[Congressional Record Volume 164, Number 186 (Tuesday, November 27, 2018)]
[House]
[Pages H9587-H9591]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]





          GLOBAL FRAGILITY AND VIOLENCE REDUCTION ACT OF 2018

  Mr. ROYCE of California. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and 
pass the bill (H.R. 5273) to reduce global fragility and violence by 
improving the capacity of the United States to reduce and address the 
causes of violence, violent conflict, and fragility in pilot countries, 
and for other purposes, as amended.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The text of the bill is as follows:

                               H.R. 5273

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

       This Act may be cited as the ``Global Fragility and 
     Violence Reduction Act of 2018''.

     SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

       Congress finds the following:
       (1) According to the United Nations, an unprecedented 68.5 
     million people around the world, the highest level ever 
     recorded, are currently forcibly displaced from their homes.
       (2) According to the World Bank, violence and violent 
     conflict are now the leading causes of displacement and food 
     insecurity worldwide, driving 80 percent of humanitarian 
     needs, with the same conflicts accounting for the majority of 
     forcibly displaced persons every year since 1991.
       (3) According to the World Health Organization, preventable 
     forms of violence kill at least 1.4 million people each year. 
     According to the Institute for Economics and Peace, violence 
     containment costs the global economy $14.76 trillion a year, 
     or 12.4 percent of the world's GDP. If violence were to 
     decrease uniformly across the world by just 10 percent, the 
     global economy would gain $1.48 trillion each year.
       (4) Violence and violent conflict underpin many of the 
     United States Government's key national security challenges. 
     Notably, violent conflicts allow for environments in which 
     terrorist organizations recruit and thrive, while the 
     combination of violence, corruption, poverty, poor 
     governance, and underdevelopment often enables transnational 
     gangs and criminal networks to wreak havoc and commit 
     atrocities worldwide.
       (5) According to new research by the University of Maryland 
     and University of Pittsburgh, exposure to violence increases 
     support for violence and violent extremism. Research 
     increasingly finds exposure to violence as a predictor of 
     future participation in violence, including violent 
     extremism.
       (6) United States foreign policy and assistance efforts in 
     highly violent and fragile states remain governed by an 
     outdated patchwork of authorities that prioritize responding 
     to immediate needs rather than solving the problems that 
     cause them.
       (7) Lessons learned over the past 20 years, documented by 
     the 2013 Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction 
     Lessons Learned Study, the 2016 Fragility Study Group report, 
     and the 2018 Special Inspector General for Afghanistan 
     Lessons Learned Study on Stabilization, show that effective, 
     sustained United States efforts to reduce violence and 
     stabilize fragile and violence-affected states require 
     clearly defined goals and strategies, adequate long-term 
     funding, rigorous and iterative conflict analysis, 
     coordination across the United States Government, including 
     strong civil-military coordination, and integration with 
     national and sub-national partners, including local civil 
     society organizations, local justice systems, and local 
     governance structures.
       (8) The ``Stabilization Assistance Review'' released in 
     2018 by the Departments of State and Defense and the United 
     States Agency for International Development states, ``The 
     United States has strong national security and economic 
     interests in reducing levels of violence and promoting 
     stability in areas affected by armed conflict.'' The Review 
     further states, ``Stabilization is an inherently political 
     endeavor that requires aligning U.S. Government efforts--
     diplomatic engagement, foreign assistance, and defense--
     toward supporting locally legitimate authorities and systems 
     to peaceably manage conflict and prevent violence.''.

     SEC. 3. STATEMENT OF POLICY.

