S. 2426, to direct the Secretary of State to develop a strategy to obtain observer status for Taiwan in the International Criminal Police Organization

S. 2426

To direct the Secretary of State to develop a strategy to obtain observer status for Taiwan in the International Criminal Police Organizatio

Date
March 14, 2016 (114th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Molly Newell

Floor Situation

On Monday, March 14, 2016, the House will consider S. 2426, to direct the Secretary of State to develop a strategy to obtain observer status for Taiwan in the International Criminal Police Organization, under suspension of the rules. S. 2426 was introduced on December 18, 2015, by Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), and was referred to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Foreign Affairs, which ordered the bill reported by favorably on January 28, 2016. The bill was passed without amendment by Unanimous Consent in the Senate on March 8, 2016.

Bill Summary

S. 2426 would require the Secretary of State to develop and implement a strategy to help Taiwan obtain observer status in the International Criminal Police Organization and report to Congress no later than 90 days after enactment on this strategy.

Background

The International Criminal Police Commission was formed in 1923 and was later reorganized as the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) in 1946. INTERPOL, which is headquartered in France, is the world’s largest international police organization with 190 member countries whose mission is “preventing and fighting crime through enhanced cooperation and innovation on police and security matters.” INTERPOL’s General Assembly is composed by delegates appointed by each member country who meet annually to make decisions related to the organization’s mission.[1]

In 1964, Taiwan gained full membership in INTERPOL but was ejected in 1984 when the People’s Republic of China applied for membership. Nonmembership prevents Taiwan from gaining access to INTERPOL’s global police communications system and from swiftly sharing information on criminals and suspicious activity with the international community, leaving a void in the global crime-fighting efforts. According to the bill sponsor, “Taiwan is our friend and ally and it is important that it has the opportunity to contribute to the global effort to track and prosecute criminals.”[2]

On November 2, 2015, the House unanimously passed H.R. 1853 (Salmon, R-AZ) which is substantively similar to S. 2426. The Legislative Digest for H.R. 1853 can be found here.

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[1] See “Overview
[2] See Sen. Gardner’s Press Release, “Gardner Taiwan Legislation Unanimously Approved by Senate,” March 9, 2016.

Cost

The Congressional Budget Office estimates implementing this bill would cost less than $500,000 over the 2016-2020 period. Pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply because it would not affect direct spending or revenue. Additionally, CBO estimates that enacting the legislation would not increase net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2027.

Additional Information

For questions or further information please contact Molly Newell with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 2-1374.