Committee on Foreign Affairs

Ed Royce

Never Forget

2016/05/30

Memorial Day is a day set apart. It is a day to honor our men and women who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our great nation.

While leading a delegation to the Middle East and North Africa earlier this spring, Chairman Royce was honored to lay a wreath at the American Cemetery in Tunisia.  Thousands of Americans who died driving the Nazis out of North Africa are buried there.

We must never forget those who gave their lives to defend our freedom and liberate the oppressed.

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House Foreign Affairs Committee Passes State Authorities Bill

2016/05/26

Washington, D.C. – Today, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, chaired by Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), passed, as amended, the Department of State Operations Authorization and Embassy Security Act (S. 1635).  The legislation authorizes critical embassy security enhancements to protect U.S. personnel overseas, improves Committee and Inspector General oversight of the State Department, and streamlines and modernizes key aspects of the Department’s bureaucracy. 

[A summary of today’s Committee action, including adopted amendments, will be available HERE.]

In remarks prior to passage of S. 1635, as amended, Chairman Royce said:  “The annual authorization of the Department of State is the signature legislative action of this Committee.  It is our responsibility. The House has passed an authorization bill in each of the last six Congresses – but unfortunately it’s been 15 years since this legislation was signed into law.  We have an opportunity to break this unfortunate streak.

“From improving oversight capacity of the Inspector General – an office this Committee successfully fought to have filled after sitting vacant for five years – to strengthening embassy security, today’s legislation improves the Committee’s ability to influence the agenda and activities of the Department of State.

“As a result of contributions from many members, this is a strengthened and important product; a bipartisan bill that bolsters this Committee’s role as overseer of State Department operations.  I look forward to seeing this measure advance.”

This legislation improves embassy and personnel security by:

  • Requiring the State Department to designate a list of high-risk, high-threat posts, thereby prioritizing resources and security for these posts;
  • Directing the State Department and Defense Department to jointly develop enhanced contingency plans for emergency situations, including planning for rapid deployment of military resources;
  • Improving security for the children and families of U.S. diplomats abroad;
  • Increasing the Department’s ability to hold personnel accountable for misconduct and unsatisfactory conduct related to embassy security;
  • Enhancing security training requirements for personnel assigned to high-risk, high-threat posts;
  • Expanding the Department’s ability to transfer funds from other accounts for immediate embassy security needs;
  • Authorizing the Department to use “best value” contracting globally, ensuring the highest standards of local guards providing security at embassies abroad; and
  • Improving the integrity of U.S. passports, ensuring that all security components are made in the U.S. by personnel with appropriate security clearances.

This legislation improves congressional and Inspector General oversight by:

  • Ensuring that the files and emails of the Inspector General (OIG) are not accessible by unauthorized Department employees;
  • Increasing the OIG’s access to reported instances of waste, fraud, and abuse;
  • Mandating monthly briefings to Congress on embassy security, especially at high risk, high threat posts; and

Increases UN transparency and holds the UN accountable for sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeepers:

  • Requires the Department to develop a comprehensive strategy and implementation plan for using U.S. influence at the UN to reduce sexual exploitation, peacekeeper misconduct, and abuse by peacekeeping forces;
  • Requires an annual report from OMB on all U.S. contributions to the UN and a directive to seek a commitment from the UN to make peacekeeping credits available;
  • Requires the Comptroller General to conduct a study of the UN assessment formula for peacekeeping missions; and
  • Requires the Secretary to develop and maintain a publicly available list which identifies peacekeeping abuses and “countries of particular concern.”

The bill text and a section-by-section summary for S. 1635 (as amended) are available HERE.

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Subcommittee Hearing: The ISIS Genocide Declaration: What Next?

2016/05/26

Webcast:

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Foreign Affairs Committee to Consider State Authorities Bill – Tomorrow 9:30 a.m.

2016/05/25

Washington, D.C. – The House Foreign Affairs Committee, chaired by Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), will meet TOMORROW at 9:30 a.m. to consider S. 1635, the Department of State Operations Authorization and Embassy Security Act.  An Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute is expected to be offered by Chairman Royce.

The legislation authorizes critical embassy security enhancements to protect U.S. personnel overseas, improves Committee and Inspector General oversight of the State Department, and streamlines and modernizes key aspects of the Department’s bureaucracy. 

What:Markup: S. 1635

When: 9:30 a.m., Thursday, May 26

Where: 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

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

***Coverage note:  All Foreign Affairs Committee proceedings are webcast live at www.foreignaffairs.house.gov/live-video-feed.

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House Foreign Affairs Committee Continues Oversight of Obama Administration’s Flawed Iran Nuclear Deal

2016/05/25

Chairman Royce Opening Statement

Washington, D.C. – House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) has convened a hearing to continue oversight on the administration’s nuclear deal with Iran and its consequences for U.S. national security.  The hearing is entitled “Iran Nuclear Deal Oversight: Implementation and its Consequences (Part II).”  Live webcast and witness testimony is available HERE.

