1. Bills, Resolutions & Letters
2. Senate FY13 ForOps - Details
3. Upcoming Events/Hearings
4. Members on the Record
5. From the Press
1. Bills, Resolutions, & Letters
(FY13 FOROPS - SENATE) S.3241: Introduced 5/24/12 by Sen. Leahy (D-VT) and placed on the Senate calendar. For details of the Appropriations Committee markup, please see the 5/25/12 edition of the Round-Up. For full Middle East-related details of S. 3241, see Section 2, below; for details of the House version of the bill, HR 5857, see the 5/11/12 edition of the Round-Up.
(IRAN - REPORT) H. Amdt. 1147 to HR 5743: On 5/31/12, Rep. Conyers (D-MI) offered an amendment to HR 5743, "the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013," during floor consideration of that bill. His amendment was cosponsored by Reps. Lee (D-CA) and Ellison (D-MN). The amendment states: "Not later than 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Director of National Intelligence shall submit to the congressional intelligence committees a report containing an assessment of the consequences of a military strike against Iran." The amendment was adopted by a voice vote. Floor discussion of the amendment is available here.
(IRAN - RED LINES) S. J. Res. 41: Introduced 5/24/12 by Sen. Graham (R-SC) and having 77 cosponsors, "A joint resolution expressing the sense of Congress regarding the nuclear program of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran." This is a revised version ofS. Res. 380, the original "red lines" resolution. S. Res. 380 was blocked in the Senate over its failure to include language stating explicitly that the resolution is not an authorization of use of force. S. J. Res. 41 concludes with the sentence, "Nothing in this resolution shall be construed as an authorization for the use of force or a declaration of war." This should clear the way for its passage by Unanimous Consent.
(RUSSIA-SYRIA) S. Res. 494: Introduced 6/14/12 by Sen. Cornyn (R-TX) and having 6 cosponsors, "A resolution condemning the Government of the Russian Federation for providing weapons to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria." Referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.
(CYPRUS-ISRAEL-TURKEY) S. Con. Res. 47/ H. Con. Res. 676: Introduced 6/6/12 by Sens. Menendez (D-NJ) and Snowe (R-ME) and 6/5/12 by Reps. Engel (D-NY) and Bilirakis (R-FL), "A concurrent resolution expressing the sense of Congress on the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus over all of the territory of the island of Cypress." The resolutions slam praise Cyprus, slam Turkey, and supports/praises Israel-Cyprus cooperative efforts to develop energy holdings in the area. Referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations and the Committee on Foreign Affairs, respectively.
(IRAN - RED LINES) S. Amdt 2346 to S. 3240: On 6/12/12 Sen. Graham (R-SC) introduced the text of S. J. Res. 41 (discussed above) as an amendment to S. 3240, the Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2012. The amendment appears to be entirely non-germane to the bill in question. It has not been considered as of this writing.
(ISRAEL ENERGY PROGRAMS) H. Amdt. 1209 to HR 5325: On 6/5/12, during House floor consideration of HR 5325, "the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2013," Rep. Harris (R-MD) introduced an amendment stating that "None of the funds made available under this Act may be used to fund any portion of the International program activities at the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy of the Department of Energy with the exception of the activities authorized in section 917 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (42 U.S.C. 17337)." That latter reference is to a piece of legislation entitled "United States-Israel energy cooperation." Speaking in opposition to the amendment, Rep. Visclosky (D-IN) pointed out (correctly) that, "The amendment would essentially create an energy renewable program for the U.S.-Israel program by restricting the EERE international program from dealing with any other country. I certainly am a supporter of the country of Israel, and Israel has a vibrant and cutting-edge clean energy industry, but I do not believe that we ought to limit this program to one country out of many..." The amendment passed by a voice vote.
(ISRAELI MODEL OF AIRPORT PROFILING) H. Amdt. 1276 to HR 5855: On 6/7/12 Rep, Broun (R-GA) offered an amendment to HR 5855, the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2013. His amendment stated that "None of the funds made available by this Act may be used for Behavior Detection Officers or the SPOT program." Broun noted that the program is "modeled after a very effective one used in Israel, but their agents go through a very extensive program of preparation for this line of work. Plus, they focus on a handful of airports in Israel as opposed to the hundreds that we have to worry about here in the United States. Moreover, almost any passenger having a bad day could be deemed a terrorist under the list of emotions that the agents are supposed to take note of. We've all stood in line and have seen the awkward, invasive pat-downs that many innocent passengers have to endure. Many of us have seen the crying children or elderly grandmas who suffer through these embarrassing protocols as we try to get through security. It has got to stop." Broun's amendment was rejected.
(JERUSALEM - MOVE THE EMBASSY) S. 1622/HR 1006: On 6/13/12 a right-wing Christian organization, the United Coalition for Israel, issued an "URGENT ACTION ALERT" calling on supporters to contact members of Congress and demand that they cosponsor bills in the House and Senate that would remove the President's waiver authority from the Jerusalem Embassy Act, thereby forcing the Administration to move the Embassy to Jerusalem immediately. S. 1622 currently has a total of 6 sponsors, all Republicans. HR 1006 currently has a total of 61 sponsors, of which a large contingent are Tea Party-Republicans and 7 are Democrats.
