Legislative Round-Up: September 12, 2017

Produced by the Foundation for Middle East Peace in cooperation with Americans for Peace Now, where the Legislative Round-Up was conceived

Note: There will be no Round-Up this Friday. This special mid-week edition is devoted to a detailed analysis of the Senate version of the FY18 ForOps bill, passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee on 9/7. Next week’s Round-Up will cover Hill developments 9/8-9/22.

Shameless plug: On 9/28, FMEP will be hosting an event in Washington: “JAILING ISSA AMRO: Israel (and the PA’s) Problem with Non-Violent Activism.” The event will feature Palestinian human rights defender Issa Amro and FMEP non-resident fellow Peter Beinart. For event information or to RSVP, visit our event page.

 

FY18 State & Foreign Ops Bill – Senate Version

As reported in last week’s Round-Up, on 9/6, the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Foreign Operations Subcommittee marked up and passed the Senate version of the FY18 ForOps Approps bill. On 9/7, the full Appropriations Committee marked up and passed the bill.

As usual, this bill (S. 1780) and the report that accompanies it (S. Rpt. 115-152) include myriad Middle East-related provisions. These provisions and key background/context are detailed below.

 

 

TITLE I -- DEPARTMENT OF STATE AND RELATED AGENCY

Broadcasting Board of Governors, international broadcasting operations: The bill provides $788,153,000 “to carry out international communication activities, and to make and supervise grants for radio and television broadcasting to the Middle East.” Provided that (among other things) “the BBG shall notify the Committees on Appropriations within 15 days of any determination by the Board that any of its broadcast entities, including its grantee organizations, provides an open platform for international terrorists or those who support international terrorism, or is in violation of the principles and standards set forth in subsections (a) and (b) of section 303 of the United States International Broadcasting Act of 1994 (22 U.S.C. 6202) or the entity's journalistic code of ethics.” [Perennial language]

Center for Middle Eastern-Western Dialogue Trust Fund: Perennial provision stating: “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, 2018, to remain available until expended.”

Israeli Arab Scholarship Program: Perennial provision stating: “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 note), all interest and earnings accruing to the Israeli Arab Scholarship Fund on or before September 30, 2018, to remain available until expended.

The report accompanying the bill notes: “The Committee continues to recognize the value of virtual exchanges as a means to broaden understanding and engagement between youth in the United States, Middle East, and North Africa in a cost-effective manner, and recommends $5,000,000 for the J. Christopher Stevens Virtual Exchange program. The Committee intends that funds are made available for this program on a cost-matching basis, to the maximum extent practicable.

 

 

TITLE III -- BILATERAL ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE

ECONOMIC SUPPORT FUNDS – ESF (Near East Total: 1,773,225,000)

Details for ESF for Middle East countries are laid out in section 7041 of the bill, discussed below. The funding table contained in report accompanying the bill lays out ESF for the Near East as follows:

Egypt: $75,000,000

Iraq: $100,00,000

Jordan: $1,082,400,000 

Lebanon: $110,000,000

Morocco: $20,000,000

Tunisia: $79,000,000

West Bank and Gaza: $196,500,000

Middle East Multilaterals: $875,000

Middle East Partnership Initiative: $47,500,000 (of which $20,000,000 is for scholarships)

Middle East Regional Cooperation: $5,000,000

Near East Regional Democracy: $32,000,000

USAID Middle East Regional: $11,950,000

Reconciliation Programs: $10,000,000

Subtotal, Near East: $1,773,225,000

 

MIGRATION AND REFUGEE ASSISTANCE – MRA

The bill stipulates that “$7,500,000 shall be made available for refugees resettling in Israel.” The report notes that “The Committee recommends $7,500,000 for refugee resettlement in Israel under the MRA heading, to be awarded through an open and competitive process.”

 

 

TITLE IV - INTERNATIONAL SECURITY ASSISTANCE

International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement (INCLE)

This section includes funding for International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement (INCLE). The funding table accompanying the reports lays out INCLE funding for the Near East as follows:

Egypt: $2,000,000

Iraq: $3,000,000

Lebanon: $ 10,000,000 

Morocco: $5,000,000

Tunisia: $13,000,000

West Bank & Gaza: $60,000,000

Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership: $2,000,000 

Subtotal, Near East: $95,000,000

 

Nonproliferation, Anti-Terrorism, Demining & Related Programs – NADR

The bill includes language introduced in the Senate version in 2017 regarding funding for the IAEA, conditioning U.S. voluntary contributions to the IAEA, stating that: “the Secretary of State shall inform the appropriate congressional committees of information regarding any separate arrangements relating to the “Road-map for the Clarification of Past and Present Outstanding Issues Regarding Iran’s Nuclear Program” between the IAEA and the Islamic Republic of Iran, in classified form if necessary, if such information becomes known to the Department of State.” This section also includes a perennial stipulation that “…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.”

 

Peacekeeping Operations – PKO

The bill stipulates that, “…not less than $31,000,000 shall be made available for a United States contribution to the Multinational Force and Observers mission in the Sinai.” The accompanying report notes: “The act provides $31,000,000 for the Multinational Force and Observers [MFO] mission in the Sinai, which includes $26,000,000 for operating expenses and an additional $5,000,000 for emergent and/or contingency requirements to protect and sustain the MFO mission.”

 

International Military Education and Training – IMET

The funding table accompanying the reports lays out IMET funding for the Near East as listed below. It should be noted that IMET is used to fund U.S. training and programs with foreign militaries, reflecting U.S. priorities – it is not aid handed over to foreign countries

Algeria: $1,400,000

Bahrain: $800,000

Egypt: $1,800,000

Iraq: $1,000,000

Jordan: $4,000,000

Lebanon: $2,750,000

Morocco: $2,000,000

Oman: $2,000,000

Saudi Arabia: $10,000 

Tunisia: $2,300,000

NEAR EAST TOTAL: $18,060,000

 

Foreign Military Financing – FMF

See Section 7041, below, for details of FMF provisions for all countries except Israel. The funding table accompanying the reports lays out FMF funding for the Near East as follows:

Bahrain: $5,000,000

Egypt: $ 1,000,000,000

Iraq: $250,000,000

Israel: $3,100,000,000

Jordan: $400,000,000

Lebanon: $105,000,000

Morocco: $ 5,000,000

Tunisia: $65,000,000

NEAR EAST TOTAL: $4,932,000,000 (out of $5,620,213,000 total worldwide)

 

Israel: The bill stipulates that, “not less than $3,100,000,000 shall be available for grants only for Israel, which shall be disbursed within 30 days of enactment of this Act.” The text also stipulates that “…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.

