Washington, D.C. – The House Foreign Affairs Committee, chaired by Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), today advanced six bipartisan measures, including legislation to strengthen U.S. security assistance.

On H.R. 5677, as amended, which ensures U.S. diplomats have the tools they need to counter violent extremists and bolster regional and global security, Chairman Royce said: “The rise of terrorist groups like ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram and al-Shabaab has required a substantial expansion of programs that help our partners defend themselves. The State Department is charged with overseeing these important efforts. This bipartisan bill improves the Department’s management of U.S. security assistance, including military assistance and military education and training.

“This bill also significantly strengthens Congressional oversight of proposed designations of state sponsors of terrorism. Under current law, to de-list a state sponsor of terrorism, the administration only needs to certify that the country has refrained from supporting terrorism for a mere six months. Administrations from both parties have abused this process – most notably in 2008, when North Korea was prematurely delisted following commitments it made to dismantle its nuclear weapons program. This bill helps make sure that does not happen again.”

On H.R. 5105, as amended, which establishes the United States International Development Finance Corporation, Chairman Royce said: “After months of bipartisan work with the administration, I am very pleased to advance this bill to help the U.S. take a more strategic approach to international development and economic empowerment in emerging markets.

“By harnessing the power of finance and the expertise of our nation’s development professionals under one modern institution, we can advance America’s interests and offer countries a robust alternative to investments by authoritarian governments like China.”

On H.R. 5141, as amended, which strengthens U.S.-Israel security assistance, Chairman Royce said: “Our partner Israel continues to face threats in every direction from rogue states and terrorist groups bent on destroying the Jewish state.

“Iran in particular has taken its aggression against Israel to new heights. This bipartisan bill deepens and updates our security partnership with Israel to ensure that Israel can defend itself by itself in the face of these evolving threats.”

On H.R. 5681, as amended, which strengthens the Global Engagement Center, Chairman Royce said: “The GEC at the State Department has the very important mission of countering propaganda and disinformation from foreign states, including Russia, as well as terrorist groups like ISIS.  

“This bill strengthens the Center’s leadership role, and directs it to coordinate related activities across the administration. I appreciate the strong, bipartisan interest that Members have shown in this issue. In particular, I want to note the work of Rep. Kinzinger, who was an early advocate of the GEC and has continued to drive our oversight efforts.”

Additionally, the committee passed the following measures:

  • As amended, H.R. 5433, Hack Your State Department Act, introduced by Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA), which improves the Department of State’s cybersecurity; and
  • As amended, H.R. 5535, Energy Diplomacy Act of 2018, introduced by Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), which elevates energy diplomacy at the Department of State.

A summary of the committee action, including adopted amendments, will be available HERE.