(IRAN TALKS - NO CONCESSIONS!) Menendez-Blunt letter: It was reported 6/12/12 that a letter authored by Sens. Menendez (D-NJ) and Blunt (R-MO) was circulating in the Senate. The letter, addressed to President Obama, essentially makes the case that unless Iran capitulates completely to U.S. demands in the next round of talks, it should be offered nothing in relief from current sanctions or sanctions due to come into effect.This, in effect, is a demand that the Obama Administration refrain from "negotiating" with Iran at all, based on the traditional definition of "negotiations".
(IRAN - NO CONCESSIONS) Schumer letter: On 6/4/12, Sen. Schumer (D-NY) sent a letter to National Security Advisor Tom Donilon stating that Iran should be offered no sanctions relief until it capitulates completely on three points: "1. Iran must shut down its nuclear enrichment plant at Fordo. 2. Iran must stop all enrichment of uranium. 3. Iran must transfer the uranium it has enriched to 20% out of the country to a trusted partner country." Once again, this is, in effect, is a demand that the Obama Administration refrain from "negotiating" with Iran at all, based on the traditional definition of "negotiations".
(MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD) Bachman-Franks-Gohmert-Rooney-Westmoreland letters:According to the press release, on 6/13/12, Reps. Bachmann (R-MN-), Franks (R-AZ), Gohmert (R-TX-), Rooney (R-FL) and Westmoreland (R-GA) sent letters to the Inspectors General of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice and the Department of State. These letters "seek answers about the U.S. government's involvement with the Muslim Brotherhood, a group that calls for 'civilization jihad.' In the letter, Bachmann, Franks, Gohmert, Rooney and Westmoreland questioned the Inspectors General about the direct influence within the intelligence community of Muslim Brotherhood operatives [emphasis added]. They explained that the U.S. government in federal court has established that the group's mission in the U.S. is 'destroying the Western civilization from within.' The members went on to request that the respective offices of the Inspectors General conduct a formal investigation or evaluation of the extent to which Muslim Brotherhood-tied individuals or entities are involved..." The letter was warmly commended by Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy, who proudly claimed to be the source of the allegations in the letter.
(ISRAEL & COUNTER-TERRORISM CONFAB) Lieberman-Kirk letter: On 6/11/12 , Sens. Lieberman (R-, I mean I-CT) and Kirk (R-IL) sent a letter to Secretary of State Clinton demanding an explanation for why Israel was not part of a Global Counterterrorism Forum that took place the previous week in Istanbul. Read more here.
2. Senate FY13 ForOps - Details
On 5/24/12 the Senate Appropriations Committee reported out S. 3241, "Making appropriations for the Department of State, foreign operations, and related programs for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2013, and for other purposes." For details of the Committee's markup, including a controversial amendment related to UNRWA, see the 5/25/12 edition of the Round-Up. Notably, since that Round-Up was published an Israeli journalist published a bombshell article detailing the history of that UNRWA amendment, from its genesis in Jerusalem to its passage in Washington. He reports:"What is not common knowledge in the Beltway is that the Kirk Amendment got its start in the Jerusalem office of MK Einat Wilf (Atzmaut ), who toiled for months, together with AIPAC lobbyists and Kirk's staff, to promote the change."
Middle East-related details of S. 3241 are as follows:
TITLE I -- DEPARTMENT OF STATE AND RELATED AGENCY
Broadcasting Board of Governors, international broadcasting operations:
Bill language: $724,200,000 , "to carry out international communication activities, and to make and supervise grants for radio and television broadcasting to the Middle East."
Iran - The Committee directs GAO to submit a report assessing the audience share of U.S. broadcasting to Iran as compared to other international broadcasters, and whether U.S. policies toward Iran are presented clearly and effectively in such broadcasts, and in a balanced manner.
New Program Initiatives- The Committee supports BBG's efforts to identify new program formats but is concerned that BBG proposes reductions in current programs before testing new program models for effectiveness, particularly in priority languages. Therefore, the Committee recommends funding to sustain BBG broadcasts to the PRC as well as for the VOA Mandarin television initiative begun in fiscal year 2012. The Committee recommends $400,000 in addition to funds already available for VOA and RFA Tibetan Services for special programming, particularly radio programming, to enhance coverage of events in Tibet. The Committee directs the BBG to consult prior to implementation of such special programs. The Committee also recommends funding to continue current VOA and RFE/RL programming to Central Asia and for the new VOA and RFE/RL program to that region. The Committee recommends the budget request for the expansion of Middle East Broadcasting Network's television programming to Egypt. If BBG's fiscal year 2014 budget request proposes to reduce current programs to the PRC or Central Asia in favor of new program models, the Committee directs BBG to include in the CBJ an assessment of the effectiveness of the new programs as compared with existing programs. The Committee does not support the proposed BBG digital media development initiative.
Center for Middle Eastern-Western Dialogue Trust Fund: "For necessary expenses of the Center for Middle Eastern-Western Dialogue Trust Fund, as authorized by section 633 of the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2004 (22 U.S.C. 2078), the total amount of the interest and earnings accruing to such Fund on or before September 30, 2013, to remain available until expended."
Israeli Arab Scholarship Program: "For necessary expenses of the Israeli Arab Scholarship Program, as authorized by section 214 of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1992 and 1993 (22 U.S.C. 2452), all interest and earnings accruing to the Israeli Arab Scholarship Fund on or before September 30, 2013, to remain available until expended."