NOTE: As highlighted previously in the Round-Up, these little-remarked stipulations – early disbursal and permission for (not less than) almost $1 billion of FMF to be spent inside Israel – are unique to Israel’s aid program. Both significantly increase the value of the assistance to Israel – and the cost of the assistance to the U.S. In all other cases, FMF is obligated and disbursed by the U.S. on an as-used basis, meaning that the U.S. either keeps the money in the U.S. Treasury until it is needed (where it earns interest) or if the money is not in the U.S. Treasury, the U.S. does not have to borrow it until it is needed (meaning less interest paid). In the case of Israel, the entire $3.1 billion is handed over in a lump sum within 30 days of the law passing, meaning that Israel can bank the money and earn interest on it (which it can spend however it likes). In addition, in all other cases, FMF must be spent inside the U.S. (unless a specific exemption is granted). The logic behind this is that FMF is not just a “gift” to a foreign country but is actually a form of investment in the U.S. economy. In Israel’s case, however, almost $1 billion of FMF may be used in Israel or other countries, rather than for the benefit of U.S. industry.

 

 

TITLE VII - GENERAL PROVISIONS

Sec. 7007: Prohibition against direct funding for certain countries

This is perennial bill language banning aid to Cuba, North Korea, Iran, and Syria, extending to loans, credits, insurance, and guarantees of the Export-Import Bank or its agents.

 

Sec. 7008: Coups d’état

This is the section that has caused Congress and the Obama Administration a headache over Egypt funding after the removal of the Morsi government. It states: “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’état or decree or, after the date of enactment of this Act, a coup d’état or decree in which the military plays a decisive role.” It also states that “assistance may be resumed to such government if the Secretary of State certifies and reports to the appropriate congressional committees that subsequent to the termination of assistance a democratically elected government has taken office” and that the prohibition in this section “shall not apply to assistance to promote democratic elections or public participation in democratic processes.”

 

Sec. 7013: Prohibition on taxation of assistance

This is a perennial provision barring taxation of U.S. assistance. While this provision appears generic, the only recipient explicitly identified is the West Bank and Gaza. This reflects the genesis of the provision - the allegation in a previous year that the Palestinian Authority (PA) was taxing U.S. assistance provided to NGOs (and recall that under existing law direct aid to the PA is prohibited), thereby indirectly benefiting from US assistance designed specifically to bypass the PA.

 

Sec. 7015: Notification Requirements

Part (f) of this section states that no funds appropriated under titles III through VI of this Act (pretty much all funds in the bill) may be obligated or expended for assistance to a laundry list of countries, “except as provided through regular notification procedures of the Committees on Appropriations.” From the Middle East the list includes (this year): Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Syria.

 

Sec. 7021: Prohibition on assistance to governments supporting international terrorism

This provision prohibits the export of lethal military equipment 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…” and prohibits bilateral assistance to any country supports international terrorism, gives sanctuary to terrorist, or is controlled by a terrorist organization. The section includes national security waivers for both restrictions.

 

Sec. 7024: Near East and Africa Relief and Recovery Fund

This provisions allocates (and lays out extensive requirements regarding the use of) not less than $25 million for assistance “for areas liberated from, or under the influence of, extremist organizations in and around the Near East and Africa regions.”

 

Sec. 7031: Financial Management & Budget Transparency

Part (a) of this provision stipulates that, “funds appropriated by this Act may be made available for direct government-to-government assistance only if” a number of conditions are satisfied. Condition (E) reads as follows: “the recipient government is taking steps to protect the rights of civil society, including freedoms of expression, association, and assembly.”

 

Sec. 7033: International Religious Freedom

Part (b)(4) stipulates that, “Of the funds appropriated by this Act under the heading “International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement” that are made available for the Relief and Recovery Fund, not less than $5,000,000 shall be made available to support transitional justice, reconciliation, and reintegration programs for vulnerable and persecuted religious minorities, including in the Middle East and North Africa regions: Provided, That such funds shall be matched, to the maximum extent practicable, from sources other than the United States Government.”

 

Sec. 7034: Special Provisions

Part (b)(2), entitled “Crowd Control Items,” states that “Funds appropriated by this Act should not be used for tear gas, small arms, light weapons, ammunition, or other items for crowd control purposes for foreign security forces that use excessive force to repress peaceful expression, association, or assembly in countries undergoing democratic transition.”

Part (o)(1), entitled “Loan Guarantees” stipulates that, “Funds appropriated under the headings “Economic Support Fund” and “Assistance for Europe, Eurasia and Central Asia” by this Act and prior Acts making appropriations for the Department of State, foreign operations, and related programs may be made available for the costs, as defined in section 502 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, of loan guarantees for Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Tunisia, and Ukraine, which are authorized to be provided.”

Part (o)(2), entitled “Enterprise Funds” stipulates that, “Funds appropriated under the heading “Economic Support Fund” in this Act may be made available to establish and operate one or more enterprise funds for Egypt and Tunisia....”

 

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. It is worth noting that this longstanding feature of U.S. law focuses squarely on the Arab Boycott of ISRAEL. Nowhere does it define “Israel” to mean “Israel and territories controlled by Israel,” as is happening today in the context of various pieces of legislation adopted or under consideration at the State and Federal level.

 

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. assistance programs (carried out through non-governmental organizations) 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.

