APN Legislative Round-Up: Special Recess Edition, Jan 24, 2014

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APN Legislative Round-Up
   Special Recess Edition
       The FY14 Omnibus
           Jan. 24, 2014
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Last week the House and Senate passed HR 3547, the FY 2014 Consolidated Appropriations Act.    On 1/17/14 the President signed it into law.  Division K of HR 3547 is the “Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2014,” which includes all foreign affairs appropriations (other than that which is appropriated under the Department of Defense), as well as a great deal of authorizing language (this has long been the pattern, given the inability of Congress to usually pass a Foreign Relations Authorization bill).

Below are details of the Middle East-related elements in the final bill, as well as relevant details from the accompanying report (known in this context as a Joint Explanatory Statement - JES).   For details of the Middle East elements in the House version of this bill, HR 2855, and its accompanying report, see the 7/19/13 Round-Up.  For details of the Middle East elements in the Senate version of this bill, S.1372, and its accompanying report, see the 7/26-8/2 Round-Up (Part 2). 

It should be noted that the JES states explicitly that: “In implementing this agreement, Federal departments, agencies, and other entities shall comply with the directives, reporting requirements, and allocations contained in H. Rept. 113-185 (House report) accompanying H.R. 2855 (House bill) and S. Rept. 113-81 (Senate report) accompanying S. 1372 (Senate bill) as though stated in this explanatory statement unless specifically directed to the contrary. This explanatory statement, while repeating some House and Senate report language for emphasis or clarification, does not negate such language unless expressly provided herein.” Thus, to gain a full picture of Congressional intent and directives, the analysis below must be combined with the analysis of the House and Senate reports, linked in the preceding paragraph and examined in the relevant Round-Ups.

The FY14 Omnibus Appropriations Bill – Middle East-Related Elements

TITLE I -- DEPARTMENT OF STATE AND RELATED AGENCY

Contributions to International Organizations

Joint Explanatory Statement:  “The agreement does not include funds for an assessed contribution to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which is prohibited due to the application of Public Law 101-246 and Public Law 103-236.”

Contributions for International Peacekeeping Activities

Joint Explanatory Statement:  “The agreement does not include funding requested for a UN peacekeeping mission in Syria. If such a mission is established during the fiscal year, the Secretary of State shall consult with the Committees on Appropriations prior to making a contribution.”

Broadcasting Board of Governors, international broadcasting operations

Bill language:  “For necessary expenses to enable the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), as authorized, to carry out international communication activities, and to make and supervise grants for radio and television broadcasting to the Middle East, $721,080,000.

Joint Explanatory Statement: The JES includes a table earmarking $109,513,000 for Middle East Broadcasting Networks.

Center for Middle Eastern-Western Dialogue Trust Fund

Bill language:  “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, 2014, to remain available until expended.”

Joint Explanatory Statement: The table included in the JES lists funding for this program at $90,000, which is the same as the FY14 budget request.

Israeli Arab Scholarship Program

Bill language: “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, 2014, to remain available until expended.”

Joint Explanatory Statement: The table included in the JES lists funding for this program at $13,000, which is the same as the FY14 budget request.

TITLE III -- BILATERAL ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE

ECONOMIC SUPPORT FUNDS – ESF

Bill language: ESF is earmarked in the bill for certain Middle East countries in Sec. 7041, below.

Joint Explanatory Statement: The report stipulates that:

- the bill includes $75 million for the Middle East Partnership Initiative, of which not less than $10 million shall be made available “to continue scholarships for students in countries with significant Muslim populations at not-for-profit educational institutions.” 

- of the $26 million  provided under ESF and Development Assistance (DA) for Reconciliation Programs, $10 million “should be for such programs in the Middle East and North Africa.”  The JES adds that the USAID Administrator “is directed to ensure a rigorous vetting and evaluation process is in place and that the programs and activities are consistent with United States foreign policy objectives in the region.”

- the bill provides $32 million for “Near East Regional Democracy-funded activities, an increase of $2,000,000 over the budget request that is intended to support programs to increase women’s participation in politics, specifically as candidates in parliamentary elections.”