TITLE III -- BILATERAL ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE
ECONOMIC SUPPORT FUNDS - ESF
Bill language: $250,000,000 "shall be made available for assistance for Egypt, for programs and activities to reduce poverty and create jobs, strengthen democracy, and protect human rights, including to implement section 7041(b)(3) of this Act, and including not less than $35,000,000 for education programs of which not less than $10,000,000 is for scholarships at not-for-profit institutions for Egyptian students with high financial need."
Report language: The Committee recommends $250,000,000 for assistance for Egypt. The Committee is concerned with discrimination and violence against women in Egypt, and supports funding for women NGOs and initiatives to protect the rights of women and girls. The Committee remains concerned with violence against Egypt's religious minorities, including Coptic Christians. The Committee restricts assistance to the Government of Egypt unless the Secretary of State certifies that such government is meeting its obligations under the 1979 Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty. This requirement also includes a national interest waiver. The Committee reduces assistance for Egypt under this heading by an amount equal to the amount posted as bail in February 2012 for members of United States NGOs operating in Egypt.
Bill language: "of the funds made available for assistance for Lebanon under this heading, $12,000,000 shall be used for scholarships at not-for-profit institutions for students in Lebanon with high financial need."
Report language: "The Committee recommends $500,000 for continued support for the USFS's forest and biodiversity conservation programs in Lebanon. The Committee recommends $12,000,000 for scholarships for students in Lebanon with high financial need to attend not-for-profit educational institutions in Lebanon that meet standards comparable to those required for American accreditation. The institutions, students and their families are encouraged to meet as much of the cost of the education as possible in order to share the commitment to the future of Lebanon, to maximize the number of students who are assisted, and to minimize the cost per student to the American taxpayer. All students should be eligible for scholarships based on need, academic record, and potential to contribute to the long-term political, economic, and social development of Lebanon. The Committee also urges the Department of State to focus assistance for Lebanon on efforts that promote transparency, strengthen financial management, and improve efficiency of government institutions."
Bill Language: "That of the funds appropriated under this heading, not less than $410,000,000 shall be available for assistance for Jordan."
Report Language: "The Committee recommends $410,000,000 for assistance for Jordan, which is $50,000,000 above the budget request. The Committee intends the additional funds to be used to support social services in communities that have experienced a significant influx of Syrian refugees."
Bill Language: None.
Report Language: "The Committee recommends the budget request for assistance for the West Bank. The Committee continues to support a GAO audit of all assistance provided under this heading for the bilateral West Bank program, including cash transfer assistance. Such audit shall include the extent to which such assistance complies with the requirements of subsections 7039 (b) and (c) of this act, and an examination of all programs, projects, and activities, including obligations and expenditures. The Committee recommends that the Department of State and USAID review programs in the West Bank, Gaza, and elsewhere in the Middle East and other regions, to ensure that no assistance is provided to any entity that promotes incitement of violence against the United States, Israel and Jews, or other ethnic and religious minorities."
Bill Language: None.
Report Language: "The Committee recommends not less than $10,000,000 for assistance for Tunisia, and includes language authorizing additional loan guarantees for Tunisia, the costs of which may be covered under the MENAIF heading."
Bill Language: None.
Report Language: "The Committee recommends not less than $38,000,000 for assistance for Yemen, and recognizes that the security situation in Yemen has transitioned to an insurgency. In order to maximize the effectiveness of United States assistance, the Committee urges the administration to consider assistance and security programs within this changed context."
Other Report Language
Near East Regional Democracy: "The Committee recommends not less than $30,000,000 for NERD programs."
Middle East Partnership Initiative: "The Committee includes funding for MEPI under the MENAIF heading."
Middle East Regional Cooperation Program: "The Committee recommends $5,000,000 for MERC."
Reconciliation Programs: "The Committee recommends a total of $26,000,000 for reconciliation programs and activities which bring together and facilitate direct communication between individuals of different ethnic, religious and political backgrounds in countries affected by civil strife and war, of which $10,000,000 is for such programs and activities in the Middle East and North Africa region. Of this amount, $16,000,000 is provided under this heading and $10,000,000 is provided under the DA heading. Funds should be leveraged to secure contributions from other international donors, to the maximum extent practicable.
The Committee also recommends funding for the `New Generation in the Middle East' initiative to build understanding, tolerance, and mutual respect among young Israelis and Palestinians of diverse economic and social backgrounds who have leadership potential. Such programs and activities are to be conducted in the region.
Middle East and North Africa Incentive Fund
Bill Language: "For necessary expenses for a Middle East and North Africa Incentive Fund to carry out the provisions of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended by this Act, $1,000,000,000, to remain available until September 30, 2015, which shall be available, notwithstanding any other provision of law except section 620M of the Foreign Assistance Act, as amended by this Act, for assistance and for contributions to promote regional peace and security and political and economic reform and stability in the Middle East and North Africa, which shall include programs and activities focused on empowering women and girls, advancing their stature, protection, and integration into educational, political, economic, and security sectors of their societies..."