The section also includes a perennial subsection entitled “Prohibition to Hamas and the Palestine Liberation Organization” (in effect lumping together a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization, with the internationally recognized representative of the Palestinian people and NOT on the list of U.S.-designated FTO since that list was first published in 1997). This subsection bars funding to the PLO and 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.” This formulation is clearly designed to make it difficult for the U.S. engage any kind of Palestinian power-sharing government that results from a future Fatah-Hamas reconciliation, or some other arrangements that lead to a national unity government or a mutually-agreed technocratic government.

Finally, the section does includes language of past bills stipulating that the prohibition 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.” It also includes the proviso that, “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 the sake of completeness, Section 620K(b)(1)(A) and (B) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended, reads as follows:

(b) Certification.--A certification described in subsection (a) is a certification transmitted by the President to Congress that contains a determination of the President that--

(1) no ministry, agency, or instrumentality of the Palestinian Authority is effectively controlled by Hamas, unless the Hamas-controlled Palestinian Authority has--

(A) publicly acknowledged the Jewish state of Israel's right to exist; and

(B) committed itself and is adhering to all previous agreements and understandings with the United States Government, with the Government of Israel, and with the international community, including agreements and understandings pursuant to the Performance-Based Roadmap to a Permanent Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (commonly referred to as the `Roadmap').

 

And 620K(e) reads as follows:

(e) National Security Waiver.--

(1) In general.--Subject to paragraph (2), the President may waive subsection (a) with respect to-

(A) the administrative and personal security costs of the Office of the President of the Palestinian Authority;

(B) the activities of the President of the Palestinian Authority to fulfill his or her duties as President, including to maintain control of the management and security of border crossings, to foster the Middle East peace process, and to promote democracy and the rule of law; and

(C) assistance for the judiciary branch of the Palestinian Authority and other entities.

(2) Certification.--The President may only exercise the waiver authority under paragraph (1) after--

(A) consulting with, and submitting a written policy justification to, the appropriate congressional committees; and

(B) certifying to the appropriate congressional committees that--

(i) it is in the national security interest of the United States to provide assistance otherwise prohibited under subsection (a); and

(ii) the individual or entity for which assistance is proposed to be provided is not a member of, or effectively controlled by (as the case may be), Hamas or any other foreign terrorist organization.

(3) Report.—Not later than 10 days after exercising the waiver authority under paragraph (1), the President shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report describing how the funds provided pursuant to such waiver will be spent and detailing the accounting procedures that are in place to ensure proper oversight and accountability.

(4) Treatment of certification as notification of program change.--For purposes of this subsection, the certification required under paragraph (2)(B) shall be deemed to be a notification under section 634A and shall be considered in accordance with the procedures applicable to notifications submitted pursuant to that section.

 

Sec. 7041: Middle East and North Africa

Bahrain and Saudi Arabia 

Sec. 7041 includes no stipulations regarding funding for Bahrain (which is provided for in the bill under various categories). The report accompanying the bill does stipulate that, “The Secretary of State shall update the report required under the FMF heading in Senate Report 114–79 in the manner described, and work with the Government of Bahrain on implementation of reforms that provide greater rights and opportunities for the people of Bahrain.” It also includes the remarkably weak note concerning the current situation in Bahrain: “The Committee remains concerned that restrictions on peaceful dissent and free expression in Bahrain may have the unintended consequence of increasing instability in that country. Likewise, Sec. 7041 includes no stipulations regarding Saudi Arabia; however, the report accompanying the bill notes: “The Committee is concerned with human rights in Saudi Arabia, including the imprisonment of blogger Raif Badawi and his lawyer Waleed Abu al-Khair.”

 

Sec. 7041(a). Egypt

The funding table contained in the report accompanying the breaks down funding for Egypt as follows: ESF - $75,000,000 (of which $10,000,000 is earmarked for scholarships); INCLE - $2,000,000; NADR - $3,000,000; IMET - $1,800,000; FMF: $1,000,000,000; TOTAL: $1,081,800,000

Overall conditions on aid: This section states funds appropriated by this Act that are available for assistance for Egypt “may be made available notwithstanding any other provision of law restricting assistance for Egypt, except for section 620M of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, and may only be made available for assistance for the Government of Egypt if the Secretary of State certifies and reports to the Committees on Appropriations that such government is—(A) sustaining the strategic relationship with the United States; and (B) meeting its obligations under the 1979 Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty.”

Note: Section 620M of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 states that “No assistance shall be furnished under this Act or the Arms Export Control Act to any unit of the security forces of a foreign country if the Secretary of State has credible information that such unit has committed a gross violation of human rights.” It adds that this prohibition “shall not apply if the Secretary determines and reports to the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate, the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives, and the Committees on Appropriations that the government of such country is taking effective steps to bring the responsible members of the security forces unit to justice.” Given certain events in Egypt in recent months (perhaps most glaringly the torture/murder of an Italian graduate student), inclusion of this reference is important.

ESF: The bill stipulates that “up to $75,000,000 may be made available for assistance for Egypt, of which not less than $35,000,000 should be made available for higher education programs including not less than $10,000,000 for scholarships for Egyptian students with high financial need to attend not-for-profit institutions of higher education: Provided, That such funds may be made available for democracy programs and for development programs in the Sinai: Provided further, That such funds may not be made available for cash transfer assistance or budget support unless the Secretary of State certifies and reports to the appropriate congressional committees that the Government of Egypt is taking consistent and effective steps to stabilize the economy and implement market-based economic reforms.”

The section also stipulates that, “The Secretary of State shall withhold from obligation funds appropriated by this Act under the heading “Economic Support Fund” for assistance for Egypt, an amount of such funds that the Secretary determines to be equivalent to that expended by the United States Government for bail, and by nongovernmental organizations for legal and court fees, associated with democracy-related trials in Egypt until the Secretary certifies and reports to the Committees on Appropriations that the Government of Egypt has dismissed the convictions issued by the Cairo Criminal Court on June 4, 2013, in ‘Public Prosecution Case No. 1110 for the Year 2012’”.

