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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, the House Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously passed legislation (H.R. 6018) related to 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 rewards programs run by the State Department. Currently, the State Department offers reward money for information related to terrorists, narcotics traffickers, and specific international war criminals.  When signed into law, the rewards program would be expanded to also target transnational organized crime and those wanted for the most serious human rights abuses.                

"Targeting those who assist terrorists and drug cartels with 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.

"Critically, the language included allows the rewards program to target those who are wanted for genocide, war crimes or crimes against humanity -- the world’s worst human rights abusers.

"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," said Royce.

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.  Earlier this 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. 

Contact: Audra McGeorge (202) 225-4111


  • At this time, no foreign affairs-related legislation is expected on the floor.




Wednesday, June 20, 201

Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia Hearing: “Reflections on the Revolution in Egypt, Part II”

1:30 p.m. in Room 2200 RHOB, U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot, Chairman


  • Mr. David Schenker, Director, Program on Arab Politics, Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Michele Dunne, Ph. D., Director, Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, Atlantic Council


Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade & Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Human Rights Joint Hearing: “The African Growth and Opportunity Act: Ensuring Success”

2:00 p.m. in Room 2172 RHOB, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce, Chairman, U.S. Rep. Christopher H. Smith, Chairman


  • Mr. Paul Ryberg, President, African Coalition for Trade
  • Mr. Anthony Carroll, Vice President, Manchester Trade, Ltd.
  • Mr. Jaswinder Bedi, Chairman, African Cotton and Textile Industries Federation
  • Mr. Stephen Hayes, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Corporate Council on Africa (CCA)


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


WASHINGTON, D.C. -- During today’s House Foreign Affairs Committee markup reauthorizing the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), an active participant in the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, successfully offered a bipartisan amendment calling for the Kingdom of Cambodia to be designated as a Tier 3 country for its egregious human trafficking record.

"The government of Cambodia insufficiently addressed their human trafficking problem and rampant corruption has exacerbated this form of modern day slavery," Royce said.

According to the State Department’s 2011 Trafficking in Persons report, Cambodia has made no improvements to identify or protect trafficking victims. News sources describe Cambodia as a "magnet" for those who sexually prey on the young. Additionally, Human Rights Watch describes Cambodia as being "plagued not only by widespread abuses committed by officials, but impunity for perpetrators."

Countries placed in Tier 3, the worst category, "do not fully comply with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act’s minimum standards and are not making significant efforts to do so." Tier 3 countries are subject to a U.S. aid cutoff. Cambodia is currently designated as a Tier 2 country.

"The 2011 report cities that Cambodian ‘entertainment establishments’ may exploit up to 200 women and children on a single night. Cambodian police have been unwilling to pursue certain trafficking investigations because they were thought to involve high-ranking officials," Royce said.

"By cataloging these vile practices, the State Department’s report allows us to spotlight human trafficking. But when we don't follow the facts to a Tier 3 designation for countries like Cambodia, we do a disservice to the victims of these gross human rights abuses," Royce said.

Rep. Royce is a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and is a member of the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade, made the following statement during today's hearing entitled, "U.S.-India Counterterrorism Cooperation: Deepening the Partnership":

Our hearing comes soon after our 9/11 memorials, and as India has once again suffered a terrorist attack. Last week, a powerful bomb decimated part of one of New Delhi’s high-profile courthouses, killing a dozen and injuring scores. A few months ago, a coordinated triple bombing struck Mumbai during rush hour. Indian authorities are still searching for answers.

July’s coordinated Mumbai attack brought back the horrors of 26/11. Three years ago, a coordinated rampage rocked this great city, killing 166, including six Americans. But unlike in 2008, this time India authorities responded more capably, though there is still frustration in India. Defending an open country of India’s size is no easy task. Mumbai is particularly challenging, with a population of 20 million.

Fortunately, there are good opportunities for the U.S. to increase its counterterrorism cooperation with India. The two countries have worked together on this for over a decade. But by all accounts, this cooperation substantially improved after the 2008 Mumbai attacks, when investigators from both countries stood shoulder-to-shoulder in response.

The Counterterrorism Cooperation Initiative, Homeland Security Dialogue and other working groups plug along. This April, the FBI, working with the Indian Home Ministry, hosted 39 senior police executives from across India in Los Angeles, where they participated in an exchange on counterterrorism, crisis response and megacity policing. They visited the FBI’s Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory in Orange, California, to be trained in all aspects of digital evidence recovery.

This is good, but I’d like to get to a point where our counterterrorism exchanges are just as high-profile, numerous and unprecedented as our combined military exercises. I think Secretary Clinton had it right this July when she stressed in India “how important it is that we get results” from all of our counterterrorism agreements.

Let’s be clear: this is more than just helping a democratic ally. There are real, hard U.S. interests at stake. Simply put, the militants targeting India are also targeting us.

Indeed, at a Subcommittee hearing on the “Future of al-Qaeda” after bin Laden’s death, many experts placed just as much importance on Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba as any al-Qaeda affiliate. LeT India's mortal enemy, has gone global, with Western targets in its sights.

