Democrats’ letter urges amendment to National Defense Authorization Act | California

(The Center Square) — Verification of human rights security cooperation programs is the focus of a letter sent to the House and Senate Armed Services Committees by two Democrats.

California Congresswoman Sara Jacobs, Maryland Senator Chris Van Hollen and 13 other federal lawmakers are urging the committees to include their amendment that would require human rights verification in cooperation programs under the National Defense Authorization Act Conference Pact of Fiscal Year 2023.

According to the letter sent to President Jack Reed, D-RI; President Adam Smith, D-WA; ranking member Jim Inhofe, R-OK; and Ranking Member Mike Rogers, R-AL, members are pushing for the House to ratify provisions of the Maintaining Human Rights Abroad Act that, if passed, would close loopholes in the laws Leahy that would “guarantee human rights scrutiny” of US security aid that would stop taxpayer dollars from helping perpetrators of human rights abuses.

“This provision would reinforce the United States’ commitment to human rights by increasing vetting measures to ensure that recipients of U.S. assistance have not committed human rights abuses. or international humanitarian law,” the members wrote in the letter. “Consistent with the Department of Defense’s Leahy Act, this provision permits the use of a national security waiver.”

Members wrote that the provisions would provide flexibility that would “continue to meet the national security priorities of the United States” that would allow the State Department to “undertake this additional verification.”

“This provision would help prevent civilian harm, ensure respect for human rights by partners, and improve long-term results expected in terms of good governance, rule of law, peace and the promotion of human rights. human rights,” the members wrote.

The letter was also signed by Senators Dick Durbin, D-Ill; Patrick Leahy, D-VT; and Richard Blumenthal, D-CT; and Representatives Jason Crow, D-CO; Chrissy Houlahan, D-PA; Tom Malinowski, D-NJ; Joaquin Castro, D-TX; Albio Sires, D-NJ; Dina Titus, D-NV; Ted Lieu, D-CA; Colin Allred, D-TX-32; Gerry Connolly, D-VA; and Dean Phillips, D-MN.

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