This section further stipulates that, “None of the funds appropriated by this Act and prior Acts making appropriations for the Department of State, foreign operations, and related programs under the heading ‘Economic Support Fund’ may be made available for a contribution, voluntary or otherwise, to the ‘Civil Associations and Foundations Support Fund’, or any similar fund, established pursuant to Law 70 on Associations and Other Foundations Working in the Field of Civil Work published in the Official Gazette of Egypt on May 29, 2017.”

FMF: The bill allocates up to $1,000,000,000 in FMF for assistance for Egypt, to remain available until September 30, 2019, and stipulates that these funds may be transferred to the interest bearing account. It stipulates that 25 percent of that amount shall be withheld until the Secretary of State certifies and reports to the Committees on Appropriations that the Government of Egypt is taking effective steps to:

(i) “advance democracy and human rights in Egypt, including to govern democratically and protect religious minorities and the rights of women, which are in addition to steps taken during the previous calendar year for such purposes”;

(ii) “implement reforms that protect freedoms of expression, association, and peaceful assembly, including the ability of civil society organizations, human rights defenders, and the media to function without interference”;

(iii) “release political prisoners and provide detainees with due process of law; ”

(iv) “hold Egyptian security forces accountable, including officers credibly alleged to have violated human rights”;

(v) “investigate and prosecute cases of extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances, including the torture and murder of Giulio Regeni, a University of Cambridge doctoral student;” and

(v) “provide regular access for United States officials to monitor such assistance in areas where the assistance is used.”

The section further stipulates that the Secretary of State may waive the certification requirement (which in any case applies only to 25 percent of the aid), “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, and submits a report to such Committees containing a detailed justification for the use of such waiver and the reasons why any of the requirements of subparagraph (A) cannot be met.”

Finally, this section requires the Secretary of State to “take all practicable steps to ensure that mechanisms are in place for monitoring, oversight, and control of funds made available by this subsection for assistance for Egypt.”

In addition, the report accompanying the bill states:

  • “Subsection (a)(2)(A) of the act recommends not less than $10,000,000 for Egyptian students with high financial need to attend not-for-profit institutions of higher education that meet standards equivalent to those required for U.S. institutional accreditation by a regional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Students should be eligible for scholarships based on need, outstanding academic record, and leadership potential to contribute to the long-term political, economic, and social development of Egypt. The curriculum of such institutions should encourage critical thinking and be taught in the English language.
  • “The act provides that funds appropriated under the ESF heading for assistance for Egypt shall be made available for development programs in the Sinai. The Committee notes that efforts by the Government of Egypt to establish security and stability in the Sinai will not be achieved through military force alone, and that a comprehensive development strategy is necessary to achieve this end. The Secretary of State shall consult with the Committee on the proposed uses of funds.
  • “Not later than 90 days after enactment of the act, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense and the Government of Egypt, shall submit a report to the appropriate congressional committees describing U.S. policy regarding cash-flow financing for assistance for Egypt made available under the FMF heading.”
  • “Sections 7034(o)(1) and (2) of the act provide authority for loan guarantees and an enterprise fund for Egypt, respectively.”

 

Sec. 7041(b) Iran

This section states that funding in the bill (under Diplomatic and Consular Programs, ESF, and NADR) shall be used by the Secretary of State to: “(A) support the United States policy to prevent Iran from achieving the capability to produce or otherwise obtain a nuclear weapon; (B) to support an expeditious response to any violation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231; (C) to support the implementation and enforcement of sanctions against Iran for support of terrorism, human rights abuses, and ballistic missile and weapons proliferation; and (D) for democracy programs for Iran…

This section also states the terms and conditions of 7041(c)(2) in division I of PL 112-74 shall remain in effect during FY18. This is:

(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 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).

Finally, this section requires the Secretary of State to submit to Congress:

(A) the semi-annual report required by section 135 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (42 U.S.C. 2160e(d)(4)), as added by section 2 of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 (Public Law 114–17; 129 Stat. 201); and

(B) Not later than 180 days after the enactment of this Act, a report “on the status of the implementation and enforcement of bilateral United States and multilateral sanctions against Iran and actions taken by the United States and the international community to enforce such sanctions against Iran: Provided, That the report shall also include any entities involved in providing significant support for the development of a ballistic missile by the Government of Iran after October 1, 2015, including shipping and financing, and note whether such entities are currently under United States sanctions…

The report accompanying the bill further stipulates: “Not later than 180 days after the enactment of the act, the Secretary of State shall update the report required under this heading in Senate Report 114–79 regarding steps taken to implement section 415 of the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012 (Public Law 112–158).

 

Sec. 7041 (c) Iraq

The funding table in the report accompanying the bill breaks down funding for Jordan as follows: ESF - $100,000,000 (of which $7,500,000 is earmarked for the Marla Ruzicka Iraq War Victims Fund and $60,000,000 is earmarked for democracy programs); INCLE - $3,000,000; NADR - $24,425,000; IMET - $1,000,000; FMF - $250,000,000. TOTAL - $379,425,000

The bill text notes that, “Funds appropriated by this Act shall be made available for assistance for Iraq to promote governance, security, and internal and regional stability, including in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and other areas impacted by the conflict in Syria, and among religious and ethnic minority populations in Iraq: Provided, That the Secretary of State shall consult with the Committees on Appropriations prior to obligating funds made available for the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.”

It also stipulates that, “None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used by the Government of the United States to enter into a permanent basing rights agreement between the United States and Iraq.

