On 3/9/22 the House passed – by a voice vote – HR 2471 – a bill originally comprised of the “Haiti Development, Accountability, and Institutional Transparency Initiative Act,” but now re-purposed to become the “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022” (text). Before passing the bill, the House held two votes adopting the various sections of the House-Senate agreement (here and here). The Senate then passed the bill 3/10/22 by a vote of 68-31 and sent it to the President, who (as of 10am on March 11) is expected to sign it expeditiously.
The House-Senate negotiated text is a 2741-page omnibus bill, made up of all outstanding appropriations bills (as a reminder – these bills should have been passed months ago – the fact that they weren’t passed has meant that the government has been running thanks only to continuing resolutions). These include two appropriations bills that have a lot of funding and programs related to the Middle East: Defense (also see Joint explanatory statement for this title) and State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (starting on page 1273 of the bill; also see Joint Explanatory Statement for this title): In addition, the bill includes one extraneous (non-appropriations) title related to Israel and the Middle East.
See below for a detailed examination of all the Middle East-related elements in the bill:
Middle East-related details of the FY22 Omnibus – Defense Approps
Sec. 8075: Appropriates $500 million for Israel, for Israeli Cooperative Programs, of which:
- $108 million for Iron Dome procurement of the Iron Dome
- $157 million for the Short Range Ballistic Missile Defense (SRBMD) program (of which $30 million shall be for co-production activities of SRBMD systems in the United States and in Israel;
- $62 million for an upper-tier component to the Israeli Missile Defense Architecture, of which $62,000,000 shall be for coproduction activities of Arrow 3 Upper Tier systems in the United States and in Israel;
- $173 million for the Arrow System Improvement Program including development of a long range, ground and airborne, detection suite.
Sec. 8142: Appropriates an additional $1 billion for Israel, to remain available until September 30, 2024, “for the procurement of the Iron Dome defense system.”
Sec. 8137:. Provides $370 million “to reimburse Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia, and Oman under section 1226 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 (22 U.S.C. 2151 note), for enhanced border security…”
OTHER: The bill also includes extensive funding and stipulations with respect to Syria and ISIS.
Middle East-related details of the FY22 Omnibus – SFOPS
TITLE I – DEPARTMENT OF STATE AND RELATED AGENCY
INTERNATIONAL BROADCASTING OPERATIONS – The bill makes available $850,300,000 “For necessary expenses to enable the United States Agency for Global Media (USAGM)…to carry out international communication activities, and to make and supervise grants for radio, Internet, and television broadcasting to the Middle East…” [subject to perennial conditions] The Joint Explanatory Statement includes a table earmarking $110,312,000 for Middle East Broadcasting Networks.
CENTER FOR MIDDLE EASTERN-WESTERN DIALOGUE TRUST FUND – Perennial provision stating, “For necessary expenses of the Center for Middle Eastern-Western Dialogue Trust Fund, as authorized by section 633 of the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2004 (22 U.S.C. 2078), the total amount of the interest and earnings accruing to such Fund on or before September 30, 20221, to remain available until expended.” The joint explanatory statement notes, “The agreement provides $180,000 from interest and earnings from the Center for Middle Eastern-Western Dialogue Trust Fund. The Center shall continue efforts to leverage existing funds to secure contributions from private and other public sources to the maximum extent practicable. The agreement supports Department of State oversight of the annual grant to the Center; however, the Secretary of State shall not require prior approval of program participants.”
ISRAELI ARAB SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM – Perennial provision stating, “For necessary expenses of the Israeli Arab Scholarship Program, as authorized by section 214 of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1992 and 1993 (22 U.S.C. 2452 note), all interest and earnings accruing to the Israeli Arab Scholarship Fund on or before September 30, 2022, to remain available until expended.” The joint explanatory statement notes: “The agreement includes $119,000 from interest and earnings from the Israeli Arab Scholarship Endowment Fund.”
TITLE III – BILATERAL ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE
COMPLEX CRISES FUND – The bill provides $60 million “For necessary expenses to carry out the provisions of section 509(b) of the Global Fragility Act of 2019…to remain available until expended” The text stipulates that such funds may be made available “notwithstanding any other provision of law, except sections 7007, 7008, and 7018 of this Act and section 620M of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961.” [As a reminder, Section 620M of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 states that “No assistance shall be furnished under this Act or the Arms Export Control Act to any unit of the security forces of a foreign country if the Secretary of State has credible information that such unit has committed a gross violation of human rights.”]
ECONOMIC SUPPORT FUND (ESF) – The bill provides $4,099,000,000, to remain available until September 30, 2023. A table in the Explanatory Statement accompanying the report breaks down ESF [not earmarked in the bill text] to the Middle East as follows:
- Iraq – $150 million (of which $10 million is for scholarships, $25 million is for “Democracy”, and $2.5 million is for justice sector assistance)
- Lebanese scholarships – $12 million
- Middle East Partnership Initiative – $25.5 million (of which $20 million is for Scholarship program)
- Middle East Regional Cooperation – $6 million
- Near East Regional Democracy – $55 million
- Nita M. Lowey Middle East Partnership for Peace Act – $50 million
- West Bank and Gaza — $219 million
The Joint Explanatory statement notes:
- Middle East Partnership Initiative Availability and Consultation Requirement.-The agreement includes funds appropriated under title III of the Act, which shall be made available for assistance for the Western Sahara. Not later than 90 days after enactment of the Act, and prior to the obligation of such funds, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the USAID Administrator, shall consult with the Committees on Appropriations on the proposed uses of such funds.
