In the News

News Update

May 13, 2015

By Kay Jacobson, News and Legislative Associate

Guatemala: The country continues to struggle in its battle for truth and justice for the indigenous peoples who suffered the state-organized violence of Efrain Rios Montt between 1982-83. Although the former President and General was convicted of genocide and crimes against humanity in 2013, the conviction was annulled, a retrial was issued, and the head of state passed a resolution declaring the non-existence of genocide in Guatemala. Efforts to fight the reversal of the world’s “first head of state conviction of genocide by credible criminal proceedings” have been met with organized crime in order to squash further attempts at bringing justice to indigenous Ixil Mayans who continue to suffer state violence through discrimination and poverty.

Congo: The neighboring nation of Tanzania has arrested Jamil Mukulu, an Islamic extremist responsible for the civilian killings of over 300 in the last five months. His violent group, the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), have committed the majority of their murders in Congo. Because of this, the government of Congo has requested Mukulu’s extradition in order to be tried in Congo to bring justice to the violence and death faced by unarmed civilians and their families.

Central African Republic: After two years of conflict, the death of thousands, and the displacement of a million people, ten rival groups within the CAR have agreed to disarmament and potential war crime trials. The disarmament will be supplemented by the presence of a U.N. peacekeeping mission of 10,000 soldiers. There was also an agreement to release all child soldiers and child slaves. There is movement to create a criminal court to handle the “crime of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.”

Greece: Sixty-nine members of the far right neo-Nazi party of Golden Dawn returned to trial this week. The defendants are facing criminal charges regarding their “organized campaign that targeted dark-skinned immigrants, leftist opponents and gay people…” Their campaign of violence gained legitimacy and seats in parliament after Greece’s financial crisis of 2012. Human rights advocates are concerned that the party is capable of much more violence and are working to prevent future rights violations by the group.

South Sudan:  The recent ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by South Sudan has been praised by the United Nations. The United Nations encourages ratification to be coupled with “a commitment towards implementation.” With South Sudan’s ratification, the United States is the only remaining country that has failed to ratify the Convention. The United Nations took the opportunity to encourage all states to also sign the optional protocols which cover the “sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography; the involvement of children in armed conflict; and enabling children to bring [rights violations] complaints to the Committee.”  South Sudan also recently ratified the Convention against Torture and the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.

 

Policy Update

International Peace and Security:

S.1252 : A bill to authorize a comprehensive strategic approach for United States foreign assistance to developing countries to reduce global poverty and hunger, achieve food and nutrition security, promote inclusive, sustainable, agricultural-led economic growth, improve nutritional outcomes, especially for women and children, build resilience among vulnerable populations, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen Casey, Robert P., Jr. [PA] (introduced 5/7/2015)

Cosponsors:

Sen Isakson, Johnny [GA] – 5/7/2015
Committees: Senate Foreign Relations
Latest Major Action: 5/7/2015 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.

 

S.CON.RES.14 : A concurrent resolution providing that the President may not provide sanctions relief to Iran until certain United States citizens are released from Iran.
Sponsor: Sen Risch, James E. [ID] (introduced 4/30/2015)
Committees: Senate Foreign Relations
Latest Major Action: 4/30/2015 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.

 

S.RES.157 : A resolution recognizing the economic, cultural, and political contributions of the Southeast-Asian American community on the 40th anniversaries of the beginning of Khmer Rouge control over Cambodia and the beginning of the Cambodian Genocide and the end of the Vietnam War and the “Secret War” in the Kingdom of Laos.
Sponsor: Sen Hirono, Mazie K. [HI] (introduced 4/30/2015)
Committees: Senate Foreign Relations
Latest Major Action: 4/30/2015 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.

