Committee on Foreign Affairs

Ed Royce

Chairman Royce, Ranking Member Engel Introduce Resolution Supporting Israel against International Boycott Efforts

2015/07/30

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), the Committee’s Ranking Member, have introduced H. Res. 402, a bipartisan resolution that supports Israel in its efforts to counter the boycott, sanctions and divestment movement against Israel.   

On the resolution’s introduction, Royce and Engel said: “This resolution expresses our intention to continue standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Israel in opposition to all forms of economic warfare.  From the Arab League’s past boycott of Israel, to today’s efforts to boycott and divest from Israel, to threatened sanctions on companies that operate there, Congress has a long history of acting against efforts designed to weaken, pressure, or otherwise isolate Israel.”

Specifically, the resolution:

  • opposes politically motivated acts of boycott, divestment from, and sanctions against Israel;
  • calls on the Obama Administration to actively oppose politically motivated acts of boycott, divestment from, and sanctions against Israel at international organizations and forums; and
  • supports efforts by state legislatures to enact measures that oppose politically motivated acts of boycott, divestment from, and sanctions against Israel.

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Chairman Royce to Convene Hearing on ISIS Violence Against Women and Girls – Today 10 a.m.

2015/07/29

Chairman Royce opening statement

Washington, D.C. – Today at 10 a.m., U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, will convene a hearing to examine ISIS’s violence against women.  The hearing is entitled, “Women Under ISIS Rule: From Brutality to Recruitment.”  This hearing is the first in a series the Committee will hold to examine the challenges facing women and girls around the globe.

Chairman Royce’s opening statement (as prepared for delivery) follows: 

I am pleased to announce that this will be the first of several hearings on the status of women around the world.  The Committee has worked on a bipartisan basis to promote women in our development efforts, and I believe these hearings will allow us to build on that good work. 

Today we look at the brutalization and oppression of women living under ISIS.  This violence against women is almost without parallel, from widespread rape and trafficking to forced marriage and murder.  Female captives, including thousands of Yazidi women and girls, are sold like cattle in modern-day slave markets.  One UN official described meeting with a woman in ISIS-occupied territory who was forced to marry fifteen different men in one year.  Some of these so-called “marriages” lasted only three days. 

As one witness will testify, much of this seemingly crazed and indiscriminate violence against women is in fact a sinister and calculated strategy that goes to the heart of ISIS’s survival.  By forcing local women to marry into ISIS, the group expands its demographic base while reducing the population of those diverse communities it seeks to eradicate and replace.

Simply put, ISIS needs women – needs to control them – to establish its “caliphate” and give rise to the next generation of ISIS. That is why ISIS is investing heavily in recruiting foreign women to join its ranks.  And with each girl who becomes brainwashed, ISIS has a new poster child for its jihadi girl-power propaganda. 

Sometimes it can seem like all we do is look at the worst of humanity.  So I appreciate the efforts of Mr. Watts, one of our witnesses, to elevate the voices of those courageous individuals who are working to counter ISIS, often at great personal risk. 

For all the horrible atrocities being committed in this region, there are also incredible stories of strength and integrity, many of them from the women and girls with the most to lose. 

  • From the Kurdish woman on the front lines against ISIS – who declares she fights “to take back the role of women in society,”
  • To the female first responders, pulling victims from the rubble in Syria,
  • To the captured Yazidi girl described to Mr. Watts, who walked right past her would-be rescuers when she realized ISIS had staged an ambush for them, saving their lives at the expense of her own.

These stories inspire us to act.  Credible voices need to be heard, that ISIS-land is not a utopia.

We must prioritize the physical and psychological welfare of those women and girls who have escaped from ISIS, many of whom have been subjected to unbelievable trauma.

And we need to support leaders in the region, who are confronting the stigma of sexual violence head on, and calling on families to welcome back male and female survivors with open arms.

Although we focus today on ISIS, we know full well that Assad’s brutality against Syrians includes not only barrel bombs and starvation, but also widespread sexual violence.  Ranking Member Engel and I have pressed for the consideration of no-fly or safe zones in the region, and we’re pleased to hear of Turkey’s recently increased cooperation with the U.S. on this issue. 