The report notes:

  • “The Committee recommends $969,109,000 for diplomatic operations in Iraq under the D&CP and ESCM headings. The Committee supports the use of funds made available under section 7004(e)(1) of the act, and similar provisions in prior acts making appropriations for the Department of State, foreign operations, and related programs, for security upgrades and projects at the Baghdad Diplomatic Support Center.
  • “The Committee notes the need for replacement of fully armored vehicles in Iraq, particularly at Consulate Basrah, and expects the provision of such vehicles to be a priority for the Department of State.
  • “Not later than 90 days after enactment of the act, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense, shall submit a report to the Committee detailing the number of personnel in Iraq under Chief of Mission authority, and other individuals supported by Department of State operations.
  • “Funds made available for the Kurdistan Region of Iraq [KRI] under the ESF heading shall be made available for programs to further economic reforms, diversify the economy, develop agricultural opportunities, and support the creation of small and medium-sized enterprises. Additional assistance is available under the IDA and MRA headings to mitigate the impact of IDPs and refugees in the KRI.
  • “The Secretary of State and USAID Administrator shall consult with the Committee on the proposed uses and management of funds made available by the act for the Marla Ruzicka Iraqi War Victims Fund.
  • “The Committee expects the administration to conduct effective monitoring of the use in Iraq of U.S. assistance for training and equipment recommended under the FMF heading.”

 

Sec. 7041 (d) Jordan

The funding table in the report accompanying the bill breaks down funding for Jordan as follows: ESF - $1,082,400,000; NADR - $13,600,000; IMET - $4,000,000; FMF - $400,000,000.

This bill text stipulates that: “Of the funds appropriated by this Act under titles III and IV, not less than $1,500,000,000 shall be made available for assistance for Jordan, of which not less than: $1,082,400,000 shall be made available under the heading “Economic Support Fund”; $400,000,000 shall be made available under the heading “Foreign Military Financing Program”; and $745,100,000 shall be made available for budget support for the Government of Jordan.”

The report notes that, “The Committee recommends not less than $1,500,000,000 for assistance for Jordan. Additional assistance is available under the IDA and MRA headings to address the needs of refugees in Jordan from neighboring countries, including for communities hosting such refugees.” It also states: “The Secretary of State shall negotiate an MOU with Jordan in a timely manner, particularly as the current MOU expired in fiscal year 2017.”

 

Sec. 7041 (e) Lebanon

The funding table in the report accompanying the bill breaks down funding for Lebanon as follows: ESF - $110,000,000 (of which $12,000,000 is earmarked for scholarships); INCLE - $10,000,000; NADR - $5,760,000; IMET - $2,750,000; and FMF - $105,000,000. TOTAL: $233,510,000

This bill text bars funding “for the Lebanese Internal Security Forces (ISF) or the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) if the ISF or the LAF is controlled by a foreign terrorist organization, as designated pursuant to section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1189).” It also stipulates that INCLE and FMF funding “may be made available for programs and equipment for the ISF and the LAF to address security and stability requirements in Lebanon, including in areas affected by the conflict in Syria, following consultation with the appropriate congressional committees.”

It also stipulates that ESF for Lebanon may be made available “notwithstanding section 1224 of Public Law 107–228.” Section 1224 of Public Law 107–228 bars aid to Lebanon unless the President certifies that “(1) the armed forces of Lebanon have been deployed to the internationally recognized border between Lebanon and Israel; and (2) the Government of Lebanon is effectively asserting its authority in the area in which such armed forces have been deployed.”

In addition, the bill states that FMF “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.” It bill text also prohibits the obligation of assistance to the LAF “until the Secretary of State submits to the Committees on Appropriations a spend plan, including actions to be taken to ensure equipment provided to the LAF is only used for the intended purposes” (and noting that this plan is in addition to other notification requirements). Finally, the bill stipulates that any notification of funding “shall include any funds specifically intended for lethal military equipment.”

The report accompanying the bill states: “The Committee again notes that sections 620A and 620G of the FAA restrict assistance to any country the Secretary of State determines has repeatedly supported acts of international terrorism and require the withholding of assistance to the government of any country that provides assistance to such country so determined by the Secretary, respectively. Hezbollah has been designated a FTO pursuant to section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1189), as amended, since 1997. The Committee again expects that no funds made available by the act will directly or indirectly benefit or otherwise legitimize Hezbollah, including within the Government of Lebanon, or any other FTO operating in Lebanon.”

It adds that, “The Committee recommends $12,000,000 for scholarships for students in Lebanon with high financial need at not-for-profit educational institutions in Lebanon that meet standards comparable to those required for U.S. accreditation, to be awarded on a competitive basis. Students graduating from public and private high schools in Lebanon should be eligible for such scholarships if they demonstrate financial need and meet the academic requirements.”

It notes, in addition, that, “the Committee recommends $2,000,000 from funds made available for the Relief and Recovery Fund to continue the pilot program at such institutions to establish a degree and/or certificate program for refugees in Lebanon, of any nationality, who have completed secondary education.

 

Sec. 7041 (f) Libya

The bill text stipulates that funding in the bill for Libya is “for programs to strengthen governing institutions and civil society, improve border security, and promote stability in Libya, and for activities to address the humanitarian needs of the people of Libya.” It bill conditions all funding for the central Government of Libya on the Secretary of State certifying/reporting “that such government is cooperating with United States Government efforts to investigate and bring to justice those responsible for the attack on United States personnel and facilities in Benghazi, Libya in September 2012,” but noted that this limitation “shall not apply to funds made available for the purpose of protecting United States Government personnel or facilities.” The bill notes that the limitation on the uses of funds in section 7041(f)(2) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2014 (division K of Public Law 113–76; 128 Stat. 525) applies to funds appropriated by this Act, and requires that prior to the initial obligation of funding for Libya, “the Secretary of State shall certify and report to the Committees on Appropriations that all practicable steps have been taken to ensure that mechanisms are in place for monitoring, oversight, and control of funds made available by this subsection for assistance for Libya.”

 

Sec. 7041 (g) Morocco

The funding table in the report accompanying the bill breaks down funding for Morocco as follows: ESF - $20,000,000; INCLE - $5,000,000; NADR - $1,500,000; IMET - $2,000,000; and FMF - $33,500,000. TOTAL: $33,500,000

This bill text stipulates that “Funds appropriated by this Act under the heading “Foreign Military Financing Program” that are available for assistance for Morocco may only be used for the purposes described in section 7041(h)(2) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2017 (division J of Public Law 115–31).”

