about the 
fact that he was the Prime Minister who actually got rid of the 
communists in Ethiopia.
  So he became a Prime Minister. He started to build democracy. He died 
in 2012. I got to know him quite well during that timeframe, and I saw 
the progress that he made and the advances they made.
  He was then replaced by another Prime Minister, whose name is 
Hailemariam. Now, he became Prime Minister, and he continued to push 
for democracy. Hailemariam worked diligently to improve things.
  Under his tenure, Ethiopia established the independent Ethiopian 
Human Rights Committee to report on violence and human rights problems 
and abuses. They didn't just establish

[[Page S2285]]

it; they acted on it. They came out with a report and acted on it to 
hold perpetrators accountable and to make the improvements that were 
being made. Our relationship wasn't just government to government; it 
was brother to brother.
  In February of 2017, Prime Minister Hailemariam suggested that, since 
the provinces were all fighting at that time--there were nine provinces 
in Ethiopia. Each province has a Governor. We suggested on the phone, 
with the Members of the Senate here and the House at a Prayer 
Breakfast, that what we ought to do is that we ought to follow the 
recommendation of Eisenhower. He said--in fact, this is right after 
World War II: The problems of this world are so great that we will 
never resolve the problems until we learn to sit down and pray 
together. So we decided: Let's get all the Governors, the Prime 
Minister, the Members of the House, the Senate, and the rest together, 
and we will pray for them.
  We did this. In fact, I had five Senators with me at that time, and 
we went over. The problem was only two Governors showed up. So 8 months 
later, we came back and put together the same thing and talked to them 
to let them know what this is all about. And it happened 8 months 
later. We were just talking about it just recently.
  We had nine Governors who had been fighting. Hailemariam and we all 
prayed together.
  Now, at the same time, there was a Congressman, Randy Hultgren, over 
at the House, who happened to be president of the House Prayer 
Breakfast. The time change worked perfectly. At the time we were 
praying there, if you took the 7-hour differential, they were meeting 
at the House Prayer Breakfast here in Washington. So he joined in. Now, 
I am not smart enough to figure out how they do this. It is some kind 
of thing called Skype, where you can get on TV and communicate. So they 
were praying over there with all of these House Members at the same 
time that we were praying. On top of that, we had a bunch of great 
pages, like the pages sitting right in front of me today, all praying 
at the same time. This was going on all over America.
  So they all got together, and it worked--the same group of people who 
had just hated each other, who had never been in the same room before. 
The Prime Minister and all of us--Members of the Senate and others who 
were there--were all rejoicing and embracing each other.
  That's really significant. The 9 governors had never been together 
before. The majority of Americans can't easily grasp this, but is 
different in Ethiopia. Most of the people don't live in cities, and 
that made this effort that much more difficult. That is the reverse of 
the rest of the world. The vast majority of people who live there are 
in rural communities, and that made this widespread change and 
development a longer and more difficult path.
  In Ethiopia, the tribal factions also play a greater role. Anyone who 
has been there understands this. If you go from Province to Province, 
that used to be from tribe to tribe, and they historically have not 
gotten along until this time. So it made it more difficult because of 
the factions and all of that, but it worked. We unified them together, 
and that was unlike anything that has ever happened.
  Earlier this month, Ethiopia took another step to showing their 
commitment to a free and fair democracy by selecting a new Prime 
Minister. And who is this? His name is Abiy Ahmed, a doctor.
  In fact, it is kind of interesting, if you think about his 
credentials. Just listen to this. Abiy received his first degree, a 
bachelor's degree, in computer engineering from the Microlink 
Information Technology College in Addis. That was in 2001.
  In 2005, Abiy earned a postgraduate certificate in cryptography in 
South Africa. He holds a master of arts in transformational leadership 
and change with merit, earned at the Business School in Greenwich 
University in London, in collaboration with the International 
Leadership Institute in Addis, in 2011. He holds a master of business 
administration from the Leadstar College of Management and Leadership 
in Addis, in partnership with Ashland University in Ohio.
  In 2017, Abiy was awarded a Ph.D. from the Institute for Peace and 
Security Studies at Addis Ababa University.
  Now, we haven't studied it all the way through, but what we did is we 
took a cursory look at that, and we believe he is the most highly 
educated Prime Minister in the history of the continent.
  Here we are with this Dr. Abiy, who has been specially selected for 
his commitment to democracy, good governance, and the rule of law. I 
met Abiy for the first time in February of 2016 at a leader's 
breakfast, where he told the story of his journey of faith in Jesus. He 
is very, very articulate, someone who no one would forget about.
  We met a year later, when we prayed and talked about how to unify the 
country in peace, not conflict. It is from these meetings that I know 
that Abiy is committed to democracy and the future of Ethiopia. He is 
showing that with his actions as well.
  Last week, he specifically sought to engage the opposition party and 
its leaders. He said:

       We want to work hand in hand with you. What we say and do 
     must match.

  Since his inauguration, he has also restored the internet service all 
across the country, and he has released 11 high-profile dissidents. 
This is what we need to be encouraging, not delegitimizing his 
authority with a heavy handed resolution. After his first week in 
office, the first week in office, they passed this resolution--this 
hateful resolution over at the House.
  He is also the youngest head of state in all of Africa. Abiy is just 
41 years old. He shows an optimistic and engaged future for Ethiopia--a 
country where 70 percent of the population is less than 35 years old. 
He deserves a chance to enact the democratic reforms he called for 
during his inaugural address, before being slapped with a condemnation 
of his government by a House of Representatives resolution.
  They have quite an opportunity. Ethiopia is one of the fastest 
growing economies in the region, and it has made great strides in 
lowering the poverty rate. But the resolution that passed last week 
wasn't about this. They didn't talk about everything that I just 
  Ethiopia is also an important partner for us in promoting regional 
peace and security. We have all recently seen how Islamic terrorists 
are pushing from the Middle East and regrouping and establishing 
themselves across Africa. This is the thing that he has inherited. That 
is what he is in right now.
  Ethiopia has been an important partner for the United States in 
combating the spread of terrorism from Somalia and al-Qaida. He is our 
closest partner in this effort.
  As terrorism grows through Djibouti and the Horn of Africa into 
northeastern Africa, this is a threat to global security. Ethiopia has 
been a critical partner for the United States in combating that spread 
of terrorism.
  Ethiopia is the top African contributor to U.N. peacekeeping troops 
and supplies about 8 percent of the global peacekeeping force. It is 
not the second or among the first. He was No. 1--the first one to be a 
contributor to the U.N. peacekeeping effort. Those are contributions 
they have made. Other countries have not done that, but they have.
  More than that, Ethiopia's professional and capable military has also 
been a positive force in regional stability. When we had problems in 
parts of Africa--and Somalia comes to mind right now--when we call upon 
them to send troops, they are the first ones who respond, and they are 
the ones who send the most of their capable troops.
  Ethiopia was a regional stabilizer during the crisis with Sudan and 
South Sudan. I think we all remember when Sudan was one unified 
country, and they had not always gotten along with South Sudan. South 
Sudan had been trying to get their independence for years and years, 
and, finally, they were successful, and right after that, it looked 
like it wasn't going to work.
  But the resolution last week didn't consider any of the progress 
Ethiopia has made and the leadership they have provided.
  Beyond just the government, more good things are happening in 
Ethiopia than I have ever seen. The people are not just like other 
people. There is not time, but I could give so many examples. I will 
single out just one family

[[Page S2286]]

