House calls on Egypt to return children to US father

"I urge the government of Egypt: do not minimize the extent to which this will be an obstacle," Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said during debate, in what will be one of his last floor statements before retirement.

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"I will not be here in a week. I didn't think I'd be here this week," he said. "But I know my successor in Congress, Mr. Kennedy, and my colleagues ... will not forget this. If the current Egyptian government does not correct this situation, it will be an obstacle to the kind of cooperation that is in our mutual interest."

Frank said the Massachusetts court decided that the mother of the two boys, Noor and Ramsay Bower, was unfit to retain custody of them due to a drug addiction.

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) said the mother fled the country with the two boys in violation of that court ruling, and used fake passports to take them to her home country of Egypt.

"This kidnapping was in violation of a decision by the family court in Massachusetts giving full custody to the father," Frank said.

In another voice vote, the House passed H.R. 6649, a bill authorizing the transfer of 10 frigates to U.S. allies Mexico, Taiwan, Thailand and Turkey. There was some debate over whether two of these frigates should be given to Turkey given that country's recent posture toward Europe, but despite this opposition, no one asked for a recorded vote on the bill.

After these votes, the House recessed subject to the call of the chairman. Votes on several other suspension bills are expected later in the day.