 

Sec. 7041 (h) Relief & Recovery Fund

The funding table in the report accompanying the bill breaks down funding for the Relief and Recovery Fund as follows: Development Assistance (DA) - $72,850,000; ESF - $200,000,000 (of which $4,000,000 is earmarked for scholarships for refugees); INCLE - $27,150,000 (of which $5,000,000 is earmarked for Transitional Justice, Reconciliation, and Reintegration programs; and $5,000,000 is earmarked for Transitional Justice programs); NADR - $50,000,000; and PKO - $80,000,000; and FMF - $70,000,000. TOTAL: $500,000,000

The bill text states that of the funds appropriated in this act in various categories, “not less than $500,000,000 shall be made available for the Relief and Recovery Fund for assistance for areas liberated or at risk from, or under the control of, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, other terrorist organizations, or violent extremist organizations in and around the Near East and Africa.” These funds are “in addition to amounts otherwise made available for such purposes and to amounts specifically designated in this Act or in the report accompanying this Act for assistance for countries.” The bill text lays out other rules and terms for such funding. In addition, this section stipulates that of the INCLE funding made available for such efforts, “not less than $5,000,000 shall be made available for programs to promote accountability in Iraq and Syria for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes, which shall be in addition to any other funds made available by this Act for such purposes,” and lays out details for approval and use of such funds. The section notes, finally, that funds appropriated pursuant to this section, “shall be made available to the maximum extent practicable on a cost-matching basis from sources other than the United States Government.

The report accompanying the bill notes: “The Committee continues the Relief and Recovery Fund [RRF] to provide assistance for areas liberated or at risk from, or under the control of, ISIS, other terrorist organizations, or violent extremists in and around the Near East and Africa. Assistance included in the President’s budget request for Iraq (excluding bilateral programs), Libya, Syria, and Yemen are included in the RRF. The Committee supports reconciliation programs in communities previously occupied by ISIS and in other marginalized areas. The Secretary of State shall encourage and assist the Government of Iraq to provide relief to such communities consistent with respect for human rights and the rule of law. The Secretary of State shall consult with the Committee prior to exercising the transfer authority contained in subsection (h)(3).”

 

Sec. 7041 (i) Syria

This bill text states that assistance shall be made available, to the extent practicable and notwithstanding any other provision of law, notwithstanding any other provision of law, for non-lethal assistance, including for the armed opposition in Syria, programs to address the needs of civilians affected by conflict in Syria, and programs that seek to satisfy a list of goals laid out in the text (related to governance, empowerment of women, democracy and the rule of law, helping the Syrian opposition, helping Syrian civil society, promoting stability, fighting human rights abuses, expanding the role of women, helping refugees, assisting vulnerable populations, preserving the cultural identity and heritage sites of the people of Syria, countering extremism in Syria, and facilitating the return of displaced persons).

It also stipulates that, funds for assistance to Syria “shall be made available, on an open and competitive basis, to continue a program to strengthen the capability of Syrian civil society organizations to address the immediate and long-term needs of the Syrian people in Syria in a manner that supports the sustainability of such organizations in implementing Syrian-led humanitarian and development programs and the comprehensive strategy required in section 7041(i)(3) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2014 (division K of Public Law 113–76; 128 Stat. 527), which shall be updated as appropriate...

It also stipulates that none of the funding for Syria “may be made available for a project or activity that supports or otherwise legitimizes the Government of Iran, foreign terrorist organizations (as designated pursuant to section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1189)), or a proxy of Iran in Syria” and requires that funding in this section “only be made available following consultation with the appropriate congressional committees, and shall be subject to the regular notification procedures of the Committees on Appropriations.

The report accompanying the bill notes: “Funds appropriated by the act for assistance for Syria shall be made available for programs to build the capacity of Syrian civil society, including through core support, to address the immediate and long-term needs of the Syrian people in Syria. For purposes of subsection (i)(1) the term ‘‘armed opposition’’ means non-extremist, moderate Syrian groups and organizations opposing FTOs and other extremists in Syria and the Assad Syrian regime.

 

Sec. 7041 (j) Tunisia

The funding table in the report accompanying the bill breaks down funding for Tunisia as follows: ESF - $79,000,000; INCLE - $13,000,000; NADR - $6,100,000; IMET - $2,300,000; FMF - $65,000,000. TOTAL: $165,400,000

This subsection earmarks “not less than $165,400,000” for Tunisia, from funds provided under titles III and IV of this Act. The report notes that: “Not later than 45 days after enactment of the act, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense and the Government of Tunisia, shall submit a report to the Committee assessing the feasibility of establishing a multi-year MOU between the Governments of the United States and Tunisia, which may provide greater predictability required to consolidate democratic and economic gains, and combat terrorism, in Tunisia. Sections 7034(o)(1) and (2) of the act provide authority for loan guarantees and an enterprise fund for Tunisia, respectively.”

 

Sec. 7041 (k) West Bank and Gaza

The funding table in the report accompanying the bill lays out FY17 funding for the West Bank and Gaza as follows: ESF - $196,500,000; INCLE - $60,000,000; and NADR - $1,000,000. TOTAL: $257,500,000

General: Part 1 of this section is a perennial requirement that prior to the obligation of any funds for the West Bank and Gaza, the Secretary of State shall report to Congress that the purpose of such assistance is to: “(A) advance Middle East peace; (B) improve security in the region; (C) continue support for transparent and accountable government institutions; (D) promote a private sector economy; or (E) address urgent humanitarian needs.”

Palestinians at the UN & ICC: Part 2 lays out further limitations on U.S. funding for the Palestinian Authority (in addition to the limitations in Secs. 7073 and 7040, discussed above). Part 2(A) bars any funding for the PA if “the Palestinians obtain 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” or if “the Palestinians initiate an International Criminal Court (ICC) judicially authorized investigation, or actively support such an investigation, that subjects Israeli nationals to an investigation for alleged crimes against Palestinians.” This section provides the Secretary of State the authority to waive the ban on assistance to the PA in the case where the Palestinians gain status at the UN if he “certifies to the Committees on Appropriations that to do so is in the national security interest 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.” No waiver is provided if the Palestinians go to the ICC.