 

H.R.2033 : Nepal Temporary Protected Status Act of 2015: To designate Nepal under section 244 of the Immigration and Nationality Act to permit nationals of Nepal to be eligible for temporary protected status under such section.
Sponsor: Rep Green, Al [TX-9] (introduced 4/27/2015)

Cosponsors:

 

Rep Ashford, Brad [NE-2] – 4/28/2015
Rep Bass, Karen [CA-37] – 4/30/2015
Rep Capuano, Michael E. [MA-7] – 4/28/2015
Rep Chu, Judy [CA-27] – 4/30/2015
Rep Clarke, Yvette D. [NY-9] – 4/30/2015
Rep Cleaver, Emanuel [MO-5] – 4/29/2015
Rep Clyburn, James E. [SC-6] – 4/29/2015
Rep Cohen, Steve [TN-9] – 4/30/2015
Rep Conyers, John, Jr. [MI-13] – 4/30/2015
Rep Crowley, Joseph [NY-14] – 4/30/2015
Rep Cuellar, Henry [TX-28] – 4/29/2015
Rep Davis, Danny K. [IL-7] – 4/30/2015
Rep Delaney, John K. [MD-6] – 4/30/2015
Rep DelBene, Suzan K. [WA-1] – 4/30/2015
Rep Duckworth, Tammy [IL-8] – 4/30/2015
Rep Ellison, Keith [MN-5] – 4/29/2015
Rep Fudge, Marcia L. [OH-11] – 4/30/2015
Rep Grayson, Alan [FL-9] – 4/30/2015
Rep Green, Gene [TX-29] – 4/30/2015
Rep Grijalva, Raul M. [AZ-3] – 5/5/2015
Rep Gutierrez, Luis V. [IL-4] – 4/30/2015
Rep Heck, Denny [WA-10] – 4/30/2015
Rep Honda, Michael M. [CA-17] – 4/27/2015
Rep Jackson Lee, Sheila [TX-18] – 4/29/2015
Rep Jeffries, Hakeem S. [NY-8] – 4/30/2015
Rep Johnson, Eddie Bernice [TX-30] – 4/29/2015
Rep Johnson, Henry C. “Hank,” Jr. [GA-4] – 4/30/2015
Rep Kildee, Daniel T. [MI-5] – 4/30/2015
Rep Lee, Barbara [CA-13] – 4/29/2015
Rep Lewis, John [GA-5] – 4/30/2015
Rep Lofgren, Zoe [CA-19] – 4/29/2015
Rep Meng, Grace [NY-6] – 4/29/2015
Rep Moore, Gwen [WI-4] – 4/30/2015
Rep Napolitano, Grace F. [CA-32] – 4/30/2015
Rep Polis, Jared [CO-2] – 4/30/2015
Rep Rangel, Charles B. [NY-13] – 4/30/2015
Rep Richmond, Cedric L. [LA-2] – 4/30/2015
Rep Rush, Bobby L. [IL-1] – 4/30/2015
Rep Sanchez, Linda T. [CA-38] – 4/30/2015
Rep Sanchez, Loretta [CA-46] – 4/30/2015
Rep Scott, Robert C. “Bobby” [VA-3] – 4/30/2015
Rep Serrano, Jose E. [NY-15] – 4/30/2015
Rep Sherman, Brad [CA-30] – 4/30/2015
Rep Smith, Christopher H. [NJ-4] – 4/30/2015
Rep Speier, Jackie [CA-14] – 4/30/2015
Rep Thompson, Bennie G. [MS-2] – 4/30/2015
Rep Van Hollen, Chris [MD-8] – 5/5/2015
Rep Waters, Maxine [CA-43] – 4/29/2015
Rep Watson Coleman, Bonnie [NJ-12] – 4/30/2015

 

Committees: House Judiciary
Latest Major Action: 4/27/2015 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.

