115th Congress - Bill Tracking and Key Hearings

May 11, 2017

Charity & Security Network is tracking the following bills during the 115th Congress:

Senate bills:

S. 68: Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act of 2017
Introduced January 9

S 358: Stop Terrorist Operational Resouces and Money Act (STORM Act)
Introduced February 13

S 532: Stop Arming Terrorists Act (companion to HR 608) 
Introduced March 6

S 1158: Elie Wiesel Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act
Introduced May 17

S 1241: Combatting Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing, and Counterfeiting Act of 2017
Introduced May 25

S 1343: A Bill to Amend the Internal Revenue Code Extend and Modify Certain Charitable Tax Provisions
Introduced June 13


House of Representatives bills:

HR 258: To Prohibit the Use of United States Government Funds to Provide Assistance to Al Qaeda, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)...
Introduced January 4

H.R. 377: Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act of 2017 (companion to S. 68)
Introduced January 9

H.R. 608: Stop Arming Terrorists Act 
Introduced January 4

H.R. 1486: Securing American Non-Profit Organizations Against Terrorism Act of 2017
Introduced March 9

H.R. 1677 Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2017
Introduced March 22
Passed House of Representatives May 17

H.R. 2058: Charity Transparency Act of 2017
Introduced April 6
Talking points

HR 2622: Countering Terrorist Financing Act of 2017 
Introduced May 24

HR 3030: Elie Wiesel Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act 
Introduced June 22


Key Congressional hearings:

Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, Threats to Civil Society Around the World
March 21, 2017 


Bipartisan Atrocity and Genocide Bill Introduced in House, Companion to Senate Effort

June 28, 2017

A bipartisan group of 28 members of the House of Representatives joined Senate colleagues in supporting efforts to end genocide and mass atrocities by filing the Elie Wiesel Atrocities and Genocide Prevent Act  of 2017 (HR 3030) on June 22, 2107. The bill is an important step toward practical and effective approaches to preventing and ending violence and armed conflict that is fueling suffering by millions of people around the world. House bill text   The press release from lead sponsors Reps. Ann Wagner (R-MO) and Joe Crowley (D-NY), says the bill, “with its “companion legislation to S. 1158, would establish an interagency Mass Atrocities Task Force to strengthen the U.S. Government’s atrocity prevention and response efforts. The legislation encourages the Director of National Intelligence to include atrocity crime information in his or her annual report to Congress; authorizes training for U.S. Foreign Service Officers on early signs of atrocities and transitional justice measures; and authorizes the Complex Crises Fund to support programs to prevent emerging or unforeseen crises overseas."

A summary of the bills from the Friends Committee on National Legislation is here and Five Reasons to Support it are here. Over 60 organizations, including the Charity & Security Network, have signed a statement supporting the bill.

Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act Passes House, Could Affect Humanitarian Operations

May 19, 2017

In a rare bipartisan moment, the House of Representatives approved HR 1677, the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2017 on May 16, 2017. Passed in a voice vote, the bill would authorize the President to expand sanctions that apply to the Syrian government to the Central Bank of Syria and to foreign persons that 1) provide material support to the government or Central Bank, 2) transfer arms or weapons to the government and 3) are responsible for human rights abuses against Syrians, including targeting civilian infrastructure for attack or hindering access for humanitarian assistance. It provides a limited waiver process for groups doing humanitarian or stabilization or democracy promotion, stating that U.S. policy shall “fully utilize the waiver authority…to ensure that adequate humanitarian relief or support for stabilization and democracy promotion is provided to the Syrian people.” However, exceptions described below may limit the benefits of the waiver provision. The bill also requires the President to develop a strategy “to ensure humanitarian organizations can access financial services to ensure the safe and timely delivery assistance to communities in need in Syria.” As the bill is considered by the Senate, nonprofit organizations should ask for a closer analysis to ensure that any law that emerges does not inadvertently narrow space for humanitarian operations from what is currently authorized.

Summary of Economic Sanctions Laws and Regulations Authorizing Treasury to Shut Down Charities

September 15, 2009

The legal authority for the Department of Treasury to designate a person or organization as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) or freeze assets "pending investigation" is based on laws providing for economic sanctions against foreign nations, going back to the Trading With the Enemy Act in 1917 and ending with the Patriot Act.