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I. EXPECTED COMMITTEE ACTIVITY ON THE FLOOR

  • H.R. 1905 - House Amendment to Senate Amendment to Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012

 

II. COMMITTEE HEARING and MARKUP SCHEDULE

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

 Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Human Rights Hearing: “Seeking Freedom for American Trapped in Bolivian Prison”

2:30 p.m. in Room 2172 RHOB, U.S. Rep. Christopher H. Smith, Chairman                                                                 

Witnesses:

  • Mr. Yimy Montaño Villgomez, Attorney for Jacob Ostreicher
  • Mr. Jerjes Justiniano Atalá, Attorney for Jacob Ostreicher
  • Ms. Miriam Unga,  Wife of Jacob Ostreicher
  • Ms. Chaya Gitty Weinberger, Daughter of Jacob Ostreicher
  • Mr. Steve Moore, Special Agent (Retired), Federal Bureau of Investigations

 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

 Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade Hearing: “The State Department's Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications: Mission, Operations and Impact”

2:00 p.m. in Room 2172 RHOB, U.S. Rep. Edward R. Royce, Chairman                                                                 

Witnesses:

  •  The Honorable Alberto Fernandez, Coordinator, Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications, U.S. Department of State

 

 

Hearings held in Room 2172 of the Rayburn H.O.B. are available via live video through the Committee’s website at: http://www.foreignaffairs.house.gov/

 

 

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House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) today issued her Gold Medal Award for ‘Most Ludicrous Statement Taken Seriously by the Press’ to Raul Castro, for his recent comments claiming that he would like to sit down for talks with the U.S. in order to improve relations between the U.S. and Cuba.
 
“Raul Castro, who learned the arts of deception and manipulation from one of the greatest of all time – his brother Fidel – took a big chance this week trying to get people to believe his outlandish claim that he wants to improve relations with the United States.  In a gold medal performance, he was actually able to get the press to take him seriously,” Ros-Lehtinen said.
 
“We all know that the Castro regime has zero intention of ever allowing free elections, permitting opposition political parties, ceasing its abuse of dissidents, or abandoning its espionage campaign against the United States or its partnerships with U.S. enemies like Iran,” she added.  “But for getting the press to go along with his ludicrous claim, Raul gets the gold.”

Washington, Jul 26 - The Olympics kick-off tomorrow in London. A lot of attention has been focused on the opening ceremonies – will the IOC allow a minute of silence to recognize the 11 Israeli victims of terrorism on the 40th anniversary of the Munich Games? I’ll always remember Jim McKay’s agonizing "they are all gone" announcement… Everyone thinks a minute of silence is more than appropriate – but it likely won’t happen, as the IOC has consistently resisted, fearing an Arab boycott.

But there is another "boycott" that has caught my attention. Word comes that Iran’s judo champion is sick. Really sick. Too sick to travel to the Olympic Games. Turns out that the Iranian would likely have had to face an Israeli in his quest to medal.

Maybe he really did come down with a "critical digestive system infection" – sounds serious. But in 2004 and 2008, Iranian Olympic athletes had injuries that forced them to withdraw (they would have likely faced Israelis). And last year, the Iranian judo champion admitting to throwing matches: "If I won, I would have had to compete with an Israeli athlete." In other words, he was afraid of losing to an Israeli. This "athlete," of course, is just a cog in corrupt regime. The Iranian sports minister said "not competing with Zionist athletes is one of the values and sources of pride of the Iranian people and its athletes."

It is often written that countries are personified by their sports teams. A few weeks ago, the European financial crisis played out on a soccer field when indebted Greece played taskmaster Germany. The German bankers won. Here, the judo case is revealing for what it says about the leaders in Tehran: cowards.

 

Washington, D.C. — Earlier today, U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, joined other Members of Congress to honor the 11 Israeli Olympians who were murdered at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich.  Leaders around the world continue to urge the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to hold a moment of silence for these Olympians on the 40th anniversary of the Munich massacre during the Opening Ceremony of this year’s Summer Olympics in London.
 

