Washington, D.C. – House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) issued the following statement after passage of a bill to fund the federal government for Fiscal Year 2018:

“Though far from perfect, this bill includes key measures to keep America safe and strong. It prevents steep cuts to the State Department and Agency for International Development, and continues vital funding for democracy and humanitarian programs. It includes provisions to combat human trafficking, and help stop the Palestinian Authority’s abhorrent pay-to-slay policies. And it supports our diplomats on the ground working to solve conflicts, ensure a fair playing field for America’s job creators and promote our values.

“I was pleased to support this bill and will continue to fight for stronger diplomacy to advance critical U.S. interests.”

The bill funds Foreign Affairs Committee priorities, including:

  • Embassy Security. Provides $6 billion for embassy security and construction, which is equal to the amount provided in FY2017. Of this amount, $1.477 billion is for upgrades, $765.4 million is for construction, operations and maintenance to help protect diplomats operating in dangerous parts of the world.
  • Taylor Force Act. Named after a West Point graduate and combat veteran murdered by a Palestinian terrorist, Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO), Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) and Chairman Royce’s Taylor Force Act restricts U.S. assistance for the Palestinian Authority until the PA stops making payments to terrorists.
  • TARGET Act. Chairman Royce and Rep. Lois Frankel’s (D-FL) bill will give law enforcement powerful new tools to help put a stop to human trafficking by allowing the State Department to use cash rewards to bring traffickers to justice.
  • Supporting Israel and key partners in the region. Provides $3.1 billion in Foreign Military Financing for Israel. Continues conditions on funding for the Palestinian Authority and in the West Bank and Gaza. Provides at least $1.08 billion for Jordan and at least $165.4 million in assistance for Tunisia.
  • Preventing harmful cuts to democracy and humanitarian programs. Funding for the National Endowment for Democracy remains equal to FY2017 enacted levels and funding for the Food for Peace program remains constant at $1.6 billion.
  • Supporting the Rohingya. In addition to maintaining robust refugee assistance funding levels, the bill includes $3 million specifically to document human rights abuses against the beleaguered Rohingya minority and ensures that U.S. funding is not used to support involuntary returns to an unsafe situation in Burma.
  • Empowering women. Provides at least $50 million to increase leadership opportunities for women and improve their political participation and status. Supports the “Women, Peace, and Security” strategy required by Chairman Royce’s legislation to improve women’s participation in efforts to end violent conflict, counter extremism and maintain peace. 
  • Combating poaching and wildlife trafficking. Provides at least $90.7 million for programs to combat the transnational threat of wildlife poaching and trafficking, and to save elephants, rhinoceroses and other endangered animals. Prohibits assistance to any military unit or individual credibly alleged to have engaged in such acts.