I now turn to Ranking Member Engel, whose passionate leadership on the crisis in Iraq and Syria has been of great benefit to us all.

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Hearing: Women Under ISIS Rule: From Brutality to Recruitment

2015/07/29

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Subcommittee Hearing: Threats to Press Freedom in the Americas

2015/07/29

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Chairman Royce to Convene Hearing on ISIS Violence Against Women and Girls – Tomorrow 10 a.m.

2015/07/28

Series of hearings begins

Washington, D.C. – Tomorrow at 10 a.m., U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, will convene a hearing to examine ISIS’s violence against women.  The hearing is entitled, “Women Under ISIS Rule: From Brutality to Recruitment.”  This hearing is the first in a series the Committee will hold to examine the challenges facing women and girls around the globe.

Chairman Royce on the hearing: “From widespread sexual violence to trafficking to forced marriage, ISIS’s brutality against women and girls is almost without parallel. But while it may appear indiscriminate, ISIS’s violence against women is calculated and designed to further its goal of establishing an ‘Islamic State.’  In order to better understand how to fight this vicious terrorist group, this hearing will examine ISIS’s violence against women and girls, along with its increasing efforts to recruit female members to join its ranks.”

What:Hearing: Women Under ISIS Rule: From Brutality to Recruitment

When: 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, July 29

Where: 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

Witnesses: Ms. Sasha Havlicek Chief Executive Officer Institute for Strategic Dialogue

Ariel Ahram, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Virginia Tech School of Public and International Affairs                                  

Mr. Edward Watts Director and ProducerEscaping ISIS

Kathleen Kuehnast, Ph.D. Director Gender and Peacebuilding Center for Governance, Law and Society United States Institute of Peace

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Secretaries Kerry, Lew, Moniz to Testify on Iran Nuclear Deal at House Foreign Affairs Committee Hearing – Today 10 a.m.

2015/07/28

Chairman Royce opening statement

Washington, D.C. – Today at 10 a.m., U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, will convene a hearing entitled, “Iran Nuclear Agreement: The Administration’s Case.”  At the hearing, Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew, and Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz will testify about the recently completed Iran nuclear agreement.

The hearing will be the latest in a series of Committee hearings to examine the Obama Administration’s nuclear deal with Iran.  The hearings are part of the 60-day Congressional review period.

Chairman Royce’s opening statement (as prepared for delivery) follows:

Today we continue our review of the nuclear agreement the Obama Administration reached with Iran.  This is a critical hearing on one of the most sweeping diplomatic initiatives in years – some say decades – demanding the Committee’s thorough review.

The global threat from Iran has been a focus of this Committee for as long as I can remember.  Last Congress, we passed comprehensive sanctions legislation by a vote of 400-20.  It would have given Iran’s Supreme Leader a choice between its nuclear program or economic collapse.  But the Administration was successful in blocking that legislation.

So instead of us considering a verifiable, enforceable, and accountable agreement, we are being asked to consider an agreement that gives Iran permanent sanctions relief for temporary nuclear restrictions.  Should Iran be given this special deal?

In September, Committee Members will face the important decision of approving or disapproving this agreement.  We will have that vote only because of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, passed in May, which the Administration didn’t want.  To be frank, the Administration’s preference has been to sideline America’s representatives.  So I was not entirely surprised when the Administration went against bipartisan calls and gave Russia and China and others at the U.N. Security Council a vote on this agreement before the American public.  That’s backwards – and wrong.