Kicking the PLO Office Out of the U.S.: Part 2(B) limits the President’s ability to waive longstanding (and entirely anachronistic) legislation barring the PLO from having any representation in the United States. Where for decades Congress granted the President a “clean” national security or national interests waiver of that prohibition (contained in section 1003 of Public Law 100-204), in recent years Congress moved to make such waiver contingent on the President certifying 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” or “taken any action with respect to the ICC that is intended to influence a determination by the ICC to initiate a judicially authorized investigation, or to actively support such an investigation, that subjects Israeli nationals to an investigation for alleged crimes against Palestinians.

If the president cannot make that two-part certification, he must wait at least 90 days (during which, presumably, the PLO office has to be shut down), and then he may waive the law requiring him to kick the PLO out of the U.S. – but only for a limited period of time, and only if he can certify that “the Palestinians have entered into direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel” [a requirement whose fulfillment is not wholly under the Palestinians’ control].

No Funding for PA Unless Cuts Off Funding for Families of Prisoners: Part 3(A) of this section includes the amended version of the Taylor Force Act, as added by amendment in the Senate Appropriations Committee on 9/7. This section now conditions all funds that “directly benefit the Palestinian Authority” on the Secretary of State certifying that the PA:

(I) is taking credible steps to end acts of violence against Israeli citizens and United States citizens that are perpetrated by individuals under its jurisdictional control, such as the March 2016 attack that killed former United States Army officer Taylor Force, a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan;

(II) has terminated payments for acts of terrorism against Israeli citizens and United States citizens to any individual, after being fairly tried, who has been imprisoned for such acts of terrorism and to any individual who died committing such acts of terrorism, including to a family member of such individuals;

(III) has revoked any law, decree, regulation, or document authorizing or implementing a system of compensation for imprisoned individuals that uses the sentence or period of incarceration of an individual to determine the level of compensation paid; and

(IV) is publicly condemning such acts of violence and is taking steps to investigate or is cooperating in investigations of such acts of terrorism to bring the perpetrators to justice.

The paragraph includes an exemption from these restrictions for funds “made available to the East Jerusalem Hospital Network.” It also notes that, “Amounts withheld pursuant to this paragraph shall be deemed to satisfy any similar withholding or reduction required under any other provision of law.”

Part 3(B) of this section piles on more restrictions, adding the proviso that funds that directly benefit the PA (after satisfying the requirements of Part A) are available only if the Secretary of State certifies/reports that the PA, “is taking credible and verifiable steps to end acts of violence against Israeli citizens and United States citizens that are perpetrated by individuals under its jurisdictional control.”

Part 3(C) establishes a Treasury fun called the “Palestinian Authority Accountability Fund” (PAAF),” which shall consists of funds withheld pursuant to subparagraphs (A) and (B). Funds in this account may be made available to the PA if/when the required certification is made, but after a year (and annually thereafter) all funds in this account “shall be withdrawn and made available to the Department of State for the purposes of assistance other than that deemed benefitting the Palestinian Authority.”

Part 3(D) requires a new report on the PA, including “at a minimum, (i) an estimate of the amount expended by the Palestinian Authority during the previous calendar year as payments for acts of terrorism by individuals who are imprisoned for such acts; (ii) an estimate of the amount expended by the Palestinian Authority during the previous calendar year as payments to the families of deceased individuals who committed an act of terrorism;(iii) an overview of Palestinian laws, decrees, regulations, or documents in effect during the previous calendar year that authorize or implement any payments reported under clauses (i) and (ii); (iv) a description of United States Government policy, efforts, and engagement with the Palestinian Authority in order to confirm the revocation of any law, decree, regulation, or document in effect the previous calendar year that authorizes or implements any payments reported under clauses (i) and (ii); and (v) a description of United States Government policy, efforts, and engagement with other governments, and the United Nations, to highlight the issue of Palestinian payments for acts of terrorism and to urge other nations to join the United States in calling on the Palestinian Authority to end this system immediately.”

More reports: Part (4) requires more reports on the PA: “The reporting requirements in section 1404 of the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2008 (Public Law 110–252; 122 Stat. 2336) shall apply to funds made available by this Act, including a description of modifications, if any, to the security strategy of the Palestinian Authority” Section 1404 of PL 110-252 states: “Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act and 180 days thereafter, the Secretary of State shall submit to the Committees on Appropriations a report on assistance provided by the United States for the training of Palestinian security forces, including detailed descriptions of the training, curriculum, and equipment provided; an assessment of the training and the performance of forces after training has been completed; and a description of the assistance that has been pledged and provided to Palestinian security forces by other donors: Provided, That not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State shall report to the Committees on Appropriations, in classified form if necessary, on the security strategy of the Palestinian Authority.”

Part 4 also states: “Not later than 90 days after enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State shall submit a report to the appropriate congressional committees detailing steps taken by the Palestinian Authority to counter incitement of violence against Israelis and to promote peace and coexistence with Israel.”

The report accompanying the bill states: “Sections 7013(b), 7035, 7037, 7038, 7040, 7041(k), and 7048(d) of the act continue requirements on assistance for the West Bank and Gaza, in a manner similar to the prior fiscal year. The Committee retains sections 7036 and 7039 in the act, which were not included in the President’s budget request.”

 

Sec. 7041 (l) Western Sahara

This subsection stipulates that “Funds appropriated under title III of this Act may be made available for assistance for the people of Western Sahara following consultation with the Committees on Appropriations and with representatives of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in the Western Sahara.” The section also notes that, “Nothing in this Act shall be construed to change the policy of the United States to find a peaceful, sustainable, and mutually agreed upon solution for the Western Sahara.”

The report notes that, “the Committee is concerned with the lack of progress in resolving the protracted dispute over the political status of the Western Sahara. The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations shall engage the U.N. Security Council on this matter, particularly implementation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 2351 (April 28, 2017).”