who is really typical of what is going on in Ethiopia.
  We have longtime friends there--Marta Gabre-Tsadick and her husband 
Demeke Tekle-Wold. I will refer to them as Marta and Demeke. They 
founded an organization called Project Mercy. This is kind of 
interesting. This wasn't government. This is what they have done and 
are trying to do in their country.
  It is kind of interesting because Marta, as a very young girl, went 
to work for Haile Selassie. We all know Haile Selassie and what a hero 
he was before the communists came in in 1974 and murdered him and took 
over the country. Marta actually had worked for him at one time.
  They received political asylum in the United States in the early 
1970s, after the communist takeover in Ethiopia, only to return to the 
country to care for, as they say, the ``least of these.'' That is what 
they have been doing.
  Marta wrote a book that should be required reading so people would 
know the sacrifices that people make to escape communism. The name of 
her book is ``Sheltered by the King.''
  In fact, if any of you want a copy of it, I will give it to you.
  It tells the story about the communist takeover when Haile Selassie 
was murdered. It was about their escape from the communists.
  Throughout the years, I have partnered with Marta and Demeke on 
several occasions. In 2008, I worked with the USAID. At that time, we 
had a guy, who, unfortunately, wasn't able stay there very long. He was 
head of the USAID. At that time, they prioritized the shipment of 43 
containers of Atmit. This is during the time of starvation. Amit is a 
nutritional supplement that was sent to young children, to those in the 
most severe stages of starvation.
  Ethiopia was hit especially hard in the global economic crisis, and 
these containers equaled 600 tons of food to feed 27,000 severely 
malnourished children.
  The story of Marta and Demeke is kind of interesting because they 
started out in Addis, the capital. They started out in a small house, 
getting three or four young men--boys--uneducated and taught them the 
Scriptures, taught them how to read and write, taught them all of these 
things, and then how to put together an economy and get these people so 
that they can go out on their own. They were successful.
  That grew from 3 people to 6 people to 100 people. Then they went 
down to a part of Africa, a part of Ethiopia, that is really 
interesting. It is called Yetabon. Yetabon is interesting because that 
is an area where there wasn't any civilization. It was in the bush, on 
the side of a mountain.
  I went down to Yetabon to see. This is some time ago. I was thrilled 
that Raj Shah, the Administrator of USAID, accepted my invitation to go 
down there to see Yetabon and to see what they have done down there. 
When you stopped and looked in that remote area, with the two of them 
alone, it is not just a matter of 10, 12, or 100 kids, but 1,700 kids 
were all lined up, K through 12, smiling with big smiles. Their lives 
had been changed, and all of that took place down there.
  I remember that there was a terrible storm down there as we were 
leaving, and it was all muddy. I told Raj: Anyone under age 70, get out 
and push. I was the only one exempted, of course. Anyway, he saw the 
significance of the resource of the Ethiopian people and the progress 
the country had made in furthering democracy and stabilizing the 
  USAID is now headed up by another person who loves Africa, Mark 
Green. I remember Mark Green. He used to be the Ambassador to Tanzania. 
He is a close friend of mine. I actually served with him at one time 
back at the House.
  Raj recognized the genius of the Ethiopian people. We are privileged 
to deliver a another program they put together, where they would 
crossbreed cows and start dairy farms in the area close to Addis. It 
has been a very successful program. Keep in mind that this is all as a 
result of one family.
  I could give examples of this all over the country in Ethiopia. The 
technical assistance and training to improve the products that they 
have were done all by one family. All that was largely from Demeke.
  There is another person who is set aside from other countries in 
Africa, and that is a doctor named Hamlin. She actually started the 
Hamlin Fistula Hospital. Fistula is a disease that people who are 
pregnant could have. It is fatal in many cases. It is very unique to 
that part of Africa. So they have an organization working alongside the 
Ethiopian Government to provide sustainable solutions to the Hamlin 
Fistula Hospital. It has been a haven for the care of women.
  All of this one person started. This is the character of the people. 
They started treating women in Ethiopia's busy capital city of Addis 
since 1959. It has now grown to an additional five regional hospitals, 
a midwifery college, and a rehabilitation center for long-term 
  I and my wife Kay visited the hospital along with Senator Enzi's 
wife, Diana, and Senator Boozman's wife, Cathy. We saw the miracle that 
is taking place there--all because of one woman. It is typical of the 
people you find in Ethiopia.
  They saw the impact that the hospital is making to the lives of women 
throughout the country to be able to deliver their baby safely and be 
treated with dignity for childbirth injuries.
  So much of this development and progress is due to the emergence of 
past and present African leaders such as the recently sworn in Prime 
Minister, Dr. Abiy Ahmed, who are investing in the lives of their 
people, and the realization by the United States of the strategic 
importance to Africa.
  They are important. They have joined us in every effort--every 
military effort--that we have had, more than any other country. None of 
that was considered by the House last week when they passed this 
shortsighted resolution.
  I tried to work with key sponsors of the resolution to make needed 
changes to reflect the fact of Ethiopia's progress, but my efforts were 
unsuccessful. They wouldn't listen to me. I still can't figure out why 
it is that a handful of people who probably have never, ever been to 
Ethiopia were doing this to that country. The resolution made a lot of 
claims that said that ``democratic space in Ethiopia has steadily 
diminished since the general elections of 2005'' and that the ruling 
party ``claimed 100 percent of the parliamentary seats'' in the 2015 
elections--continued insults to our closest friends in Africa. But the 
democratic space in Ethiopia has never been more vibrant, as the 
numbers speak for themselves. There were more opposition candidates in 
the 2015 election than there have ever been in any election in the 
history of Ethiopia.

