Bills upcoming for a vote in the legislature.
Taiwan Assurance Act of 2019
This bill directs the Department of State to review its guidance governing U.S.-Taiwan relations and to reissue such guidance to the relevant executive branch departments and agencies. It also directs the State Department to report to Congress on the results of the review and on the implementation of the Taiwan Travel Act, which states that it is U.S. policy to allow and encourage engagement between U.S. and Taiwanese officials.
The bill states that Taiwan is an important part of U.S. strategy in the region and urges the United States to conduct regular transfers of defense articles to enhance Taiwan's self-defense capabilities.
Championing American Business Through Diplomacy Act of 2019
This bill establishes within the Department of State an Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Matters, and establishes that a principal duty of a diplomatic mission to a foreign country is the promotion of U.S. economic and commercial interests in that country.
The Assistant Secretary shall be responsible for matters relating to international economics and business matters in foreign policy.
The State Department shall train various Foreign Service officers, as part of their standard training, on matters including economic and commercial diplomacy, with a particular focus on market access, commercial advocacy, and increasing awareness of U.S. government assistance available to businesses.
The President shall initiate negotiations with countries to establish international standards for government-supported infrastructure investment overseas. The negotiations shall cover issues including the sovereignty of countries receiving investment, anti-corruption, and environmental standards.
The bill calls for various reports to Congress, including a State Department report about each mission's activities to promote U.S. economic and business interests, and a State Department and Department of Commerce report on commercial relations with foreign countries, including information on each country or region's political environment and investment climate.
Crimea Annexation Non-recognition Act
The bill prohibits any federal agency from taking any action or extending any assistance that recognizes or implies recognition of Russia's sovereignty over Crimea, its airspace, or its territorial waters.
The President may waive such prohibitions on a case-by-case basis if such a waiver is vital to U.S. national security interests.
Strengthening America's Security in the Middle East Act of 2019
This bill authorizes assistance and weapons transfers to Israel, and extends defense cooperation with Jordan. It establishes additional sanctions related to the conflict in Syria, and allows states to divest from entities boycotting Israel.
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen United States-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2019
The bill reauthorizes through FY2028 Foreign Military Financing to Israel. It extends loan guarantees to Israel through FY2023, and authorizes the President to transfer precision-guided munitions to the country.
The bill directs the President to report on steps taken to help Israel secure a strategic trade authorization exception.
United States-Jordan Defense Cooperation Extension Act
The bill extends through 2022 arrangements that allow certain defense articles to be transferred to Jordan on an expedited basis. The bill also directs the President to submit a report to Congress assessing the costs and benefits of establishing a fund to support private investment in Jordan.
Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2019
The bill directs the Department of the Treasury to determine whether the Central Bank of Syria is a primary money-laundering concern and, if so, impose special measures on transactions involving the bank. The bill also imposes sanctions on individuals providing support for the Syrian government.
Combating BDS Act of 2019
The bill allows a state or local government to adopt measures to divest its assets from entities using boycotts, divestments, or sanctions to influence Israel's policies. Such measures shall meet various requirements, including those related to written notice and comment.
This bill directs the Department of State to include additional information in its annual reports concerning Taiwan's participation at the World Health Organization's World Health Assembly (WHA) as an observer. The report shall describe changes and improvements to the State Department's plan to support Taiwan's observer status at the WHA, following any meetings at which Taiwan did not participate under such status. (China has opposed Taiwan's participation, based on its position that Taiwan is part of China and not a separate country.)
Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership Act
This bill provides statutory authority for the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership, an interagency program launched in 2005 to partner with countries in the Sahel and Maghreb regions of Africa to counter terrorism and violent extremism.
The Department of State, in consultation with the Department of Defense and the U.S. Agency for International Development, shall establish the partnership, which must coordinate all U.S. programs in North and West Africa related to various counterterrorism activities, such as building foreign-military capacity, enhancing border security, promoting youth employment, and supporting independent media to counter terrorist propaganda.
The State Department shall notify Congress before obligating funds for such programs, and must submit annual reports about program activities.
Protecting Diplomats from Surveillance Through Consumer Devices Act
This bill directs the Department of State to establish a policy regarding the use of location-tracking consumer devices by employees at diplomatic and consular facilities, and report the details of the policy to Congress.
The policy shall cover U.S. government staff, contractors, locally employed staff, and members of other agencies deployed at the facilities. The State Department shall give security briefings to inform new and existing employees of the policy.
This bill approves, with specified exceptions, the agreement and appendices signed by the United States and the Republic of Palau on September 3, 2010, in connection with the Compact of Free Association between the United States and Palau.
