Also Passes Legislation Focused on Israel, Taiwan, Mexico, Thailand, Iran, Haiti, and Eastern Partnership Countries

Washington, D.C. – Today, the House Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously passed the bipartisan H.Res. 404, a resolution that expresses deep sympathy and support to the people of the Philippines for the terrible loss of life and massive destruction as a result of Typhoon Haiyan, which landed on November 8, 2013.

The resolution, introduced last week by Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) and Committee Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-NY), expresses commitment to provide assistance to help the Philippines recover from this tragedy and support for relief and reconstruction assistance provided by the international community.  It also commends the Filipino American community for its efforts to organize and deliver disaster relief to the people of the Philippines and encourages assistance by other nations and organizations to lessen the suffering of the people of the Philippines and to assist them in rebuilding their homes and lives.

Chairman Royce said:  “The unanimous passage of this resolution sends to the people of the Philippines a clear and strong message that we are by their side as they deal with the horrible aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan and start on the long road to recovery.  The Philippines and its people are long-time friends and partners of the United States.   Without question, we stand with them during this time of loss, and ultimately recovery.”  

Ranking member Engel said:  “The unanimous passage of this resolution through the House Foreign Affairs Committee helps illustrate how the U.S. stands side by side with the people of the Philippines who are struggling with the devastating aftermath of typhoon Haiyan. The Philippines has been one of our closest allies, and the U.S. will continue its efforts to assist President Aquino and the people of the Philippines with humanitarian relief efforts. Our thoughts and prayers go out to loved ones who were lost or are suffering from this horrific storm.”

The Committee also passed:

H.R. 3470, legislation that strengthens ties with key U.S. security partners by transferring ships that meet shared maritime security requirements.  Introduced by Chairman Royce and Ranking Member Engel last week, the legislation authorizes the grant transfer of two Oliver Hazard Perry class frigates each to Mexico and Thailand, and authorizes the transfer by sale of four Oliver Hazard Perry class frigates to Taiwan.

H.R. 1992, the Israel Qualitative Military Edge Enhancement Act, introduced by Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), amends current law requiring the President to assess Israel’s qualitative military edge (QME) over threats to its homeland.  Under current law, such an assessment is required every four years and focuses on conventional military threats to Israel and related weapons sales in the Middle East.  H.R. 1992 requires the assessment be completed every two years and requires an assessment of how the Administration is integrating cyber and asymmetric threats into its QME analysis.

H. Res. 402, introduced by Ranking Member Engel, sends a message of support to the peoples of the European Union’s Eastern Partnership countries expected to sign “Association Agreements” to improve their diplomatic and economic ties with the EU.

H. Res. 147, introduced by Rep. Bill Cassidy (D-LA), calls for the release of United States citizen Saeed Abedini and condemns the Government of Iran for its persecution of religious minorities.

H.R. 3509, the Assessing Progress in Haiti Act of 2013, seeks to provide for greater oversight of U.S. taxpayer funding for post-earthquake reconstruction and sustainable development in Haiti and to provide greater transparency in USAID contracting and subcontracting.  The legislation was introduced by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Chairman Royce, and Ranking Member Engel.  The Committee convened a hearing on the topic on October 9.

A summary of all Committee actions will be available HERE.