CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Tuesday, January 1, 2013, the House is scheduled to consider Senate Amendments to H.R. 1464, the North Korean Refugee Adoption Act of 2011, under a suspension of the rules requiring a two-thirds majority for approval. The bill was introduced on April 8, 2011, by Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) and referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs. The bill was originally approved in the House by voice vote on September 11, 2012, and was amended and approved in the Senate on December 28, 2012, by unanimous consent.
The Senate Amendments to H.R. 1464 would require the Secretary of State to designate a representative to regularly brief congressional committees in an unclassified setting on U.S. government efforts to advocate for “the best interests of North Korean children” including efforts to address “the adoption of such children living outside North Korea without parental care.”
Under the legislation, the Secretary’s designated representative would be required to brief appropriate committees on the following topics:
The bill includes a sense of Congress stating that, “hundreds of thousands of North Korean children suffer from malnutrition in North Korea, and North Korean children or children of one North Korean parent who are living outside of North Korea may face statelessness in neighboring countries; and the Secretary of State should advocate for the best interests of these children, including, when possible, facilitating immediate protection for those living outside North Korea through family reunification or, if appropriate and eligible in individual cases, domestic or international adoption. As passed by the House, H.R. 1464 would direct the Secretary of State (in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security) to develop a strategy to facilitate the adoption of orphaned North Korean refugee children by families in the United States. Under the legislation, the Secretary would have to issue a report on the strategy within 180 days of enactment.
There is no Congressional Budget Office (CBO) cost estimate available.