Report Language: "The Committee recommends $1,000,000,000 for the Middle East and North Africa Incentive Fund, a new account that will provide the Department of State and USAID necessary flexibility to respond to unpredictable events arising from popular demands for economic and political reforms in those regions. The Committee recognizes the historic and unprecedented opportunities for change, and underscores that the administration's strong and consistent support for these reforms will further U.S. security interests in strategically important regions. In addition, this new account may prove essential in assisting key regional allies should tensions in the Middle East, particularly with Iran and in Syria, continue to heighten. The Committee recommends $70,000,000 for MEPI from within this fund, of which not less than $15,000,000 should be for scholarships for students at not-for-profit educational institutions, in a manner consistent with prior fiscal years, through an open and competitive process. The Committee requires the Secretary of State and USAID Administrator to consult with the Committee prior to the initial obligation of funds, and intends that the design, implementation, and oversight of programs will include the participation of civil society organizations in these countries, as appropriate."
MIGRATION AND REFUGEE ASSISTANCE (MRA)
Bill Language: "$15,000,000 shall be made available for refugees resettling in Israel."
- "The Committee is aware of the increasingly complex refugee and IDP crises arising from conflict and instability in Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, and Mali, and notes the destabilizing impact of such crises on neighboring countries and United States allies, including Jordan. The Committee recognizes the need to address instability arising from human migration in the Pan Sahel and Horn of Africa regions and to mitigate opportunities for the expansion of extremist groups, including al Qaeda affiliates. The Committee underscores that assistance provided under this heading should be incorporated into a broader strategy to address terrorism in Africa that includes programs to expand governance, economic development, and security."
- Israel: "The Committee recommends $15,000,000 for refugee resettlement in Israel, to be awarded through an open and competitive process."
- UNRWA: The Committee directs the Secretary of State to submit a report to the Committee not later than one year after enactment of this act, indicating:
(a) the approximate number of people who, in the past year, have received UNRWA services--
(1) whose place of residence was Palestine between June 1946 and May 1948 and who were displaced as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict; and
(2) who are descendants of persons described in subparagraph (1);
(b) the extent to which the provision of such services to such persons furthers the security interests of the United States and of other United States allies in the Middle East; and
(c) the methodology and challenges in preparing such report.
- Syria: The Committee urges the Department of State and USAID to continue working with humanitarian organizations and Syria's neighbors to keep borders open to Syrians fleeing violence, provide access to basic services, and ensure their freedom of movement and the use of camps only as a last resort.
TITLE IV - INTERNATIONAL SECURITY ASSISTANCE
International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement (INCLE)
Tunisia: "The Committee recommends $8,000,000 for assistance for Tunisia, which is equal to the budget request."
West Bank: "The Committee recommends $70,000,000 for assistance for the West Bank, which is equal to the budget request."
nonproliferation, anti-terrorism, demining and related programs (NADR)
Bill language: "...funds appropriated under this heading may be made available for the IAEA unless the Secretary of State determines that Israel is being denied its right to participate in the activities of that Agency."
Report Language: "The Committee recognizes that dynamic change in the Near East and ongoing threats and humanitarian needs in other regions afford opportunities to conduct and expand nonproliferation, demining, and anti-terrorism programs, including in Syria should the current regime fall. The Committee recommends additional funding above the budget request to accelerate the U.S. response to such opportunities, which is in the security interests of the United States and regional allies."
INTERNATIONAL MILITARY EDUCATION AND TRAINING (IMET)
Jordan: "The Committee recommends $3,800,000 for assistance for Jordan, which is equal to the budget request."
Tunisia: "The Committee recommends $2,300,000 for assistance for Tunisia, which is equal to the budget request."
PEACEKEEPING OPERATIONS (PKO)
Bill language: "$28,000,000 shall be made available for a United States contribution to the Multinational Force and Observers mission in the Sinai."
FOREIGN MILITARY FINANCING (FMF)
- "not less than $3,100,000,000 shall be available for grants only for Israel"
- "funds appropriated under this heading for assistance for Israel shall be disbursed within 30 days of enactment of this Act"
- "to the extent that the Government of Israel requests that funds be used for such purposes, grants made available for Israel under this heading shall, as agreed by the United States and Israel, be available for advanced weapons systems, of which not less than $815,300,000 shall be available for the procurement in Israel of defense articles and defense services, including research and development."
Bill language: "$1,300,000,000 shall be available for grants only for Egypt
Report language: "The Committee supports Egypt's transition to civilian government and notes the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces' responsibility to safeguard that transition."
- "$300,000,000 shall be made available for assistance for Jordan"
Bill language: "...funds appropriated by this Act should not be made available and no defense export license should be issued for tear gas, armored vehicles, small arms, light weapons, ammunition, or other items for crowd control purposes, to the security forces of a foreign country undergoing democratic transition, unless the Secretary of State notifies the Committees on Appropriations that such forces have not repeatedly used excessive force to repress peaceful, lawful, and organized dissent."
Report Language: "The Committee recommends the budget requests under this heading for Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, and $17,500,000 for assistance for Tunisia."
TITLE VII - GENERAL PROVISIONS
Sec. 7007: Prohibition against direct funding for certain countries
"None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available pursuant to titles III through VI of this Act shall be obligated or expended to finance directly any assistance or reparations for the Governments of Cuba, North Korea, Iran, or Syria: Provided, That for purposes of this section, the prohibition on obligations or expenditures shall include direct loans, credits, insurance and guarantees of the Export-Import Bank or its agents."
