Look Ahead — Week of May 19 - 23

May 16, 2014

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

Tuesday, May 20

Hearing: The Future of U.S.-Mexico Relations

10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 20 in 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

Committee on Foreign Affairs

Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman

Invited witnesses include:

The Honorable Roberta S. Jacobson
Assistant Secretary
Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
U.S. Department of State

The Honorable William R. Brownfield
Assistant Secretary
Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
U.S. Department of State

Ms. Elizabeth Hogan
Acting Assistant Administrator
Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean
U.S. Agency for International Development

Chairman Royce on the hearing: “Our increasingly important bilateral relationship with neighboring Mexico has never received the sustained attention it merits.  Bolstering our already significant commercial relationship with Mexico, including improving the border infrastructure, must be a top priority.  U.S. efforts with Mexico to tackle transnational criminal organizations must be monitored and improved, as the threat of violence and criminality is real.  There is new room for closer energy cooperation too. This hearing will be an opportunity for Committee Members to speak directly with the Administration about the steps being taken to improve our important economic and security relations with Mexico.”

 

Tuesday, May 20

Subcommittee Hearing: Resourcing the Pivot to Asia: East Asia and Pacific FY 2015 Budget Priorities

2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 20 in 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific

Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH), Chairman

Invited witnesses include:

The Honorable Daniel R. Russel
Assistant Secretary
Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs
U.S. Department of State

Ms. Denise Rollins
Acting Assistant Administrator
Bureau for Asia
U.S. Agency for International Development

Chairman Chabot on the hearing: “The Obama Administration’s Fiscal Year 2015 budget request for the Asia-Pacific region represents the largest funding increase requested for all regional accounts. While the main purpose of the budget increase is to support the Administration’s strategic rebalance to Asia, the increase in regional tension over the past year has undermined the Administration’s ability to achieve its strategic goals. As a result, it is now more critical than ever for Congress to exercise adequate oversight for money being expended to ensure that key goals are being met, including securing U.S. security objectives overseas. The Subcommittee will hold an oversight hearing to assess how assistance programs in this part of the world are supporting U.S. priorities, and to determine whether there are proper measures in place that guarantee funds are being appropriately utilized.”

 

Tuesday, May 20

Subcommittee Hearing: Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan: An Enduring Threat

2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 20 in 2200 Rayburn House Office Building

Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade

Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX), Chairman

Invited witnesses include:

Mr. Thomas Joscelyn
Senior Fellow
Foundation for Defense of Democracies

Mr. David Sedney
(Former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Central Asia, U.S. Department of Defense)

Chairman Poe on the hearing: “Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan has been weakened but they have not been defeated, nor have the witches brew of other terrorist groups operating on both sides of the border. As U.S. and international forces continue to withdraw forces from the region, we need to understand the nature of this threat, what it means for the future of regional and international security, and what the U.S., our allies, and the Afghan security forces intend to do about this enduring threat. Reports indicate that al-Qaeda in Afghanistan is resurgent. If this is true, it would suggest that our previous efforts to combat the group have not had a lasting or permanent effect.”

 

Wednesday, May 21

Hearing: Boko Haram: The Growing Threat to Schoolgirls, Nigeria, and Beyond

9:45 a.m. on Wednesday, May 21 in 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

Committee on Foreign Affairs

Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman

Invited witnesses include:

The Honorable Sarah Sewall
Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights
U.S. Department of State
                                    
Ms. Amanda J. Dory
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for African Affairs
U.S. Department of Defense

(See RSVP requirements for covering the hearing HERE.)                                               

Note:  Prior to hearing, Committee Members will hear from Deborah Peter, a 15-year-old girl originally from the village of Chibok, Nigeria, the town where nearly 300 schoolgirls have been abducted by Boko Haram.  Deborah is the first female survivor of a Boko Haram attack to visit Washington, D.C. and is currently studying at Mountain Mission School in the U.S.   At the conclusion of this briefing, Ms. Peter, Chairman Royce, and Ranking Member Engel (D-NY) will participate in a brief media availability for House-credentialed press.  (Click HERE for information on covering the briefing.)

On the hearing and briefing by Ms. Peter, Chairman Royce said:  “For years Boko Haram has tortured and frightened communities throughout Nigeria.  The latest victims of the ‘Nigerian Taliban’ are hundreds of young girls simply seeking an education.   It is time for a more aggressive U.S. response to this al-Qaeda-affiliated group, which threatens U.S. interests too.  This hearing will provide the Committee an opportunity to press the Administration on how it is responding to this growing threat, most immediately aiding the Nigerian government to free these young kidnapping victims.  It is clear that more needs to be done.  Sitting down with Deborah Peter before the hearing and listening to her heart-wrenching story puts a face on the vile terror of Boko Haram.” 

