Washington, D.C. – As 2013 draws to a close, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, under the leadership of Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA), has concluded an active and productive year of tough oversight and focused legislating.

These initiatives include:

  • Strong focus on Asia, with Chairman Royce leading a bipartisan visit to the region and securing a joint address from South Korea’s first female president, as well as unanimous House passage of legislation (H.R. 2449) extending the U.S.-South Korea civilian nuclear cooperation agreement for two years;
  • Enactment into law of legislation (H.R. 1151) to strengthen air travel by calling for the Secretary of State to endorse Taiwan’s entry into the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO);
  • Continued investigation, including hearings in January and September, of the 2012 terrorist attacks at the U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya, which killed four Americans, and introduction of legislation (H.R. 1768) to increase the independence and transparency of future Accountability Review Boards (ARB), the temporary investigative bodies that are  convened to  review security-related incidents;
  • High-level focus on combating international human trafficking, including two hearings and the introduction of legislation (H.R. 3344) requiring overseas labor recruiters to provide detailed employment information to overseas workers, to avoid the bait-and-switch into slave labor or sexual slavery;
  • Pressing, through legislation and Chairman Royce and Ranking Member Engel’s service on the Farm Bill conference committee, for commonsense reforms to U.S. international food aid to help more people facing starvation, more quickly, at a lower cost.

Chairman Royce said:  “Working in a bipartisan manner, the House Foreign Affairs Committee has accomplished much during this first year of my chairmanship.  I am proud to have done so through the hard work of our Members, particularly the Subcommittee chairmen, and continuing collaboration with Ranking Member Eliot Engel.  The Committee has worked to strengthen the national security of the United States and our allies in a number of ways, including by advancing a stringent Iran sanctions bill and conducting strong oversight of the Obama Administration’s policies toward Syria, Egypt, Afghanistan, and North Korea.  Importantly, the Committee produced and the House passed legislation to enhance security at diplomatic facilities around the world at a time when terrorist threats are expanding and perform our basic authorizing responsibilities.  I look forward to continued bipartisan cooperation on the important foreign policy challenges facing our nation as well as the promising opportunities, such as advancing trade with important partners around the world.”

For additional House Foreign Affairs Committee activities, visit the Committee’s website at foreignaffairs.house.gov.