*Measures added to full committee markup*

Washington, D.C. – Today, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) announced the following upcoming Committee events:

Wednesday, July 13

Hearing: Countering the Virtual Caliphate: The State Department’s Performance

10 a.m. on Wednesday, July 13 in 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

Committee on Foreign Affairs
Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman

Invited Witnesses Include:

The Honorable Richard Stengel
Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs
U.S. Department of State

Chairman Royce on the Hearing: “The United States is losing the information war to terrorists like ISIS and Hezbollah.  Earlier this year, the administration rebranded the office responsible for counter messaging, but little seems to have changed.  A strong, effective information offensive to counter the violent ideology being pushed by ISIS and other terrorists is long overdue.  This hearing will give members an opportunity to press the administration’s top public diplomacy official on how the U.S. can be more effective.”

Wednesday, July 13

Subcommittee Hearing: The Castro Regime’s Ongoing Violations of Civil and Political Rights

2 p.m. on Wednesday, July 13 in 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations
Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ), Chairman

Invited Witnesses Include:

Óscar Elías Biscet, M.D.
Lawton Foundation for Human Rights
(Former Cuban political prisoner)

Ms. Sirley Ávila León
Democracy Advocate

Ms. Maria Werlau
Free Society Project

Chairman Smith on the Hearing: “This hearing will examine the human rights situation in Cuba, where it seems disregard for civil and political rights has gotten worse, not better, since the President visited the Island.  The regime continues to jail and beat political dissidents, with even extrajudicial killings apparently sanctioned.  That we are holding it on July 13 is significant, as it is the anniversary of the tugboat massacre of 1994, when 37 victims, including 11 children, were killed by the regime.  The Obama Administration cannot allow concerns over its ‘legacy’ to muffle its voice when it should be insisting that the rights of the Cuban people be respected.”

Wednesday, July 13

Subcommittee Hearing: Turkey’s Democratic Decline

2 p.m. on Wednesday, July 13 in 2200 Rayburn House Office Building

Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Chairman

Invited Witnesses Include:

Henri J. Barkey, Ph.D.
Middle East Program
The Wilson Center

Fevzi Bilgin, Ph.D.
Rethink Institute

Mr. Alan Makovsky
Senior Fellow
Center for American Progress

Chairman Rohrabacher on the Hearing: “In the wake of the June 28th terrorist attack on the Istanbul Airport, I extend my sincerest condolences to the families of those who were killed. The United States stands with the people of Turkey as they continue to experience the pain and loss of innocent life at the hands of radical Islamic terrorists.

As they contend with this death cult mentality, I call on the Turkish leadership to respect the fundamental rights of all of its citizens. I am concerned that Turkey is on the wrong track and is squandering the incredible progress that it has made towards a democratic society.

While it is right for the United States government to do everything it can to work with Turkish authorities, recent actions by the Turkish President to single out and officially label the movement of Fethullah Gulen as a terrorist group is counterproductive. Likewise, ongoing efforts to marginalize the Kurds, limit media freedom and weaken Turkey’s judiciary should ring alarm bells around the world.”

Thursday, July 14

Markup: H. Res. 634, H. Res. 660, H. Res. 728, H. Res. 729, H. Res. 750, H. Res. 780, H. Res. 808, H. Res. ___ H.R. 4481, H.R. 5094, H.R. 5537, and H.R. ____

10:15 a.m. on Thursday, July 14 in 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

Committee on Foreign Affairs
Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman

*Measures to be Marked Up Include:

H. Res. 634, Recognizing the importance of the United States-Republic of Korea-Japan trilateral relationship to counter North Korean threats and nuclear proliferation, and to ensure regional security and human rights;

H. Res. 660, Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives to support the territorial integrity of Georgia;

H. Res. 728, Supporting human rights, democracy, and the rule of law in Cambodia;

H. Res. 729, Expressing support for the expeditious consideration and finalization of a new, robust, and long-term Memorandum of Understanding on military assistance to Israel between the United States Government and the Government of Israel;

H. Res. 750, Urging the European Union to designate Hizballah in its entirety as a terrorist organization and increase pressure on it and its members;

H. Res. 780, Urging respect for the constitution of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the democratic transition of power in 2016;

H. Res. 808, Calling on the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to release Iranian-Americans Siamak Namazi and his father, Baquer Namazi;

H. Res. ___, Urging the Government of Gabon to respect democratic principles during the August 2016 presidential elections;

H.R. 4481, Education for All Act of 2016;

H.R. 5094, Stability and Democracy for Ukraine Act;

H.R. 5537, Digital Global Access Policy Act of 2016; and

H.R. ____, the Caesar Syrian Civilian Protection Act of 2016.