 

H.RES.240 : Recognizing the economic, cultural, and political contributions of the Southeast Asian American community at this time of the 40th anniversary of the Khmer Rouge control over Cambodia and the beginning of the Cambodian Genocide, and the end of the Vietnam War and Secret War in Laos.
Sponsor: Rep Honda, Michael M. [CA-17] (introduced 4/30/2015)

Cosponsors:

 

Rep Chu, Judy [CA-27] – 4/30/2015
Rep Costa, Jim [CA-16] – 4/30/2015
Rep Ellison, Keith [MN-5] – 4/30/2015
Rep Green, Al [TX-9] – 4/30/2015
Rep Hahn, Janice [CA-44] – 4/30/2015
Rep Lofgren, Zoe [CA-19] – 5/1/2015
Rep Lowenthal, Alan S. [CA-47] – 4/30/2015
Rep Matsui, Doris O. [CA-6] – 4/30/2015
Rep Moore, Gwen [WI-4] – 4/30/2015
Rep Napolitano, Grace F. [CA-32] – 4/30/2015
Rep Peters, Scott H. [CA-52] – 4/30/2015
Rep Pocan, Mark [WI-2] – 4/30/2015
Rep Swalwell, Eric [CA-15] – 4/30/2015
Rep Vargas, Juan [CA-51] – 4/30/2015

 

Committees: House Foreign Affairs
Latest Major Action: 4/30/2015 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

 

H.R.2241 : To direct the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development to submit to Congress a report on the development and use of global health innovations in the programs, projects, and activities of the Agency.
Sponsor: Rep Sires, Albio [NJ-8] (introduced 5/5/2015)

Cosponsors:

Rep Diaz-Balart, Mario [FL-25] – 5/5/2015
Committees: House Foreign Affairs
Latest Major Action: 5/5/2015 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

 

H.R.2203 : To remove the Kosovo Liberation Army from treatment as a terrorist organization, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Engel, Eliot L. [NY-16] (introduced 5/1/2015)

Cosponsors:

Rep Aderholt, Robert B. [AL-4] – 5/1/2015
Committees: House Judiciary
Latest Major Action: 5/1/2015 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.

 

H.RES.222 : Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that any resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should come from direct bilateral negotiations without preconditions and without interference from the United Nations.
Sponsor: Rep McKinley, David B. [WV-1] (introduced 4/28/2015)

Cosponsors:

Rep Johnson, Bill [OH-6] – 4/28/2015
Rep Lamborn, Doug [CO-5] – 4/28/2015
Rep Weber, Randy K., Sr. [TX-14] – 4/28/2015
Committees: House Foreign Affairs
Latest Major Action: 4/28/2015 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

 

H.RES.225 : Recognizing the 40th anniversary of the Fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975.
Sponsor: Rep Lowenthal, Alan S. [CA-47] (introduced 4/28/2015)

Cosponsors:

 

Rep Brownley, Julia [CA-26] – 4/28/2015
Rep Cardenas, Tony [CA-29] – 4/28/2015
Rep Chu, Judy [CA-27] – 4/28/2015
Rep Connolly, Gerald E. [VA-11] – 4/28/2015
Rep Davis, Susan A. [CA-53] – 4/28/2015
Rep DeSaulnier, Mark [CA-11] – 4/28/2015
Rep Kilmer, Derek [WA-6] – 4/29/2015
Rep Lofgren, Zoe [CA-19] – 4/28/2015
Rep McDermott, Jim [WA-7] – 4/28/2015
Rep O’Rourke, Beto [TX-16] – 4/29/2015
Rep Peters, Scott H. [CA-52] – 4/28/2015
Rep Sanchez, Loretta [CA-46] – 4/28/2015
Rep Takano, Mark [CA-41] – 4/28/2015

 

Committees: House Foreign Affairs; House Armed Services
Latest Major Action: 4/28/2015 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and in addition to the Committee on Armed Services, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.

