A Look Ahead — Week of December 9 – 13

Dec 6, 2013

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, announced the following upcoming Committee events:

Monday, December 9

Subcommittee Field Hearing: Improving Security and Facilitating Commerce with Mexico at America’s Southern Border

10:00 a.m. MT (Noon ET) on Monday, December 9 at City Hall, 255 West Alameda Street Tucson, Arizona 85701

Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere

Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ), Chairman

Invited witnesses include:

Panel I

The Honorable Alan Bersin
Assistant Secretary
Office of International Affairs and Chief Diplomatic Officer
U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Panel II

Mr. Eric Farnsworth
Vice President
Council of the Americas and Americas Society

Mr. Glenn Hamer
President and Chief Executive Officer
Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Ms. Lea Márquez Peterson
President and Chief Executive Officer
Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Mr. Timothy C. Hutchens
Executive Vice President and Head
Federal Lessor Advisory Group
CBRE, Inc.

Mr. Christopher Wilson
Associate
Mexico Institute
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Chairman Salmon on the hearing: “This field hearing will focus on our vital commercial relationship with Mexico and what we can do to enhance the flow of commerce while maintaining security along our Southern border.  The economies of the United States and Mexico are deeply intertwined – linked by geography, cultural ties, and the North American Free Trade Agreement.  Our economic partnership with Mexico has the potential to play a keyrole in strengthening supply chains and boosting exports to the rest of the world. Mexico is Arizona’s top trading partner, with upwards of $13 billion worth of trade crossing our shared border each year. I convened this hearing specifically to get at what we need to do, both in the public and private sectors, to improve border infrastructure to better facilitate trade without letting down our guard on border security efforts.”

 

Tuesday, December 10

Subcommittee Hearing: Human Rights Abuses in Egypt

9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, December 10 in 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations,

Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), Chairman

Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman

Invited witnesses include:

Panel I

Zuhdi Jasser, M.D.
Vice Chair
U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom

Panel II

His Grace Bishop Angaelos
General Bishop           
Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom

Mr. Samuel Tadros
Research Fellow
Center for Religious Freedom
Hudson Institute

Morad Abou-Sabe, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus
Rutgers University
(Former President of Misr University for Science & Technology)

Mr. Tad Stahnke
Director of Policy and Programs
Human Rights First

Chairman Smith on the hearing: “Tragically, the promise and hope of Egypt’s ‘Arab Spring’ have not yet brought about basic human rights to the Egyptian people, such as religious freedom, freedom of expression and association, and due process of law. This hearing will examine human rights violations in Egypt today, and how Christians and other religious minorities, as well as moderate Muslims, continue to be victimized.”

Chairman Ros-Lehtinen on the hearing: “Egypt has been a rollercoaster of instability since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak in 2011. The path to democracy is a difficult one, but it would be a tremendous accomplishment if the people of Egypt canimplement the democratic reforms they have called for. There are some troubling issues that have arisen in Egypt that are cause for concern, especially when it relates to the status of human rights and the plight of religious minorities. Perhaps no community has suffered more over these past few years than the Coptic Christian community, which has seen its churches, businesses and houses attacked as they have been targeted as scapegoats by some Morsi supporters. It is my sincere hope that the new draft constitution adequately addresses the rights of religious minorities and women in Egypt, and protects human rights, civil society and the rule of law. Without those protections guaranteed, the transition may slide backward, dashing our hopes for a democratic Egypt.”

 

Tuesday, December 10

Hearing: The Iran Nuclear Deal: Does It Further U.S. National Security?

(Media RSVP requirement by 3pm Monday.  Details HERE.)

1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 10 in 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

Committee on Foreign Affairs

Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman

Invited witnesses include:

The Honorable John F. Kerry
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State

Chairman Royce on the hearing: "I continue to have serious concerns that the agreement the Obama Administration negotiated does not meet the standards necessary to protect the United States and our allies.  The deal does not roll back Iran’s nuclear program, but instead allows Tehran to keep in place the key elements of its nuclear weapons-making capability.  Under the agreement, the international community relieves the sanctions pressure on Iran while its centrifuges continue to enrich uranium.  This hearing will be an opportunity for Committee Members of both parties to press Secretary Kerry to explain why the Obama Administration believes this sanctions-easing agreement is the right course."

Media interested in covering hearing must RSVP to Gallery by 3pm Monday.  Details HERE.