- The table in the JES lays out the following in ESF earmarked for the Near East:

----- Barhrain (democracy and governance) - $3 million
----- Lebanon Scholarships - $12 million
----- Middle East Partnership Initiative - $75 million (of which $10 million is for scholarships)
----- Middle East Regional Cooperation Program - $5 million
----- Morocco - $20.896 million
----- Near East Regional Democracy - $32 million
----- USAID Middle East regional - $5 million
----- Tunisia - $30 million
----- Yemen - $45 million

- The overall funding table in the Report records that Congress provided zero dollars for the FY14 request for funding for the Middle East and North Africa Incentive Fund of $580 million.

MIGRATION AND REFUGEE ASSISTANCE (MRA)

Bill Language: “$15,000,000 of the funds appropriated under this heading in this Act, or in prior Acts making appropriations for the Department of State, foreign operations, and related programs, shall be made available for refugees resettling in Israel.”

Joint Explanatory Statement:  The report notes that the agreement (the final bill) includes “modified language in section 7048(e) regarding a report on the UN Relief and Works Agency included under this heading in the explanatory statement accompanying the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2009.”

TITLE IV - INTERNATIONAL SECURITY ASSISTANCE

Bill language:  The bill 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)

Bill language:  “…of the funds appropriated under this heading, not less than $36,000,000 shall be made available for a United States contribution to the Multinational Force and Observers mission in the Sinai, of which of up to $8,000,000 may be made available to address force protection requirements.”

FOREIGN MILITARY FINANCING (FMF) – Total appropriation of $5,389,280,000

Bill language: See Sec. 7041, below, for details related to many Middle East countries.

 

Israel: The bill stipulates that “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” [perennial early disbursal provision]; and “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” [perennial provision granting Israel the extraordinary authority to spend a significant chunk of FMF outside the U.S.].

Joint Explanatory Statement:  The table included in the JES lays out the following earmarks for FMF in the bill:

----- Egypt: $1.3 billion
----- Israel: $3.1 billion
----- Jordan: $300 million

Title V – MULTILATERAL ASSISTANCE

The table included at the end of the JES indicates that a funding request for $5 million for a Middle East and North Africa Transition Fund, under the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, was left unfunded by Congress.

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’etat
This is the language that caused a problem in terms of continuing U.S. assistance to Egypt following the coup (or whatever people want to call it) against the Morsi government.  This perennial provision explicitly bars U.S. funding 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 the enactment of this Act, a coup d’etat or decree in which the military plays a decisive role.” The section includes the perennial language permitting the assistance to be resumed “if the President determines…that subsequent to the termination of assistance a democratically elected government has taken office.” It also includes perennial language stipulating that the provisions of 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 may appear generic, the only recipient explicitly identified is the West Bank and Gaza. This reflects the genesis of the provision - the allegation many years ago 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): Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, Tunisia, and Yemen.

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 a national security waivers for both restrictions.

Sec. 7032: Democracy Programs
This section earmarks not less than $2,849,555,000 for “democracy programs.”  It goes on to note that “For purposes of funds appropriated under title III of this Act, the term ‘democracy programs’ shall also include programs to rescue scholars, and fellowships, scholarships, and exchanges in the Middle East and North Africa region for academic professionals and university students from countries in such region, subject to the regular notification procedures of the Committees on Appropriations.”  Section (f) of this section also stipulates that “(f) Funds appropriated by this Act that are made available for democracy programs shall be made available to support freedom of religion, including in the Middle East and North Africa.”

Sec. 7034: Special Provisions
Part (n) of this section, entitled “Crowd Control Items,” stipulates 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.”

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 lengthy, 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 these legal references mean, see the analysis of the House ForOps bill in the 7/19/13 edition of the Round-Up).  The section also stipulates that the President can only use this waiver IF he can certify to Congress a number of things, including that “the Palestinian Authority is acting to counter incitement of violence against Israelis and is supporting activities aimed at promoting peace, coexistence, and security cooperation with Israel.” This section also bars any assistance to the PLO.

Joint Explanatory Statement:  The JES notes that the agreement “includes language modifying a prior year certification requirement for assistance for the Palestinian Authority. All parties to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should refrain from incitement of violence in order to promote peaceful coexistence in the region.”  Notably, the language about “all parties” meeting this requirement is absent from the actual bill text.