Sec. 7008: Coups d'etat
"None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available pursuant to titles III through VI of this Act shall be obligated or expended to finance directly any assistance to the government of any country whose duly elected head of government is deposed by military coup d'etat or decree or, after the date of enactment of this Act, a coup d'etat or decree in which the military plays a decisive role: Provided, That assistance may be resumed to such government if the President determines and certifies to the Committees on Appropriations that subsequent to the termination of assistance a democratically elected government has taken office: Provided further, That the provisions of this section shall not apply to assistance to promote democratic elections or public participation in democratic processes: Provided further, That funds made available pursuant to the previous provisos shall be subject to the regular notification procedures of the Committees on Appropriations."
Sec. 7013: Prohibition on taxation of assistance
None of the funds appropriated under title III of this Act may be made available for assistance for a foreign country unless the government of such country agrees, in writing, to exempt such assistance from taxation or to an effective arrangement for substantial reimbursement of such taxes. [this provision was originally added a number of years ago to address taxation of US aid by the Palestinian Authority, at a time when Congress was determined that no US funds of any kind should go to the PA.]
Sec. 7021: Prohibition on assistance to governments supporting international terrorism
This provision bars funding to any foreign government "which provides lethal military equipment to a country the government of which the Secretary of State has determined supports international terrorism..."
Sec. 7034: Special Provisions
(i) Extension of Authorities: "Chapter 5 of title I of the Emergency Wartime Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2003 (Public Law 108-11), as amended, is amended in the item relating to `Loan Guarantees to Israel', before `: Provided,' by striking `2011' and inserting `2015', and in the second proviso, by striking `2011' and inserting `2015'."
(1)(A) None of the funds appropriated under the heading `Economic Support Fund' in this Act may be made available for assistance for the Palestinian Authority if the Palestinians obtain, after the date of enactment of this Act, the same standing as member states or full membership as a state in the United Nations or any specialized agency thereof outside an agreement negotiated between Israel and the Palestinians.
(B) The Secretary of State may waive the restriction in paragraph (A) if the Secretary certifies to the Committees on Appropriations that to do so is in the national security interests of the United States, and submits a report to such Committees detailing how the waiver and the continuation of assistance would assist in furthering Middle East peace.
(2)(A) The President may waive the provisions of section 1003 of Public Law 100-204 if the President certifies in writing to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, and the Committees on Appropriations that the Palestinians have not, after the date of enactment of this Act, obtained in the United Nations or any specialized agency thereof the same standing as member states or full membership as a state outside an agreement negotiated between Israel and the Palestinians.
(B) Not less than 90 days after the President is unable to make the certification pursuant to paragraph (2)(A), the President may waive section 1003 of Public Law 100-204 if the President determines and certifies in writing to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, and the Committees on Appropriations that the Palestinians have entered into direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel: Provided, That any waiver of the provisions of section 1003 of Public Law 100-204 under paragraph (2) or under previous provisions of law must expire before the waiver under the preceding sentence may be exercised.
(3) Any waiver pursuant to paragraphs (1) and (2) shall be effective for no more than a period of 6 months at a time and shall not apply beyond 12 months after enactment of this Act.
(4) Not later than 45 days after enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State shall submit a report to the Committees on Appropriations detailing the impact and potential impact of section 414 of Public Law 101-246 and section 410 of Public Law 103-236 on the national interests of the United States: Provided, That such report shall also include information on the amount of United States assistance prohibited from obligation and disbursement to United Nations agencies as a result of such provisions of law.
Sec. 7035: Arab league boycott of Israel
Perennial Sense of Congress opposing the Arab League boycott of Israel, and the secondary boycott of American firms that have commercial ties with Israel,
Sec. 7036: Palestinian statehood
Perennial provision barring assistance to a Palestinian state that does not meet a series of conditions (includes Presidential waiver authority).
Sec. 7037: Restrictions concerning the Palestinian authority
Perennial bill language barring U.S. funds for establishing any diplomatic mission to the Palestinians in Jerusalem.
Sec. 7038: Prohibition on assistance to the Palestinian broadcasting corporation
Perennial bill language barring any U.S. assistance to the PBC.
Sec. 7039: Assistance for the West Bank and Gaza
Perennial section laying out far-reaching restrictions and conditions, as well as vetting, oversight and audit requirements, for U.S. programs in the West Bank and Gaza.
Sec. 7040: Limitation on Assistance for the Palestinian Authority
Perennial bill language banning U.S. assistance to the Palestinian Authority, along with Presidential waiver authority. Also bars any finding for salaries of PA personnel in Gaza or for Hamas or any entity "effectively controlled by Hamas, any power-sharing government of which Hamas is a member, or that results from an agreement with Hamas and over which Hamas exercises undue influence." The latter bar does not apply if the President "certifies and reports to the Committees on Appropriations that such government, including all of its ministers or such equivalent, has publicly accepted and is complying with the principles contained in section 620K(b)(1) (A) and (B) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended." Also, "the President may exercise the authority in section 620K(e) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as added by the Palestine Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-446) with respect to this subsection." (For details about what this legal references mean, see the 5/11/12 edition of the Round-Up). Also bars any assistance to the PLO.
Sec. 7041: Near East (bill text)
(1) Of the funds appropriated by this Act under the heading `Middle East and North Africa Incentive Fund', not less than $5,000,000 shall be made available for programs and activities to promote reconciliation in Bahrain: Provided, That notwithstanding section 660 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, a portion of such funds may also be used for programs to strengthen oversight and professionalism of the police forces of Bahrain.