- USAID-lsrael International Development Cooperation. —The agreement supports efforts to advance shared development goals in third countries between USAID and Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation as described under this heading in the House report.”
MIGRATION AND REFUGEE ASSISTANCE (MRA) – The bill earmarks 2,912,188,000, for this category, and of this total, the bill earmarks $5,000,000 “for refugees resettling in Israel.”
TITLE IV – INTERNATIONAL SECURITY ASSISTANCE
INTERNATIONAL NARCOTICS CONTROL AND LAW ENFORCEMENT (INCLE) – The bill earmarks a total of $1,391,004,000 for INCLE. A table in the Explanatory Statement lays out funding for INCLE including $8.2 million for Lebanon and $40 million for the West Bank and Gaza.
NONPROLIFERATION, ANTI-TERRORISM, DEMINING AND RELATED PROGRAMS (NADR) – The bill earmarks $900,000,000 for NADR. The text includes the perennial stipulation that making US funding to the IAEA contingent on that agency not denying Israel “its rights to participate in the activities of that Agency.” The Explanatory Statement doesn’t indicate any of this is recommended specifically for any Middle East country.
PEACEKEEPING OPERATIONS (PKO) – The bill earmarks $455,000,000 for PKO, of which not less than $24 million is earmarked for the Multinational Force and Observers mission in the Sinai. The Joint Explanatory Statement notes: “The agreement provides $24,000,000 for the United States share of the fiscal year 2022 operating budget for the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) mission in the Sinai. U.S. leadership and participation in the MFO is important to the national security interests of the United States, Israel, Egypt, and other regional allies, and to counter the influence of the PRC, Russia, and other adversaries in the Middle East and North Africa.”
INTERNATIONAL MILITARY EDUCATION AND TRAINING (IMET) – The bill earmarks $112,925,000 for IMET.
FOREIGN MILITARY FINANCING PROGRAM (FMF) – The bill earmarks $6,040,424,000 for FMF. A table in the Joint Explanatory Statement lays out funding for FMF (that is not explicitly earmarked in the bill) including $250 million for Iraq.
TITLE VII – GENERAL PROVISIONS
Sec. 7007 – PROHIBITION AGAINST DIRECT FUNDING FOR CERTAIN COUNTRIES. Perennial bill text barring funds from Titles III-VI of the bill (defined to include support from the Export-Import Bank) to Cuba, North Korea, Iran, or Syria.
Sec. 7008 – COUPS D’ETAT. Perennial bill text barring funds from Titles III-VI of the bill “to finance directly any assistance to the government of any country whose duly elected head of government is deposed by military coup d’etat or decree or, after the date of enactment of this Act, a coup d’etat or decree in which the military plays a decisive role.” The provision permits funding to be re-started if a democratically elected government has taken office. The ban also does not apply “to assistance to promote democratic elections or public participation in democratic processes.” The Joint Explanatory Statement notes: “Restrictions applied pursuant to this section should allow programs to continue that are delivered through NGOs and provide essential services for the local population.”
Sec. 7009 – TRANSFER OF FUNDS AUTHORITY. This section limits the amounts that may be transferred between accounts and imposes conditions on such transfers. Part (c)(1) of this section also states: “That funds appropriated by this Act or prior Acts making appropriations for the Department of State, foreign operations, and related programs to implement the Nita M. Lowey Middle East Partnership for Peace Act shall be excluded from the limitation contained in this paragraph.”
Sec. 7013 – PROHIBITION ON TAXATION OF UNITED STATES ASSISTANCE. Perennial bill provision barring taxation of U.S. assistance. While this provision appears generic, the only program explicitly identified is the West Bank and Gaza program.
Sec. 7015 – NOTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS. Part (f) of this provision states that no funds appropriated under titles III through VI of this Act (pretty much all funds in the bill) may be obligated or expended for assistance to a laundry list of countries, “except as provided through regular notification procedures of the Committees on Appropriations.” From the Middle East, the list includes (this year): Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
Sec. 7021 – PROHIBITION ON ASSISTANCE TO GOVERNMENTS SUPPORTING INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM. Perennial bill provision prohibiting funding to any country “which provides lethal military equipment to a country the government of which the Secretary of State has determined supports international terrorism…” and prohibits bilateral assistance to any country that supports international terrorism, gives sanctuary to terrorist, or is controlled by a terrorist organization. The section includes national security waivers for both restrictions.
Sec. 7031 – FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET TRANSPARENCY. Part (c) of this section is a perennial provision (slightly expanded this year), under the title, “Anti-Kleptocracy and Human Rights” that bars entry to the U.S. of foreign officials and their immediate family members for whom the Secretary of State has credible information indicating that they “have been involved, directly or indirectly, in significant corruption, including corruption related to the extraction of natural resources, or a gross violation of human rights, including the wrongful detention locally employed staff of a United States diplomatic mission, or a United States citizen or national.” It also says the Secretary of State “should” concurrently work to apply relevant sanctions to the people in question, and requires the Secretary of State to “publicly or privately designate or identify the officials of foreign governments and their immediate family members” covered by this section, regardless of whether they have applied for visas. The provision includes an exception and a waiver, and also stipulates required reporting.