If Palau withdraws more than $9 million from the trust fund set up by the Compact in FY2018, certain amounts will be withheld from Palau until it reimburses the fund for the total amounts withdrawn that exceeded $9 million in FY2018. Certain funds may be released to replenish that trust fund, however, if the United States and Palau have arranged to advance funds during FY2018 from the trust fund for specified allowable purposes.
The bill authorizes appropriations to: (1) subsidize postal services to Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia for FY2018-FY2024; and (2) carry out specified federal responsibilities under the Compact.
The bill also repeals specified offset requirements.
FY2018 funding is provided to reduce government arrears of Palau.
FY2018-FY2023 additional economic assistance, and FY2018 funding for infrastructure projects, are provided.
Specified passport requirements are revised.
This bill directs the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate to arrange for the posthumous award of a Congressional Gold Medal in commemoration of Glen Doherty, Tyrone Woods, J. Christopher Stevens, and Sean Smith in recognition of their contributions to the nation.
Protecting Diplomats from Surveillance Through Consumer Devices Act
This bill directs the Department of State to: (1) establish a policy on the use of location-tracking consumer devices, including GPS-enabled devices, at U.S. diplomatic and consular facilities by U.S. government employees, contractors, locally employed staff, and members of other agencies deployed to or stationed at such facilities; and (2) submit a related report to Congress.
Existing and new employees at such facilities shall, as a part of their security briefings, be informed of such policy and given instructions on the use of location-tracking consumer devices on and off facility premises.
The State Department may coordinate policy formulation with other agencies whose employees are deployed to or stationed at U.S. diplomatic and consular facilities.
United States-Jordan Defense Cooperation Extension Act
(Sec. 3) This bill expresses the sense of Congress that: (1) Jordan plays a critical role in responding to the humanitarian needs created by the conflict in Syria; (2) Jordan, the United States, and other partners should continue working together to address such humanitarian crisis and promote regional stability, including through support for refugees in Jordan and internally displaced people along the Jordan-Syria border and the creation of conditions inside Syria that will allow for the secure and voluntary return of displaced people; and (3) the United States and Jordan should negotiate a new Memorandum of Understanding for FY2018-FY2022 to significantly enhance Jordan's military capacity and local economy.
(Sec. 4) The United States-Jordan Defense Cooperation Act of 2015 is amended to extend Jordan's inclusion among the countries eligible for certain streamlined defense sales until December 31, 2022.
(Sec. 5) The President is authorized to establish and operate an enterprise fund to provide assistance to Jordan.
The Board of Directors of the fund shall annually: (1) report to Congress detailing administrative expenses (which are limited to 3% of amounts made available to such fund), and (2) publish each annual report on the Internet.
Any amounts resulting from the fund's liquidation or dissolution shall be returned to the Treasury.
The fund's authority to provide assistance shall terminate on the earlier of: (1) the date that is seven years after the fund's first expenditure, or (2) the date the fund is liquidated.
Preventing Iranian Destabilization of Iraq Act of 2017
This bill imposes property-blocking and U.S. entry/visa sanctions until January 1, 2022, against any foreign person or entity that:
U.S. Agency for Global Media Reform Act
This bill modifies provisions regarding the coordination and assessment of U.S. public diplomacy efforts.
The bill permanently reauthorizes the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, which assesses U.S. public diplomacy efforts. Currently, the commission's authorization expires after FY2020.
The bill directs the Department of State to research and report on ways to improve U.S. public diplomacy and reduce duplicated efforts. It creates a director of research and evaluation position within the State Department's Office of Policy, Planning, and Resources for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs to oversee this research.
The bill also restructures the International Broadcasting Advisory Board. (The board advises the U.S. Agency for Global Media, the body that oversees U.S. government media outlets abroad such as Radio Free Europe and Voice of America.)
United States-Mexico Economic Partnership Act
This bill declares that it shall be U.S. policy to increase U.S.-Mexico academic exchanges at the secondary, post-secondary, and post-graduate levels. The United States and Mexico should seek to contribute to doubling the number of students studying in each other's country within five years.
Priority should be given to strengthening ties between communities and academic institutions in those portions of the United States and Mexico that are within 100 kilometers of the international boundary between those countries.
The President shall develop a plan to implement policies and programs that support cooperation, training, and mentoring of entrepreneurs. Such policies and programs should seek to provide not less than 100 grants of not more than $25,000 each for program participants to better leverage participation by the private sector.
The President shall develop a plan to implement policies and programs that promote U.S.-Mexico energy infrastructure coordination and cooperation through support of vocational-level education, internships, and exchanges between the two countries. Such policies and programs should seek to provide education, internships, and exchanges for at least 1,000 program participants.