(2) None of the funds appropriated by this Act may be made available for tear gas, armored vehicles, small arms, light weapons, ammunition, or other items for crowd control purposes, for the police or military forces of Bahrain, unless the Secretary of State certifies to the Committees on Appropriations that the Government of Bahrain--
(A) has released persons convicted or charged with offenses involving peaceful expression, as well as those convicted on the basis of evidence that the defendant could not challenge or that was obtained as a result of torture;
(B) is protecting freedom of expression, association, and assembly; the right of political opposition parties, civil society organizations, and journalists to operate without harassment or interference; and due process of law; and
(C) is investigating and prosecuting Bahraini officials credibly alleged to have been involved in violations of human rights, including torture.
(1) None of the funds appropriated under titles III and IV of this Act and in prior Acts making appropriations for the Department of State, foreign operations, and related programs may be made available for assistance for the Government of Egypt unless the Secretary of State certifies to the Committees on Appropriations that such government is meeting its obligations under the 1979 Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty.
(2) The President shall submit to the Committees on Appropriations, concurrent with the fiscal year 2014 budget request, a comprehensive review of United States assistance for Egypt, including the strategic purposes and mechanisms for disbursing such assistance, and specific programs to be conducted in furtherance of security sector and other reforms.
(3) Funds appropriated by this Act under the heading `Foreign Military Financing Program' for assistance for Egypt shall be made available for border security programs in the Sinai, and for purposes related to peacekeeping and disaster response: Provided, That a portion of such funds estimated to be outlayed during fiscal year 2013 may, following consultation with the Committees on Appropriations, be transferred to an interest bearing account for Egypt in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York: Provided further, That funds appropriated by this Act under the heading `Economic Support Fund' shall be made available to promote security sector reform in Egypt, in accordance with section 7034(r) of this Act.
(4) Prior to the initial obligation of funds appropriated by this Act for assistance for Egypt under the heading `Foreign Military Financing Program', the Secretary of State shall certify to the Committees on Appropriations that the Government of Egypt is a democratically elected civilian government that is implementing policies to--
(A) provide civilian control over, and public disclosure of, the military and police budgets;
(B) fully repeal the Emergency Law; and
(C) protect judicial independence; freedom of expression, association, assembly, and religion; the right of political opposition parties, civil society organizations, and journalists to operate without harassment or interference; and due process of law.
(5) The Secretary of State, after consultation with the Committees on Appropriations, may waive the requirements of paragraphs (1) and (4) if the Secretary determines and reports to the Committees on Appropriations that to do so is important to the national security interest of the United States: Provided, That such determination and report shall include a detailed justification for such waiver.
(6) The authorities, purposes, and requirements in section 7041(a)(3) of division I of Public Law 112-74 shall continue in effect during fiscal year 2013: Provided, That funds appropriated by this Act under the headings `Economic Support Fund' and `Middle East and North Africa Incentive Fund' may be made available for such initiative.
(7) Funds appropriated by this Act under the heading `Economic Support Fund' and made available for assistance for the Government of Egypt shall be reduced by an amount equal to the amount that the Secretary of State determines and reports to the Committees on Appropriations was posted as bail in February 2012 for members of United States nongovernmental organizations.
(1) It is the policy of the United States to seek to prevent Iran from achieving the capability to produce or otherwise manufacture nuclear weapons, including by supporting international diplomatic efforts to halt Iran's uranium enrichment program, and the President should fully implement and enforce the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996, as amended (Public Law 104-172) as a means of encouraging foreign governments to require state-owned and private entities to cease all investment in, and support of, Iran's energy sector and all exports of refined petroleum products to Iran.
(2) None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available in this Act under the heading `Export-Import Bank of the United States' may be used by the Export-Import Bank of the United States to provide any new financing (including loans, guarantees, other credits, insurance, and reinsurance) to any person or entity that is subject to sanctions under paragraph (2) or (3) of section 5(a) of the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-172).
(3) The reporting requirements in section 7043(c) in division F of Public Law 111-117 shall continue in effect during fiscal year 2013 as if part of this Act: Provided, That the date in subsection (c)(1) shall be deemed to be `September 30, 2013'.
(1) None of the funds appropriated by this Act may be made available for the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) if the LAF is controlled by a foreign terrorist organization, as defined by section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
(2) Funds appropriated by this Act under the heading `Foreign Military Financing Program' for assistance for Lebanon may be made available only to professionalize the LAF and to strengthen border security and combat terrorism, including training and equipping the LAF to secure Lebanon's borders, interdicting arms shipments, preventing the use of Lebanon as a safe haven for terrorist groups, and to implement United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701: Provided, That funds may not be made available for obligation for assistance for the LAF until the Secretary of State submits a detailed spend plan to the Committees on Appropriations, except such plan may not be considered as meeting the notification requirements under section 7015 of this Act or under section 634A of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, and shall be submitted not later than September 1, 2013: Provided further, That not later than 90 days after enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State shall consult with the Committees on Appropriations on the activities of the LAF, assistance provided to the LAF by the United States, and actions taken to ensure that such assistance is used for intended purposes.
(3) Funds appropriated by this Act under titles III and VI for assistance for Lebanon may be made available notwithstanding any other provision of law, except for this subsection and section 620M of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended by this Act.
