Washington D.C. – Congressman Michael McCaul (R-TX), Lead Republican of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the following statement applauding the passage of 11 bipartisan measures through the House Foreign Affairs Committee, including his LIFT Act and the Global Health Security Act. The LIFT Act will help combat human trafficking by facilitating information sharing and keeping survivors at the center of the policy conversation. The Global Health Security Act will help ensure that our interagency and international efforts to address global health emergencies are as coordinated and efficient as possible.

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-Remarks as Delivered-

“Mr. Chairman, I want to thank you for your cooperation and leadership on these eleven measures.  As you know, our Committee has its greatest impact when we operate on a bipartisan basis, as we are doing today.

“Let me start by thanking the Chairman for working with me on the Leveraging Information on Foreign Traffickers – or LIFT – Act, which continues this committee’s 20-year tradition of bipartisan work to combat the scourge of human trafficking, which affects greatly our nation and my home state of Texas.

“U.S. law currently requires the State Department to deny U.S. visas to human traffickers. But when the Department denies visas to traffickers, it does not tell its own anti-trafficking officials where and how often those denials occur.  This bill ensures that appropriate State Department officials leading the fight receive this important information on a timely basis.

“Modern slavery affects millions around the world, but it is not just a problem in the developing world.  It is happening right in our backyards, too.  A month ago, I was proud to stand with my inspiring constituent, Courtney Litvak, at the White House Human Trafficking Summit.

“We need to keep the voices of survivors at the center of the policy conversation.  For that reason, this bill also reauthorizes the survivor-led U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking through 2025. My amendment also makes sure that survivors who otherwise couldn’t afford to take time off from work are able to serve on the Council, such as Courtney Litvak. Thank you again for joining me on this important bill.  I hope we can move it quickly to the Floor.

“As we face the growing challenge of the novel coronavirus, I want to commend Mr. Connolly and Mr. Chabot for their Global Health Security Act.  This bill will help ensure that our interagency and international efforts to address global health emergencies are as coordinated and efficient as possible. I also want to thank Mr. Wilson for his Ukraine Religious Freedom Support Act.  When deciding whether to designate Russia as a “Country of Particular Concern” for religious freedom violations, U.S. officials must also consider Russia’s persecution of religious groups inside those areas of Ukraine that it occupies or controls.

“I also support the No Passport Fees for Heroes’ Families Act.  In cases where our servicemembers are severely wounded abroad, this bill waives passport fees for family members traveling to assist in their recovery.

“I am very glad Mr. Chairman once again we worked on both sides of the aisle to get this work done and I hope the remainder of this Congress will be as cooperative as this first markup of the new year.”