 

Sec. 7048: United Nations

Part (a) of this section deals with Transparency and Accountability at the UN.

Part (b) states prohibits funding for anything having to do with any agency, body, or commission associated with the UN presided over by a country that the Secretary of State has determined, according to U.S. law, has repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism. The section also permits the Secretary of State to waive this ban if it is in the national interest of the United States.

Part (c) permits funding for the United Nations Human Rights Council only if the Secretary reports to Congress that “participation in the Council is important to the national interest of the United States and that the Council is taking significant steps to remove Israel as a permanent agenda item,” including in that report “description of the national interest served and the steps taken to remove Israel as a permanent agenda item” as well as reporting to Congress “not later than September 30, 2018, on the resolutions considered in the United Nations Human Rights Council during the previous 12 months, and on steps taken to remove Israel as a permanent agenda item.”

Part (d) requires a report, not later than 45 days after enactment of this Act, on whether UNRWA is:

“(1) utilizing Operations Support Officers in the West Bank, Gaza, and other fields of operation to inspect UNRWA installations and reporting any inappropriate use;

(2) acting promptly to address any staff or beneficiary violation of its own policies (including the policies on neutrality and impartiality of employees) and the legal requirements under section 301(c) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961;

(3) implementing procedures to maintain the neutrality of its facilities, including implementing a no-weapons policy, and conducting regular inspections of its installations, to ensure they are only used for humanitarian or other appropriate purposes;

(4) taking necessary and appropriate measures to ensure it is operating in compliance with the conditions of section 301(c) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 and continuing regular reporting to the Department of State on actions it has taken to ensure conformance with such conditions;

(5) taking steps to ensure the content of all educational materials currently taught in UNRWA-administered schools and summer camps is consistent with the values of human rights, dignity, and tolerance and does not induce incitement;

(6) not engaging in operations with financial institutions or related entities in violation of relevant United States law, and is taking steps to improve the financial transparency of the organization; and

(7) in compliance with the United Nations Board of Auditors’ biennial audit requirements and is implementing in a timely fashion the Board’s recommendations.”

Part (g) requires reporting to Congress on any U.S. contributions to international organizations that are withheld due to any provision of law [for example, U.S. funding to UNESCO, barred because UNESCO admitted the Palestinians as full members].

***Part (j) is a brand-new requirement (never in the bill until now) creating a mandatory withholding of U.S. funds for the UN, linked to UN actions vis-à-vis Israel. The section requires the Secretary of State to “withhold 5 percent of the funds appropriated by this Act under the heading “Contributions to International Organizations” for a specialized agency or other entity of the United Nations if the Secretary, in consultation with the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, determines and reports to the Committees on Appropriations that such agency or entity has taken an official action that is against the national security interest of the United States or an ally of the United States, including Israel.” Release of the funds is conditioned on certification that “such agency or entity is taking steps to address the action that resulted in the withholding of such funds.”***

The report accompanying the bill notes: “Subsection (j) provides a withholding of 5 percent of the funds appropriated by the act under the CIO heading if the Secretary of State determines and reports to the Committee that a U.N. specialized agency or other entity has taken an official action that is against the national security interest of the United States or a U.S. ally, including Israel. Withheld funds can either be released if the Secretary determines and reports to the Committee that such agency or entity is taking steps to address the action, or reprogrammed for activities under the CIO heading.” The report also requires that, “Not later than 90 days after enactment of the act, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations shall submit a report to the Committee describing instances of anti-Israel bias at the United Nations, including an identification of the agencies and entities where such bias has been demonstrated in the past.”

 

Sec. 7054: Landmines and Cluster Munitions

Perennial language barring military assistance, expert licenses, or sale of cluster munitions and cluster munitions technology unless the submunitions involved “do not result in more than 1 percent unexploded ordnance” and the applicable assistance/sale agreement “specifies that the cluster munitions will only be used against clearly defined military targets and will not be used where civilians are known to be present or in areas normally inhabited by civilians” or “such assistance, license, sale, or transfer is for the purpose of demilitarizing or permanently disposing of such cluster munitions.”

 

Sec. 7060(g): Reconciliation programs

This subsection states that “Of the funds appropriated by this Act under the headings “Economic Support Fund”, “Assistance for Europe, Eurasia and Central Asia”, and “Development Assistance”, not less than $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: 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, and such funds shall be subject to the regular notification procedures of the Committees on Appropriations: Provided further, That to the maximum extent practicable, such funds shall be matched by sources other than the United States Government: Provided further, That such funds shall be administered by the Office of Conflict Management and Mitigaton, USAID.”

 

Sec. 7068: Commercial Leasing of Defense Articles

Perennial provision: “Notwithstanding any other provision of law, and subject to the regular notification procedures of the Committees on Appropriations, the authority of section 23(a) of the Arms Export Control Act may be used to provide financing to Israel, Egypt, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and major non-NATO allies for the procurement by leasing (including leasing with an option to purchase) of defense articles from United States commercial suppliers, not including Major Defense Equipment (other than helicopters and other types of aircraft having possible civilian application), if the President determines that there are compelling foreign policy or national security reasons for those defense articles being provided by commercial lease rather than by government-to-government sale under such Act.”

 

Sec. 7076(b) Spend Plans

This section requires that with respect to specific aid recipients, “Prior to the initial obligation of funds, the Secretary of State or Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, as appropriate, shall submit to the Committees on Appropriations a spend plan for funds made available by this Act…” The list of recipients is: Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, and the West Bank and Gaza.

 

Sec. 7078: Global Internet Freedom

Part (B)(1)(b) of this subsection stipulates that funds made available under this section shall be “made available to the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, Department of State, for programs to implement the May 2011, International Strategy for Cyberspace; the Department of State International Cyberspace Policy Strategy required by section 402 of the Cybersecurity Act of 2015 (division N of Public Law 114–113); and the comprehensive strategy to promote Internet freedom and access to information in Iran, as required by section 414 of the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012 (22 U.S.C. 8754).”

 

 

comments powered by Disqus