Royce: “Administration’s failure to impose the type of tough financial sanctions that hit the Kim regime hard in 2005… is more indefensible by the day. ”
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued this statement following the U.S. government announcement that North Korea is responsible for the cyber attack against Sony Pictures Entertainment:
“It is time to stop being surprised by North Korea. This is just the latest in its decades of hostility toward the U.S. and our allies. Cyber attacks are just the newest escalation, joining North Korea’s advancing nuclear weapons and missile program in its arsenal. Cyber attacks are a grave threat to our national security. American lives could be lost as a consequence of cyber attacks against our critical infrastructure. Unfortunately the Administration has been slow to respond.
“The new Congress must quickly pass the North Korea sanctions bill that the House sent to the Senate last July. The Administration’s failure to impose the type of tough financial sanctions that hit the Kim regime hard in 2005, before they were unwisely ended, is more indefensible by the day. The regime must feel the great economic pressure these sanctions brought, and could bring again.
“North Korea is attacking our infrastructure. It is also attacking our values. The decision to pull ‘The Interview’ from theatres unfortunately is a North Korean victory in its attack on our freedom. We better quickly respond comprehensively to defend freedom of speech in the face of terrorist threats and cyber attacks.”
Note: Royce, who has visited North Korea, is the author of H.R. 1771, the North Korea Sanctions Enforcement Act. The House of Representatives passed the bipartisan H.R. 1771 in July. The legislation strengthens existing sanctions against North Korea by prohibiting North Korea’s access to critical resources -- such as hard currency and other goods -- that keeps the Kim regime in power. Importantly, the legislation holds North Korean officials accountable for gross human rights abuses, which were highlighted in the recent United Nations Commission of Inquiry. In strengthening sanctions against North Korea, the legislation in no way affects humanitarian aid.
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued the following statement regarding President Obama’s announcement of changes in U.S.-Cuba relations and the release of Alan Gross:
“For more than five years, Alan Gross, a humanitarian worker, was wrongly imprisoned by the Castro regime. He should have been unconditionally released a long time ago. Period. Instead, a disturbing pattern is emerging where the Obama Administration is willing to negotiate the release of spies or terrorists. I fail to see how this trend will improve the long-term security of the United States and its citizens.
“The President outlined today numerous changes to U.S. policy toward Cuba, intended to bolster civil-society and Cuban access to information. It’s ironic that’s exactly what Alan Gross was imprisoned for.
“It is still unclear what steps the Cuban government is taking in return for this change in U.S. policy. It doesn’t look like much. The President compared our economic relationship with Cuba to that of China and Vietnam. But in China and Vietnam, while Communist, at least foreign firms can hire and recruit staff directly, without their pay going to and bolstering the government, as it does in Cuba.
“In this respect, Cuba is more like North Korea than it is China. For your Cuban worker at the foreign-owned resort, they only receive a fraction of their salary – as little as 5 percent. Castro or Kim, the method is the same – extract hard currency from the outside, invest in the security apparatus, and make zero changes at home. Ordinary Cubans will not be economically or politically empowered unless Cuba’s economic system changes; until President Obama’s announcement today, the United States had been demanding this change.
“I am very troubled by the lack of engagement with Congress on this serious policy shift.”
Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), the Committee’s Ranking Member, issued the following statement on the one year anniversary of South Sudan’s civil war:
“It has been one year since leaders in South Sudan so completely failed their people and went to war with each other. This man-made crisis has killed tens of thousands, displaced nearly two million people, and left even more facing dire food insecurity.
“The U.S. has expended significant resources – both political and financial – in helping the people of South Sudan achieve their aspiration of establishing an independent country that is at peace. The unfortunate reality today though is that South Sudanese political leaders are an impediment to achieving that goal. Khartoum is feeding political and inter-ethnic tensions, but that doesn’t excuse the reckless and destructive actions of southern political leaders.