Sec. 7041: Middle East and North Africa

(a) Egypt:  This section includes establishes a new framework for US assistance to Egypt relationship, covering all categories of aid, and notwithstanding the Sec. 7008, discussed above.  The new bill language is included here in full: 

[NOTE: these are overarching conditions on assistance to Egypt]
(1) IN GENERAL- Funds appropriated by this Act that are available for assistance for the Government of Egypt may only be made available if the Secretary of State certifies 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: This section is a “soft” earmark of $350 million in ESF for Egypt, and provides over-arching authority to grant ESF, notwithstanding other restrictions in law, and subject to specified conditions]
(2) ECONOMIC SUPPORT FUND-

(A) Of the funds appropriated by this Act under the heading `Economic Support Fund', and subject to paragraph (6) of this subsection, up to $250,000,000 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 at not-for-profit institutions for Egyptian students with high financial need: Provided, That such funds may also be made available for democracy programs.
(B) Notwithstanding any provision of law restricting assistance for Egypt, including paragraph (6) of this subsection, funds made available under the heading `Economic Support Fund' in this Act and prior Acts making appropriations for the Department of State, foreign operations, and related programs for assistance for Egypt may be made available for education and economic growth programs, subject to prior consultation with the appropriate congressional committees: Provided, That such funds may not be made available for cash transfer assistance or budget support unless the Secretary of State certifies to the appropriate congressional committees that the Government of Egypt is taking steps to stabilize the economy and implement economic reforms.
(C) The Secretary of State may reduce the amount of assistance for the central Government of Egypt under the heading `Economic Support Fund' by an amount the Secretary determines is 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.

[NOTE: This section is a “soft” earmark of $1.3 billion in FMF for Egypt, subject to conditions specified in Section 6, below.  It also preserves Egypt’s interest-bearing account for current year outlays – established years ago in an effort to balance out Israel’s early disbursal of FMF]
(3) FOREIGN MILITARY FINANCING PROGRAM- Of the funds appropriated by this Act under the heading `Foreign Military Financing Program', and subject to paragraph (6) of this subsection, up to $1,300,000,000, to remain available until September 30, 2015, may be made available for assistance for Egypt which may be transferred to an interest bearing account in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, following consultation with the Committees on Appropriations: Provided, That if the Secretary of State is unable to make the certification in subparagraph (6)(A) or (B) of this subsection, such funds may be made available at the minimum rate necessary to continue existing contracts, notwithstanding any other provision of law restricting assistance for Egypt and following consultation with the Committees on Appropriations, except that defense articles and services from such contracts shall not be delivered until the certification requirements in subparagraph (6)(A) or (B) of this subsection are met.

[NOTE: This section provides overarching authority to provide funding for Egypt under previous appropriations bills, subject to the condition that such funding is at a minimum rate to continue existing contracts.  This addresses the concern that an abrupt cut-off of funding for Egypt could violate existing contracts.]
(4) PRIOR YEAR FUNDS- Funds appropriated under the headings `Foreign Military Financing Program' and `International Military Education and Training' in prior Acts making appropriations for the Department of State, foreign operations, and related programs may be made available notwithstanding any provision of law restricting assistance for Egypt, except that such funds under the heading `Foreign Military Financing Program' shall only be made available at the minimum rate necessary to continue existing contracts, and following consultation with the Committees on Appropriations.

[NOTE: This section provides over-arching authority for funding for Egypt, notwithstanding any restriction in law (including this new law) if that aid is for programs of specific importance to the U.S. - counterterrorism, border security, and nonproliferation programs in Egypt, and for development activities in the Sinai.]
(5) SECURITY EXEMPTIONS- Notwithstanding any other provision of law restricting assistance for Egypt, including paragraphs (3), (4), and (6) of this subsection, funds made available for assistance for Egypt in this Act and prior Acts making appropriations for the Department of State, foreign operations, and related programs may be made available for counterterrorism, border security, and nonproliferation programs in Egypt, and for development activities in the Sinai.

