WASHINGTON, DC — June 14, 2019 — Representative Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today welcomed House passage of the National Defense Authorization Act which included measures authored by Chairman Engel addressing a wide range of foreign-policy concerns, from enhancing congressional oversight of war powers and arms sales to demanding accountability for violence against the Rohingya in Burma to working to reduce civilian casualties when the American military is engaged around the world.
“I’m pleased to see the National Defense Authorization Act pass the House today with my amendments that advance key progressive priorities to strengthen our national security and advance our values,” said Chairman Engel. “I thank House Armed Services Chairman Smith for working with me to make sure that this year’s bill reflects our nation’s commitment to human rights, diplomacy, and transparency.”
Several measures authored by Chairman Engel were adopted as part of the House-passed bill:
- Preventing future end runs around Congress on arms sales: Closing a legal loophole used by the Trump Administration to invoke an emergency to bypass Congress and sell $8 billion dollars in arms to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. (Engel Amendment #28).
- Demanding accountability for genocide in Burma: Holding the Burmese military and security forces accountable for perpetrating genocide and atrocities against the Rohingya people and other ethnic minorities in Burma. (Engel Amendment #30).
- Strengthening protections for human rights: Improving processes to ensure the United States does not give security assistance to foreign security forces that have committed human rights abuses. (Engel Amendment #137).
- Preventing a new nuclear arms race and keeping America’s commitments: Prohibits withdrawal from the New START treaty that provides strong and verifiable limits on Russia’s nuclear forces and urges an extension of the treaty. (Engel Amendment #31).
- Improving congressional oversight of military engagements: Ensuring Congress is never left in the dark when U.S. forces are in combat overseas. (Engel Amendment #426).
- Enhancing transparency of American military operations abroad: Requiring the President to report on military actions taken under the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force. (Engel Amendment #427).
- Protecting civilians in conflict zones: Strengthening processes to investigate and prevent civilian casualties. (Engel Amendment #29).
Several priority issues cosponsored by Chairman Engel were adopted and passed the House:
- Prohibiting unauthorized war with Iran: Enforces Congress’ constitutional authority to declare war. (Khanna Amendment #423).
- Repealing the Iraq War authorization: Repeals the 2002 authorization of the use of military force against Iraq. (Lee Amendment #424).
- Addressing the Saudi-led coalition’s atrocities in Yemen: Prohibits the sale of all air-to-ground munitions to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for one year, in response to the Saudi-led coalition’s killing of civilians in Yemen. (Malinowski Amendment #438).
- Strengthening transparency on civilian casualties abroad: Restores reporting by the Director of National Intelligence on civilian casualties caused by U.S. operations. (Smith Amendment #1).
- Curbing firearm trafficking throughout the world: Prevents the Trump Administration from making it easier for firearms—including grenades, flamethrowers and 3-D printed guns—to proliferate around the world with no oversight. (Torres Amendment #10).
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SOURCE: Bryant Daniels, Communications & Deputy District Director, Congressman Eliot L. Engel