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APN Legislative Round-Up - June 15, 2009 (special edition)

1. UPDATE ON FY09 SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPS BILL
Special Edition updating the FY09 Supplemental Approps Bill...

 
1. Update on FY09 Supplemental Approps Bill
2. Hill event 6/16:
Jerusalem and Settlements

 


1. 
UPDATE ON FY09 SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPS BILL

 


On
6/12/09 House Appropriations Committee Chairman Obey (D-WI) filed the joint House-Senate Conference Report of HR 2346, the FY09 Supplemental Appropriations bill.  The Conference Report - which is expected to be adopted this week by both the House and Senate - includes most, but not all, of the Middle East-related provisions in the House and Senate versions of the bill.   For details of the Middle East-related elements of the Senate version of the bill, see the 5/22/09 and 5/17/09 editions of the Round-Up. For details of the Middle East-related elements of the House version of the bill, see the 5/8/09 edition of the Round-Up. 

 


Below are Middle East-related details of the Conference version of HR 2346, including both the bill text and joint explanatory statement (found at the end of the Conference Report).  It should be noted that the joint explanatory statement explicitly states that report language accompanying the House version of the bill and report language accompanying the Senate version of the bill should also be complied with unless specifically addressed in the joint statement, and that the joint statement "while repeating some report language for emphasis, is not intended to negate the language referred to above unless expressly provided herein."

 


USAID OPERATING EXPENSES

 


Report language:  "The conference agreement includes $157,600,000 for Operating Expenses, which is $5,000,000 above the request. Of the total.$10,000,000 is for
West Bank and Gaza operations."   [This is $5 million above the request and above the House and Senate versions.]

 


OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL

 


Report Language:  "The conference agreement.includes language under the heading 'Economic Support Fund' transferring $2,000,000 to the Office of Inspector General for oversight of USAID activities in the
West Bank and Gaza ."

 


INTERNATIONAL DISASTER ASSISTANCE

 


Report Language:  "The conference agreement includes $270,000,000 for International Disaster Assistance, which is $40,000,000 above the revised request, of which not less than $55,000,000 is intended to meet the growing needs of internally displaced persons in
Pakistan . The balance of funds is available to meet basic needs of internally displaced persons in Africa , the Middle East , and South and Central Asia , and to respond to other humanitarian crises."

 


ECONOMIC SUPPORT FUND

 


Bill language

 


West Bank and Gaza : 

 


- "of the funds made available under this heading for assistance for the West Bank and Gaza, $2,000,000 shall be transferred to, and merged with, funds available under the heading `United States Agency for International Development, Funds Appropriated to the President, Office of Inspector General' to conduct oversight of programs in the West Bank and Gaza"
- "of the amounts made available for assistance for the West Bank and Gaza, not more than $200,000,000 may be made available for cash transfer assistance to the Palestinian Authority"
- "none of the funds made available under this heading for cash transfer assistance to the Palestinian Authority may be obligated for salaries of personnel of the Palestinian Authority located in Gaza"

 


Report language

 


The report stipulates that the bill includes

 


West Bank/Gaza:  $551 million in ESF for the West Bank and Gaza, which is $5 million less than the request and $5 million less than both the House and Senate versions of the bill.  "The conference agreement includes not more than $551,000,000 for economic and humanitarian assistance for the
West Bank and Gaza , which is $5,000,000 below the request. The conferees note that $5,000,000 for USAID admininstrative expenses are included under the heading `Operating Expenses'. Of the amount provided, up to $200,000,000 is available for cash transfer assistance to the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank . The conferees continue the prohibition on salaries for personnel of the Palestinian Authority located in Gaza . The conferees continue all terms and conditions of division H of Public Law 111-8 with respect to assistance for the West Bank and Gaza ."

 


Egypt :  $50 million in ESF for Egypt , which is $50 million more than the request, the same as the House version, and $50 million more than the Senate version.

 


Jordan : $150 million in ESF for Jordan , which is $150 million more than the request, $50 million more than the House version, and the same as the Senate version.  "The conference agreement includes $150,000,000 for assistance for Jordan to help mitigate the impact of the global economic crisis including for health, education, water and sanitation, and other impacts resulting from refugee populations in Jordan ."

