Today, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, chaired by Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), passed nine bipartisan measures.
On H.R. 2408, which seeks to protect girls' access to education in vulnerable settings, Chairman Royce said: "With many developing countries hosting large numbers of refugees for longer stretches of time, we are seeing a concerning trend of more children out of school due to conflict. These children, girls in particular, face an increased risk of exploitation and less hope for their future. So I am pleased to support H.R. 2408, which authorizes U.S. support for improving girls' access to education in conflict settings."
On H.R. 2061, as amended, which reauthorizes the North Korean Human Rights Act of 2004, Chairman Royce said: "This is the decades-old U.S. humanitarian policy that provides much-needed assistance to North Korean defectors and refugees. It also promotes freedom of information inside North Korea through radio broadcasting, an issue on which this Committee has a long history of promoting critical reforms. As the Kim regime desperately tries to preserve its monopoly on information, these broadcasts are critical to empowering the North Korean people."
On H. Res. 359, as amended, which urges the European Union to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, Chairman Royce said: "Hezbollah has one leadership, fungible finances, and a singular, hostile mission. All its branches and operations serve its terrorist agenda, and it is dangerous to try and distinguish among its arms. We must work with our allies to deprive this terrorist organization of its financial and logistical support."
On H. Res. 311, as amended, which recognizes the work of ASEAN, Chairman Royce said: "For 40 years, the U.S. has expanded its cooperation with this collection of ten Southeast Asian nations. With a combined economy of $2.5 trillion, Southeast Asia represents a major opportunity for strengthening U.S. commerce and security interests in the region."
Additionally, the Committee passed the following measures:
as amended, H. Res. 128, introduced by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), supporting respect for human rights and encouraging inclusive governance in Ethiopia;
as amended, H. Res. 259, introduced by Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), expressing concern and condemnation over the political, economic, social, and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela;
as amended, H. Res. 357, introduced Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC), reaffirming the strategic partnership between the United States and Canada, recognizing bilateral cooperation that advances United States national interests, and urging increased bilateral cooperation on security, economic issues, and energy, and for other purposes;
H. Res. 449, introduced by Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), urging the Government of Kenya and Kenya's political parties to respect democratic principles and hold credible, peaceful, and transparent elections in August 2017; and
as amended, H.R. 1918, Nicaraguan Investment Conditionality Act, introduced by Rep. Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), to oppose loans at international financial institutions for the Government of Nicaragua unless the Government of Nicaragua is taking effective steps to hold free, fair, and transparent elections, and for other purposes.