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Washington, D.C. – Congressman Michael McCaul (R-TX), Lead Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, applauded the inclusion of his Global Fragility Act and Championing American Business Through Diplomacy Act in the end of year spending package. These bipartisan bills will help prevent regional violence and conflict from evolving into greater threats to the homeland and will better facilitate market access for American companies of all sizes. McCaul commended House passage of the legislation, which also included several other provisions drafted by House Foreign Affairs Committee members to strengthen our national security and bolster American leadership on the global stage. The package now goes to the Senate for consideration.

“I voted in favor of the bipartisan FY20 appropriations package that keeps our government open, maintains our military readiness, and provides the resources to protect our country from rising threats at home and around the globe.

“Over the course of this year, the House Foreign Affairs Committee has worked in a bipartisan fashion to advance our shared priorities, many of which were included in the legislation passed today. I am especially pleased that the bill includes my Championing American Businesses through Diplomacy Act, which ensures the State Department better promotes American economic interests abroad and counters China’s predatory Belt and Road Initiative in developing nations. Creating more international opportunities for American business will help push back on China’s growing influence across the globe and help create more jobs in Texas and around America.

“The bill also includes my Global Fragility Act, bipartisan legislation I championed with Chairman Eliot Engel. This important legislation rightly focuses America’s efforts on preventing the root causes of violence and instability in fragile regions around the world. Weak governance, corruption, and extreme poverty fuel violence and instability, which in turn breed fertile recruiting ground for terrorists and extremists. During this time of unprecedented instability, this proactive approach will prevent regional conflict and violence from evolving into greater threats to the homeland.

“My DHS Cyber Incident Hunt and Response Teams Act, also included in the final package, will better prepare our nation to face a new era of digital warfare. This bill will establish flyaway teams to help prevent but also respond to cyber-attacks.  

“The final appropriations agreement is a bipartisan product that prioritizes American leadership abroad and strengthens our security at home. I am proud to have supported this package today.” 

Foreign Affairs Priorities in the final package include:

The Global Fragility Act: Improves the coordination and effectiveness of U.S. Government programs to stabilize conflict-affected areas, address global fragility, and lead international efforts to prevent extremism and violent conflict and authorizes dedicated funding for such programs.

Championing American Business Through Diplomacy Act: This provision establishes the promotion of U.S. commercial interests abroad as a principal duty of U.S. diplomatic missions, mandates new trade promotion training for economics-focused FSOs and Chiefs of Mission, and streamlines currently required country-specific business climate reports. It also formalizes and updates the authority of the existing Assistant Secretary for Economic and Business Affairs to clarify its role in the Department, and improve the promotion of American economic interests abroad

DHS Cyber Incident Hunt and Response Teams Act: This provision authorizes the deployment of the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center’s Cyber Hunt and Incident Response Teams to lead Federal asset response activities, and provide technical assistance to Federal and non-Federal entities in response to cyber-attacks. 

END Neglected Tropical Diseases Act:This provision builds on existing U.S. government efforts to treat Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) by facilitating improved research and increasing program coordination with ongoing health interventions, at no additional cost to U.S. taxpayers.

Preventing Child Marriage in Displaced Populations Act: Directs the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations to push for a comprehensive strategy to address the prevalence of child marriage inside UN-administered refugee settlements, which should include protocols for prevention, programs for supporting victims of child marriage, and data collection.

Rescuing Animals With Rewards (RAWR) Act: This bill modifies the Department of State rewards program to authorize rewards to individuals who provide information that assists in the prevention or identification of crimes related to wildlife trafficking.

European Energy Security and Diversification Act: Authorizes financing to catalyze public and private sector investment in strategically important energy projects in European and Eurasian countries. This is a new tool to counter Russia’s predatory energy policies and promote the energy security of U.S. allies and partners.