 


Yemen :  $10 million in ESF for Yemen , which is $10 million more than the request and the House version, and $5 million less than the Senate version. "The conference agreement includes $10,000,000 for assistance for Yemen to support education and other programs and activities administered by USAID, consistent with the Tribal Engagement Plan."

 


INTERNATIONAL NARCOTICS CONTROL AND LAW ENFORCEMENT

 


Report language: Stipulates that the amount of INCLE available provided for the
West Bank and Gaza is $109 million, which is the same as the request and both the House and Senate version.  "The conferees support continued funding for the training of Palestinian Security Forces, and direct the Secretary of State to submit a report to the Committees on Appropriations not later than 90 days after enactment of this Act, in classified form if necessary, on the use of assistance provided by the United States for the training of Palestinian security forces, including the training, curriculum, and equipment provided, an assessment of the effectiveness of the training and the performance of forces after training is completed, and an assessment of factors that limit the operational capabilities of forces trained."

 


NONPROLIFERATION, ANTI-TERRORISM, DEMINING AND RELATED PROGRAMS

 


Bill language

 


- "the Secretary of State shall work assiduously to facilitate the regular flow of people and licit goods in and out of Gaza at established border crossings"

 


Report language

 


- "The conference agreement includes $102,000,000 for Nonproliferation, Anti-Terrorism, Demining and Related Programs, which is $20,000,000 below the request. Within the total, $77,000,000 is provided for the Nonproliferation and Disarmament Fund for nuclear dismantlement and related activities, as well as for border security equipment, training, and program management to prevent smuggling of illicit goods into
Gaza ."

 


- the conference agreement calls for the Secretary of State to "work assiduously to facilitate the regular flow of people and licit goods in and out of
Gaza at established border crossings. The conferees direct the Secretary of State to submit a report to the Committees on Appropriations not later than 45 days after enactment of this Act, and every 90 days thereafter until September 30, 2010 , detailing progress in this effort." [this was included as bill text in the Senate version, and not included in any form in the House version]

 


MIGRATION AND REFUGEE ASSISTANCE

 


Report language

 


"The conference agreement includes $390,000,000 for Migration and Refugee Assistance, which is $57,000,000 above the revised request to respond to urgent humanitarian requirements for refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the Middle East, South and Central Asia, including Pakistan and Sri Lanka, Southeast Asia, Africa, Colombia and other refugees and IDPs around the world."

 


UNRWA:  "The conference agreement provides up to $119,000,000 for UNRWA for activities in the
West Bank and Gaza . The Secretary of State is to submit a report to the Committees on Appropriations not later than 45 days after enactment of this Act, on whether UNRWA is: (1) utilizing Operations Support Officers in the West Bank and Gaza to inspect UNRWA installations and report any inappropriate use; (2) acting promptly to deal with any staff or beneficiary violations of its own policies (including the policies on neutrality and impartiality of employees) and the legal requirements under section 301(c) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961; (3) taking necessary and appropriate measures to ensure it is operating in compliance with the conditions of section 301(c) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961; (4) continuing regular reporting to the Department of State on actions it has taken to ensure conformance with the conditions of section 301(c) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961; (5) taking steps to improve the transparency of all educational materials currently in use in UNRWA-administered schools; (6) using curriculum materials in UNRWA-supported schools and summer camps designed to promote tolerance, non-violent conflict resolution and human rights; (7) not engaging in operations with financial institutions or related entities in violation of relevant United States law and is enhancing its transparency and financial due diligence and working to diversify its banking operations in the region; and (8) in compliance with the United Nations Board of Auditors' biennial audit requirements and is implementing in a timely fashion the Board's recommendations." [Similar to language included in the bill text of the House version only]

 


FOREIGN MILITARY FINANCING PROGRAM

 


Bill language

 


Jordan:  "of the funds appropriated under this heading, not less than $150,000,000 shall be made available for assistance for Jordan"

 