We’ve heard serious concerns from experts about the substance of this agreement:

  • First, Iran is not required to dismantle key bomb making technology.  Does that make the world safer?  Second, it is permitted a vast enrichment capacity, reversing decades of bipartisan nonproliferation policy.  Does that make the region more stable?  And third, Iran is allowed to continue its research and development to gain an industrial scale nuclear program once this agreement begins to expire in as little as ten years.  Ten years.  That’s a flash in time, and then Iranian obligations start unwinding.  Does this make the world more secure?
  • We appreciate President Obama’s effort to secure the most intrusive inspections in history – but it came up short.  Instead, there is “managed access,” with Iran, Russia, and China having a say in where international inspectors can and can’t go.  The deal’s 24-day process is a far cry from “anywhere, anytime” – and this provision expires too.  While the Administration has professed absolute knowledge about Iran’s program, it is a fact that we have been surprised by most every major nuclear development in Iran’s history.  And Iran has cheated on every agreement they’ve signed.  So I ask, Mr. Secretary, has Iran earned the right to be trusted?
  • This deal guts the sanctions web that is putting intense pressure on Iran.  Virtually all economic, financial, and energy sanctions disappear.  And where does all that money go?  To the largest terror network on earth.  Gone are the sanctions on Iran’s nuclear program, but also on the “bad banks” that have supported Iran’s terrorism and ballistic missile development.  And to our dismay, Iran won a late concession to remove international restrictions on its ballistic missile program and conventional arms, imperiling the security of the region, and our homeland.

If this agreement goes through, Iran gets a cash bonanza, a boost to its international standing, and a lighted path toward nuclear weapons.  With sweeping sanctions relief, we have lessened our ability to challenge Iran’s conduct across the board.  As Iran grows stronger, we will be weaker to respond.

Yes, the U.S. would roil the diplomatic waters if Congress rejects this deal.  But the U.S. still wields the most powerful economic sanctions in the world – sanctions Iran desperately needs relief from – sanctions that would continue to deter countries and companies from investing in Iran.  I understand the effort the Administration has put into this agreement.  But these are about as high stakes as it gets.  So the Committee must ask if we made the most of our pretty strong hand.  Or, are we willing to bet, as the Administration has, that this is the beginning of a changed Iran?

These are complex issues, and I look forward to what should be an extremely informative hearing.

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Joint Subcommittee Hearing: The Iran-North Korea Strategic Alliance

2015/07/28

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Hearing: Iran Nuclear Agreement: The Administration’s Case

2015/07/28

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Secretaries Kerry, Lew, Moniz to Testify on Iran Nuclear Deal at House Foreign Affairs Committee Hearing Tomorrow

2015/07/27

Chairman Royce, Ranking Member Engel Announce Hearing as Part of 60-Day Congressional Review

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

Washington, D.C. – Tomorrow at 10 a.m., U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), the Committee’s Ranking Member, will convene a hearing entitled, “Iran Nuclear Agreement: The Administration’s Case.”  At the hearing, Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew, and Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz will testify before the Committee on the recently completed Iran nuclear agreement. 

The hearing will be the latest in a series of Committee hearings to examine the Obama Administration’s nuclear deal with Iran.  The hearings are part of the 60-day Congressional review period. 

Chairman Royce on the hearing:  "This Iran deal is one of the most important in decades.  It reverses decades of bipartisan nonproliferation and regional policy, has several shortcomings, and demands the closest scrutiny.  Secretary Kerry and the other Administration officials will face tough questions before the Committee, as we continue our comprehensive review of the Iran deal and the Administration’s overall regional policy."

Ranking Member Engel on the hearing:  “I look forward to hearing from Secretaries Kerry, Lew, and Moniz to discuss the Iran agreement. I have serious questions and concerns about this deal, and input from the Administration will be critical as Congress reviews the proposal.”