Sec. 7032 – DEMOCRACY PROGRAMS. Part (g) NOW Part (i) of this provision earmarks not less than $55,000,000 NOW $30,000,000 “to support and protect civil society activists and journalists who have been threatened, harassed, or attacked…” [Note: last year’s Senate text also included “human rights defenders” alongside civil society activists and journalists]. The Explanatory Statement accompanying the bill notes that, “The agreement includes a total of not less than $2,600,000,000 for democracy programs under several accounts in a manner similar to the prior fiscal year to strengthen democracy abroad against rising authoritarianism and erosion of the rule of law. Subsection (a)(2) designates not less than $102,040,000 for DRL for certain countries and regional programs. Such funds are allocated according to the following table:” The accompanying table in te JES lays out funding in the category for the Middle East (not already earmarked in the bill) as follows: Near East Regional Democracy – $15 million; Syria – $11 million; and Yemen – $3 million.
Sec. 7033 – INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM. Part (c) states that ESF funds appropriated by this Act and prior Acts for SFOPS “may be made available notwithstanding any other provision of law for assistance for ethnic and religious minorities in Iraq, Sri Lanka, and Syria.”
Sec. 7034 – SPECIAL PROVISIONS. Part (o)(1) provides funding for costs of loan guarantees for Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, and Ukraine.
Sec. 7035 – LAW ENFORCEMENT AND SECURITY.
- Part (a)(2) provides NADR funding “for the Counterterrorism Partnerships Fund for programs in areas liberated from, under the influence of, or adversely affected by, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or other terrorist organizations: Provided, That such areas shall include the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.”
- Part (b)(4) of this section of the bill is a perennial provision providing for financing of commercial leasing of defense articles to Israel, Egypt, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and major non-NATO allies.
- Part (c)(2) lays out limitations related to landmines and cluster munitions.
- Part (c)(3) states: “If the Secretary of State has information that a unit of a foreign security force uses excessive force to repress peaceful expression or assembly concerning corruption, harm to the environment or human health, or the fairness of electoral processes, or in countries that are undemocratic or undergoing democratic transition, the Secretary shall promptly determine if such information is credible: Provided, That if the information is determined to be credible, funds appropriated by this Act should not be used for tear gas, small arms, light weapons, ammunition, or other items for crowd control purposes for such unit.”
- The Joint Explanatory Statement notes that “The agreement supports increased measures to ensure that security cooperation programs supported by the Act are strategic, address clearly defined goals and objectives, and are integrated with other programs. Not later than 90 days after enactment of the Act, the Secretary of State, in coordination with the Secretary of Defense, shall submit to the Committees on Appropriations an integrated security cooperation strategy for assistance for Colombia, Jordan, Mexico, the Philippines, and Tunisia”
Sec. 7036 – ARAB LEAGUE BOYCOTT OF ISRAEL [Should be re-titled “Normalization”]. This WAS perennial bill text, in the form of a Sense of Congress opposing the Arab League boycott of Israel, and the secondary boycott of American firms that have commercial ties with Israel. In this new SFOPS text it has been re-purposed into a Sense of Congress supporting normalization.
Sec. 7037 – PALESTINIAN STATEHOOD. Perennial bill provision barring (with extensive language) assistance to a Palestinian state [if one were ever to come into being] that does not meet a series of conditions (includes perennial Presidential waiver authority).
Sec. 7038 – PROHIBITION ON ASSISTANCE TO THE PALESTINIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION. Perennial language (dating back years) barring any U.S. assistance to the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation.
Sec. 7039 – ASSISTANCE FOR THE WEST BANK AND GAZA. Perennial section laying out far-reaching restrictions and conditions, as well as vetting, oversight and audit requirements, for U.S. assistance programs (carried out through non-governmental organizations) in the West Bank and Gaza. This includes barring funds for the purpose of recognizing or honoring individuals who commit or have committed acts of terrorism. It also includes required reporting with respect to security assistance.
Sec. 7040 – LIMITATION ON ASSISTANCE FOR THE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY. Perennial bill language that in Part (a) bans U.S. assistance to the Palestinian Authority, and in Part (b) grants the President authority to waive that ban if doing so is “important to the national security interest of the United States.” In addition, to use this waiver the President must certify to Congress (among other things) that the PA “is supporting activities aimed at promoting peace, coexistence, and security cooperation with Israel.” NOTE: This is about funding provided directly to the PA, as opposed to aid not directly for the PA but that “benefits” the PA (which is what the Taylor Force Act also targets).
The section also includes a perennial subsection (f) entitled “Prohibition to Hamas and the Palestine Liberation Organization” (lumping together a US-designated FTO with the recognized representative of the Palestinian people that is NOT and has never been a US-designated FTO). This subsection bars funding to the PLO and for salaries of PA personnel in Gaza or for Hamas or any entity “effectively controlled by Hamas, any power-sharing government of which Hamas is a member, or that results from an agreement with Hamas and over which Hamas exercises undue influence.” [Note: This formulation is designed to make it difficult for the U.S. engage any kind of Palestinian power-sharing government that results from a Fatah-Hamas reconciliation, or a national unity government or a mutually-agreed technocratic government; indeed, the text of the subsection evolved in recent years in response to Palestinian efforts to achieve such governments].
It also includes language of past bills stipulating that the prohibition does not apply if the President “certifies 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, as amended.” It also includes the proviso that, “the President may exercise the authority in section 620K(e) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as added by the Palestine Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-446) with respect to this subsection.” It also stipulates that: “None of the funds appropriated under titles III through VI of this Act may be obligated for assistance for the Palestine Liberation Organization.”