Israel:  "of the funds appropriated under this heading, not less than $555,000,000, shall be available for grants only for Israel and shall be disbursed not later than October 30, 2009"  [same as House, not included in Senate version]

 


Israel:  "to the extent that the Government of Israel requests that funds be used for such purposes, grants made available for Israel by this paragraph shall, as agreed by the United States and Israel, be available for advanced weapons systems, of which $145,965,000 shall be available for the procurement in Israel of defense articles and defense services, including research and development" [same as House, not included in Senate version]

 


Egypt:  "of the funds appropriated under this heading, not less than $260,000,000 shall be made available for grants only for Egypt, including for border security programs and activities in the Sinai" [same as House, not included in Senate version]

 


Egypt:  "funds appropriated pursuant to the previous proviso estimated to be outlayed for Egypt shall be transferred to an interest bearing account for Egypt in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York not later than October 30, 2009" [same as House, not included in Senate version]

 


Lebanon:  "up to $69,000,000 may be made available for assistance for Lebanon" [The request as for $98.4 million; the House version provided $74 million, the Senate version provided $98 million].

 


Report language

 


Lebanon : "The conference agreement includes $69,000,000 for assistance for Lebanon . The conferees direct that no assistance may be made available for obligation until the Secretary of State reports to the Committees on Appropriations on the vetting procedures in place to determine eligibility to participate in United States training and assistance programs funded under this account.  The conferees direct the Secretary of State to report on the procedures in place to ensure that no funds are provided to any individuals or organizations that have any known links to terrorist organizations including Hezbollah, and mechanisms to monitor the use of the funds.  The conferees direct that the Department of State consult with the Committees on Appropriations prior to the obligation of funds provided for assistance for Lebanon in this title."

 


Security Assistance to Near East Countries:  "The conference agreement includes funding for a portion of the fiscal year 2010 budget request for security assistance for
Jordan , Egypt , and Israel , the amounts of which are not in addition to the funds requested for fiscal year 2010."

 


Jordan :  "The conference agreement provides $150,000,000 for assistance for Jordan , as proposed by the House. The fiscal year 2010 budget request, based upon a Memorandum of Understanding between the United States and Jordan , totals $300,000,000."

 


Egypt :  "The conference agreement provides $260,000,000 for FMF grants for Egypt , which shall be transferred to an interest bearing account for Egypt in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York not later than October 30, 2009 , similar to that proposed by the House. The fiscal year 2010 budget request totals $1,300,000,000."

 


Israel :  "The conference agreement provides $555,000,000 for FMF grants for Israel , which shall be available not later than October 30, 2009 , similar to that proposed by the House. The fiscal year 2010 budget request, based upon a Memorandum of Understanding between the United States and Israel , totals $2,775,000,000. The conference agreement provides that to the extent that the Government of Israel requests that FMF grant funds for Israel be used for such purposes, and as agreed by the United States and Israel, funds may be made available for advanced weapons systems, of which $145,965,000 shall be available for the procurement in Israel of defense articles and services, including research and development."

 


General Provisions

 


PROHIBITION ON ASSISTANCE TO HAMAS

 


Bill language

 


Sec. 1107. (a) None of the funds appropriated in this title may be made available for assistance to Hamas, or any entity effectively controlled by Hamas or any power-sharing government of which Hamas is a member.
      (b) Notwithstanding the limitation of subsection (a), assistance may be provided to a power-sharing government only if the President certifies in writing and reports to the Committees on Appropriations that such government, including all of its ministers or such equivalent, has publicly accepted and is complying with the principles contained in section 620K(b)(1)(A) and (B) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961.
      (c) The President may exercise the authority in section 620K(e) of the Foreign Assistance Act as added by the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-446) with respect to this section.
      (d) Whenever the certification pursuant to subsection (b) is exercised, the Secretary of State shall submit a report to the Committees on Appropriations within 120 days of the certification and every quarter thereafter on whether such government, including all of its ministers or such equivalent, are continuing to comply with the principles contained in section 620K(b)(1)(A) and (B) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961. The report shall also detail the amount, purposes and delivery mechanisms for any assistance provided pursuant to the abovementioned certification and a full accounting of any direct support of such government.