[NOTE: This section provides over-arching authority for funding for Egypt, notwithstanding any restriction in law, but imposes specific conditions on provision of such assistance to Egypt.  Further explanation of these conditions is included in the Report accompanying the bill, discussed below.]
(6) FISCAL YEAR 2014 FUNDS- Except as provided in paragraphs (2), (3) and (5) of this subsection, funds appropriated by this Act under the headings `Economic Support Fund', `International Military Education and Training', and `Foreign Military Financing Program' for assistance for the Government of Egypt may be made available notwithstanding any provision of law restricting assistance for Egypt as follows--
(A) up to $975,000,000 may be made available if the Secretary of State certifies to the Committees on Appropriations that the Government of Egypt has held a constitutional referendum, and is taking steps to support a democratic transition in Egypt; and
(B) up to $576,800,000 may be made available if the Secretary of State certifies to the Committees on Appropriations that the Government of Egypt has held parliamentary and presidential elections, and that a newly elected Government of Egypt is taking steps to govern democratically.

Joint Explanatory Statement: The JES recaps the new bill language for Egypt, noting that the agreement “includes conditions, limitations, and exceptions…related to assistance for Egypt…”   It also clarifies that the certification in (6)(A) “should also include consideration of the conduct of the referendum, including voter participation, and the support by the Government of Egypt for the development of democratic political processes and basic freedoms, including civil society and the media.”  It also notes that the certification in (6)(B) “should include consideration of the conduct of parliamentary and presidential elections, including voter participation and elections monitoring, and steps taken by the newly elected Government to protect human rights and the rule of law, including the rights of women and religious minorities.”  The report adds that “The Secretary of State should encourage the Government of Egypt to continue to support religious minority communities and the places where they congregate.”

The report also requires the Secretary of State to report to Congress “describing the defense articles withheld from delivery to Egypt as of the date of the enactment of this Act, and the conditions and timeline under which the delivery of such items will resume.”  The Secretary of State is also directed to submit to Congress every 90 days an “analysis…of actions by the Government of Egypt to prosecute and bring to trial officials of the previous Egyptian governments.  The report should take into consideration the views of relevant human rights and other organizations monitoring such trials.”

(b) Iran: This section notes that “The terms and conditions of section 7041(c) in division I of Public Law 112-74 shall continue in effect during fiscal year 2014 as if part of this Act, except that the date in paragraph (3) shall be deemed to be ‘September 30, 2014’.” [Those terms and conditions can be reviewed here].
Joint Explanatory Statement:  The JES adds that “The Secretary of State shall fulfill the requirements contained in section 7041(b)(1) and (2) of the Senate bill, including consulting with appropriate congressional committees.” [Those requirements can be reviewed here].

(c) Iraq:  This section lays out details of funding for Iraq, including, “(1) Funds appropriated by this Act for assistance for the Government of Iraq should be made available to such government to support international efforts to promote regional stability, including in Syria.”

(d) Jordan:  This section earmarks for Jordan “not less than $360,000,000” in ESF and “not less than $300,000,000” in FMF.  It also stipulates that “from amounts made available under title VIII designated for Overseas Contingency Operations/Global War on Terrorism, not less than $340,000,000 above the levels included in the Memorandum of Understanding between the United States and Jordan shall be made available for the extraordinary costs related to instability in the region, including for security requirements along the border with Iraq.”

(e) Lebanon:  This section stipulates that “(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 designated pursuant to section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act” and “(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.”  It also conditions any funding under this section on the Secretary of State submitting a detailed spend plan to Congress.  It also notes that “Funds appropriated by this Act under the heading `Economic Support Fund' for assistance for Lebanon may be made available notwithstanding any other provision of law, except for the provisions of this Act.”

(f) Libya:  This section bars any funding for Libya “unless the Secretary of State reports to the Committees on Appropriations 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.”  It notes that this prohibition does not apply to funds in the bill “for the purpose of protecting United States Government personnel or facilities.”  This section also prohibits funding “for assistance for Libya for infrastructure projects, except on a loan basis with terms favorable to the United States, and only following consultation with the Committees on Appropriations.”