As a reminder: Section 620K(b)(1)(A) and (B) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended, reads as follows:
(b) Certification.–A certification described in subsection (a) is a certification transmitted by the President to Congress that contains a determination of the President that–
(1) no ministry, agency, or instrumentality of the Palestinian Authority is effectively controlled by Hamas, unless the Hamas-controlled Palestinian Authority has–
(A) publicly acknowledged the Jewish state of Israel’s right to exist; and
(B) committed itself and is adhering to all previous agreements and understandings with the United States Government, with the Government of Israel, and with the international community, including agreements and understandings pursuant to the Performance-Based Roadmap to a Permanent Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (commonly referred to as the `Roadmap’).
And 620K(e) reads as follows:
(e) National Security Waiver.–
(1) In general.–Subject to paragraph (2), the President may waive subsection (a) with respect to-
(A) the administrative and personal security costs of the Office of the President of the Palestinian Authority;
(B) the activities of the President of the Palestinian Authority to fulfill his or her duties as President, including to maintain control of the management and security of border crossings, to foster the Middle East peace process, and to promote democracy and the rule of law; and
(C) assistance for the judiciary branch of the Palestinian Authority and other entities.
(2) Certification.–The President may only exercise the waiver authority under paragraph (1) after–
(A) consulting with, and submitting a written policy justification to, the appropriate congressional committees; and
(B) certifying to the appropriate congressional committees that–
(i) it is in the national security interest of the United States to provide assistance otherwise prohibited under subsection (a); and
(ii) the individual or entity for which assistance is proposed to be provided is not a member of, or effectively controlled by (as the case may be), Hamas or any other foreign terrorist organization.
(3) Report.—Not later than 10 days after exercising the waiver authority under paragraph (1), the President shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report describing how the funds provided pursuant to such waiver will be spent and detailing the accounting procedures that are in place to ensure proper oversight and accountability.
(4) Treatment of certification as notification of program change.–For purposes of this subsection, the certification required under paragraph (2)(B) shall be deemed to be a notification under section 634A and shall be considered in accordance with the procedures applicable to notifications submitted pursuant to that section.
Sec. 7041. MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
BAHRAIN: While Bahrain is not mentioned in the bill text, the Joint Explanatory Statement notes: “Not later than 60 days after enactment of the Act, the Secretary of State shall submit a report to the Committees on Appropriations, which may be in classified form if necessary, detailing efforts made on behalf of political prisoners in Bahrain and the Government of Bahrain’s response.”
Overall conditions on aid: This section of the bill stipulates that funds for Egypt are subject to limitations articulated in this section, as well as to section Sections 502B [Human Rights] and 620M of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 [Limitation on Assistance to Security Forces]. It states, in addition, that aid may be made available to Egypt only if the Secretary of State certifies and reports to the Committees on Appropriations that the Egyptian government is “(A) sustaining the strategic relationship with the United States; and (B) meeting its obligations under the 1979 Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty.”
ESF: The bill earmarks for Egypt not less than to $125 million in ESF, of which $40 million “should be made available for higher education programs, including not less than $15 million for scholarships…” Provided that such funds “shall be made available for democracy programs, and for development programs in the Sinai”. In addition, a new, separate part of this section of the bill, part 7041 (m), stipulates that prior to the obligation of any ESF for Egypt, the State Department must report to Congress on the extent to which the Government of Egypt is making consistent progress in increasing equitable economic growth and opportunity, improving governance, and reducing corruption, including by implementing a list of specified economic & governance reforms.
FMF – withholding (& waiver): The bill states that $1.3 billion in FMF should (not “shall”) be made available for assistance for Egypt (and stipulates that these funds may be transferred to the interest-bearing account – a benefit granted to Egypt years ago by Congress to try to create some symmetry with Israel’s early disbursal provision). The bill stipulates that $235 million of such funds “shall be withheld from obligation until the Secretary of State certifies and reports to the Committees on Appropriations that the Government of Egypt is taking sustained and effective steps” to achieve progress on a laundry list of democracy and human rights-related issues. The section stipulates that the certification requirement does not apply to funds for Egypt appropriated in this Act for counterterrorism, border security, and non-proliferation programs. This section also includes authority for the Secretary of State to waive the certification requirement (and thus the withholding) if he determines and reports to Congress that “to do so is important to the national security interest of the United States” and submits a detailed justification.
FMF – withholding (no waiver): In addition, this section stipulates that $85 million in Egypt’s FMF shall be withheld from obligation, “until the Secretary of State determines and reports to the Committees on Appropriations that the Government of Egypt is making clear and consistent progress in releasing political prisoners, providing detainees with due process of law, and preventing the intimidation and harassment of American citizens.”
Pre-obligation determination: New language in this conference version of the bill states: “Prior to the initial obligation of funds made available by this Act under the heading ‘‘Foreign Military Financing Program’’ for assistance for Egypt, the Secretary of State shall submit a report to the appropriate congressional committees on known disputes involving injuries to American citizens caused by the Egyptian military, steps taken by the Government of Egypt to resolve, or facilitate the just resolution of, such disputes, and the remaining obstacles to such a resolution.”
The Explanatory Statement includes extensive language regarding Egypt:
- The agreement includes assistance for Egypt at levels consistent with the prior fiscal year. The Secretary of State shall inform the Committees on Appropriations, in writing, in advance of any modification to amounts included for assistance for Egypt in the report required by section 653(a) of the FAA. No funds were requested for cash transfer assistance or budget support for Egypt and the agreement does not include funds for such purposes.