       It is the policy of the United States to--
       (1) ensure that all relevant Federal departments and 
     agencies coordinate to achieve coherent, long-term goals for 
     programs designed to prevent violence, stabilize conflict-
     affected areas, and address the long-term causes of violence 
     and fragility, including when implementing the Global 
     Fragility and Violence Reduction Initiative described in 
     section 5(a);
       (2) seek to improve global, regional, and local 
     coordination of relevant international and multilateral 
     development and donor organizations regarding efforts to 
     prevent violence, stabilize conflict-affected areas, and 
     address the long-term causes of violence and fragility in 
     fragile and violence-affected countries, and, where 
     practicable and appropriate, align such efforts with 
     multilateral goals and indicators;
       (3) expand and enhance the effectiveness of United States 
     foreign assistance programs and activities to prevent 
     violence, stabilize conflict-affected areas, and address the 
     long-term causes of violence and fragility, including 
     programs intended to improve the indicators described in 
     section 5(d)(1);
       (4) support the research and development of effective 
     approaches to prevent violence, stabilize conflict-affected 
     areas, and address the long-term causes of violence and 
     fragility; and
       (5) improve the monitoring, evaluation, learning, and 
     adaptation tools and authorities for relevant Federal 
     departments and agencies working to prevent violence, 
     stabilize conflict-affected areas, and address the long-term 
     causes of violence and fragility.

     SEC. 4. SENSE OF CONGRESS REGARDING ASSISTANCE FOR THE GLOBAL 
                   FRAGILITY AND VIOLENCE REDUCTION INITIATIVE.

       It is the sense of Congress that the President, the 
     Secretary of State, the Administrator of USAID, the Secretary 
     of Defense, and the heads of other relevant Federal 
     departments and agencies, should work with Congress to 
     provide sufficient types and levels of funding to--
       (1) allow for more adaptive program planning and 
     implementation under the initiative and priority country or 
     regional plans required under section 5, including through 
     exemptions from specific and minimum funding levels when such 
     exemptions would make programs better able to respond to 
     monitoring and evaluation or changed circumstances in 
     relevant countries;
       (2) better integrate conflict and violence reduction 
     activities into other program areas where appropriate; and
       (3) contribute to the creation of transparent and 
     accountable multilateral funds, initiatives, and strategies 
     to enhance and better coordinate both private and public 
     efforts to prevent violence, stabilize conflict-affected 
     areas, and address the long-term causes of violence and 
     fragility.

     SEC. 5. GLOBAL INITIATIVE TO REDUCE FRAGILITY AND VIOLENCE.

       (a) Initiative.--The Secretary of State, in coordination 
     with the Administrator of the United States Agency for 
     International Development (USAID), the Secretary of Defense, 
     and the heads of other relevant Federal departments and 
     agencies, shall establish an interagency initiative, to be 
     referred to as the ``Global Initiative to Reduce Fragility 
     and Violence'', to prevent violence, stabilize conflict-
     affected areas, and address the long-term causes of violence 
     and fragility.
       (b) Implementation Plan.--Not later than 180 days after the 
     date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State, in 
     coordination with the Administrator of USAID, the Secretary 
     of Defense, and the heads of other relevant Federal 
     departments and agencies, shall develop and submit to the 
     appropriate congressional committees an interagency 
     implementation plan for the Global Initiative to Reduce 
     Fragility and Violence established pursuant to subsection (a) 
     that includes the following:
       (1) Descriptions of the overall goals, objectives, 
     criteria, and metrics guiding the implementation, including 
     with respect to prioritizing countries and measuring 
     progress.
       (2) A list of the priority countries and regions selected 
     pursuant to subsection (d)(2).
       (3) Identification of the roles and responsibilities of 
     each participating Federal department or agency, while 
     ensuring that with respect to activities relating to 
     stabilization--
       (A) the Department of State shall be the overall lead for 
     establishing United States foreign policy and advancing 
     diplomatic and political efforts;
       (B) USAID shall be the lead implementing agency for 
     development, humanitarian, and related non-security programs;
       (C) the Department of Defense shall support the activities 
     of the Department of State and USAID as appropriate, 
     including by providing requisite security and reinforcing 
     civilian efforts, with the concurrence of the Secretary of 
     State and Administrator of USAID; and
       (D) other Federal departments and agencies shall support 
     the activities of the Department of State and USAID as 
     appropriate, with the concurrence of the Secretary of State 
     and Administrator of USAID.
       (4) Identification of the authorities, staffing, and other 
     resource requirements needed to effectively implement the 
     initiative.
       (5) Descriptions of the organizational steps the Department 
     of State, USAID, the Department of Defense, and each other 
     relevant Federal department or agency will take to improve 
     planning, coordination, implementation, monitoring, 
     evaluation, adaptive management, and iterative learning with 
     respect to the programs under such initiative.
       (6) Descriptions of the steps each relevant Federal 
     department or agency will take to improve coordination and 
     collaboration under such initiative with international 
     development organizations, international donors, multilateral 
     organizations, and the private sector.
       (7) Descriptions of potential areas of improved public and 
     private sector research and development, including with 
     academic, philanthropic, and civil society organizations, on 
     more effective approaches to preventing violence, stabilizing 
     conflict-affected areas, and addressing the long-term causes 
     of violence and fragility.
       (8) Plans for regularly evaluating and updating, on an 
     iterative basis--
       (A) the Global Initiative to Reduce Fragility and Violence;
       (B) the interagency implementation plan described in this 
     subsection; and
       (C) the priority country and regional plans described in 
     subsection (c).