 

Wednesday, December 11

Hearing: Afghanistan 2014: Year of Transition

10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 11 in 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

Committee on Foreign Affairs

Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman

Invited witnesses include:

The Honorable James F. Dobbins
Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan
U.S. Department of State

Mr. Donald L. Sampler
Assistant to the Administrator
Office of Afghanistan and Pakistan Affairs
U.S. Agency for International Development

Mr. Michael J. Dumont
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Afghanistan, Pakistan, & Central Asia
U.S. Department of Defense

Chairman Royce on the hearing: “2014 will be a year of major change for United States operations in Afghanistan as the Administration looks to shift from combat operations to an advise and assist role.  A successful transition in Afghanistan is critical to combating terrorism.  At this hearing, the Committee will hear from the senior leadership of the State Department, Department of Defense and USAID to discuss the pending Bilateral Security Agreement, upcoming presidential elections, and oversight of U.S. assistance programs, among other critical issues.”

 

Wednesday, December 11

Markup: H. Res. 418 and H. Res. 281

3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 11 in 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific

Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH), Chairman

 

Thursday, December 12

Joint Subcommittee Hearing: Iran’s Persecution of American Pastor Abedini Worsens

9:30 a.m. on Thursday, December 12 in 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations

Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), Chairman

Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman

Invited witnesses include:

Katrina Lantos Swett, Ph.D.
Vice Chair
U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom

Ms. Naghmeh Abedini
Wife of Pastor Saeed Abedini

Mr. Jordan Sekulow
Executive Director
American Center for Law and Justice

Chairman Smith on the hearing: “Arrested and sentenced to eight years in prison for somehow ‘undermining the security of Iran’ by pastoring to Christian churches, U.S. citizen Saeed Abedini has endured imprisonment, solitary confinement, beatings, and untreated internal bleeding. The United States has appealed to Iran at the highest levels, and Iran responded early last month by moving Pastor Abedini to an even more dangerous prison, housing him with violent criminals. This hearing will examine the effort to save him before it is too late.”

Chairman Ros-Lehtinen on the hearing: “More than one year after Pastor Saeed Abedini, an American citizen, was imprisoned in Iran for practicing his Christian faith, we must continue to bring attention to his case and press the Administration to work for his immediate release. In August, Pastor Saeed’s unjust eight-year sentence was upheld, and last month he was transferred to one of Iran’s most brutal prisons reserved for the most violent criminals, where his life is in constant danger. With much attention on the nuclear negotiations with Iran, the Administration must not turn its back on the plight of Pastor Saeed and others like him whose human rights and basic freedoms are violated every day by this deceitful and oppressive regime.”

 

Thursday, December 12

Joint Subcommittee Hearing: The Resurgence of al-Qaeda in Iraq

1:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 12 in 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade

Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX), Chairman

Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman

Invited witnesses include:

Kenneth M. Pollack, Ph.D.
Senior Fellow
Saban Center for Middle East Policy
The Brookings Institution

Ms. Jessica D. Lewis
Research Director
Institute for the Study of War

Michael Knights, Ph.D.
Lafer Fellow
The Washington Institute for Near East Policy

Daniel L. Byman, Ph.D.
Professor
Security Studies Program
Georgetown University

Chairman Poe on the hearing: “Iraq is at a turning point. Prime Minister Maliki continues to play sectarian politics and al-Qaeda is taking full advantage. This hearing will help understand the threat al-Qaeda poses to the stability of Iraq and its neighbors and why this is an important issue for U.S. national security.”

Chairman Ros-Lehtinen on the hearing: “The battle against al-Qaeda has not been won; al-Qaeda is not on the run, it is resurgent. Perhaps nowhere is this resurgence more prevalent than in Iraq, where a sharp increase in violence has led to the highest number of civilian deaths since the surge. After the United States withdrawal, al-Qaeda and its affiliates have undermined the stability and security of Iraq and continue to endanger our national security interests. This hearing is necessary to draw attention to this very serious threat and to assess what the Administration is doing to try to neutralize al-Qaeda, ensure the safety of U.S. interests and to support our allies in the region."

***See www.foreignaffairs.house.gov for updates. 

***Coverage note:  All Foreign Affairs Committee proceedings are webcast live at www.foreignaffairs.house.gov/live-video-feed.

 

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