  In 2015, the African Union observers--they were the ones who were 
observing the election, and they concluded that the elections had been 
free, peaceful, and credible and had provided an opportunity for the 
Ethiopian people to express their choices at the polls. Overall, the AU 
observers offered conclusions and recommendations to the government, 
the electoral board, the political parties, and to the media to 
strengthen that process, and that has been successful.
  The resolution inaccurately stated that the ruling party claimed to 
have won 100 percent of the parliamentary seats. That is not true at 
all. There is no truth at all in that. In fact, that is not a ruling 
party. The EPRDF is not one party; it is a coalition of four major 
political parties with proportional representation from four regions; 
namely, from Oromia, Amhara, and some of the other southern nations.
  The resolution also claimed that peaceful protests were often 
hijacked by violent events.
  Last year, there were protests and demonstrations in part of Oromia 
and Amhara, in that region, and it did grow violent.
  Ethiopia has a duty to ensure law and order like any other country, 
and that is exactly what they did. They openly acknowledged that people 
have legitimate grievances and expressed their willingness to address 
those. They are making strides. The second National Human Rights Action 
Plan--the current ruling party has embarked on a dialogue with 222 
opposition parties. The United States should allow this dialogue to 
continue free of interference.

[[Page S2287]]

  This resolution wasn't new. The House of Representatives did this in 
2007 also. By the way, they also did this by voice vote then because no 
one wanted to be tied to something that they had to vote on without 
really knowing what it was all about. So they did it in 2007. I don't 
think the outcome of that was ever discussed, so I am going to tell the 
story now.
  The 2007 resolution claimed that its purpose was to ``encourage and 
facilitate the consolidation of peace and security in Ethiopia,'' but 
in reality, it focused only on the shortcomings while blatantly 
ignoring the unprecedented progress the country had made.
  I went to Ethiopia 3 weeks after the House voted in 2007. The 
resolution was reported widely for weeks in the Ethiopian press as the 
United States sharply criticizing Ethiopians, the same as they did last 
week. It caused great confusion and anger with the Ethiopian people, 
who were emerging from Communist rule. You could argue that at the time 
this happened, the people were protesting the administration under 
Prime Minister Meles. Probably they were saying that they prefer the 
Communists because this is something he was responsible for changing at 
that time.
  So they had that resolution. It was reported that it hurt them and 
hurt their reputation around the world, caused great confusion and 
anger with the Ethiopian people, who were emerging from a Communist 
rule and working with democracy.
  I met with Prime Minister Meles on that trip, and he said that the 
House vote really hurt our relationship with Ethiopia. I remember 
exactly what he said to me. He said: Our survival depends on 
  He was also open and honest about the problems they had in the 2005 
election. He acknowledged the riots and that better training could have 
prevented the deaths of some seven policemen. That is not the story we 
hear. We hear about hundreds of people dying, but that is simply not 
the case.
  Prime Minister Meles also noted that they were being singled out for 
criticism and sanctions when Eritrea--an autocratic government that 
openly gave refuge to terrorists--faced no such condemnation. He stated 
that he felt insulted by the bill, as well he should have.
  When I was visiting with Azeb, Meles's wife--by the way, Azeb and 
Meles fought together in the feud that took over the country from 
communism, in the bush. When she asked me how the United States could 
attack our friends in this way, I didn't have an answer for that. 
Remember, we are friends. Ethiopia has been a partner on the global War 
on Terror and has contributed troops to peacekeeping missions and 
supports regional security efforts.
  We also met with a group of Ethiopian citizens in Addis who had 
returned to Ethiopia to rebuild the nation. They had returned in the 
mid-2000s because it was the first time they had confidence in the 
government to return. They were very frustrated and disappointed by the 
  Today I am sure that Prime Minister Abiy and the Ethiopian people are 
also confused and frustrated by this resolution. I want to speak now to 
our friends in Ethiopia who may be feeling abandoned by the United 
States and questioning our partnership and friendship in such a 
critical part of the world.
  This resolution, while offensive to you, does not change your 
friendship with the United States.
  I want to repeat that. I want to make sure people know that the 
resolution, while it is offensive to you, doesn't change your 
friendship with the United States.
  We have a long history of economic and military cooperation that will 
continue, and Ethiopia is only gaining momentum as a nation. This is 
apparent when you look at Ethiopia's economy, their military, and the 
U.S.-Ethiopia trade relationship that they are now building with our 
country. Ethiopia ranks among the fastest growing economies in the 
world. This is significant: Despite the recent drought, the IMF 
estimates that Ethiopia will have an average GDP growth rate of 7.4 
percent from 2017 to 2020.