[[Page H9588]]

       (c) Priority Country and Regional Plans.--Not later than 1 
     year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the 
     Secretary of State, in coordination with the Administrator of 
     USAID, the Secretary of Defense, and the heads of other 
     relevant Federal departments and agencies, shall develop and 
     submit to the appropriate congressional committees 10-year 
     plans to align and integrate the diplomatic, development, 
     security, and other relevant activities of the United States 
     Government with the initiative required under subsection (a) 
     for each of the priority countries and regions designated 
     pursuant to subsection (d). Such priority country and 
     regional plans shall include:
       (1) Specific interagency plans for coordination and 
     implementation under the country or regional plan.
       (2) Descriptions of how and when the relevant goals, 
     objectives, and plans for each priority country or region 
     will be incorporated into relevant United States country 
     plans and strategies, including Department of State 
     Integrated Country Strategies, USAID Country Development 
     Cooperation Strategies, and Department of Defense Campaign 
     Plans, Operational Plans, and Regional Strategies, as well as 
     any equivalent or successor plans or strategies.
       (3) Interagency plans to ensure that appropriate local 
     actors, including government and civil society entities and 
     organizations led by women, youth, or under-represented 
     communities, have roles in developing, implementing, 
     monitoring, evaluating, and updating relevant aspects of each 
     such country or regional plan.
       (4) Clear, transparent, and measurable diplomatic, 
     development, and security benchmarks, timetables, and 
     performance metrics for each such country and region that 
     align with best practices where applicable.
       (5) Interagency plans for monitoring and evaluation, 
     adaptive management, and iterative learning that provide for 
     regular and iterative policy and program adaptations based on 
     outcomes, lessons learned, and other evidence gathered from 
     each such country or region and across such countries and 
     regions.
       (6) Descriptions of the available policy tools to prevent 
     violence, stabilize conflict-affected areas, and address the 
     long-term causes of violence and fragility in each such 
     country or region.
       (7) Descriptions of the resources and authorities that 
     would be required for each relevant Federal department or 
     agency to best implement each such country or regional plan, 
     as well as evidence-based iterative updates to such plans.
       (8) Descriptions of potential areas of improved partnership 
     with respect to such country or region, regarding efforts to 
     prevent violence, stabilize conflict-affected areas, and 
     address the long-term causes of violence and fragility, 
     between the United States Government and--
       (A) international development organizations;
       (B) relevant international donors;
       (C) multilateral organizations; and
       (D) the private sector.
       (d) Designation of Priority Countries and Regions.--
       (1) Identification of candidate countries and regions.--The 
     Secretary of State, in coordination with the Administrator of 
     USAID and the Secretary of Defense and in consultation with 
     the appropriate congressional committees, shall develop a 
     list of candidate countries and regions to be considered for 
     inclusion under the initiative on the basis of--
       (A) clearly defined indicators of high levels of violence 
     and fragility in such country or region, such as--
       (i) violence committed by armed groups, gender-based 
     violence, and violence against children and youth;
       (ii) prevalence of, and citizen support for, adversarial 
     armed groups;
       (iii) internal and external population displacement;
       (iv) patterns of human rights violations, including early 
     warning indicators of the commission of genocide or other 
     atrocities;
       (v) poor governance, pervasive corruption, and political 
     instability; and
       (vi) vulnerability to current or future transnational 
     threats; and
       (B) the capacity and opportunity to work across Federal 