Prior to the obligation of funds appropriated by this Act under the heading `Foreign Military Financing Program' for assistance for Morocco, the Secretary of State shall submit a report to the Committees on Appropriations on steps taken during the previous 12 months by the Government of Morocco to--
(1) protect freedom of expression, association, and assembly regarding the status and future of the Western Sahara, and due process of law;
(2) release prisoners of conscience;
(3) support a human rights monitoring and reporting role for the United Nations Mission in Western Sahara in cooperation with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights; and
(4) provide unimpeded access to human rights organizations, journalists, and representatives of foreign governments to the Western Sahara.
(1) Funds appropriated by this Act shall be made available for activities to support civil society organizations that support democratic principles in Syria, including communications equipment and technical training: Provided, That such activities shall be considered democracy and human rights programs in accordance with section 7034(f) of this Act: Provided further, That not later than 90 days after enactment of this Act and every 90 days thereafter until September 30, 2013, the Secretary of State shall submit a report to the Committees on Appropriations describing the activities conducted in support of such organizations, and the equipment and technical training provided: Provided further, That such technical training shall include instruction on democratic governance and respect for human rights.
(2) Funds appropriated by this Act shall be made available for humanitarian relief for civilian victims of political violence in Syria.
Of the funds appropriated under titles III and IV of this Act, not less than $39,100,000 shall be made available for assistance for Tunisia.
(j) Yemen- Of the funds appropriated under titles III and IV of this Act, not less than $77,000,000 may be made available for assistance for Yemen: Provided, That not later than 60 days after enactment of this Act and prior to the initial obligation of such funds, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the heads of relevant Federal agencies and the Government of Yemen, shall submit a counterinsurgency strategy to the Committees on Appropriations: Provided further, That none of the funds appropriated by this Act may be made available for the Armed Forces of Yemen if such forces are controlled by a foreign terrorist organization, designated pursuant to section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Sec. 7060: Reconciliation programs
(1) Of the funds appropriated by this Act under the headings `Economic Support Fund' and `Development Assistance', $26,000,000 shall be made available to support people-to-people reconciliation programs which bring together individuals of different ethnic, religious, and political backgrounds from areas of civil strife and war, of which $10,000,000 shall be made available for such programs in the Middle East: Provided, That the USAID Administrator shall consult with the Committees on Appropriations, prior to the initial obligation of funds, on the uses of such funds: Provided further, That to the maximum extent practicable, such funds shall be matched by sources other than the United States Government.
(2) Funds appropriated by this Act under the headings `Economic Support Fund' and `Development Assistance' may be made available for a `New Generation in the Middle East' initiative to build understanding, tolerance, and mutual respect among the next generation of Israeli and Palestinian
3. Upcoming Events/Hearings
6/20/12: House Foreign Affairs Committee/Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia
"Reflections on the Revolution in Egypt, Part II." Witnesses: David Schenker (WINEP), Michele Dunne, (Atlantic Council)
4. Members on the Record
Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), 6/12/12: Stop Rewarding Moscow for Arming Assad Regime, Ros-Lehtinen Says; Compares to Longstanding Russian Assistance to Iranian Regime
Coats (R-IN), 6/12/12: On national security leaks
McCain (R-AZ) and Graham (R-SC), 6/12/12: On national security leaks
Cornyn (R-TX), 6/12/12: On national security leaks
Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), 6/11/12: Administration Misses Another Opportunity to Get Tough on Iran
Jackson-Lee (D-TX), 6/8/12: On Syria
Brooks (R-AL), 6/8/12: "today I call on the White House to get off the campaign trail, show leadership, do the President's job, and aggressively pursue the leakers of America's state secrets. These leaks have ranged from implicating the United States in Stuxnet, a computer virus that targeted nuclear centrifuges in Iran, to revealing a detailed ``kill list'' for terrorists targeted for assassination. Not only do these leaks compromise America's efforts to preserve our national security, they teach our allies not to trust us. Look at the doctor who helped the United States gather DNA evidence to locate Osama bin Laden. His reward? His identity was revealed, and he faces 33 years in a Pakistan jail. Mr. Speaker, where is the outrage from the White House about these leaks? It's time for the President to plug the holes and protect America's national security."
McCain (R-AZ) and Leiberman (R, I mean (I-CT), 6/7/12: Colloquy on Syria (and Iran), calling for U.S military intervention
McCain (R-AZ) and Chambliss (R-GA), 6/5/12: On national security leaks
Durbin (D-IL), 6/5/12: On his recent trip to Turkey (and conversations with Syrian refugees there)
King (R-NY), 6/1/12: Who Will Defend the Defenders? [in support of NYPD targeting of people from Arab countries]
Gohmert (R-TX), 6/1/12: This time around Gohmert takes up the question, "does Obama really love Israel." The answer: no, but Obama "loves Israel not." Who Obama does love, Gohmert asserts, is the Muslim Brotherhood (at the expense of Israel's good and reliable friend Hosni Mubarak); Bashar al Assad (at the expense of the Syrian people who, when they are victorious, will no doubt embrace Israel as a true friend); and in Libya (where...well, Gohmert can't figure out what he wants to say except that whatever Obama did, it was inherently ant-Israel in part because Qadadfi "was sure no angel...but Qadhafi was not a threat to Israel"). Plus Obama uis guilty of the sin of "giving enemies Israel's money and weapons..." These enemies are left unspecified - does he mean Jordan? Egypt? The Palestinians? As in, aid programs that pre-date Obama by years and years? And notwithstanding the fact that Congress has the power of the purse strings...