- Counterterrorism Campaign in the Sinai.-Not later than 90 days after enactment of the Act, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense, shall update the report required under this heading in Senate Report 116-126 on Egypt’s compliance with end-user monitoring agreements for the use of U.S. military equipment in the Sinai, in the manner described.
- Pre-Obligation Determination.-In making the determination pursuant to paragraph (4), the Secretary of State shall consider the case of American citizen, April Corley, who suffered severe injuries and losses as a result of an attack on her tour group by Egyptian armed forces on September 13, 2015.
- -Not later than 90 days after enactment of the Act, the Secretary of State shall submit a report to the Committees on Appropriations on incidents of harassment, threats, and arbitrary detention against American citizens, and their family members in Egypt and the United States.
This section of the bill states that funding in the bill (under Diplomatic Programs, ESF, and NADR) “shall be made available for the programs and activities described under this section in House Report 117–84.” The section also continues an existing requirement for a semi-annual report required under the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, and a report, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, on Iran sanctions.
The Explanatory Statement notes:
- Iran Counterinfluence Programs.-The Secretary of State, in consultation with the heads of other relevant Federal agencies, shall coordinate Iran counterinfluence programs funded by the Act. Such programs should: ( 1) counter the false assertions made by the Government of Iran against the United States and other democratic countries; (2) describe the support Iran provides to terrorist or extremist proxies; and (3) assess and describe the adverse impacts such support causes to the people of Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, and other areas where Iran operates through proxies.
- Iran Reports. -Not later than 180 days after enactment of the Act, the Secretary of State shall update the report required under this heading in Senate Report 116-126 in the manner described.
The bill states that funding shall be made available for assistance to Iraq for: (A) bilateral economic assistance and international security assistance, including in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq; (B) stabilization assistance, including in Anbar Province; (C) programs to support government transparency and accountability, judicial independence, protect the right of due process, and combat corruption; (D) humanitarian assistance, including in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq; and (E) programs to protect and assist religious and ethnic minority populations in Iraq, “including as described under this section in House Report 117-84.” The conference text also adds new language stating: “None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used by the Government of the United States to enter into a permanent basing rights agreement between the United States and Iraq.”
The Explanatory Statement accompanying the bill notes:
- In addition to the amounts designated in the Act for Iraq under Economic Support Fund and Foreign Military Financing Program, the agreement includes not less than the following amounts for assistance for Iraq: $47,500,000 under Nonproliferation, Anti-terrorism, Demining and Related Programs; and $1,000,000 under International Military Education and Training.
- Higher Education-The agreement includes $10,000,000 under Economic Support Fund to support American-style higher education institutions in Iraq, including in the Kurdistan region, on an open and competitive basis.
- Justice Sector Assistance.-The agreement provides not less than $5,000,000 under International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement and Economic Support Fund to support the Iraqi justice sector, including to combat corruption, strengthen adherence to international standards of due process, improve juvenile justice, provide for the humane treatment of prisoners, and support civil society engagement with the judiciary. Such funds shall be made available following consultation with the Committees on Appropriations.
- Security Assistance.-The Secretary of State shall ensure that funds appropriated under title IV of the Act that are made available for assistance for Iraqi security forces are monitored in accordance with sections 5028 and 620M of the FAA.
FMF: This section includes perennial text (in the past included in the main section under FMF), earmarking “not less that $3,300,000,000” in Foreign Military Financing funds for Israel. It also includes the perennial requirement that the funds be disbursed within 30 days of enactment of this Act, and the stipulation that Israel may use a portion of the funding – $785,300,000 – outside the US, “for the procurement in Israel of defense articles and defense services, including research and development.”
This section states: “Of the funds appropriated by this Act under titles III and IV, not less than $1,650,000,000 shall be made available for assistance for Jordan, of which not less than $845,100,000 shall be made available for budget support for the Government of Jordan and not less than $425,000,000 shall be made available under the heading ‘Foreign Military Financing Program.”
The Joint Explanatory Statement accompanying the bill notes:
- Within the total amount designated in the Act for assistance for Jordan, the agreement includes not less than the following: $1,207,400,000 under Economic Support Fund; $13,600,000 under Nonproliferation, Anti-terrorism, Demining and Related Programs; and $4,000,000 under International Military Education and Training.
- The agreement supports critical economic assistance needed this fiscal year to help ensure Jordan’s ongoing stability, including to strengthen Jordan’s borders and to help mitigate the impact of hosting millions of refugees. The Secretary of State shall continue to support the Government of Jordan’s efforts to implement economic and democratic reforms and shall consult with the Committees on Appropriations on prospective policy proposals aimed at assisting Jordan achieve additional and long-lasting reforms, including in its water and public sectors.
- Disability Programs.-The agreement provides up to $2,000,000 under this heading to support disability advocacy programs in Jordan, following consultation with the Committees on Appropriations and the Higher Council for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Jordan.
- High Quality Crafts.-The agreement includes funding for programs that use the high quality craft sector as a catalyst for sustainable economic growth in Jordan, especially at Umm Qais in Northern Jordan.
Part (1) provides that funding under titled III and IV shall be made available for assistance for Lebanon, provided that “such funds made available under the heading ‘Economic Support Fund’’ may be made available notwithstanding section 1224 of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2003 (Public Law 107–228; 22 U.S.C. 2346 note).’”