     departments and agencies and with local partners and other 
     donors to prevent violence, stabilize conflict-affected 
     areas, and address the long-term causes of violence and 
     fragility with respect to such country or region, including 
     by measurably--
       (i) improving inclusive, transparent, and accountable power 
     structures, including effective, legitimate, and resilient 
     national and sub-national institutions;
       (ii) improving effective and respected conflict prevention, 
     mitigation, management, and resolution mechanisms;
       (iii) reducing levels of support among the residents of 
     such country or region for violence, violent extremism, and 
     adversarial armed groups;
       (iv) ensuring strong foundations for plurality, non-
     discrimination, human rights, rule of law, and equal access 
     to justice;
       (v) addressing political, social, economic, and 
     environmental vulnerabilities, grievances, and conflicts;
       (vi) ensuring inclusive economic development and enabling 
     business environments; and
       (vii) improving resilience to transnational stresses and 
     shocks, including from organized crime, violent extremist 
     organizations, and economic and food markets crises.
       (2) Selection of priority countries and regions.--From 
     among the candidate countries and regions identified pursuant 
     to paragraph (1), the Secretary of State, in coordination 
     with the Administrator of USAID and the Secretary of Defense, 
     shall select certain countries as ``priority countries'' and 
     certain regions as ``priority regions'' in a manner that 
     ensures that--
       (A) countries and regions are selected in a sufficient 
     number and of sufficient diversity to provide indicators of 
     the various drivers and early warnings of violence, conflict, 
     and fragility, as well as best practices for United States 
     efforts to prevent violence, stabilize conflict-affected 
     areas, and address the long-term causes of violence and 
     fragility;
       (B) not fewer than three countries or regions are 
     designated as ``Stabilization Countries'' or ``Stabilization 
     Regions'', in which the current levels of violence, violent 
     conflict, or fragility are among the highest in the world;
       (C) not fewer than three countries or regions are 
     designated as ``Prevention Countries'' or ``Prevention 
     Regions'', in which current levels of violence, violent 
     conflict, or fragility are lower than such levels in 
     Stabilization Countries or Stabilization Regions but warning 
     signs for future violence, conflict, or fragility are 
     significant;
       (D) regions, rather than individual countries, are selected 
     where the threat or spillover of violence, conflict, or 
     fragility threatens the stability of multiple countries 
     within a single geographic region; and
       (E) the countries and regions selected are in the areas of 
     responsibility of at least three geographic bureaus of the 
     Department of State.
       (e) Stakeholder Consultation.--The initiative required 
     under subsection (a) shall be developed in coordination with 
     representatives of local civil society and national and local 
     governance entities, as well as relevant international 
     development organizations, multilateral organizations, 
     donors, and relevant private, academic, and philanthropic 
     entities, as appropriate.
       (f) Congressional Consultation.--The Secretary of State, 
     the Administrator of USAID, and the Secretary of Defense 
     shall provide regular briefings on the implementation of this 
     Act to any appropriate congressional committee upon the 
     request of such committee.
       (g) Measuring Violence, Violent Conflict, and Fragility.--
     For the purposes of implementing, monitoring, and evaluating 
     the effectiveness of the priority country and regional plans 
     required under subsection (c), progress towards preventing 
     violence, stabilizing conflict-affected areas, and addressing 
     the long-term causes of violence and fragility shall be 
     measured by indicators established for each such country by 
     relevant inter-agency country teams for each such country, 
     informed by consultations with the stakeholders specified in 
     subsection (e).