Thursday, July 14

Subcommittee Hearing: U.S. Humanitarian Assistance to Syria: Minimizing Risks and Improving Oversight

2 p.m. on Thursday, July 14 in 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman

Invited Witnesses Include:

Mr. Thomas Melito
International Affairs and Trade
Government Accountability Office

The Honorable Ann Calvaresi Barr
Inspector General
Office of the Inspector General
United States Agency for International Development

Chairman Ros-Lehtinen on the Hearing: “We’re now in the sixth year of the Syrian conflict, which has brought the deaths of hundreds of thousands, caused millions to flee, and has caused millions more to be in dire need of humanitarian assistance. In response to this crisis, the United States has been the single largest contributor of humanitarian assistance, providing over $5 billion. With no end in sight to the Syrian conflict, it is absolutely vital that we ensure that the taxpayer dollars that are used in support of these efforts are being used efficiently and effectively. In continuing with this subcommittee’s ongoing oversight over the U.S. response to the Syrian humanitarian crisis, several of our Members enlisted the GAO to conduct a review of our assistance programs to find out if the State Department and USAID are doing everything possible to mitigate waste, fraud and abuse. This hearing will be an opportunity for GAO to present its findings from the review and also its recommendations to the agencies responsible for overseeing the assistance programs. It’s also an opportunity for Members to hear from the USAID Inspector General regarding USAID programs and potential risks for waste, fraud and abuse.”

Thursday, July 14

Subcommittee Hearing: The Strategic Importance of Building a Stronger U.S.-Caribbean Partnership

2 p.m. on Thursday, July 14 in 2200 Rayburn House Office Building

Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere
Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Chairman

Invited Witnesses Include:

Mr. Eric Farnsworth
Vice President
Council of the Americas and Americas Society

Ms. Sally Yearwood
Executive Director
Caribbean-Central American Action

His Excellency Richard Bernal
Pro-Vice Chancellor for Global Affairs
University of the West Indies in Jamaica

Chairman Duncan on the Hearing: “The Caribbean and the Member States of the CARICOM community are home to many beautiful and popular travel destinations for vacationers and cruisers from all around the world, including many Americans. However, the Caribbean is also a haven for drug and human traffickers, gun smugglers, and other transnational criminal organizations.  The United States has worked since 2010 to reduce illicit trafficking, increase public security, and to promote justice reform and combat corruption through the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative.  Additionally, the Caribbean has worked with the U.S. in several targeted trade promotion initiatives to reduce poverty and diversify the economies of several of these island nations. This hearing will examine the opportunities and potential the Caribbean presents for U.S. businesses and the strategic importance of building a stronger U.S.-Caribbean partnership.”

Thursday, July 14

Subcommittee Markup: H. Res. 290

2 p.m. on Thursday, July 14 in 2255 Rayburn House Office Building

Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations
Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ), Chairman

H. Res. 290, Calling for the global repeal of blasphemy laws.

Thursday, July 14

Subcommittee Hearing: Hope Deferred: Securing Enforcement of the Goldman Act to Return Abducted American Children

2:15 p.m. on Thursday, July 14 in 2255 Rayburn House Office Building

Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations
Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ), Chairman

Invited Witnesses Include:

Panel I
Ms. Karen Christensen
Deputy Assistant Secretary
Bureau of Consular Affairs
U.S. Department of State

Panel II
Chris Brann, M.D.
(Father of Child Abducted to Brazil)

Ms. Ruchika Abbi
(Mother of Child Abducted to India)

Mr. James Cook
(Father of Children Abducted to Japan)

Ms. Edeanna Barbirou
(Mother of Child Abducted to Tunisia)

Chairman Smith on the Hearing: “International parental child abduction rips children from their homes and whisks them away to a foreign land, alienating them from the love of the American parent left behind.  In 2014, Congress rejected the State Department’s ineffective response of ‘quiet diplomacy’ and adopted accountability and action in the Goldman Act, which requires an annual report on abductions and returns, as well as assessment of cooperation by destination countries.  The State Department is now more than two months late delivering this report, two months of powerlessness for desperate parents and two months of judges making decisions without the information they need to prevent abduction. This hearing is intended to press the State Department to comply with the Goldman Act immediately and deliver this overdue report.”


***See www.foreignaffairs.house.gov for updates.

***Coverage note:  All Foreign Affairs Committee proceedings are webcast live at www.foreignaffairs.house.gov/live-video-feed.