 


Report language

 


The conference agreement prohibits assistance to Hamas or any entity effectively controlled by Hamas, and further prohibits assistance to any power-sharing government of which Hamas is a member unless such government, including all of its ministers or such equivalent, has met certain conditions. The conferees believe that a public acceptance should be an acceptance in writing by such government and its ministers, as proposed by the House and Senate.

 


REFUGEE PROGRAMS & OVERSIGHT

 


Bill language

 


Sec. 1114. (a) Funding- Of the funds appropriated in this title under the heading `Migration and Refugee Assistance', up to $119,000,000 may be made available to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for activities in the
West Bank and Gaza .
      (b) Oversight- Of the funds made available in this title under the heading `Economic Support Fund' for assistance for the West Bank and Gaza, $1,000,000 shall be transferred to, and merged with, funds available under the heading `Administration of Foreign Affairs, Office of Inspector General' for oversight of programs in the West Bank, Gaza and surrounding region.

 


Report language

 


The conference agreement provides that up to $119,000,000 from funds appropriated under the `Migration and Refugee Assistance' heading in this title may be made available to UNRWA for the West Bank and Gaza and transfers $1,000,000 of the funds made available under the `Economic Support Fund' heading to the Inspector General of the Department of State for oversight of activities in the West Bank and Gaza and surrounding region, similar to that proposed by the House. The agreement includes the UNRWA report requirement proposed by the House in modified form under the `Migration and Refugee Assistance' heading in this joint statement.

 


TECHNICAL AND OTHER PROVISIONS

 


Report language

 


"The conference agreement includes the following technical and other provisions: subsection (a) of this provision modifies a limitation in current law regarding assistance for
Egypt , similar to that proposed by the Senate."

 


2. HILL EVENT 6/16: JERUSALEM AND SETTLEMENTS

 


Americans for Peace Now and Churches for Middle East Peace  invite you to a special Capitol Hill Briefing:

Settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem - Getting to the Heart of the Issue

A discussion with the foremost experts on settlements and on Jerusalem,
Hagit Ofran and Daniel Seidemann

When:  Tuesday, June 16, 1:00 - 2:30 PM
Where:  Rayburn 2200
RSVP to: SettlementsEvent@gmail.com

With thanks to the Carter Center for their help in bringing Hagit Ofran to Washington
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Hagit Ofran is the director the Settlement Watch project of the Israeli Peace Now movement (Shalom Achshav).  Widely-recognized as
Israel 's foremost expert on the full range of issues related to West Bank settlements, and as a leading expert on settlement-related developments in East Jerusalem , Hagit's reports on settlement construction and planning trends are considered the primary resources on the topic.  The bulk of Hagit's time is spent on the ground in the West Bank and East Jerusalem monitoring settlement-related developments, as well as analyzing aerial photos and scrutinizing official Israeli documents.  In this way Hagit maintains the most thorough, detailed insight possible into the current state of the settlement enterprise. In addition, Hagit takes part regularly in public forums and private meetings, serving as a highly sought-after resource for Israeli politicians and analysts, the diplomatic community, international media organizations, and - first and foremost - the Israeli public.  

Daniel Seidemann is an Israeli lawyer and the founder and legal counsel of Ir Amim, an Israeli organization dedicated to an equitable, stable and sustainable
Jerusalem . He is widely recognized as the foremost expert on Jerusalem 's municipal operations, planning, resource allocation, residency rights and property management. His connections throughout the city and its bureaucracy provide him with the data that for years have made him an invaluable resource for U.S. policy makers, diplomats and journalists alike. Seidemann has appeared before the Supreme Court of Israel on numerous occasions on Jerusalem-related issues.  Key cases he has been involved in include the takeover of properties in Silwan, the legality of the Har Homa expropriation and town plan, the Ras el Amud town plan, and administrative demolition orders. In 2001, he successfully filed suit to the Israel Supreme Court, requiring the Jerusalem Municipality and the Israeli Ministry of Education to provide adequate educational facilities and services to the Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem .  

 


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