Committee on Foreign Affairs

Ed Royce

Hearing: Cuba: Assessing the Administration’s Sudden Shift

2015/02/04

***See important planning note/RSVP requirement for media***

Chairman Royce on the hearing: “The Obama Administration’s sudden shift on Cuba policy raises many concerns, including how hard the United States pressed the Castro regime on its abysmal human rights record during the secret White House negotiations that cut out the State Department.  Cuba has been the region’s worst human rights violator for decades, and dissidents on the island have long looked to the United States for support and solidarity.  Now the Administration  is normalizing relations with this oppressive regime without insisting on dramatic improvements in the human rights front.   And more business that gives hard currency to the regime while workers get a few scraps of local currency is a recipe for greater repression, not Cuban liberation. This hearing will provide an opportunity for the Committee to press State, Treasury, and Commerce Department officials for the many missing details of its entire normalization plan.”

WITNESSES:

The Honorable Roberta S. Jacobson Assistant Secretary Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs U.S. Department of State

Mr. John E. Smith Deputy Director Office of Foreign Assets Control U.S. Department of the Treasury

Mr. Matthew S. Borman Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration Bureau of Industry and Security U.S. Department of Commerce

**Important planning note/RSVP requirement for press covering hearing**

The hearing will be webcast at www.foreignaffairs.house.gov/live-video-feed.

The hearing room will likely not be able to accommodate all members of the media wishing to cover the hearing from the press viewing area.

Only Congressionally credentialed members of the media will be allowed access to the press viewing area in the committee hearing room and must RSVP to their respective Press Gallery by 5pm on Tuesday, February 3.

All television crews must RSVP to the House Radio TV Gallery at 202-225-5214.

Gallery contact information:

House Radio/TV Gallery:  202-225-5214 House Periodical Gallery:  202-225-2941 House Daily Press Gallery:  202-225-3945 Photographer Gallery:  202-224-6548

***Any changes to witness list will be reflected above.  

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Subcommittee Hearing: The Palestinian Authority’s International Criminal Court Gambit: A True Partner for Peace?

2015/02/04

WITNESSES:

Jonathan Schanzer, Ph.D. Vice President for Research Foundation for Defense of Democracies

Mr. Eugene Konotorvich   Professor of Law Northwestern University School of Law

Ms. Danielle Pletka Senior Vice President Foreign and Defense Policy Studies American Enterprise Institute

Mr. David Makovsky Ziegler Distinguished Fellow The Washington Institute for Near East Policy

 

***Any changes to witness list will be reflected above.

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Subcommittee Hearing: The Strategic Importance of the Western Hemisphere: Defining U.S. Interests in the Region

2015/02/03

WITNESSES:

Shannon K. O’Neil, Ph.D. Senior Fellow for Latin America Studies Council on Foreign Relations

Ms. Bonnie Glick Senior Vice President GlobalConnect Division Meridian International Center

Evan Ellis, Ph.D. Research Professor of Latin American Studies Strategic Studies Institute U.S. Army War College

Mr. Eric Farnsworth Vice President Council of the Americas and Americas Society

 

***Any changes to witness list will be reflected above.

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Chairman Royce Announces Cuba Hearing for February 4

2015/01/28

Follow Committee on Facebook (on.fb.me/10dOr5g) and Twitter (@HouseForeign)

***See important planning note/RSVP requirement for media***

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, announced that the Committee will convene a hearing next Wednesday, February 4 to examine the Obama Administration’s recent policy shift on Cuba.  The hearing, entitled “Cuba: Assessing the Administration’s Sudden Shift," will begin at 10 a.m.

Chairman Royce on the hearing: “The Obama Administration’s sudden shift on Cuba policy raises many concerns, including how hard the United States pressed the Castro regime on its abysmal human rights record during the secret White House negotiations that cut out the State Department.  Cuba has been the region’s worst human rights violator for decades, and dissidents on the island have long looked to the United States for support and solidarity.  Now the Administration  is normalizing relations with this oppressive regime without insisting on dramatic improvements in the human rights front.   And more business that gives hard currency to the regime while workers get a few scraps of local currency is a recipe for greater repression, not Cuban liberation. This hearing will provide an opportunity for the Committee to press State, Treasury, and Commerce Department officials for the many missing details of its entire normalization plan.”