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

Last week, a commander in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps made headlines around the world for boasting that Iran could wipe out Israel “in less than eight minutes.”

Remember, this is the same Iran that Secretary Kerry is promoting as “open for business.”

Sadly, in the four months since the nuclear agreement with Iran was implemented – few things have surprised me.

  • I expected Iran to continue full speed ahead with its intercontinental ballistic missile program. And it has – testing at least two ICBMs. And intercontinental means able to reach the U.S. We have also seen the testing of ballistic missiles marked “Israel must be wiped off the earth.     
  • It’s no surprise that Iran’s abysmal human rights record continues, and that the agreement is strengthening the Revolutionary Guards and others responsible for these abuses. 
  • I’m not all that surprised that Iran may hold its nuclear program to the letter of the agreement.  After all, it was this Committee that exposed the agreement’s central flaw – the sunset clause.  With its nuclear infrastructure kept intact and key restrictions that expire, Iran does not have to cheat to get the bomb.  Instead, it must simply wait out the clock.   

But what is astonishing is the length the Obama Administration has gone to accommodate Iran. It is bad enough that the Administration essentially rewrote counterterrorism laws through executive action or that it has hardly responded to Iran’s missile tests. The Administration told us that sanctions on Iran’s terrorism, human rights and ballistic missiles would be fully enforced after the agreement. Yet, it now says that non-nuclear sanctions would undermine the Iran agreement. The White House’s Iran policy amounts to walking on eggshells. 

And in another odd twist, the Obama Administration is going beyond the nuclear agreement to purchase material used in the production of nuclear weapons from Iran. As one prominent nuclear expert summed-up, “We shouldn’t be paying them for something they shouldn’t be producing in the first place.”

But the State Department has taken its advocacy for Tehran to a new and disturbing level by trying to persuade major non-U.S. banks that doing Iran-related business is not only permitted, but is actually encouraged. As one witness told the Committee earlier this month, we are acting as the “business development and trade promotion authority of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”     

International businesses must deal with the reality of an Iran whose Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps controls broad swaths of the Iranian economy – not the Administration’s fantasy in which Iran’s behavior can be ignored and investment can be pushed into the country. They hear the warnings of the Financial Action Task Force, which sets global anti-money laundering standards. As Stuart Levey, the former Treasury official who was responsible for much of the sanctions architecture that squeezed Iran wrote in the Wall Street Journal, why is “Washington pushing non-U.S. banks to do what it is still illegal for American bankers to do?”

Last week, Secretary Kerry went so far as to say that European leaders are looking at ways to subsidize investments into Iran. Where does it stop?  And Iran is still pushing for access to the U.S. dollar, the world’s top currency. Given the Administration’s lack of any resolve to stand up to the Supreme Leader, we are right to pursue legislation to prevent that from happening. 

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Subcommittee Hearing: Tunisia’s Struggle for Stability, Security, and Democracy

2016/05/25

Webcast:

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Hearing: Iran Nuclear Deal Oversight: Implementation and Its Consequences (Part II)

2016/05/25

Webcast:

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A Look Ahead—May 24-27

2016/05/24

Washington, D.C. – Today, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) announced the following upcoming Committee events:

Tuesday, May 24

Subcommittee Hearing: The U.S.-Saudi Arabia Counterterrorism Relationship

2 p.m. on Tuesday, May 24 in 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX), Chairman

Invited Witnesses Include:

The Honorable Tim Roemer, Ph.D. (Former 9/11 Commissioner)

Mr. Simon Henderson Director Gulf and Energy Policy Program The Washington Institute for Near East Policy

Ms. Karen Elliot House Senior Fellow Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs Harvard University

Daniel L. Byman, Ph.D. Professor Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service Georgetown University

Chairman Poe on the hearing: “The 70-year old friendship between the United States and Saudi Arabia has evolved into a strategic partnership. When it comes to counterterrorism, Saudi Arabia has made significant strides since 9/11 to improve its efforts to counter terrorist financing and collaborate with the U.S. and the international community in fighting against our common terrorist enemies. This hearing will allow Members to hear about this evolution as well as some of the ways the Kingdom can continue to improve.”