     SEC. 6. IMPLEMENTATION AND UPDATES OF PRIORITY COUNTRY AND 
                   REGIONAL PLANS.

       The Secretary of State, in coordination with the 
     Administrator of USAID, the Secretary of Defense, and the 
     heads of other relevant Federal departments and agencies, and 
     in consultation with the relevant United States Ambassadors, 
     USAID Mission Directors, geographic Combatant Commanders, and 
     other relevant individuals with responsibility over 
     activities in each priority country or region designated 
     pursuant to section 5, shall ensure that--
       (1) the Global Initiative to Reduce Fragility and Violence 
     and the priority country and regional plans required under 
     such section are implemented, updated, and coordinated on a 
     regular and iterative basis;
       (2) such initiative and country and regional plans are used 
     to guide United States Government policy at a senior level 
     and incorporated into relevant strategies and plans across 
     the United States Government and in each such country;
       (3) resources for all relevant activities and requirements 
     of such initiative and country and regional plans are 
     prioritized, requested, and used consistent with such 
     initiative and country and regional plans; and
       (4) the results of program monitoring and evaluation under 
     such initiative and country and regional plans are regularly 
     reviewed and used to determine continuation, modification, or 
     termination of future year programming.

     SEC. 7. BIENNIAL REPORTS AND CONGRESSIONAL CONSULTATION.

       (a) Biennial Reports.--Not later than two years after the 
     date of the enactment of this Act and every two years 
     thereafter until the date that is 10 years after the date of 
     the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State, the 
     Administrator of USAID, the Secretary of Defense, and the 
     heads of other relevant Federal departments and agencies 
     shall jointly submit to the appropriate congressional 
     committees a report on progress made and lessons learned with 
     respect to the Global Initiative to Reduce Fragility and 
     Violence and each priority country or regional plan required 
     under section 5, including--
       (1) descriptions of steps taken to incorporate such 
     initiative and such country or regional plans into relevant 
     strategies and plans that affect such countries or regions;
       (2) accountings of all funding received and obligated to 
     implement each such country or regional plan during the past 
     two years, as well as funding requested, planned, and 
     projected for the following two years;

[[Page H9589]]

       (3) descriptions of progress made towards the goals and 
     objectives established for each such priority country or 
     region, including progress made towards achieving the 
     specific targets, metrics, and indicators described in 
     section 5(b); and
       (4) descriptions of updates made during the past two years 
     to the goals, objectives, plans of action, and other elements 
     described in section 5 for each such country or regional 
     plan, as well as any changes made to programs based on the 
     results of monitoring and evaluation.
       (b) Congressional Consultation.--In addition to the reports 
     required under subsection (a), the Secretary of State, the 
     Administrator of USAID, the Secretary of Defense, and the 
     heads of other relevant Federal departments and agencies 
     shall jointly consult with the appropriate congressional 
     committees at least once a year regarding progress made on 
     the initiative and priority country and regional plans 
     required under section 5.

     SEC. 8. GAO REVIEW.