What: Hearing:  Cuba: Assessing the Administration’s Sudden Shift

When: 10 a.m. on Wednesday, February 4

Where: 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

Witnesses: The Honorable Roberta S. Jacobson Assistant Secretary Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs U.S. Department of State

Mr. John E. Smith Deputy Director Office of Foreign Assets Control U.S. Department of the Treasury

Mr. Matthew S. Borman Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration Bureau of Industry and Security U.S. Department of Commerce

**Important planning note/RSVP requirement for press covering hearing**

The hearing will be webcast at www.foreignaffairs.house.gov/live-video-feed.

The hearing room will likely not be able to accommodate all members of the media wishing to cover the hearing from the press viewing area.

Only Congressionally credentialed members of the media will be allowed access to the press viewing area in the committee hearing room and must RSVP to their respective Press Gallery by 5pm on Tuesday, February 3.

All television crews must RSVP to the House Radio TV Gallery at 202-225-5214.

Gallery contact information:

House Radio/TV Gallery:  202-225-5214 House Periodical Gallery:  202-225-2941 House Daily Press Gallery:  202-225-3945 Photographer Gallery:  202-224-6548

***See www.foreignaffairs.house.gov for updates.

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House Foreign Affairs Committee Leaders Write Secretary Kerry on Palestinian Authority

2015/01/27

Washington, D.C. – Leaders of the House Foreign Affairs Committee have sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry to express their concern about the Palestinian Authority’s decision to join the International Criminal Court.

Signatories to the letter are: Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman; Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), Ranking Member; Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX), Chairman, Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade Subcommittee; Rep. Bill Keating (D-MA), Ranking Member, Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade Subcommittee; Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ), Chairman, Asia and the Pacific Subcommittee; Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA), Ranking Member, Asia and the Pacific Subcommittee; Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Chairman, Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats Subcommittee; Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Ranking Member, Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats Subcommittee; Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman, Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee; Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), Ranking Member, Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee; Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Chairman, Western Hemisphere Subcommittee; Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ), Ranking Member, Western Hemisphere Subcommittee; and Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), Chairman, Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations.

In the letter to Secretary Kerry, the Committee leaders write: “This development is deeply troubling. If the PA becomes a member of the ICC, it will undoubtedly attempt to exploit the organization for its own purposes and ultimately make the prospect of peace with Israel far more difficult to achieve. We believe the actions that the PA has taken require an immediate and forceful response from the United States that is commensurate with the gravity of its decision. We understand that the State Department is conducting a review of assistance to the PA in light of recent developments. The United States should not support direct economic assistance to the PA until it demonstrates a meaningful reversal of this destructive course and proves it can be a willing partner for peace.”

The signed letter to Secretary Kerry is available HERE.

The text of the letter and a list of signatories follow:

January 22, 2015

The Honorable John F. Kerry Secretary of State U.S. Department of State Washington, D.C. 20520

Dear Mr. Secretary:

We write to you to express our deep concern regarding the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) decision to join the International Criminal Court (ICC). On January 7, the State Department’s spokeswoman remarked that Palestine “doesn’t qualify to join the ICC.” Unfortunately, the United Nations does not share the State Department’s viewpoint. On January 6, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced that the Palestinians would become ICC members as of April 1, 2015. Regrettably, on January 16, 2015, the Prosecutor of the ICC opened a “preliminary examination of the situation in Palestine.”

This development is deeply troubling. If the PA becomes a member of the ICC, it will undoubtedly attempt to exploit the organization for its own purposes and ultimately make the prospect of peace with Israel far more difficult to achieve. We believe the actions that the PA has taken require an immediate and forceful response from the United States that is commensurate with the gravity of its decision. We understand that the State Department is conducting a review of assistance to the PA in light of recent developments. The United States should not support direct economic assistance to the PA until it demonstrates a meaningful reversal of this destructive course and proves it can be a willing partner for peace.

The actions of the PA have greatly aggravated the already fragile political environment in the region. The United States must make it clear that the only path to a Palestinian state is through direct negotiations. The Palestinian Authority has already undertaken actions that will have long-term implications for our relationship with that entity. If it continues to move forward at the ICC, it will be risking irreparable harm to not only the prospects for peace, but the long-term viability of the PA itself.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter and we look forward to your response.