  This is what I would have said yesterday, but something happened 
yesterday that I didn't know was going to happen. Yesterday, in the 
latest World Economic Outlook, the IMF announced that Ghana had lost 
its position as the fastest growing economy in Africa, and they lost it 
to Ethiopia. Ethiopia now has the fastest growth--8.5 percent. We in 
the United States would love to have an 8.5-percent economic growth 
  Total U.S. direct investment, including partnerships, stands at more 
than $567 million, with more than $65 million originating solely from 
the United States.
  The United States has a positive trade balance with Ethiopia, 
particularly in manufacturing, energy, and agricultural processing.
  Over the past 70 years, Ethiopian Airlines has purchased more than 
100 U.S.-origin aircraft.
  In 2016 alone, Ethiopia utilized over $149 million worth of U.S. 
agricultural products, including wheat, coffee, and oil seeds.
  The United States continues to provide assistance to support 
Ethiopia's agricultural development. Through the USDA, the 3-year, $13 
million Food for Progress Program--known as the FEED project--helps to 
improve yields of milk, meat, eggs, and other products by increasing 
the availability and quality of livestock feed.
  The U.S. International Military Education and Training Program--by 
the way, that is called IMET--the IMET Program was put together many 
years ago so that when our troops go into other areas, they mingle with 
the troops there, and then we invite the troops from the various 
countries to come into the United States and get their training here. 
We found out that once the training takes place in this country, we 
have their allegiance for the rest of the time they are there. They 
have been working to train future leaders here in the United States and 
create a rapport between the United States and the Ethiopian military. 
They had over 600 members from 2010 to 2015--one of our most successful 
IMET programs, working military to military.
  Along with their own successes, Ethiopia has established itself as a 
world player. Ethiopia and the United States belong to a number of the 
same organizations, including the United Nations, the International 
Monetary Fund, and the World Bank. The nation is an observer to the 
World Trade Organization and is currently serving on the United Nations 
Security Council as a nonpermanent member.
  So I say to my colleagues in the Senate, I would like to remind you 
that with the passing of resolution 128, we are repeating the past. 
That is exactly what they did a few years ago. That doesn't mean we 
have to do it again in the future. Ethiopia is a key friend, and Prime 
Minister Abiy--just keep in mind, here is a guy who is the highest 
educated Prime Minister we think in the entire history of the entire 
continent of Africa. He deserves a chance for a strong start.
  I will continue to fight for that strong friendship in Congress, and 
I urge the United States to give them the chance they have rightly 
earned. Clearly, resolution 128 does not reflect America's relationship 
with Ethiopia, one of our most valued allies in all of Africa.
  ``Are you listening?'' I asked my brother. Prime Minister Abiy, 
America is with you. America is with you.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. PORTMAN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Perdue). Without objection, it is so