       (a) In General.--Not later than two years after the date of 
     the enactment of this Act and every two years thereafter 
     until the date that is 10 years after the date of the 
     enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General of the United 
     States shall consult with the Chairman and Ranking Member of 
     the Foreign Relations Committee of the Senate and the Foreign 
     Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives regarding 
     opportunities for independent review of the activities under 
     the Global Initiative to Reduce Fragility and Violence and 
     the priority country and regional plans required by section 
     5, including--
       (1) opportunities to--
       (A) assess the extent to which United States Government 
     activities in each priority country designated pursuant to 
     section 5 are being implemented in accordance with the 
     initiative and the relevant country or regional plan required 
     under such section;
       (B) assess the processes and procedures for coordinating 
     among and within each relevant Federal department or agency 
     when implementing such initiative and each such country or 
     regional plan;
       (C) assess the monitoring and evaluation efforts under such 
     initiative and each such country or regional plan, including 
     assessments of the progress made and lessons learned with 
     respect to each such plan, as well as any changes made to 
     activities based on the results of such monitoring and 
     evaluation; and
       (D) recommend changes necessary to better implement United 
     States Government activities in accordance with such 
     initiative and country and regional plans, as well as 
     recommendations for any changes to such initiative or plans; 
     and
       (2) such other matters the Comptroller General determines 
     to be appropriate.
       (b) Availability of Information.--All relevant Federal 
     departments and agencies shall make all relevant data, 
     documents, and other information available to the Comptroller 
     General for purposes of conducting independent reviews 
     pursuant to this section.

     SEC. 9. DEFINITIONS.

       In this Act--
       (1) Appropriate congressional committees.--The term 
     ``appropriate congressional committees'' means--
       (A) the Committees on Foreign Relations, Armed Services, 
     and Appropriations of the Senate; and
       (B) the Committees on Foreign Affairs, Armed Services, and 
     Appropriations of the House of Representatives.
       (2) Relevant federal department or agency.--The term 
     ``relevant Federal department or agency'' means the 
     Department of the Treasury and any other Federal department 
     or agency the President determines is relevant to carry out 
     the purposes of this Act.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Royce) and the gentleman from New York (Mr. Engel) each 
will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from California.


                             General Leave

  Mr. ROYCE of California. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that 
all Members may have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their 
remarks and include extraneous material in the Record.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from California?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. ROYCE of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I 
may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, since the horrific attacks of September 11, 2001, the 
United States has committed lives and treasure to help stabilize 
countries plagued by conflict and insecurity. We undertake these 
efforts because unchecked instability abroad threatens our economic, 
humanitarian, and security interests here at home.
  Of course, the United States cannot achieve its objectives alone. We 
need to coordinate with willing and able partners. We need to engage 
local leaders, empower civil society, and work with the private sector. 
We need to improve coordination among our own national security 
agencies to ensure they are working together to advance clearly defined 
objectives and eliminate duplication and waste. Through this process, 
they learn and adapt.
  Last June, the Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International 
Development, and the Department of Defense released a security 
assistance review that set out a framework to improve U.S. security 
assistance programs, including stabilization. The legislation we are 
considering today builds on that effort.
  This legislation requires the Secretary of State, in coordination 
with the Administrator of USAID, the Secretary of Defense, and the 
heads of other relevant Federal departments and agencies, to develop a 
comprehensive initiative to address global violence and instability.
  Within 6 months, the Secretary of State will submit to Congress an 
implementation plan that sets out clear goals and objectives, 
identifies priority countries and regions, defines the roles and 
responsibilities of each U.S. department and agency, and describes 
efforts to improve coordination and private sector engagement.
  Then, building off that initial survey, the Secretary will submit to 
Congress a 10-year implementation plan for each identified priority 
country and region that aligns the diplomatic, development, and 
security activities of the United States.
  Mr. Speaker, this is a timely bill that will help ensure the 
effective use of U.S. foreign assistance, reduce violence and 
insecurity abroad, and keep America safe. It enjoys bipartisan support. 
And it just makes sense.
  I would like to thank the sponsors--Ranking Member Eliot Engel; the 
chairman of the Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade Subcommittee, Ted 
Poe; the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, Mike McCaul; Bill 
Keating of Massachusetts--and their bipartisan cosponsors for their 
work on this bill.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of this measure. I am proud to have 
authored this bipartisan piece of legislation, and I thank Chairman 
Royce for his leadership in bringing it to the floor. I also want to 
thank Congressmen Poe, McCaul, Keating, and Adam Smith for joining me 
as original cosponsors.
  Around the world, levels of violence are at a 25-year high, driving 
massive instability. This is a global security threat, as fragile, 
unstable states are breeding grounds for criminals and terrorists.
  There is a significant economic toll as well. Violence and 
instability undercut American investment and development efforts, and 
cost the global economy nearly $15 trillion a year.
  But probably worst of all, this violence and instability has created 
a humanitarian catastrophe. The world now faces an unprecedented 
refugee crisis: 68.5 million people have left their homes. This is the 
highest level ever recorded.
  Naturally, we need to do more to end this violence and instability, 
and prevent it from happening in the first place. Over the years, we 
have learned a lot about what works to stabilize conflicts and prevent 
violence from breaking out. We need to update our government policies 
to implement those lessons.
  This bill does just that by establishing an initiative to reduce 
fragility and violence, and to align American policy and programs with 
best practices. It will require the State Department, USAID, and the 
Department of Defense to coordinate their diplomatic, development, and 
security activities, with a focus on at least six priority countries or 
regions. It also requires innovative approaches to coordinate our work 
with partners, measure results, and adapt to changing conditions. 
Finally, it mandates robust oversight to ensure our efforts are 
implemented effectively.