This week Vice President Biden said of Pakistan, “they have to get better…We are demanding it.” But are we?

Last month, the Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. has begun to condition security assistance to Pakistan on a “secret scorecard of U.S. objectives to combat al-Qaeda and its militant allies.” Although details are classified, from the Journal’s reporting, it does not seem that the U.S. has put emphasis on Pakistan making further progress on the Mumbai attackers or LeT in this “scorecard.”

This is shortsighted, and is getting in the way of greater cooperation with India. As one witness will testify, “the U.S. cannot allow its national security to be held hostage by nearly two decades of unfulfilled expectations in Pakistan.”

In the past decade, U.S. relations with India have grown considerably. But we’ve hit a lull. Counterterrorism cooperation is a way to reinvigorate this relationship, and better protect America.


WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) slammed the U.S. Department of State as it released its Annual Report on International Religious Freedom. The State Department failed to list Vietnam as a “Country of Particular Concern” (CPC) for violations of religious freedom, a recommendation that was made by the congressionally-mandated U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

"The State Department’s failure to list Vietnam as a CPC is a grave mistake," said Royce. "The fact remains that no religious group is immune from government coercion and harassment. Buddhists, Catholics, and Evangelicals alike face the heavy hand of Vietnamese government tyranny if they step outside its tight restrictions."

"This report is even more disappointing given Secretary Clinton’s remarks in Hanoi last year, where she said human rights concerns are raised at all levels, both in Vietnam and Washington. When given the opportunity for concrete action, however, the State Department fell flat," said Royce.

Although the State Department’s report gives credit to Vietnam for improving in some areas, it notes that religious groups like Protestants and Buddhists still face government sanctioned violence.

"As the current state of human rights and religious freedom in Vietnam is deplorable, the State Department’s decision not to relist Vietnam as a CPC is extraordinarily short-sighted. Secretary Clinton’s call for Vietnam to value the rights of its citizens look like empty words," said Royce.

Since 1999, the U.S. State Department has designated countries that "engage in or tolerate particularly severe violations of religious freedom," as "Countries of Particular Concern."

Due to Vietnam's egregious human rights violations, the State Department had listed it as a CPC from 2004-2006. This subjected Vietnam to sanction, according to law. In 2006, however, the State Department removed Vietnam from this annual list.

"When Vietnam was placed on the CPC list, we saw some positive changes. Unfortunately, when it was released in 2006, Vietnam ramped up its persecution. The State Department’s failure to relist Vietnam does its people a great disservice," said Royce.

Furthermore, the State Department failed to follow the prescription of a House of Representatives Royce-passed resolution that calls for Vietnam to be relisted as a CPC.

Ed Royce is the author of H.Res.16, a resolution calling on the State Department to relist Vietnam as a CPC. Royce is also a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Subcommittee on Asia, as well as the co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Vietnam.

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.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade, made the following statement during today's joint hearing with the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Human Rights entitled, "Assessing the Consequences of the Failed State of Somalia":
Thank you Mr. Chairman. I appreciate you including the terrorism subcommittee in today’s hearing. I held the gavel of the Africa Subcommittee once. Mr. Payne and I saw many African nations make good strides during that time, and since. Sadly, Somalia remains a failed state.

Nowhere are the consequences of Somalia more evident than when it comes to international terrorism and the threat from al-Shabaab, a U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization.

In the past few years, the Shabaab threat has grown dramatically. Roadside bombs and suicide blasts have come to Somalia. Militant compounds there reportedly resemble “Pakistan-style terror training camps.” And because of the influx of foreign fighters, one Mogadishu neighborhood is referenced by locals as “Little Afghanistan.”

A year ago, the group conducted its first attacks outside of Somalia, killing 76 – including one American - in Kampala, Uganda. There is growing concern that al-Shabaab leaders are striving to strike targets beyond Somalia and Africa. A European plot was recently in the works.

Links between al-Shabaab and al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula – the most active of the al-Qaeda franchises – are becoming clearer. They are communicating more about operations, training and tactics. AQAP’s bomb-making expertise plus al-Shabaab’s recruits with Western passports make this a deadly combination.
That's why last month then-CIA Director Panetta called al-Shabaab’s threat to the U.S. homeland “significant and on the rise.” U.S. forces have gone on the offensive, targeting Shabaab leaders from the sky.
But we should have a diplomatic attack as well, targeting al-Shabaab’s outside sources of support. The Government of Eritrea’s support for al-Shabaab is well-documented. Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Johnnie Carson has testified to Congress about Eritrea’s supply of weapons to terrorists inside Somalia. The U.N. Security Council – acting largely at the urging of African neighbors – passed sanctions against Eritrea, demanding that the country “cease arming, training, and equipping” al-Shabaab.

With al-Shabaab under pressure, it's time to tackle its state supporters before this menace reaches our shores. We must have an honest recognition of the destructive role Eritrea is playing in the region ... and designate it as a state sponsor of terrorism.


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