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Chairman Royce Opening Statement for Hearing on Iran Nuclear Negotiations at Today 10 a.m.

2015/01/27

Chairman Royce Opening Statement

#NoNuclearIran

Washington, D.C. – Today at 10 a.m., U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, will convene the Committee’s first hearing of the 114th Congress, which will examine the ongoing Iran nuclear negotiations.  The hearing is entitled “Iran Nuclear Negotiations After the Second Extension: Where Are They Going?".

Live webcast and witness testimony will be available HERE.

 

Below is Chairman Royce’s opening statement as prepared for delivery at the hearing:

This morning we’re looking at the prospects for reaching a viable nuclear agreement with Iran; one that increases our national security.  This has been, and will continue to be, the Committee’s top priority.

We have had a decade of diplomatic negotiations over Iran’s pursuit of nuclear technology in violation of U.N. Security Council Resolutions. These have reached their height over the past year, as the Obama Administration – along with the UK, France, Russia, China, and Germany—have been seeking to negotiate a “long-term comprehensive solution” to Iran’s illicit nuclear program.  During these talks, Iran has agreed to limit its nuclear program temporarily in return for some sanctions relief. 

A final agreement would free Iran of sanctions - which has driven it to the negotiating table - while allowing it to maintain a “mutually defined enrichment program,” to be treated like any other “non-nuclear weapon state party to the [Nonproliferation Treaty].”  That best case would leave Iran as a threshold nuclear state.  But worse, any limits placed on Iran’s nuclear program as part of the “comprehensive solution” would expire.  Maybe in ten years, maybe sooner. 

Negotiations – now into their second extension – appear to be stalemated.  That’s even after U.S. negotiators move closer and closer to Iranian positions.  According to the Administration, “big gaps” remain, and a senior official hinted last week that talks may extend again come June’s deadline.

Meanwhile, Tehran has been advancing its nuclear program: pursuing new reactors; testing a new generation of centrifuges and operating its illicit procurement networks. These actions clearly violate the spirit of the interim agreement.  Yet, the Administration appears more concerned that sanctions – designed to strengthen its negotiating hand and which would have no impact unless Iran walks away from negotiations – could sink an agreement.  Let’s be clear: if an agreement is sunk, it is because Iran has no interest in abandoning its drive to nuclear weapons, which is what many of us believe.   

Of course, Iran’s nuclear work isn’t Tehran’s only provocation.  While Iranian diplomats put on a good face in a European negotiating room, its IRGC, Quds Force and other proxies have been busy working to influence and ultimately dominate the region.  Iran is boosting Assad in Syria, Hezbollah continues to threaten Israel and hopes for a unified and stable Iraq are being undercut by Iran.  Last summer, Iranian-supplied rockets to Hamas rained down on Israel. 

And last week, an Iranian-backed militia displaced the government in Yemen, a key counterterrorism partner of ours.  Most in the region see Iran pocketing a nuclear deal and continuing with its domination – certainly no winning game plan to stabilize the Middle East. 

Not to mention that Iran’s horrendous repression at home continues.  This isn’t a negotiating partner that gives much confidence.   

If we are going to have any chance of a deal that advances U.S. national security interests, Iran’s leaders have to feel that their only choice is a verifiable and meaningful agreement. 

We are far from it.  Worse, many in the region feel Iran is on the rise.  Falling oil prices should strengthen our hand, but the Obama Administration has yet to explain a single change as to how it will negotiate differently with Iran over the coming months. 

While the Administration reaches for a deal, it should do so understanding the regime’s duplicity and militancy.  In addition to more economic pressure, we should have an Iran policy with thought-provoking broadcasting to inspire Iranian dissent, a focus on its horrendous human rights abuses and illicit procurement networks, as well as bolstering allies in the region that face Iranian aggression. 

As one former intelligence official told the Committee last year, “Iran’s nuclear program is just the tip of a revolutionary spear that extends across the world and threatens key U.S. interests.”  This is a regime that is playing for keeps.  Yet sometimes it seems the Administration is more concerned about Congress moving on sanctions than pressuring its treacherous and deadly negotiating partner.                                                               

We look forward to hearing from our witnesses today on the future of these discussions and options we can pursue that would truly end the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran. 