“We reiterate the need for the President to use his authority to impose targeted sanctions on high profile figures on both sides of the conflict in South Sudan that are obstructing the peace process. The U.S. should also press the U.N. Security Council to impose sanctions and an arms embargo, to ensure that more weapons are not flooding into South Sudan that would put more civilians at risk and further embolden the warring factions.”
NOTE: On April 3, 2014, the President issued Executive Order 13664, which provides the authority to sanction individuals who threaten the peace, security, or stability of South Sudan. To date, four individuals have been designated under this authority.
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued the following statement condemning the terrorist attack in Pakistan, whose victims included 132 children:
“Today’s terrorist attack in Pakistan – on schoolchildren – is absolutely sickening. The heinous attack demonstrates once again the barbarity of the Pakistani Taliban in pushing its extreme ideology, with complete disregard for the lives of innocent children and civilians. Even by the grim standards of terrorist attacks in Pakistan, this is a low. My condolences go out to the victims and families impacted by this horrific terrorist attack. This brutal violence reinforces the fact that Pakistan must continue to clear terrorists from safe-havens in the federally administered tribal areas.”
Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, announced the Committee’s six subcommittee chairmen for the 114th Congress.
Chairman Royce said: “I am pleased to announce this excellent roster of Subcommittee chairmen for the 114th Congress. During my past two years as Chairman of the Committee, I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with each of these dedicated Members. We have worked well together and accomplished a great deal within the Committee.
“In the next two years, we will continue to work together as a team to fulfill the important mission of this Committee, pressing for policies to make our nation safer and more prosperous, tackling the many global challenges, including Iran’s nuclear program, ISIS, and Russia. I am looking forward to a productive 114th Congress.”
Full Committee Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) [bio]
Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) [bio]
Subcommittee on Middle East and North Africa Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) [bio]
Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) [bio]
Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) [bio]
Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) [bio]
Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) [bio]
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued the following statement on Senate passage of H.R. 5816, authored by Chairman Royce, which extends the work of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) for one year: “Today, freedom of religion is under threat from extremists and authoritarian governments. This Commission speaks out on behalf of those persecuted around the world and has aggressively warned of the dangers of abusive laws that threaten religious freedom. I would have liked to see a longer authorization, but I am pleased that this legislation now heads to the President’s desk to become law.” Note: Congress established the Commission in 1998 out of concern that the fundamental freedom of religion was under siege in many places around the world, yet did not receive adequate attention in U.S. foreign policy.
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, commended House passage of the Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act (S. 2142). The legislation now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law. Earlier this year, the House passed the Venezuelan Human Rights and Democracy Protection Act (H.R. 4587), introduced by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), which imposes targeted sanctions on individuals responsible for carrying out or ordering human rights abuses against Venezuelan citizens.
On the legislation’s passage, Chairman Royce said: “Under current leadership, the people of Venezuela face violent abuse, serious economic hardship, and no free press. Venezuelans deserve serious reforms - reforms they fought for peacefully earlier this year. With the passage of today’s legislation, the U.S. sends a strong message of support for all Venezuelans who yearn for freedom, democracy, and the rule of law.”
Note: Earlier this year, the House passed a resolution (H. Res. 488) to support democratic change in Venezuela. The bipartisan legislation, authored by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), supports the people of Venezuela as they protest peacefully for democratic change and calls for an end to violence.### Read More
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, applauded House passage of H.Con.Res.107, a resolution denouncing the use of civilians as human shields by Hamas and other terrorist organizations in violation of international humanitarian law.
On the legislation’s passage, Chairman Royce said: “Hamas' use of human shields must be condemned, not just by the United States Congress, but by the international community. A failure to do so will only embolden Hamas. We must also take action to cut off Hamas and its associates from their international support networks, like the regime in Tehran. By doing so, we can help ensure that innocent Palestinians won’t be used as human shields by Hamas.”
Note: In July, the Committee held a hearing entitled, “Iran’s Destabilizing Role in the Middle East,” which exposed Iran as the primary backer of Hamas – through weapons, funding and missiles.
