WASHINGTON, DC -- At a recent meeting with his Asian Pacific Community Advisory Council (APCAC), several Filipino American advisors brought to Rep. Royce’s attention the issue of three Filipinos who are scheduled to be executed in China. With over nine million Filipinos working abroad, many of them in China, the plight and exploitation of these workers has been drawn into question. In response, Royce said:
"I want to express my deep concern for Ramon Credo, Sally Villanueva, and Elizabeth Batin, three Filipino workers who have been sentenced to death in China under uncertain circumstances. With 74 Filipinos currently facing execution in China, I am greatly concerned about the overall treatment of Filipino workers. China is condemning to death Filipino workers from poor families in what amounts to radically disproportionate punishment based on these alleged charges. I call on Chinese authorities to stay these executions. This is an issue that deserves our utmost attention. I’ll be following this closely in the days to come."
Rep. Royce is Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade and a Senior Member on the Subcommittee on Asia, Pacific and Global Environment.
Washington, DC – Following the President’s address on the US involvement in Libya, Congressman Tim Murphy (PA-18) released the following statement:
“President Obama’s address to the nation tonight did not answer fundamental questions about US involvement in Libya. We continued to hear contradictions about what exactly the US role is in Libya, with no mention of how and when US participation will end.
“We heard the US will not engage in regime change, yet the President has committed America to a seat at the table with Libyan opposition forces to discuss, by his own words, supporting a transition to the future in Libya. He further elaborated on US involvement in building a new government, however, given reports that rebel forces include Al Qaeda, how can we be certain we will not be replacing a dictator with another bloody and brutal regime? This is made all the more worrisome for the American people by the fact that we have no idea who the leaders will be, who they represent, and what sort of government they will back.
“The Administration has committed American lives and resources in a region marked by turmoil and upheaval. Every nearby nation and its neighbors are facing massive disruption, fueled by Iran, proxy armies of Hezbollah, Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, that at any moment could erupt into large scale war. The seriousness of this situation cannot be overstated. We cannot afford to be naive. A doctrine of wishful thinking does not and should not constitute a coherent defense strategy or meaningful foreign affairs policy.
“America’s decision-making must be well-informed and the will of the American people, as exercised through their elected Members of Congress, must be engaged.”
Murphy Press | Congressman Tim Murphy (PA-18)
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (PA-03) issued the following statement on President Obama's address to the nation regarding U.S. military engagement in Libya:
“President Obama gave an important, albeit long overdue, explanation last night regarding his decision to authorize military operations in Libya. Since the U.S.-led military campaign began 10 days ago, Americans understandably have had many concerns, fears, and questions. While the President answered some important questions last night, he left many unanswered. We know little about the long-term objectives of the rebels whom we are aiding, we don't know how much our involvement will cost American taxpayers, and we don't understand what role Gaddafi will ultimately play if he is not overthrown. We still have, as Vice Admiral Bill Gortney, Director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said, 'knowledge gaps' that need to be addressed.
"As events continue to unfold, I will do my part on behalf of the 3rd District to make sure that the President and his Administration keep the public informed of our short and long-term goals as we enter the next phase of our involvement in Libya."
(WASHINGTON) Congressman Don Manzullo (R-IL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, today issued the following statement regarding the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan this morning:
“Our thoughts and prayers are with our friends in Japan today as they work frantically to save the victims of this historic tragedy. I spoke this morning with my friend, Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki of Japan who visited northern Illinois last summer, and offered our assistance. The images coming out of Japan are devastating and our hearts break for our close allies as they mourn the hundreds of lives lost and try to save others who are missing. The United States offered immediate disaster relief assistance and is joining the Japanese government in a major recovery operation. Our friends face a long recovery, and we will be there to help them along the way.”
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congressman Jeff Fortenberry today spoke at a hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Human Rights about the intense plight of women in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
“The intense human tragedy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo continues to weigh heavily upon us, and the testimony today from the U.S. State Department, USAID, the Eastern Congo Initiative, Catholic Relief Services, and the Enough Project is important for the international community’s sense of understanding of this plight,” said Fortenberry. “It is especially poignant that today is International Women’s Day, as we held this hearing for the hundreds of thousands of women in the DRC who have been heinously victimized in recent years, including the many women who must remain silent. Congress broke that silence today.
“Sexual violence toward the daughters of the Congo is the worst in the world, in both its pernicious scope and unrelenting brutality. While numerous signs of democratic progress have been seen in recent years, civil strife has reached an unfathomable high in some areas, particularly eastern Congo. The social emergency lies not only with the scourge of gender and sexual based violence in the DRC. As we give attention to the victimized women and girls of the DRC, we must also give special consideration to the plight of girl child soldiers, who are often victims of grotesque sexual slavery and violence as well. These girls, stripped of innocence and dignity, face heartbreaking stigma and unique challenges to reintegration by their families and communities.
“One tangible result of today’s hearing was the expression of bipartisan support for the appointment of a special envoy to the DRC, and I will work with my colleagues on the subcommittee to press for this important diplomatic outreach.”
Fortenberry is the Vice Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Human Rights.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) and Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), who have collaborated on past legislation on Africa, today introduced the "Sudan Cessation of Support for the Lord’s Resistance Army Certification Act of 2011."
This legislation requires the Obama Administration to certify to Congress that the Sudanese government is "no longer engaged in training, harboring, supplying, financing, or supporting in any way the Lord’s Resistance Army, its leader Joseph Kony, or his top commanders" before Sudan could be removed from the state sponsor of terrorism list.
"Last year, bipartisan legislation was signed into law requiring the Administration to devise a strategy to end the LRA’s atrocities. The strategy promises to ensure the LRA ‘receives no support or safe haven.’ I view this legislation as part of that effort," said Royce, who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade.
Historically, Sudan has backed the LRA with arms and supplies, making Khartoum the only documented state-supporter of the group, which is on the State Department’s "Terrorist Exclusion List." Joseph Kony, its leader, has been named a "specially designated global terrorist."
"I’m very pleased to continue this important, bipartisan effort with Ed Royce," Rep. McGovern said. "The LRA and the Sudanese government need to know that the U.S. Congress – and the world – are watching."
For over two decades, the LRA has terrorized northern Uganda and central Africa. Its followers have mutilated, abducted and forced individuals into sexual servitude, forcing as many as 65,000 children to fight as part of the rebel force. Last Congress, McGovern and Royce led efforts in the House to pass the Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act, which was signed into law on May 24, 2010.
The "Sudan Cessation of Support for the Lord’s Resistance Army Certification Act of 2011" is supported by Resolve, Enough and Invisible Children, advocacy groups dedicated to ending the LRA’s atrocities.