Part (2) stipulates that INCLE and FMF made available for Lebanon “may be made available for programs and equipment for the Lebanese Internal Security Forces (ISF) and the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) to address security and stability requirements in areas affected by conflict in Syria, following consultation with the appropriate congressional committees.” It also states that FMF for Lebanon may ONLY be used to “professionalize the LAF to mitigate internal and external threats from non-state actors, including Hizballah; (ii) strengthen border security and combat terrorism, including training and equipping the LAF to secure the borders of Lebanon and address security and stability requirements in areas affected by conflict in Syria, interdicting arms shipments, and preventing the use of Lebanon as a safe haven for terrorist groups; and (iii) implement United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701.”
The section also stipulates that the Secretary of State must submit a spend plan to Congress prior to obligating any funds for Lebanon; that notification to Congress of any funding for Lebanon “shall include any funds specifically intended for lethal military equipment”.
Part (3) states that no funding may be made available for the ISF or LAF if either is controlled by an FTO.
The Explanatory Statement accompanying the bill notes:
- The agreement includes assistance for Lebanon at levels above the prior fiscal year.
- Border Dispute Resolution.-The agreement supports efforts to facilitate the resolution of border disputes between Lebanon and Israel. Not later than 90 days after enactment of the Act, the Secretary of State shall submit a report to the Committees on Appropriations on steps taken during the prior year to resolve such disputes.
- Institutes of Higher Education.-Not later than 90 days after enactment of the Act, the USAID Administrator shall submit a report to the Committees on Appropriations detailing plans to support institutions of higher education in Lebanon that have been severely impacted by the country’s economic and political crises and the COVID-19 pandemic. The report should include plans to continue supporting such institutions over a three-year period.
- Lebanese Armed Forces.-The agreement continues to support the efforts of the Lebanese Armed Forces to combat Hezbollah and other terrorist groups in Lebanon, and to continue to serve as a stabilizing force in that country and for the region.
- Refugee Scholarships.-The agreement includes $9,000,000 to continue the undergraduate and graduate scholarship program for refugees in Lebanon, including Palestinians and Syrians. Such funds are in addition to funds made available for assistance for Lebanon under Economic Support Fund and are to be administered consistent with the Lebanon scholarship program at not-for-profit educational institutions in Lebanon that meet the standards required for American accreditation
This section states: “Funds appropriated under titles III and IV of this Act shall be made available for stabilization assistance for Libya, including support for a United Nations-facilitated political process and border security: Provided, That the limitation on the uses of funds for certain infrastructure projects in section 7041(f)(2) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2014 (division K of Public Law 113–76) shall apply to such funds.” The Joint Explanatory statement notes: “Prior to the initial obligation of funds made available by the Act for assistance for Libya, the Secretary of State shall certify and report to the Committees on Appropriations that all practicable steps have been taken to ensure that mechanisms are in place for monitoring, oversight, and control of such funds.”
This section states that “Funds appropriated under titles III and IV of this Act shall be made available for assistance for Morocco.” The Joint Explanatory Statement stipulates: “The agreement includes not less than $10,000,000 under Economic Support Fund, not less than $10,000,000 under Development Assistance, and $10,000,000 under Foreign Military Financing Program for assistance for Morocco.”
(i) SAUDI ARABIA.
Part (1) bars IMET funding for Saudi Arabia. Part (2) stipulates that no US funding “should” (note the verb) “be obligated or expended by the Export-Import Bank of the United States to guarantee, insure, or extend (or participate in the extension of) credit in connection with the export of nuclear technology, equipment, fuel, materials, or other nuclear technology-related goods or services to Saudi Arabia unless the Government of Saudi Arabia— (A) has in effect a nuclear cooperation agreement pursuant to section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (42 U.S.C. 2153); (B) has committed to renounce uranium enrichment and reprocessing on its territory under that agreement; and (C) has signed and implemented an Additional Protocol to its Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency.”
The bill text states that funding under titles III and IV my be made available “notwithstanding any other provision of law, for non-lethal stabilization assistance for Syria, including for emergency medical and rescue response and chemical weapons investigations.” The text also states that such funds “may not be made available for a project or activity that supports or otherwise legitimizes the Government of Iran, foreign terrorist organizations…or a proxy of Iran in Syria.” Furthermore, such funds may not be used for activities “that further the strategic objectives of the Government of the Russian Federation that the Secretary of State determines may threaten or undermine United States national security interests.” And finally, such funds “should not be used in areas of Syria controlled by a government led by Bashar al-Assad or associated forces.” The bill also states that “Funds made available pursuant to this subsection may only be made available following consultation with the appropriate congressional committees, and shall be subject to the regular notification procedures of the Committees on Appropriations.”
The Joint Explanatory Statement accompanying the bill: “Prior to the initial obligation of any funds appropriated by the Act for assistance for Syria, the Secretary of State shall take all practicable steps to ensure that mechanisms are in place for monitoring, oversight, and control of such assistance inside Syria.”
This section states that funds in this Act under titles III and IV “shall be made available for assistance for Tunisia for programs to improv economic growth and opportunity, support democratic governance and civil society, protect due process of law, and maintain regional stability and security following consultation with the Committees on Appropriations.” The section also requires the Secretary of State to submit a spend plan, as well as to submit a report on the extent to which the Government of Tunisia is “implementing economic reforms, countering corruption, and taking credible steps to restore constitutional order and democratic governance, including respecting freedoms of expression, association, and the press, and the rights of members of political parties;” and “maintaining the independence of the judiciary and holding security forces who commit human rights abuses accountable” and “the Tunisian military has remained an apolitical and professional institution.”