 

Wednesday, May 21

Subcommittee Hearing: The Humanitarian Crisis in Syria: Views from the Ground

2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 21 in 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa

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

Invited witnesses include:

Ms. Andrea Koppel
Vice President of Global Engagement and Policy
Mercy Corps

Ms. Holly Solberg
Director of Emergency and Humanitarian Assistance
CARE

Mr. Michael Holsten
Senior Vice President
Office of International Operations
Global Communities
                                       
Mr. Zaher Sahloul, M.D.
President
Syrian American Medical Society

Ms. Bernice Romero
Senior Director of Policy and Advocacy
Save the Children

Chairman Ros-Lehtinen on the hearing: “The United States is the largest contributor of humanitarian assistance for the Syrian crisis, having allocated over $1.7 billion to the international relief efforts thus far. A great deal of the assistance we provide is delivered by implementing partners and other independent non-governmental organizations that are on the ground and able to distribute the much needed supplies to the millions of Syrians in dire need of assistance and in the neighboring countries which have taken in millions of Syrian refugees. These NGO workers struggle under dangerous circumstances to try to ensure that the food and supplies reach as many people impacted as possible, and this hearing will help get a better understanding of what is actually happening on the ground so that we can learn how to best allocate and implement our assistance. The American taxpayers have invested a large amount of money on these efforts, and it is vital that we ensure that their dollars are not being misspent or misused in any way.”

 

Wednesday, May 21

Subcommittee Hearing: The Development of Energy Resources in Central Asia

2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 21 in 2200 Rayburn House Office Building

Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Chairman

Invited witnesses include:

The Honorable Dennis C. Shea
Chairman
U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission

Mr. Charlie Santos
Chairman
Uzbekistan Investment Group, Inc.

Mr. David Merkel
(Former Director, Europe and Eurasia, National Security Council)

Chairman Rohrabacher on the hearing: “Central Asia benefits from a wealth of resources, especially natural gas and oil. Increasingly, Communist China and other nations in Asia and Eurasia are vying for access and control of these energy sources. It is essential that US policy support broad based economic and political development in the region. We cannot stand back and allow Communist China to extend its grip on Central Asia, as it did in occupied East Turkestan. This hearing will give subcommittee Members the opportunity to understand the possibilities for how Central Asian energy and pipeline infrastructure can develop in the future. The subcommittee will review how the United States can play a productive role to help utilize Central Asian energy, while respecting and promoting the sovereignty of the local countries.”

 

Thursday, May 22

Subcommittee Hearing: The Gulf Cooperation Council: Deepening Rifts and Emerging Challenges

9:30 a.m. on Thursday, May 22 in 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa

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

Invited witnesses include:

David Andrew Weinberg, Ph.D.
Senior Fellow
Foundation for Defense of Democracies

Mr. Simon Henderson
Baker Fellow and Director
Gulf and Energy Policy Program
The Washington Institute for Near East Policy

Chairman Ros-Lehtinen on the hearing: “The dynamics of the Middle East political landscape has changed drastically over the past few years, and so too has the nature of our relationship with the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council. Internal disagreements over support for extremist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, the Obama Administration’s negotiations with Iran and its paralyzing inaction in Syria, have caused some of America’s bilateral relations with GCC countries to sour to the point where it’s putting our national security at risk. This hearing will help give greater insight into the nature of the internal machinations of the GCC and also allow us to examine the Administration’s misguided policies in the Middle East.”

 

Thursday, May 22

Subcommittee Hearing: Protecting Religious Freedom: U.S. Efforts to Hold Accountable Countries of Particular Concern

10:00 a.m. on Thursday, May 22 in 2200 Rayburn House Office Building

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

Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), Chairman

Invited witness includes:

Robert P. George, Ph.D.
Chairman
U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom

Chairman Smith on the hearing: “In 1998, Congress adopted the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) so that US foreign policy would protect religious freedom worldwide by holding accountable governments that persecute—or offer impunity to those who persecute—people for practicing their faith. IRFA required the President to designate countries of particular concern (CPCs) and authorized the use of sanctions against CPCs.  IRFA also created the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom as an integral part of the process—a ‘minority report’ to ensure that IRFA is being implemented as Congress intended.  This hearing will look closely at the Commission’s work to achieve the goals of IRFA, as well as at the possible impact of IRFA on Egypt, Pakistan, China and other places where religious liberties are threatened.”

 

***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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