 

H.RES.226 : Calling on the President to work toward equitable, constructive, stable, and durable Armenian-Turkish relations for the next 100 years based upon the two countries’ common interests and the United States’ significant security interests in the region.
Sponsor: Rep Sessions, Pete [TX-32] (introduced 4/28/2015)

Cosponsors:

Rep Chabot, Steve [OH-1] – 4/30/2015
Committees: House Foreign Affairs
Latest Major Action: 4/28/2015 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

 

Democratic Governance:

S.1088 : A bill to amend the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 to provide for voter registration through the Internet, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen Gillibrand, Kirsten E. [NY] (introduced 4/27/2015)

Cosponsors:

 

Sen Booker, Cory A. [NJ] – 4/27/2015
Sen Brown, Sherrod [OH] – 5/6/2015
Sen Markey, Edward J. [MA] – 5/6/2015
Sen Wyden, Ron [OR] – 4/30/2015

 

Committees: Senate Rules and Administration
Latest Major Action: 4/27/2015 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Rules and Administration.

 

S.1139 : A bill to amend the Help America Vote Act of 2002 to require States to provide for same day registration.
Sponsor: Sen Klobuchar, Amy [MN] (introduced 4/30/2015)

Cosponsors:

Sen Tester, Jon [MT] – 4/30/2015
Committees: Senate Rules and Administration
Latest Major Action: 4/30/2015 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Rules and Administration.

 

Immigration:

S.1120 : A bill to make aliens associated with a criminal gang inadmissable, deportable, and ineligible for various forms of relief.
Sponsor: Sen Grassley, Chuck [IA] (introduced 4/28/2015)

Cosponsors:

Sen Burr, Richard [NC] – 4/28/2015
Sen Tillis, Thom [NC] – 4/28/2015
Committees: Senate Judiciary
Latest Major Action: 4/28/2015 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.

 

H.R.2095 : To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to promote family unity, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep O’Rourke, Beto [TX-16] (introduced 4/29/2015)

Cosponsors:

 

Rep McGovern, James P. [MA-2] – 4/29/2015
Rep Pearce, Stevan [NM-2] – 4/29/2015
Rep Swalwell, Eric [CA-15] – 4/29/2015
Rep Takano, Mark [CA-41] – 4/29/2015

 

Committees: House Judiciary
Latest Major Action: 4/29/2015 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.

 

H.J.RES.48 : Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States providing that the rights extended by the Constitution are the rights of natural persons only.
Sponsor: Rep Nolan, Richard M. [MN-8] (introduced 4/28/2015)

Cosponsors:

 

Rep Cartwright, Matt [PA-17] – 4/28/2015
Rep Ellison, Keith [MN-5] – 4/28/2015
Rep Grijalva, Raul M. [AZ-3] – 4/28/2015
Rep Huffman, Jared [CA-2] – 4/28/2015
Rep Pocan, Mark [WI-2] – 4/28/2015

 

Committees: House Judiciary Latest Major Action: 4/28/2015 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.

 

Discrimination:

H.R.2216 : Protecting Domestic Violence and Stalking Victims Act: To amend title 18, United States Code, to protect more victims of domestic violence by preventing their abusers from possessing or receiving firearms, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Capps, Lois [CA-24] (introduced 5/1/2015)

Cosponsors:

 

Rep Boyle, Brendan F. [PA-13] – 5/1/2015
Rep Cicilline, David N. [RI-1] – 5/1/2015
Rep Clark, Katherine M. [MA-5] – 5/1/2015
Rep Esty, Elizabeth H. [CT-5] – 5/1/2015
Rep Farr, Sam [CA-20] – 5/1/2015
Rep Grijalva, Raul M. [AZ-3] – 5/1/2015
Rep Hastings, Alcee L. [FL-20] – 5/1/2015
Rep Himes, James A. [CT-4] – 5/1/2015
Rep Kelly, Robin L. [IL-2] – 5/1/2015
Rep Larsen, Rick [WA-2] – 5/1/2015
Rep Lieu, Ted [CA-33] – 5/1/2015
Rep Maloney, Carolyn B. [NY-12] – 5/1/2015
Rep McCollum, Betty [MN-4] – 5/1/2015
Rep Moore, Gwen [WI-4] – 5/1/2015
Rep Napolitano, Grace F. [CA-32] – 5/1/2015
Rep Schakowsky, Janice D. [IL-9] – 5/1/2015
Rep Slaughter, Louise McIntosh [NY-25] – 5/1/2015
Rep Takano, Mark [CA-41] – 5/1/2015

 

Committees: House Judiciary
Latest Major Action: 5/1/2015 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.