The Joint Explanatory Statement accompanying the bill states:
- The agreement includes assistance for Tunisia at levels consistent with prior fiscal years following consultation with, and the regular notification procedures of, the Committees on Appropriations. Such assistance shall support the Tunisian people in holding free and fair elections and strengthening democratic governance, fighting corruption, promoting economic growth, empowering the private sector, and maintaining regional security.
- The Secretary of State and USAID Administrator shall continue to prioritize economic development and reform programs in Tunisia, including through anticorruption programs and the designation of corrupt officials under section 7031 (c) of the Act. The Secretary of State shall continue to raise concerns both publicly and privately with the Government of Tunisia on democratic backsliding and coordinate with the international community on an appropriate response to such action. The agreement includes sufficient funds to increase democracy programs in support of the aspirations of the people of Tunisia for freedom and justice, and, through the Countering PRC Influence Fund, to counter the strategic influence of the PRC.
(l) WEST BANK AND GAZA.
Assistance: This section states that “funds appropriated by this Act under the heading ‘Economic Support Fund’ shall be made available for programs in the West Bank and Gaza, which may include water, sanitation, and other municipal infrastructure projects.”
Report: Before obligating any ESF for the West Bank and Gaza, the Secretary of State must report to Congress that “the purpose of such assistance is to – (A) advance Middle East peace; (B) improve security in the region; (C) continue support for transparent and accountable government institutions; (D) promote a private sector economy; or (E) address urgent humanitarian needs.”
Limitations – ESF: This is perennial language barring any ESF from being used for assistance to the PA if, after the enactment of the Act, the Palestinians have joined any new UN agencies or have initiated or are supporting action against Israel at the ICC [NOTE: this later condition has already been violated]. There is a waiver for the UN agencies-related condition (for reasons of US interests and if the Secretary of State explains to Congress “how the waiver and continuing assistance would assist in furthering Middle East peace”), but there is no waiver for the ICC condition [and given that there is an ongoing case against Israel at the ICC, backed by the Palestinians, this provision in effect bars aid to the PA, period]. **NOTE: With the Taylor Force Act in force, all of this is moot, since that law bars any U.S. funding for the PA. But since no member of Congress ever wants to be accused of being soft on the Palestinians, this provision – which today is utterly pointless and gratuitous – remains in place**
Limitations – Palestinian mission in the US: This is perennial language that provides the president partial authority to waive the ban on the PLO mission operating in the US (which is found in the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1987). Partial, because that authority is also conditioned on the Palestinians not joining any new UN agencies and not initiating or supporting action against Israel at the ICC. If those conditions cannot be satisfied, the President can still waive the ban on the PLO operating in the U.S. (for 6 months at a time), but only if he certifies, instead, that “the Palestinians have entered into direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel” [something over which the Palestinians have only very partial, limited control].
Taylor Force Act: The bill states that ESF for the West Bank and Gaza “shall be made available consistent with section 1004(a) of the Taylor Force Act (title X of Division S of Public Law 115-141)” [As a reminder, the Taylor Force Act bars any funding for the PA or for anything that “directly benefits” the PA.]
The bill text also requires a “security report” – “The reporting requirements in section 1404 of the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2008 (Public Law 110–252) shall apply to funds made available by this Act, including a description of modifications, if any, to the security strategy of the Palestinian Authority.”
It also requires an “incitement report” – “Not later than 90 days after enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State shall submit a report to the appropriate congressional committees detailing steps taken by the Palestinian Authority to counter incitement of violence against Israelis and to promote peace and coexistence with Israel.”
The Joint Explanatory Statement notes:
- West Bank and Gaza.-The agreement includes $40,000,000 under International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement for security assistance programs for the West Bank and $219,000,000 under Economic Support Fund for the West Bank and Gaza.
- -The Secretary of State, in consultation with the USAID Administrator, shall conduct a comprehensive assessment of water infrastructure requirements in the West Bank and Gaza, which should include: (1) relevant information from the World Bank, UN, and other international donors; and (2) the feasibility and options for establishing a U.S.-led financing mechanism, in accordance with the Taylor Force Act and in coordination with other donors, to address the requirements identified by such assessment. The Secretary of State shall consult with the Committees on Appropriations prior to initiating such an assessment.
- Report on Incitement-Not later than 90 days after enactment of the Act, and in additionto the reporting requirement under subsection (1)(6), the Secretary of State shall submit a report to the appropriate congressional committees detailing steps taken by the Palestinian Authority and by the other governments in the region to counter incitement of violence and to promote tolerance, peace, and coexistence.
- Consulate in Jerusalem.-In lieu of the language in the House report under the
heading, United States Consulate in Jerusalem, the Secretary of State shall brief the Committees on Appropriations on the feasibility of reopening the Consulate.
The Joint Explanatory statement notes: “UN Political Process on Western Sahara.-The Secretary of State shall continue to support a United Nations-led political process that achieves a just, lasting, and mutually acceptable political solution in accordance with relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions.”
The Joint Explanatory statement notes: “The agreement includes funds under title III of the Act and under Nonproliferation, Anti-terrorism, Demining and Related Programs for health, humanitarian, and stabilization assistance for Yemen, including demining operations.”