*Note:  Chairman Royce is the author of the Nuclear Iran Prevention Act (H.R. 850), which passed the House in 2013 and broadens economic sanctions, strengthens human rights sanctions, and increases oversight of the implementation and enforcement of existing sanctions.  Last year, the Committee launched a webpage on Iran to highlight bipartisan efforts to prevent a nuclear Iran.  The webpage is available at www.foreignaffairs.house.gov/NoNuclearIran.

 

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Hearing on Iran Nuclear Negotiations to Move Forward as Scheduled at 10 a.m. Today

2015/01/27

Chairman Royce Opening Statement

#NoNuclearIran

Washington, D.C. – Today at 10 a.m., U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, will convene the Committee’s first hearing of the 114th Congress, which will examine the ongoing Iran nuclear negotiations.  The hearing is entitled “Iran Nuclear Negotiations After the Second Extension: Where Are They Going?".

Live webcast and witness testimony will be available HERE.   Below is Chairman Royce’s opening statement as prepared for delivery at the hearing:

This morning we’re looking at the prospects for reaching a viable nuclear agreement with Iran; one that increases our national security.  This has been, and will continue to be, the Committee’s top priority.

We have had a decade of diplomatic negotiations over Iran’s pursuit of nuclear technology in violation of U.N. Security Council Resolutions. These have reached their height over the past year, as the Obama Administration – along with the UK, France, Russia, China, and Germany—have been seeking to negotiate a “long-term comprehensive solution” to Iran’s illicit nuclear program.  During these talks, Iran has agreed to limit its nuclear program temporarily in return for some sanctions relief. 

A final agreement would free Iran of sanctions - which has driven it to the negotiating table - while allowing it to maintain a “mutually defined enrichment program,” to be treated like any other “non-nuclear weapon state party to the [Nonproliferation Treaty].”  That best case would leave Iran as a threshold nuclear state.  But worse, any limits placed on Iran’s nuclear program as part of the “comprehensive solution” would expire.  Maybe in ten years, maybe sooner. 

Negotiations – now into their second extension – appear to be stalemated.  That’s even after U.S. negotiators move closer and closer to Iranian positions.  According to the Administration, “big gaps” remain, and a senior official hinted last week that talks may extend again come June’s deadline.

Meanwhile, Tehran has been advancing its nuclear program: pursuing new reactors; testing a new generation of centrifuges and operating its illicit procurement networks. These actions clearly violate the spirit of the interim agreement.  Yet, the Administration appears more concerned that sanctions – designed to strengthen its negotiating hand and which would have no impact unless Iran walks away from negotiations – could sink an agreement.  Let’s be clear: if an agreement is sunk, it is because Iran has no interest in abandoning its drive to nuclear weapons, which is what many of us believe.   

Of course, Iran’s nuclear work isn’t Tehran’s only provocation.  While Iranian diplomats put on a good face in a European negotiating room, its IRGC, Quds Force and other proxies have been busy working to influence and ultimately dominate the region.  Iran is boosting Assad in Syria, Hezbollah continues to threaten Israel and hopes for a unified and stable Iraq are being undercut by Iran.  Last summer, Iranian-supplied rockets to Hamas rained down on Israel. 

And last week, an Iranian-backed militia displaced the government in Yemen, a key counterterrorism partner of ours.  Most in the region see Iran pocketing a nuclear deal and continuing with its domination – certainly no winning game plan to stabilize the Middle East. 

Not to mention that Iran’s horrendous repression at home continues.  This isn’t a negotiating partner that gives much confidence.   

If we are going to have any chance of a deal that advances U.S. national security interests, Iran’s leaders have to feel that their only choice is a verifiable and meaningful agreement. 

We are far from it.  Worse, many in the region feel Iran is on the rise.  Falling oil prices should strengthen our hand, but the Obama Administration has yet to explain a single change as to how it will negotiate differently with Iran over the coming months. 

While the Administration reaches for a deal, it should do so understanding the regime’s duplicity and militancy.  In addition to more economic pressure, we should have an Iran policy with thought-provoking broadcasting to inspire Iranian dissent, a focus on its horrendous human rights abuses and illicit procurement networks, as well as bolstering allies in the region that face Iranian aggression. 