What: Hearing: Iran Nuclear Agreement: The Administration’s Case

When:  10 a.m. ET on Tuesday, July 28

Where:  2172 Rayburn House Office Building

Witnesses: The Honorable John F. Kerry Secretary of State U.S. Department of State

The Honorable Ernest Moniz Secretary of Energy U.S. Department of Energy

The Honorable Jacob Lew Secretary of the Treasury U.S. Department of the Treasury

**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 Monday, July 27

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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A Look Ahead—Week of July 27- 31

2015/07/24

(Note RSVP requirement for media covering July 28 hearing on Iran)

Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, announced the following upcoming Committee events:

Tuesday, July 28

Hearing: Iran Nuclear Agreement: The Administration’s Case

10 a.m. on Tuesday, July 28 in 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

**Media RSVP requirement by 5 p.m. on Monday, July 27. Details HERE.

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

Invited Witnesses Include:

The Honorable John F. Kerry Secretary of State U.S. Department of State

The Honorable Jacob Lew Secretary of the Treasury U.S. Department of the Treasury

The Honorable Ernest Moniz Secretary of Energy U.S. Department of Energy

Chairman Royce on the hearing: “This Iran deal is one of the most important in decades.  It reverses decades of bipartisan nonproliferation and regional policy, has several shortcomings, and demands the closest scrutiny.  Secretary Kerry and the other Administration officials will face tough questions before the Committee, as we continue our comprehensive review of the Iran deal and the Administration’s overall regional policy."

Ranking Member Engel on the hearing: “I look forward to hearing from Secretaries Kerry, Lew, and Moniz to discuss the Iran agreement. I have serious questions and concerns about this deal, and input from the Administration will be critical as Congress reviews the proposal.”

Tuesday, July 28

Joint Subcommittee Hearing: The Iran-North Korea Strategic Alliance 

3 p.m. on Tuesday, July 28 in 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

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

Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ), Chairman

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

Invited Witnesses Include:

Mr. Ilan Berman Vice President American Foreign Policy Council

Ms. Claudia Rosett Journalist-in-Residence Foundation for Defense of Democracies

Larry Niksch, Ph.D. Senior Associate Center for Strategic and International Studies

Jim Walsh, Ph.D. Research Associate Security Studies Program Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Chairmen Poe, Salmon, and Ros-Lehtinen on the hearing: “After reaching a nuclear agreement with Tehran, a closer examination of Iran’s alliance with the North Korean regime would be prudent and necessary. A better understanding of the illicit ties between these two rogue regimes will underscore the possibility of continued circumvention of international law as set out in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), especially in light of the billions Iran stands to gain under the deal and the North Korean regime’s need for hard currency. This hearing will provide Members an opportunity to examine the long history of collusion between Iran and North Korea in defying international law through proliferation of the most dangerous weapons, and what dangers lie ahead as a result of the lifting of certain restrictions against the Iranian regime.”

 

Wednesday, July 29

Hearing: Women Under ISIS Rule: From Brutality to Recruitment

10 a.m. on Wednesday, July 29 in 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

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

Invited Witnesses Include:

Ms. Sasha Havlicek Chief Executive Officer Institute for Strategic Dialogue

Ariel Ahram, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Virginia Tech School of Public and International Affairs

Mr. Edward Watts Director and ProducerEscaping ISIS

Kathleen Kuehnast, Ph.D. Director Gender and Peacebuilding Center for Governance, Law and Society United States Institute of Peace

Chairman Royce on the hearing: “From widespread sexual violence to trafficking to forced marriage, ISIS’s brutality against women and girls is almost without parallel. But while it may appear indiscriminate, ISIS’s violence against women is calculated and designed to further its goal of establishing an ‘Islamic State.’  In order to better understand how to fight this vicious terrorist group, this hearing will examine ISIS’s violence against women and girls, along with its increasing efforts to recruit female members to join its ranks.”

Wednesday, July 29

Subcommittee Hearing: Threats to Press Freedom in the Americas 

3 p.m. on Wednesday, July 29 in 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Chairman

Invited Witnesses Include:

Carlos Ponce, Ph.D. Director of the Latin America Program Freedom House

Mr. Carlos Lauría Senior Americas Program Coordinator Committee to Protect Journalists

Mr. Ricardo Trotti Executive Director Inter-American Press Association

Mr. Nicolás Pérez Lapentti Co-Director El Universo in Ecuador

Mr. Alfredo Corchado Mexico Bureau Chief The Dallas Morning News 

 

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

***Coverage note: All Foreign Affairs Committee proceedings are webcast live on the Committee’s website.

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