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and U.S. Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI), Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, introduced H.R. 5825, the No Healthcare Subsidies for Foreign Diplomats Act, legislation to prevent foreign diplomats from receiving subsidized health coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). According to the Department of Health and Human Services, foreign diplomats and United Nations employees in the United States are currently eligible to obtain American taxpayer-funded subsidies under the ACA, such as premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions, just like American citizens and lawful permanent residents. By contrast, U.S. diplomats overseas do not depend on foreign taxpayers for health care coverage, relying instead on domestic health insurance plans that provide overseas coverage.
Chairman Royce said: “After many months of inquiry by the Foreign Affairs Committee, the Obama Administration finally came clean about the fact that foreign diplomats are eligible for taxpayer-funded Obamacare subsidies. This is shockingly unacceptable. Americans’ tax dollars should not be used to subsidize foreign diplomats’ health coverage. These foreign governments should cover the healthcare costs of the diplomats they send here. This important, commonsense legislation makes this clear, and I am pleased to be working with Chairman Camp to move it forward.”
Chairman Camp said: “It is absolutely unacceptable – and unfair – that foreign diplomats can have their health costs subsidized by the American taxpayer, all thanks to the President’s health law. Time and again, the Affordable Care Act has proven to be anything but affordable for taxpayers. It is not the responsibility of honest, hardworking Americans to provide health coverage for foreign diplomats, but rather a duty of those nations sending them here. This straightforward legislation will put a stop to this unjust practice, and I am proud to introduce it with my friend Chairman Royce.”
Note: The introduction of H.R. 5825 follows a year of inquiry by Chairman Royce. After the arrest of 25 Russian diplomats for attempting to illegally obtain Medicaid benefits in December of 2013, Chairman Royce began pressing the Obama Administration for information. Initially, the Committee sent a letter to Secretary Kerry requesting information on the arrest and the eligibility of foreign diplomats receiving government-funded medical benefits. In January and April, the Committee also sent letters to the Secretary of Health and Human Services regarding foreign diplomats’ eligibility to receive Obamacare. In a response on September 30, HHS confirmed foreign diplomats’ eligibility for government subsidized healthcare. In October, Chairman Royce and Chairman Camp wrote to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen seeking information about how many foreign diplomats have enrolled in the Affordable Care Act and have received subsidies.
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, announced the roster of Republican Members expected to serve on the Committee in the 114th Congress. The Members were selected by the Republican Steering Committee and will be formally appointed by the full House of Representatives at the start of 114th Congress. Chairman Royce said: “I want especially to welcome the new Members who will be joining the Committee in the 114th Congress. Over the past two years, with threats rising throughout the world, the Foreign Affairs Committee has pressed for policies to make our nation safer and more prosperous. With constant challenges on the horizon, including Iran, ISIS, and Russia, I look forward to working with all Committee Members, utilizing their skills and backgrounds, to continue our critical efforts.” House Republican Members (25) expected to serve on the House Foreign Affairs Committee in the 114th Congress: Edward R. Royce, Chairman (R-CA) Christopher H. Smith (R- NJ) Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) Steve Chabot (R-OH) Joe Wilson (R-SC) Michael T. McCaul (R-TX) Ted Poe (R-TX) Matt Salmon (R-AZ) Tom Marino (R-PA) Jeff Duncan (R-SC) Darrell Issa (R-CA) Mo Brooks (R-AL) Paul Cook (R-CA) Randy K. Weber Sr. (R-TX) Scott Perry (R-PA) Ron DeSantis (R-FL) Mark Meadows (R-NC) Ted S. Yoho (R-FL) Curt Clawson (R-FL) Scott DesJarlais (R-TN) Reid Ribble (R-WI) Dave Trott (R-MI) Lee Zeldin (R-NY) Tom Emmer (R-MN)
Washington, DC 20515