Wednesday, May 25

Hearing: Iran Nuclear Deal Oversight: Implementation and its Consequences (Part II)

10 a.m. on Wednesday, May 25 in 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

Committee on Foreign Affairs Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman

Invited Witnesses Include:

The Honorable Stephen D. Mull Lead Coordinator for Iran Nuclear Implementation U.S. Department of State

The Honorable Thomas M. Countryman Assistant Secretary Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation U.S. Department of State

Mr. Adam J. Szubin Acting Under Secretary Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence U.S. Department of the Treasury

Chairman Royce on the hearing: “The president’s nuclear agreement is showing its dangerous flaws.  The Iranian regime is demanding more cash, above and beyond sanctions relief from the nuclear deal.  And rather than confront Tehran’s dangerous and provocative acts, the administration is desperately trying to push European banks to invest in Iran.  This hearing will allow members to press top administration officials on this alarming approach.”  

Wednesday, May 25

Subcommittee Hearing: Tunisia’s Struggle for Stability, Security, and Democracy

2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 25 in 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman

Invited Witnesses Include:

Mr. John Desrocher Deputy Assistant Secretary for Egypt and Maghreb Affairs Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs U.S. Department of State

Ms. Maria Longi Deputy Assistant Administrator Bureau for the Middle East U.S. Agency for International Development

Chairman Ros-Lehtinen on the hearing: “Despite extraordinary strides since 2011, Tunisia’s democratic transition is in a critical stage with mounting political, economic, and security challenges. Weak institutions, electoral challenges, and a reeling economy dependent on a tourism sector plagued by security risks all threaten to jeopardize the progress Tunisia has made. As an important U.S. ally and partner, Tunisia continues to represent a tremendous opportunity as a stable, prosperous, and democratic state in an increasingly chaotic region, and the United States must prioritize its engagement and assistance accordingly. This hearing will allow Subcommittee members to examine recent challenges in Tunisia and assess the administration’s policies, including efforts to assist with Tunisia’s democratic transition, the U.S.-Tunisia Joint Economic Commission, and counterterrorism cooperation against ISIS and other extremist threats.”

Thursday, May 26

Markup: S. 1635

9:30 a.m. on Thursday, May 26 in 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

Committee on Foreign Affairs Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman

Measures to be Marked Up Include:

S. 1635, Department of State Operations Authorization and Embassy Security Act, Fiscal Year 2016

Thursday, May 26

Subcommittee Hearing: The ISIS Genocide Declaration: What Next?

12 p.m. on Thursday, May 26 in 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ), Chairman

Invited Witnesses Include:

Mr. Carl A. Anderson Supreme Knight Knights of Columbus

Mr. Sarhang Hamasseed Senior Program Officer Middle East and Africa Programs U.S. Institute of Peace

Mr. Johnny Oram Executive Director Chaldean Assyrian Business Alliance

Mr. David M. Crane Professor of Practice Syracuse University College of Law (Former Chief Prosecutor, United Nations Special Court for Sierra Leone)

Chairman Smith on the hearing: “Now that the Administration has designated religious minorities in Iraq and Syria as the victims of genocide by ISIS, the question is ‘what’s next?’  Our hearing will convene a panel of experts who will give its recommendations as to what the Administration needs to do to protect the most vulnerable and to seek justice in Iraq and Syria.  Now that we have achieved an important moral victory–a declaration that what ISIS is doing is, in fact, genocide–the United States cannot walk away, which would revictimize these people via indifference.  We–and the suffering people of Iraq and Syria–need to know what the next step is.”

 

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

***Coverage note:  All Foreign Affairs Committee proceedings are webcast live at www.foreignaffairs.house.gov/live-video-feed.

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House Foreign Affairs Committee Continues Oversight of Obama Administration’s Flawed Iran Nuclear Deal

2016/05/24

Washington, D.C. – House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) announced the Committee will convene a hearing tomorrow to continue oversight on the administration’s nuclear deal with Iran and its consequences for U.S. national security.  The hearing, entitled “Iran Nuclear Deal Oversight: Implementation and its Consequences (Part II),” will begin at 10 a.m. ET.

Chairman Royce on the hearing:  “The president’s nuclear agreement is showing its dangerous flaws.  The Iranian regime is demanding more cash, above and beyond sanctions relief from the nuclear deal.  And rather than confront Tehran’s dangerous and provocative acts, the administration is desperately trying to push European banks to invest in Iran.  This hearing will allow members to press top administration officials on this alarming approach.”  

What:Hearing: Iran Nuclear Deal Oversight: Implementation and its Consequences (Part II)

When: Wednesday, May 25 at 10 a.m. ET

Where: 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

Witnesses: The Honorable Stephen D. Mull Lead Coordinator for Iran Nuclear Implementation U.S. Department of State

The Honorable Thomas M. Countryman Assistant Secretary Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation U.S. Department of State

Mr. Adam J. Szubin Acting Under Secretary Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence U.S. Department of the Treasury

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

***Coverage note:  All Foreign Affairs Committee proceedings are webcast live at www.foreignaffairs.house.gov/live-video-feed.

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Subcommittee Hearing: The U.S.-Saudi Arabia Counterterrorism Relationship

2016/05/24

Webcast:

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