Berman (D-CA), 5/31/12: Berman Rebukes Palestinian Authority for Honoring Terrorists
Lee (D-CA), 5/31/12: "I was unable to speak during last week's floor debate on the FY13 Intelligence bill--the following is the statement I would have made before the amendment was adopted by voice vote: First, let me thank my esteemed colleague Congressman JOHN CONYERS for giving me the opportunity to speak on this important amendment. I would also like to recognize Congressman KEITH ELLISON who has been an outstanding leader on issues affecting the Middle East. Mr. Chair, first let me say unequivocally that we can all agree that we must work to prevent an Iran armed with nuclear weapons--which would never be acceptable. That is not what this amendment is about, this amendment is noncontroversial. This amendment is really just about common sense. It would simply require that the National Intelligence Director give Congress a report outlining their assessment of the consequences of launching a military strike against Iran. This amendment is necessary because, once again, we have saber rattling voices who are beating the war drum. If we have learned anything from the past ten years, it is that we have to be deliberate, be thoughtful, be careful, and know exactly what we are getting ourselves into before we launch another war in the Middle East. These decisions should not be taken lightly, and they must be based on sound reasoning, and the best information, and the best intelligence. We have a duty to our brave men and women in uniform who have sacrificed so much during the past decade of war to have an informed debate about the consequences of military action. I urge you to vote ``yes'' on this amendment."
Jackson-Lee (D-TX), 5/31/12: On various topics, including Syria
Wasserman-Shultz (D-FL), Lowey (D-NY), Schakowsky (D-IL), Davis (D-CA), Murphy (D-CT),5/30/12: On Jewish American Heritage Month
Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), 5/30/12: As UNESCO Hosts Anti-Israel Conference, Ros-Lehtinen Reiterates Opposition to Restoring U.S. Funding
Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), 5/29/12: Obama Administration Should Have Led on Expulsion of Syrian Diplomat
Amash (R-MI), 5/29/12: "I voted 'no' on the motion to suspend the rules and pass H Res 568, a resolution concerning Iran's nuclear program. The resolution 'warns that time is limited' to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, supports the U.S.'s efforts to prevent Iran from 'acquiring nuclear weapons capability,' and 'rejects any policy that would rely on efforts to contain a nuclear weapons-capable Iran,' among other things. It concerns me that 'nuclear weapons capability' isn't defined, and multiple sources involved with the resolution, who I asked, haven't given me a uniform definition. I also am concerned with the idea that in the future we would automatically reject any policy that would seek to contain a nuclear-capable Iran, given that 'nuclear weapons capability' isn't defined. I strongly believe our current policy should not be containment. We should make every effort, along with the international community, to dissuade Iran from attempting to build or acquire nuclear weapons. But I worry that the two critical, vague statements in the resolution could box Members of Congress into supporting war, even if Iran takes actions that are short of building or acquiring nuclear weapons, or even attempting to do so..."
Lee (D-CA), 5/25/12: "I recently voted ``no'' on House Resolution 568. I have made it clear that an Iran armed with nuclear weapons is unacceptable. My legislation, H.R. 4173, presents a viable approach to achieving a nuclear-arms free Iran by pursuing a diplomatic resolution to the conflict. I am deeply concerned about Iran threatening its neighbors, Israel in particular. I have always strongly supported Israel's security and rights as a nation, and will continue to vote in favor of measures which will enhance the prospects for a peaceful Middle East. This resolution, however, does not advance that goal. First, the focus on nuclear weapons ``capability'' suggests a lowered red-line threshold, which could make a U.S. strike much more likely. While this term has been used in varying contexts in recent years, it is a vague term that can potentially create openings for those seeking military conflict with Iran. Further, Clause 2(A) would put Congress on record opposing any diplomatic agreement regarding Iran's nuclear program that allows Iran to enrich any uranium whatsoever, even for peaceful, civilian energy purposes subject to intense international monitoring and safeguards. This provision constitutes a poison pill that would pre-emptively kill any diplomatic solution to the crisis, because there is no feasible agreement that can be achieved with Iran in which it would give up its right under the Non-Proliferation Treaty to enrich uranium for civilian purposes. Finally, Clause 6 would ``reject any U.S. policy that would rely on efforts to contain a nuclear weapons capable Iran'' and ``oppose any policy that would rely on containment as an option in response to the Iranian nuclear threat.'' This clause is unhelpful and unnecessary as no policymaker is suggesting a containment strategy. As the sole Member of Congress to vote against the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, I am wary of legislation that could put our men and women in uniform in harm's way due to a lack of deliberation before entering a war. This legislation did not reduce the prospects for war with Iran, nor did it advance its stated purpose of preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. The above mentioned clauses therefore ignore and undermine the prospects for a diplomatic solution. Because of these flawed provisions, I voted against H. Res. 568."
5. From the Press
Politico, 6/15/12: Gillibrand rebukes Charles Barron (for being anti-Israel)
MJ Rosenberg, 6/14/12: The Lobby and Congress Work To Eliminate Concept Of Palestinian Refugees
NorthJersey.com 6/13/12: Rothman-Pascrell race reverberates
The Hill, 6/11/12: White House signs Israeli investor visa bill
MJ Rosenberg, 6/11/12: New AIPAC Letter To Sink Iran Negotiations
Yeshiva World, 5/30/12: Israeli Loses Congressional Race
JPost, 5/29/12: Welcoming Israeli investors to America with open arms (By Rep. Berman, D-CA)
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