                              {time}  1645

  The Global Fragility and Violence Reduction Act is an important step 
in thwarting many of the most devastating crises facing the world right

[[Page H9590]]

now and preventing new ones from emerging in the future. I am very 
happy to have authored this legislation, and I urge my colleagues to 
join me in passing it today.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. ROYCE of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the 
gentleman from Texas, Judge Ted Poe, chairman of the Foreign Affairs 
Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade.
  Mr. POE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I want to express my strong support 
for this legislation of which I am an original cosponsor. I was proud 
to work alongside Ranking Member Engel, Mr. Adam Smith, Mr. McCaul, and 
Representative Keating on this legislation.
  Around the globe today, Mr. Speaker, fractured nations are struggling 
with conflict, violence, and a range of other challenges that degrade 
security and prevent their internal development.
  Weak states and ungoverned places anywhere in the world provide 
opportunities for terrorism and instability to flourish. As a result, 
these fragile states become national security concerns for our country.
  Mr. Speaker, we need to solve problems in a smarter way so we don't 
have to constantly deploy America's sons and daughters into harm's way 
to fight more foreign wars. The United States has been at war 
consistently for over 17 straight years. Maybe it is time we rethink 
our philosophy of constant military involvement throughout the globe as 
a first response to turmoil and unrest.
  We need to address the underlying root causes of instability: treat 
the disease, not just the symptoms. That is what this bill will do. It 
will require the development of a whole-of-government approach to 
targeting root causes of instability and conflict in the world's most 
fragile regions before they require military interventions by the 
United States.
  Instead of parallel efforts that often respond to conflict with 
short-term solutions, this bill will require long-term, coordinated 
strategies that make our foreign assistance dollars more effective. It 
will allow Congress to have more oversight of those foreign aid 
dollars. The money we spend abroad must be designed to solve problems, 
not endlessly consume resources by military conflict.
  Mr. Speaker, I want to thank Ranking Member Engel for his leadership 
on this critical issue. I do urge my colleagues to support this 
legislation.
  I also want to take a moment to thank Ranking Member Engel for his 
friendship and support and his work on the Foreign Affairs Committee 
since I have been on the committee. I also want to thank Chairman 
Royce, who will also be leaving Congress at the end of this session, 
for his work.
  As we have said numerous times, if more committees would work in a 
bipartisan way to solve a specific goal--the long-term interests of the 
United States being that goal--I think things would be better here in 
the House. But I want to thank both of these Members for their 
relationship with me and for working so hard to help America solve 
these international problems in a bipartisan way.
  And that is just the way it is.
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Poe) who just 
spoke, I think it is very appropriate now, as the Congress is moving to 
an end, to thank him for his hard work and for his good friendship. He 
really is a Member's Member and is really indicative of the bipartisan 
showing that we had for many, many years on the Foreign Affairs 
Committee.
  We are going to miss the gentleman on the committee, and we hope he 
will continue to watch us and call us and keep in touch with us because 
he truly is a fine Member and someone whom I am really proud to call my 
friend. And if I may so say, and that is just the way it is.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. ROYCE of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the 
gentleman from Texas (Mr. McCaul), chairman of the Committee on 
Homeland Security and a senior member of the Foreign Affairs Committee.
  Mr. McCAUL. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the bill I wrote with 
Mr. Engel, my good friend, the Global Fragility and Violence Reduction 
Act.
  Mr. Speaker, one of our greatest national security challenges is 
preventing violent conflict around the world. Violent conflict creates 
hostile environments and displaces and deprives citizens. It costs the 
global economy over $14 trillion annually.