As one former intelligence official told the Committee last year, “Iran’s nuclear program is just the tip of a revolutionary spear that extends across the world and threatens key U.S. interests.”  This is a regime that is playing for keeps.  Yet sometimes it seems the Administration is more concerned about Congress moving on sanctions than pressuring its treacherous and deadly negotiating partner.                                                               

We look forward to hearing from our witnesses today on the future of these discussions and options we can pursue that would truly end the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran. 

*Note:  Chairman Royce is the author of the Nuclear Iran Prevention Act (H.R. 850), which passed the House in 2013 and broadens economic sanctions, strengthens human rights sanctions, and increases oversight of the implementation and enforcement of existing sanctions.  Last year, the Committee launched a webpage on Iran to highlight bipartisan efforts to prevent a nuclear Iran.  The webpage is available at www.foreignaffairs.house.gov/NoNuclearIran.

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Subcommittee Hearing: Nigeria on the Brink?

2015/01/27

View Archive Hearing Video:

WITNESSES: Panel I

The Honorable Robert P. Jackson Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Bureau of African Affairs U.S. Department of State[full text of statement]

Panel II

J. Peter Pham, Ph.D. Director Africa Center Atlantic Council[full text of statement][truth in testimony form]

Mr. Jadegoke Adebonajo Badejo Principal Partner Bonajo Badejo & Co.[full text of statement][truth in testimony form]

Mr. Emmanuel Ogebe Manager Peaceful Polls 2015 Project[full text of statement] [truth in testimony form]

Chris Fomunyoh, Ph.D. Senior Associate and Regional Director for Central and West Africa National Democratic Institute[full text of statement][truth in testimony form]

 

***Any changes to witness list will be reflected above.  

 

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Hearing: Iran Nuclear Negotiations After the Second Extension: Where Are They Going?

2015/01/27

View Archive Hearing Video:

(Part 1 of 2):

(Part 2 of 2):

OPENING STATEMENT:

Rep. Edward R. Royce, Chairman[full text of opening statement]

Chairman Royce's Opening Statement:

WITNESSES:

Chairman Royce Questions Witnesses:

The Honorable Eric S. Edelman Distinguished Fellow Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments[full text of statement][truth in testimony form]

Mr. John Hannah Senior Fellow Foundation for Defense of Democracies[full text of statement][truth in testimony form]

Mr. Ray Takeyh Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies Council on Foreign Relations[full text of statement][truth in testimony form]

The Honorable Robert Einhorn Senior Fellow Foreign Policy Program The Brookings Institution[full text of statement][truth in testimony form]

 

***Any changes to witness list will be reflected above.

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Subcommittee Hearing: The Evolution of Terrorist Propaganda: The Paris Attack and Social Media

2015/01/27

View Archive Hearing Video:

OPENING STATEMENTS:

Chairman Poe's Opening Statement:

WITNESSES:

Chairman Poe Questions Witnesses:

The Honorable Mark Wallace Chief Executive Officer Counter Extremism Project[full text of statement][truth in testimony form]

Mr. J.M. Berger Author[full text of statement][truth in testimony form]

Mr. Evan Kohlmann Chief Information Officer Flashpoint Partners[full text of statement] [truth in testimony form]

Ms. Rebecca MacKinnon Director, Ranking Digital Rights New America[full text of statement][truth in testimony form]

 

***Any changes to witness list will be reflected above.

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Adam Kinzinger

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Tom Marino

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Michael McCaul

TEXAS' 10th DISTRICT

Mark Meadows

NORTH CAROLINA's 11th DISTRICT

Luke Messer

INDIANA's 6th DISTRICT

Scott Perry

PENNSYLVANIA's 4th DISTRICT

Ted Poe

TEXAS' 2nd DISTRICT

Dana Rohrabacher

CALIFORNIA's 48th DISTRICT

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen

FLORIDA's 27th DISTRICT

Ed Royce

CALIFORNIA's 39th DISTRICT

Matt Salmon

ARIZONA's 5th DISTRICT

Christopher Smith

NEW JERSEY's 4th DISTRICT

Steve Stockman

TEXAS' 36th DISTRICT

Randy Weber

TEXAS' 14th DISTRICT

Joe Wilson

SOUTH CAROLINA's 2nd DISTRICT

Ted Yoho

FLORIDA's 3rd DISTRICT