(g) Loan guarantees & enterprise funds [Tunisia, Jordan, Egypt]: This section stipulates that ESF funds “may be made available for the costs, as defined in section 502 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, of loan guarantees for Tunisia and Jordan, which are authorized to be provided.”  It notes that “amounts made available under this paragraph for the cost of guarantees shall not be considered ‘assistance’ for the purposes of provisions of law limiting assistance to a country.”  It also stipulates that funds “may be made available to establish and operate one or more enterprise funds for Egypt, Tunisia, and Jordan.”  It notes that in such cases, “the first, third and fifth provisos under section 7041(b) of division I of Public Law 112-74 shall apply to funds appropriated by this Act under the heading `Economic Support Fund' for an enterprise fund or funds to the same extent and in the manner as such provision of law applied to funds made available under such section (except that the clause excluding subsection (d)(3) of section 201 of the SEED Act shall not apply): Provided further, That the authority of any such enterprise fund or funds to provide assistance shall cease to be effective on December 31, 2024.” [Sec. 7041(b) of PL 112-74 can be reviewed here].

(h) Morocco: This section stipulates that Funds appropriated under title III of this Act (bilateral economic assistance) that are available for assistance for Morocco “should also be available for assistance for the territory of the Western Sahara” [a soft earmark].  It also requires the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, to submit a report to the Committees on Appropriations, not later than 90 days after enactment of this Act, on proposed uses of such assistance.

(i) Syria: This section stipulates that funds appropriated under title III of this Act bilateral economic assistance)and prior Acts making appropriations for the Department of State, foreign operations, and related programs “may be made available notwithstanding any other provision of law for non-lethal assistance for programs to address the needs of civilians affected by conflict in Syria, and for programs that seek to-- (A) establish governance in Syria that is representative, inclusive, and accountable; (B) develop and implement political processes that are democratic, transparent, and adhere to the rule of law; (C) further the legitimacy of the Syrian opposition through cross-border programs; (D) develop civil society and an independent media in Syria; (E) promote economic development in Syria; (F) document, investigate, and prosecute human rights violations in Syria, including through transitional justice programs and support for nongovernmental organizations; and (G) counter extremist ideologies.”  Before obligating funds for such purposes, the bill requires the Secretary of State to “take all appropriate steps to ensure that mechanisms are in place for the adequate monitoring, oversight, and control of such assistance inside Syria” and to “promptly inform the appropriate congressional committees of each significant instance in which assistance provided pursuant to the authority of this subsection has been compromised, to include the type and amount of assistance affected, a description of the incident and parties involved, and an explanation of the Department of State's response.”  It also stipulates that before providing any assistance under this section, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the heads of relevant United States Government agencies, must submit to Congress, in classified form if necessary, “a comprehensive strategy…which shall include a clear mission statement, achievable objectives and timelines, and a description of inter-agency and donor coordination and implementation of such strategy…such strategy shall also include a description of oversight and vetting procedures to prevent the misuse of funds.”

(j) West Bank and Gaza.  In addition to all the conditions, limitations, and oversight requirements already stipulated in the bill, this section reprises and piles on even more.  These include:

(1) A “Report on Assistance.”  The Secretary of State must submit to Congress, prior to obligating any funds for West Bank and Gaza assistance, a report “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.”

(2) Additional “LIMITATIONS.”  Under this law, no ESF funding may be made available to the Palestinian Authority 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 “initiate an International Criminal Court judicially authorized investigation, or actively support such an investigation, that subjects Israeli nationals to an investigation for alleged crimes against Palestinians.”  This section grants the Secretary of State the authority to waive the ban on assistance with respect to the first condition (gaining status at the UN), if he/she “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.” 

Notwithstanding that waiver authority, the law also stipulates that the President may waive the provisions of section 1003 of Public Law 100-204 (pages 76-77) – the anachronistic law that Congress has never seen fit to repeal (dating from the era when the PLO was a designated foreign terrorist organization) that effectively bans PLO activity and representation in the United States – ONLY if the President determines and certifies in “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.”  Meaning that if the Palestinians make any new headway at the UN, no matter how symbolic, their representatives will be ejected from the U.S. (the PLO represents the Palestinians in the U.S.), regardless of any other factor, including the status of peace negotiations.  Indeed, even if the President certifies to Congress that the Palestinians “have entered into direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel,” he must still wait at least 90 days before he is permitted to waive section 1003 of Public Law 100-204.  Meaning that even in the midst of serious negotiations, there could be a situation where the U.S. must formally eject the Palestinians every 6 months, for a period of 3 months (the law stipulates that this secondary waiver, which cannot last more than 6 months, cannot be exercised until any previous waiver has expired).

