CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Wednesday, September 19, 2012, the House is scheduled to consider H.Res. 526, a bill expressing the sense of the House of Representatives with respect toward the establishment of a democratic and prosperous Republic of Georgia and the establishment of a peaceful and just resolution to the conflict with Georgia's internationally recognized borders, under a suspension of the rules requiring a two-thirds majority vote for approval. The bill was introduced on January 24, 2011, by Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA) and referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs. The committee held a mark-up session on June 7, 2012, and ordered the bill to be reported as amended by voice vote.
H.Res. 526 would state that “the House of Representatives (1) supports strengthened United States engagements with the Republic of Georgia aimed at helping Georgia enhance its security and to restore its territorial integrity through exclusively peaceful means; (2) supports the implementation of the United States-Georgia Charter on Strategic Partnership, with a mutual desire to strengthen the bilateral relationship across political, economic, trade, energy, cultural, scientific, people-to-people, defense, and security fields; and (3) supports Georgia’s North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) membership aspirations.”
The bill would also affirm that it is the policy of the United States to support the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of Georgia and the inviolability of its borders, and to recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia as regions of Georgia illegally occupied by the Russian Federation. The bill would call on the Russian Federation to fulfill all terms and conditions of the August 12, 2008, ceasefire agreement, to end the occupation of the Georgian territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and to withdraw completely its troops from the internationally recognized border of Georgia.
The preamble of the legislation states, “the security of the Black Sea and South Caucasus region is important for Euro-Atlantic security, transportation, and energy diversification to and from Central Asia, [and] Georgia has been a reliable partner and ally in enhancing global peace and stability with its significant contribution to operations in Iraq and Afghanistan."
Further, “the United States-Georgia Charter on Strategic Partnership, signed in January 2009, outlines the importance of the bilateral relationship as well as the intent of both countries to expand democracy and economic programs, enhance defense and security cooperation, further trade and energy cooperation, and build people-to-people cultural exchanges."
There is no Congressional Budget Office (CBO) cost estimate available for this legislation.