Washington, D.C.— The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs will host a hearing next week entitled, “Why Taiwan Matters, Part II.” The Committee will hear from Administration officials on their assessment of the U.S. relationship with Taiwan, including Administration plans for provision of weapons to meet Taiwan’s defense needs as stipulated in the Taiwan Relations Act. The hearing will also allow the Committee to examine overall U.S. policy objectives in the Western Pacific.
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
2172 Rayburn House Office Building
The Honorable Kurt Campbell
Assistant Secretary of State East Asian and Pacific Affairs
U.S. Department of State
The Honorable Derek Mitchell
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for East Asia
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs
U.S. Department of State
YOU ASK A QUESTION: For all Full Committee hearings, members of the public are invited to submit questions for the witness(es) through the Committee’s “You Ask a Question” online feature. The Committee will review the questions, and some questions may be asked by Members on behalf of the submitter. To participate, please visit: Committee: You ask a Question Feature
NOTE: 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 Monday, August 1, 2011 after 4pm. Please call 202-225-5214 to register. Print reporters may contact Andrew Lee Email Andrew Lee to reserve a seat at the press table.
Washington, DC – This week, freshman Congressman Jeff Duncan introduced multiple amendments to the FY12 Foreign Relations Authorization Act that passed the full House Foreign Affairs Committee. Each of the amendments passed and were adopted into the final version of the bill that passed out of the full committee late Thursday evening.
“Our government borrows $0.43 cents of every dollar we spend as a nation, and some in Congress still think we’re the world’s piggy bank” said Duncan. “We’re $14.3 trillion in debt. Why should we pay countries to hate us when they’ve shown they’re willing to do it for free?”
One of Duncan’s amendments bars funding for governments who oppose the United States position a majority of the time in the United Nations.
Another Duncan amendment, which he co-authored with Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX), requires stricter financial accountability for foreign aid projects. Currently, most foreign aid projects are not required to report how much money is being spent, in which country, or who is in charge of administering the funds. The Duncan/Poe Amendment requires every project to be able to provide this basic information on a website for all Americans to see. Additionally, Duncan introduced a related amendment that requires for-profit USAID contractors who receive more than half of their funding from the government to disclose how much money their top five employees earn. This is to insure that the majority of aid money given actually reaches the area of need and doesn't go into the pockets of contractors.
Congressman Duncan also introduced another amendment that prohibits any funding for the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliates. Duncan’s amendment ensures that no American tax dollars go to that organization.
Finally, Duncan introduced an amendment to elevate the importance of international religious freedom in the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Duncan’s amendment would require that UNHCR conduct a review of refugee-based claims and provide religious freedom training to their staff to prevent future grief for refugees on religious freedom grounds.
“Today, we are taking serious steps to reform our foreign aid programs,” Duncan said. “As a nation, we are more than $14 trillion in debt. Yet some Democrats still want to send large amounts of tax dollars overseas to people who hate us. These amendments are a good step in the right direction for our country. The United States has no business giving money away to countries and groups who seek to do us harm.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, the House Foreign Affairs Committee debated the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, a bill that authorizes funding for the U.S. Department of State. Importantly, this bill contains language offered by Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) calling on the State Department to relist Vietnam as a "Country of Particular Concern" for violations of religious freedom.
"Passage of this bill is an important step to putting the House of Representatives on record as supporting religious freedom in Vietnam. We need to send a message to the State Department that the status quo in Vietnam is unacceptable," said Royce.
"Some have seen positive steps in Vietnam, but frankly, I don't see it. Religious freedom remains under attack. The Communist government continues to harass and physically abuse worshipers who don't follow every last state sanctioned rule," Royce stated.
Royce’s language was kept in the bill despite efforts to remove it. Royce led a spirited debate in Committee, helping to defeat an amendment to strike his language critical of Vietnam offered by a Member who defended the Vietnamese government's human rights record.
NOTE: Royce is the author of H.Res.16 which calls on the State Department to place Vietnam on the list of "Countries of Particular Concern" for violations of religious freedom.
Rep. Ed Royce is a senior member on the Asia and the Pacific Subcommittee. Additionally, Royce serves on the Congressional Caucus on Vietnam and the Caucus on Human Rights.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs convened a markup for H.R. 2583, the Foreign Relations Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, at which Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) spoke in favor of a successful amendment offered by Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA) that calls upon the government of Turkey to end religious discrimination, allow religious prayer and education, and return stolen church property. The amendment text was taken from H. Res. 306, legislation Royce introduced with Rep. Berman on June 15, 2011.
"Religious minorities are under grave threat in today's Turkey. Turkey is 99 percent Muslim. But rather than enjoying protection, very vulnerable religious minority groups including the Ecumenical Patriarchate of the Greek Orthodox Church are denied full legal status," said Royce.
Royce added, "This amendment calls on Turkey to allow all Turks to practice their faiths, return stolen church properties, and allow property owners to repair their churches. In Turkey, it is illegal for religious minority groups to study, practice, or teach one’s own faith. If religious needs cannot be met, religious minority groups will decline, as they have, and in some cases—cease to exist. Turkey has an international obligation to see that this doesn't happen."
The amendment was accepted by the Committee. The next stop for H.R. 2583 is consideration on the floor of the House of Representatives. Royce's H. Res. 306 --opposed by the Turkish government-- has 35 co-sponsors.
Royce noted, "Today we had a win. I'm going to push for a bigger win though, and that's passage of H. Res. 306, the Royce-Berman bill."
Rep. Ed Royce is a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and serves as co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Armenia.