Washington, D.C. – House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) released the following statement on the Omnibus Appropriations Act for FY2016:

“While far from perfect, this bill provides critical resources in the fight to destroy ISIS and keep America safe.  Lifting the decades-old ban on oil exports is a win for the U.S. economy and efforts to counter those, like Vladimir Putin, who use energy as a weapon against our allies.  I’m also pleased this bill includes important measures to combat human trafficking and force the Obama administration to address atrocities against Christians in the Middle East and the Rohingya in Burma.”

Key provisions will:

  • Provide Critical Funds for the Fight Against ISIS.  The bill increases defense funding levels, providing our military the resources it needs to take the fight to ISIS and keep Americans safe.
  • Lift the Ban on Oil Exports.  The bill lifts the 40-year-old ban on oil exports to benefit American consumers, counter the OPEC cartel, and combat leaders – including Vladimir Putin – who use energy as a weapon.
  • Prevent the Transfer of Guantanamo Bay Detainees to U.S. Soil. The bill again reaffirms restrictions that keep the Obama administration from bringing terrorists held at Guantanamo Bay to U.S. soil.
  • Strengthen the Visa Waiver Program.  The bill strengthens the Visa Waiver Program, providing new tools to detect fraud and stolen passports, and implements new layers of screening for individuals looking to come to the United States after traveling to terror hotspots.
  • Combat Human Trafficking.  The bill provides new resources to bolster the State Department’s efforts to combat human trafficking, and funding for the bipartisan End Modern Slavery initiative.
  • Force the Obama Administration to Address Atrocities Against Christians and Others in the Middle East.  The bill requires the Secretary of State to submit to Congress an evaluation of the persecution and attacks against Christians and people of other religions in the Middle East by violent Islamic extremists, including whether either situation constitutes mass atrocities or genocide.
  • Prohibit Assistance to Groups and Individuals Inciting Ethnic and Religious Violence in Burma.  The bill prohibits the provision of assistance to any organization or individual that incites ethnic or religious violence in Burma.  It specifically directs the Secretary of State to review Ashin Wirathu in making that determination.