 

H.RES.230 : Encouraging State-by-State adoption of a sexual assault survivors’ bill of rights.
Sponsor: Rep Wasserman Schultz, Debbie [FL-23] (introduced 4/29/2015)

Cosponsors:

 

Rep Brownley, Julia [CA-26] – 4/29/2015
Rep Clark, Katherine M. [MA-5] – 4/29/2015
Rep Jackson Lee, Sheila [TX-18] – 4/29/2015
Rep King, Peter T. [NY-2] – 4/29/2015
Rep Lummis, Cynthia M. [WY] – 4/29/2015
Rep Moore, Gwen [WI-4] – 4/29/2015
Rep Vargas, Juan [CA-51] – 4/29/2015
Rep Wagner, Ann [MO-2] – 4/29/2015

 

Committees: House Judiciary
Latest Major Action: 4/29/2015 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.

 

S.J.RES.15 : A joint resolution removing the deadline for the ratification of the equal rights amendment.
Sponsor: Sen Cardin, Benjamin L. [MD] (introduced 5/7/2015)

Cosponsors:

 

Sen Baldwin, Tammy [WI] – 5/7/2015
Sen Blumenthal, Richard [CT] – 5/7/2015
Sen Boxer, Barbara [CA] – 5/7/2015
Sen Brown, Sherrod [OH] – 5/7/2015
Sen Durbin, Richard [IL] – 5/7/2015
Sen Franken, Al [MN] – 5/7/2015
Sen Gillibrand, Kirsten E. [NY] – 5/7/2015
Sen Heinrich, Martin [NM] – 5/7/2015
Sen Hirono, Mazie K. [HI] – 5/7/2015
Sen Kaine, Tim [VA] – 5/7/2015
Sen Kirk, Mark Steven [IL] – 5/7/2015
Sen Klobuchar, Amy [MN] – 5/7/2015
Sen Markey, Edward J. [MA] – 5/7/2015
Sen Menendez, Robert [NJ] – 5/7/2015
Sen Merkley, Jeff [OR] – 5/7/2015
Sen Mikulski, Barbara A. [MD] – 5/7/2015
Sen Murphy, Christopher S. [CT] – 5/7/2015
Sen Peters, Gary C. [MI] – 5/7/2015
Sen Reed, Jack [RI] – 5/7/2015
Sen Sanders, Bernard [VT] – 5/7/2015
Sen Shaheen, Jeanne [NH] – 5/7/2015
Sen Stabenow, Debbie [MI] – 5/7/2015
Sen Warner, Mark R. [VA] – 5/7/2015
Sen Warren, Elizabeth [MA] – 5/7/2015
Sen Whitehouse, Sheldon [RI] – 5/7/2015
Sen Wyden, Ron [OR] – 5/7/2015

 

Committees: Senate Judiciary
Latest Major Action: 5/7/2015 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.

 

S.J.RES.16 : A joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relative to equal rights for men and women.
Sponsor: Sen Menendez, Robert [NJ] (introduced 5/7/2015)

Cosponsors:

 

Sen Blumenthal, Richard [CT] – 5/7/2015
Sen Boxer, Barbara [CA] – 5/7/2015
Sen Cardin, Benjamin L. [MD] – 5/7/2015
Sen Gillibrand, Kirsten E. [NY] – 5/7/2015
Sen Warren, Elizabeth [MA] – 5/7/2015

 

Committees: Senate Judiciary
Latest Major Action: 5/7/2015 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.