  They also provide fertile recruiting grounds for terrorist groups and 
transnational criminal organizations, which I have tracked in my role 
as chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security. Often, these 
environments thrive in states that are fragile, where the government 
loses legitimacy in the eyes of its own people and, ultimately, its 
ability to govern.
  When ignored, these breakdowns in a government ultimately can lead to 
lengthy and costly involvement by the United States. That is why, 
today, Congressman Engel and I are proposing an innovative, new way of 
thinking about these challenges.
  The Global Fragility and Violence Reduction Act requires the 
administration to launch an initiative to reduce this fragility and 
violence. This will guide our efforts to reduce violent conflict and 
help fragile states down a path towards stability.
  This bill also requires the Department of State, in coordination with 
USAID and the Department of Defense, to identify 10 countries or 
regions as a pilot program to start this new initiative. This 
initiative ensures local partnerships are at the core of any solution 
in order to deliver better long-term results.
  Since each fragile state is different, this initiative is flexible to 
address the causes of fragility. What may work to solve the economic 
and migration issues of Venezuela are likely to be different than the 
solutions needed to help curb terrorist groups in west Africa.
  By integrating the Department of State, USAID, and DOD together and 
prioritizing, we are reshaping how we think about how we deliver aid 
and development resources, preventing them from spiraling into chaos.
  Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank, again, the ranking member; I 
would like to thank Chairman Royce for his friendship, as well as Mr. 
Poe and Mr. Smith; and I hope everybody will attend the chairman's 
portrait unveiling at the National Archives this evening.
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, again, I want to thank the bipartisan group 
of lawmakers who worked with me on this bill--Mr. Poe, Mr. McCaul--and 
I thank Chairman Royce for his leadership, as always.
  After 17 years of war with no end in sight, we should all be able to 
understand the value of preventing conflicts before they start. We have 
learned a lot about what works and what doesn't when it comes to 
stabilizing conflicts and preventing violence from breaking out. This 
bill applies those lessons to American policy. By addressing the root 
causes of violence, we get closer to a safer and more stable, 
prosperous world.
  Mr. Speaker, I strongly support the passage of this measure. I 
encourage my colleagues to do the same, and I yield back the balance of 
my time.
  Mr. ROYCE of California. Mr. Speaker, let me begin by thanking Mr. 
Engel, the author of this measure, and I express my deep appreciation 
for his help in all that we have undertaken with our committee.
  There are, as Eliot knows, 70 million men, women, and children who 
have been displaced by conflict around this globe. While the United 
States is the most generous provider of humanitarian assistance, it is 
really true that no amount of tents and sheeting will stop the 
suffering and the misery that these people feel.
  We need solutions to get at the roots of these problems, and the 
legislation we are considering today helps us down the right path to do 
that. While it does not obligate the United States to take on 
stabilization efforts, it does provide the framework for improved 
coordination so that we can be more strategic, more efficient, and more 
effective with our diplomatic development and security assistance.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the 
gentleman from California (Mr. Royce) that the House suspend the rules 
and pass the bill, H.R. 5273, as amended.

[[Page H9591]]

  The question was taken.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. In the opinion of the Chair, two-thirds 
being in the affirmative, the ayes have it.
  Mr. ROYCE of California. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and 
nays.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX, further 
proceedings on this motion will be postponed.

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