The House Foreign Affairs committee approved H.R. 5028, H.R. 5332, and H.R. 5484.

H.R. 5208 North Korea State Sponsor of Terrorism Deisgination Act of 2016 is a bipartisan bill sponsored by Rep. Ted Poe [R, TX-2] that would designate the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism. North Korea was removed from the State Department's list of State Sponsors of Terror in 2008 by the George W. Bush administration, after North Korea agreed to disable its plutonium plant and allow investigators to ensure it had halted its nuclear program. Shortly after the deal was struck, North Korea reneged; but the U.S. never reinstated North Korea on the list.

 

H.R. 5332 Women, Peace, and Security Act of 2016 is a bipartisan bill sponsored by Rep. Kristi Noem [R, SD-0]. This bill promotes the participation of women in negotiation processes seeking to prevent and resolve violent conflict. The bill furthers President Obama’s 2011 executive order National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security – both sharing the goal in empowering women to gain an equal role in preventing conflict and building peace within the international community.

 

H.R. 5484 State Sponsors of Terrorism Review Enhancement Act is a bill sponsored by Rep. Ted Yoho [R, FL-3]. The bill changes the time parameters for removing a country from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list. Currently, the president can remove a country from the list if the country has not funded terrorist organizations for 6 months. This bill would increase the time to 24 months before the president can remove a country from the list. Additionally, the bill would double the time that Congress has to review the president’s decision. For example, the bill could be used to ensure that Pakistan stays on the list until it releases Dr. Afridi, who helped the CIA find Osama bin Laden.

Rep. Alan Grayson [D, FL-9] raised concern that the bill is unconstitutional as it gives Congressional veto power over presidential orders. Chairman Ed Royce [R, CA-39] rebutted that the law already allows Congress to oppose the decision, and that this bill simply lengthens the time.

Now that these bills have been approved by the committee, the next step in the legislative process is a vote on the House Floor.


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