(k) Yemen:  This provision stipulates that “None of the funds appropriated by this Act for assistance for Yemen may be made available for the Armed Forces of Yemen if such forces are controlled by a foreign terrorist organization, as designated pursuant to section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act.”
Joint Explanatory Statement: The report stipulates that “assistance for the Armed Forces of Yemen should be made available only if such forces are cooperating with the United States on counterterrorism efforts against al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations.”

Sec. 7048: United Nations

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

Part (b) states prohibits funding for a contribution to any body 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) prohibits U.S. funding to the United Nations Human Rights Council unless the Secretary of State reports that participation in the Council is in the national interest of the United States.

Part (d) requires a report from the Secretary of State, not later than 45 days after enactment of this Act, “detailing the amount of funds available for obligation or expenditure in fiscal year 2014 under the headings `Contributions to International Organizations' and `International Organizations and Programs' that are withheld from obligation or expenditure due to any provision of law.”  This section requires that this report be updated whenever additional funds are withheld and states that reprogramming of these withheld funds shall be subject to prior consultation with Congress.

Part (e) states that “The reporting requirements regarding the United Nations Relief and Works Agency contained in the joint explanatory statement accompanying the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2009 (Public Law 111-32, House Report 111-151), under the heading ‘Migration and Refugee Assistance’ in title XI shall apply to funds made available by this Act under such heading.”(H. Rept 111-151 can be reviewed here).

Sec. 7054: Landmines and Cluster Munitions
This section states that demining equipment used in support of the clearance of landmines and unexploded ordnance for humanitarian purposes “may be disposed of on a grant basis to foreign countries…”  This section also lays out limitations on the provision of military assistance for cluster munitions, the issuance of defense export license for cluster munitions, and the sale or transfer of cluster munitions or cluster munitions technology.

Sec. 7060: Sector Allocations
Part (f) of this section is entitled “Reconciliation Programs” and notes that “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…”

Sec. 7068: Commercial Leasing of Defense Articles
This section provides for 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. 7071: Sovereignty of the Post-Soviet States
Part (e) of this section stipulates that “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 support of the Government of the Russian Federation for the Government of Syria, including arms sales and the use of such arms against civilian populations, and for the Government of Iran, including support for nuclear research cooperation and sanctions relief.”

Sec. 7076: Operating and Spend Plans
This section requires that the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Administrator of USAID, submit to Congress “a detailed spend plan” for funding for assistance to a list of countries, including  Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, the West Bank and Gaza, and Yemen.

TITLE VIII – OVERSEAS CONTINGENCY OPERATIONS

Complex Crises Fund
The Joint Explanatory Statement notes that: “The agreement provides an additional $20,000,000 for Complex Crises Fund for the extraordinary costs of addressing security and stabilization requirements in conflict countries, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, and countries of the Middle East and North Africa, which is designated for OCO/GWOT pursuant to the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985.”

Migration and Refugee Assistance
The Joint Explanatory Statement notes that “The agreement provides an additional $1,284,355,000 for Migration and Refugee Assistance for the extraordinary costs of the United States response to humanitarian crises resulting from conflict, including in Africa, the Near East, and South Asia, which is designated for OCO/GWOT pursuant to the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985. The funds provided under this heading are above the budget request to address acute humanitarian needs, particularly the large number of individuals and families who have fled Syria to neighboring countries, such as Jordan, Turkey, and Lebanon. The impact of Syrian refugees on countries in the region is growing, and the implications for neighboring countries are severe. Jordan and Lebanon, in particular, are challenged by the conflict and the agreement provides assistance for these countries in humanitarian and economic accounts. The Department of State is to consult with the Committees on Appropriations on an appropriate strategy to address the increasing challenges to Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, and Turkey posed by such refugees.”

 

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