 
(Click here for video)


Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
 
“Our message to the International Olympic Committee is simple: Do the right thing.
 
“For 40 years, the IOC has refused to hold a moment of silence at the Olympic Opening Ceremonies in memory of the 11 Israeli Olympians—including an American citizen, David Mark Berger—murdered by violent extremists at the 1972 Olympics in Munich.  We have written repeatedly to the IOC to urge them to reconsider and re-reconsider their position regarding the moment of silence, and the response we received repeated the same meaningless excuses the IOC has clung to year after year.
 
“We know why the IOC has refused: Because the murdered Olympians were Israelis, and the IOC does not want to draw the ire of foreign governments who still object to the very existence of a Jewish state in the homeland of the Jewish people.  Well, the leadership of the IOC needs to recognize that leadership is about doing the right thing, particularly when it’s not the easy thing.  The Olympics are not about taking the path of least resistance.  The Olympics are about overcoming obstacles and going the extra mile.
 
“So to the president of the IOC, we say: Don’t compromise Olympic values by taking the easy way out. Overcome the political obstacles.  Go the extra mile.  Listen to the U.S., Australia, Britain, Canada, Germany, Italy, and Israel.  Listen to the hundreds of thousands of people who have supported this cause on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and other social media.  Most importantly, listen to the widows of the murdered Israeli Olympians, who have been waiting for decades.
 
“There is still time to do the right thing—there is always time to do the right thing—and pay tribute to the Olympians whose lives were taken at the Olympics 40 years ago.
 
“All we ask for is: Just—One—Minute.”

Washington, D.C. — The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs will hold a hearing TOMORROW, Wednesday, July 25 titled “Investigating the Chinese Threat, Part Two: Human Rights Abuses, Torture and Disappearances.”  Despite China’s global economic rise in recent years, the authoritarian regime in Beijing continues to commit gross human rights abuses and participate in torture and disappearances of its citizens. The Committee will hear expert testimony from several noted activists and dissidents, and will examine current U.S. policy towards China and the regime’s continual human rights violations.  

 

When:                          

TOMORROW - Wednesday, July 25, 2012

10:00 a.m.

 

Where:                           

2172 Rayburn House Office Building

 

Witnesses:

Mr. Jared Genser

Founder

Freedom Now

 

Ms. Rebiya Kadeer

Uyghur Democracy Leader

 

Mr. Hai Li

Falun Gong Practitioner

 

Mr. Bhuchung K. Tsering

Vice President

International Campaign for Tibet


 

Hearings held in Room 2172 of the Rayburn H.O.B. are available via live video through the Committee’s website at http://www.foreignaffairs.house.gov/. TV and Radio outlets must register with the House Radio-TV Gallery on Tuesday, July 24, 2012 after 4pm.  Please call 202-225-5214 to register.  Print reporters may contact Andrew Lee to reserve a seat at the press table.

 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

 Subcommittee on Europe and Eurasia Hearing: “U.S. Engagement in Central Asia”

2:00 p.m. in Room 2172 RHOB, U.S. Rep. Dan Burton, Chairman

Witnesses:

Panel I

  • The Honorable Robert O. Blake, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Central and South Asian Affairs, U.S. Department of State

Panel II

  • The Honorable Ross Wilson, Director, Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center, Atlantic Council
  • Ariel Cohen, Ph.D., Research Fellow, The Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies, The Heritage Foundation
  • The Honorable S. Enders Wimbush, Senior Director for Foreign Policy and Civil Society , The German Marshall Fund of the United States

 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

 FULL Committee Hearing: “Investigating the Chinese Threat, Part Two: Human Rights Abuses, Torture and Disappearances”

10:00 a.m. in Room 2172 RHOB, U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Chairman                                                                 

Witnesses:

  • Mr. Jared Genser, Founder, Freedom Now
  • Ms. Rebiya Kadeer, Uyghur Democracy Leader
  • Mr. Hai Li, Falun Gong Practitioner
  • Mr. Bhuchung K. Tsering, Vice President, International Campaign for Tibet

 

 

Hearings held in Room 2172 of the Rayburn H.O.B. are available via live video through the Committee’s website at: http://www.foreignaffairs.house.gov/

 

Washington, D.C. — The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs will hold a hearing on Thursday, July 19 titled “Unfair Trading Practices Against the U.S.: Intellectual Property Rights Infringement, Property Expropriation, and other Barriers.”  Intellectual property theft, expropriation of property and subsidies, and other practices grant foreign goods unfair advantages over U.S. products, and harm the ability of U.S. businesses to compete globally.    The Committee will review the negative impact of trade barriers imposed against the U.S and possible solutions to combat them.
 
When:                          
TOMORROW - Thursday, July 19, 2012
10:00 a.m.
 
Where:                           
2172 Rayburn House Office Building
 
Witnesses:
 
Mr. Grant Aldonas
Managing Director
Split Rock International
(Former Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade)
 
Derek Scissors, Ph.D.
Senior Research Fellow
The Heritage Foundation
 
* Mr. David Hirschmann
 President and Chief Executive Officer
 Global Intellectual Property Center
 U.S. Chamber of Commerce
 
 
*NOTE: Witness list has changed.
 
Hearings held in Room 2172 of the Rayburn H.O.B. are available via live video through the Committee’s website at http://www.foreignaffairs.house.gov/. TV and Radio outlets must register with the House Radio-TV Gallery on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 after 4pm.  Please call 202-225-5214 to register.  Print reporters may contact Andrew Lee to reserve a seat at the press table.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- This evening, the House of Representatives passed legislation (H.R. 6018) authorizing the basic functions of the Department of State.  Included in the legislation are provisions authored by Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) in H.R. 4077 to revise and update the State Department’s rewards program, currently focused mainly on terrorists and drug traffickers. When Royce's provision is signed into law, the rewards program will expand to also target transnational organized criminals and those wanted for the most serious human rights abuses.                  

"This bill responds to the need to develop more tools to pursue the world’s worst.

"Target one is Joseph Kony, the sadistic head of the LRA.  U.S. military advisors working in Central Africa consider a reward offer on Kony as critical to their effort.  They need this tool in the field now.  The Senate should pass this legislation as quickly as possible.

"Critically, this legislation also responds to the growing links between terrorists and transnational criminals.  Targeting those who assist terrorists and drug cartels by providing weapons, sophisticated forgeries, and money laundering is just as important as targeting the organizations themselves.  A rewards program in this area can help disrupt these transnational organized crime networks," said Royce, who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade.  

Earlier this year, in testimony in front of Royce’s Subcommittee, the senior State Department official dealing with war crimes called this legislation "critical" to the effort to locate Kony.  Last month, in a letter in support of H.R. 4077, the Department of Defense noted that these rewards programs "provide the Combatant Commander and Chief of Mission with relatively low-cost and effective tools to achieve national security objectives." 

Background:  Since the program’s inception in 1984 under President Reagan, the U.S. government has given rewards to over 70 people who provided actionable intelligence, that according to the State Department, prevented international terrorist attacks or helped convict individuals involved in terrorist acts.  Royce led Congressional efforts to see that international arms dealer Viktor Bout, arrested in Thailand in 2008, was extradited to the U.S. to stand trial.  In 2010, Royce – a former chair of the Africa Subcommittee – was an original sponsor of the Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act. The successful legislation made it the policy of the U.S. to "apprehend or remove Joseph Kony and his top commanders from the battlefield."

Royce introduced H.R. 4077 on February 17, 2012.  The legislation has garnered significant bipartisan support.  Senate companion legislation (S. 2318) was introduced in April.  The legislation is supported by the Departments of State and Defense.     

 

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