The President shall develop a plan to implement a pilot program to develop a pipeline between undergraduate colleges and universities in the United States and medical school programs in Mexico. Such program should be utilized to prepare medical students to become doctors who can pass U.S. medical licensing board exams. The pilot program should seek to increase the number of bilingual medical professionals in a cost-effective manner who can practice in U.S. underserved communities.
(This measure has not been amended since it was introduced. The summary has been expanded because action occurred on the measure.)
Digital Global Access Policy Act of 2017 or the Digital GAP Act
(Sec. 4) This bill states that it is U.S. policy to coordinate with foreign governments, international and regional organizations, businesses, and civil society to close the digital gap in developing countries.
(Sec. 5) The President is urged to direct U.S. representatives to international bodies to advocate for: (1) increasing efforts to promote affordable and gender-equitable Internet access and integrating such access data into economic and business assessments, evaluations, and indexes; (2) standardizing inclusion of broadband conduit-fiber optic cables; (3) providing technical assistance to remove investment barriers and strengthen market growth; and (4) protecting human rights online.
(Sec. 6) It is the sense of Congress that: (1) the Department of State should seek to enhance the effectiveness of U.S. foreign assistance efforts in carrying out the policies and objectives of this bill, including by redesignating an existing Assistant Secretary position in the State Department to be the Assistant Secretary for Cyberspace; and (2) the U.S. Agency for International Development should integrate efforts to expand Internet access and establish guidelines for the protection of personal information of individuals served by humanitarian, disaster, and development programs.
(Sec.8) The Peace Corps Act is amended to express the sense of Congress that the Peace Corps should develop volunteer positions focused on leveraging technology for development, education, and social and economic mobility.
(Sec. 9) The President shall transmit plans to Congress to promote U.S. and U.S.-funded agency partnerships with the private and public sectors to provide Internet access or infrastructure in developing countries.
(Sec. 10) The President shall report to Congress on efforts to implement the policies specified in this bill.
PEPFAR Extension Act of 2018
This bill amends the United States Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act of 2003 to extend certain provisions related to the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), a U.S. governmental initiative addressing the global HIV/AIDS epidemic. Specifically, the bill extends through FY2023 provisions that:
The bill also extends through FY2024 annual reporting requirements relating to HIV/AIDS treatment providers and costs.
Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2017
This bill declares that it is U.S. policy to use all diplomatic and economic means to compel the government of Bashar al-Assad to halt the slaughter of the Syrian people and work toward a democratic government.
The President shall prohibit, or impose conditions on, the opening or maintaining in the United States of a correspondent account or payable-through account by any domestic financial institution or domestic financial agency for or on behalf of the Central Bank of Syria that is of primary money laundering concern.
The bill directs the President to impose specified entry and U.S.-based property sanctions against a foreign person that knowingly: (1) provided significant financial or material support to Syria, the Central Bank of Syria, or to a foreign person subject to specified sanctions; (2) supported Syria's domestic production of natural gas or petroleum; (3) sold or provided civilian aircraft or spare parts or other significant goods or services to a foreign person operating in Syria's shipping, transportation, or telecommunications sectors; or (4) financed money laundering activities.
The President shall impose specified entry and U.S.-based property sanctions against a foreign person that has knowingly provided support to Syria to acquire or develop ballistic missiles, chemical, biological or nuclear weapons, or advanced conventional weapons.
The Syria Human Rights Accountability Act of 2012 is amended to direct the President to impose entry and U.S.-based property sanctions against persons responsible for: (1) committing serious human rights abuses against Syrian citizens or their family members, or (2) transferring to Syria certain military items or goods or technologies that may be used to commit human rights abuses.
The President shall submit and update a list of, and impose entry and U.S.-based property sanctions against, persons responsible for hindering access to humanitarian relief activities in Syria.
The President shall report with respect to whether each of specified Syrian persons, including Bashar al Assad, meets the requirements for inclusion on the list of persons who are responsible for certain human rights abuses against Syrian citizens.
The President may: (1) provide assistance to advance a comprehensive relief and recovery strategy in Syria, and (2) suspend sanctions against Syria under specified conditions.
Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Act of 2018
(Sec. 3) This bill amends the State Department Basic Authorities Act of 1956 to provide that the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism shall have the rank of ambassador and be appointed by the President by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.
The Special Envoy shall: (1) be a person of recognized distinction in the field of combating anti-Semitism, law enforcement, or religious freedom; (2) serve as the primary advisor to, and coordinate efforts across, the U.S. government relating to monitoring and combating anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic incitement in foreign countries; and (3) report directly to the Secretary of State.