ECONOMIC & GOVERNANCE REFORMS.
The Joint Explanatory Statement notes: “Not later than 180 days after enactment of the Act, the Secretary of State shall submit a report to the Committees on Appropriations detailing economic and governance reforms that the governments of Tunisia and Egypt could take to: (1) significantly enhance their capability to raise revenue to support public utilities and services and reduce subsidies; (2) improve transparency and accountability to reduce inefficiencies, and help avoid conflicts of interest and other detrimental practices related to public services and expenditures; and (3) protect freedom of expression and association, due process, and the independence of the media and the judiciary.”
Section 7046: EUROPE & EURASIA. Part (d) of this section states: “None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to facilitate or support the sale of defense articles or defense services to the Turkish Presidential Protection Directorate (TPPD) under Chapter 2 of the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2761 et seq.) unless the Secretary of State determines and reports to the appropriate congressional committees that members of the TPPD who are named in the July 17, 2017, indictment by the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, and against whom there are pending charges, have returned to the United States to stand trial in connection with the offenses contained in such indictment or have otherwise been brought to justice: Provided, That the limitation in this paragraph shall not apply to the use of funds made available by this Act for border security purposes, for North Atlantic Treaty Organization or coalition operations, or to enhance the protection of United States officials and facilities in Turkey.”
Sec. 7048 – UNITED NATIONS. This section of the bill includes perennial provisions targeting the United Nations, including:
No $$ for agencies headed by bad guys: Part (b) of this section prohibits funding expenses for expenses for any US delegation to anything having to do with, or contributions to any agency, body, or commission associated with the UN that is chaired or presided over by a country, the government of which the Secretary of State has determined, according to U.S. law, “supports international terrorism.” In addition, it bars US contributions to any organization, agency, commission, or program within the United Nations system if such organization, agency, commission, or program is chaired or presided over by a country the government of which the Secretary of State has determined “has repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism.” This section includes authority for the Secretary of state to waive this prohibition if it is important for the national interest of the United States.
Pressure on UN Human Rights Council (over Israel): Part (c) of this section bars funding for the UNHRC “unless the Secretary of State determines and reports to the Committees on Appropriations that participation in the Council is important to the national interest of the United States and that the Council is taking significant steps to remove Israel as a permanent agenda item and ensure integrity in the election of members to such Council.” That report “shall include a description of the national interest served and the steps taken to remove Israel as a permanent agenda item and ensure integrity in the election of members to such Council.” In addition, this section requires the Secretary of State to report to Congress “not later than September 30, 2022, on the resolutions considered in the United Nations Human Rights Council during the previous 12 months, and on steps taken to remove Israel as a permanent agenda item and ensure integrity in the election of members to such Council.”
UNRWA: Part (d) of this section of the bill stipulates that “Prior to the initial obligation of funds funds” for UNRWA, the Secretary of State “shall report to the Committees in Appropriations, in writing, on whether UNRWA is: (1) utilizing Operations Support Officers in the West Bank, Gaza, and other fields of operation to inspect UNRWA installations and reporting any in appropriate use; (2) acting promptly to address any staff or beneficiary violation 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) implementing procedures to maintain the neutrality of its facilities, including implementing a no-weapons policy, and conducting regular inspections of its installations, to ensure they are only used for humanitarian or other appropriate purposes; (4) 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 and continuing regular reporting to the Department of State on actions it has taken to ensure conformance with such conditions; (5) taking steps to ensure the content of all educational materials currently taught in UNRWA administered schools and summer camps is consistent with the values of human rights, dignity, and tolerance and does not induce incitement; (6) not engaging in operations with financial institutions or related entities in violation of relevant United States law, and is taking steps to improve the financial transparency of the organization; and (7) in compliance with the United Nations Board of Auditors’ biennial audit requirements and is implementing in a timely fashion the Board’s recommendations.”
Pressure on UNESCO & Other UN Agencies (over Israel): Part (f) requires reporting to Congress on any U.S. contributions to international organizations that are withheld due to any provision of law [for example, U.S. funding to UNESCO, barred because UNESCO admitted the Palestinians as full members].
The Joint Explanatory statement says:
- With respect to UNRWA: “The agreement endorses the report directive concerning the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) included under this heading in the House report. Such report shall also include reforms implemented by UNRWA over the past three years.”
- With respect to the UNHRC: “The Secretary of State and the U.S. Permanent Representative to the UN shall continue to publicly denounce, and work to reverse, the continued and disproportionate focus of the UNHRC on Israel, including the 2021 establishment of the unprecedented Commission of Inquiry to investigate Israel, which perpetuates the unfair singling out of Israel in the UN and represents an unnecessary obstacle to the cause of The Secretary of State shall report to the Committees on Appropriations not later than September 30, 2022, on the resolutions considered in the UN Human Rights Council during the previous 12 months, and on steps taken to remove Israel as a permanent agenda item and to ensure integrity in the election of members to such Council.”
- With respect to the UN in general: “Annual Report on Anti-Israel Bias at the United -The Secretary of State, in consultation with the U.S. Permanent Representative to the UN, shall report to the Committees on Appropriations in the manner described under Contributions to International Organizations in the House report for the previous calendar year.”
SEC. 7050. GLOBAL INTERNET FREEDOM. This section of the bill provides not less than $77,500,000 million from various funding categories to promote Internet freedom globally, including for programs to implement “the comprehensive strategy to promote Internet freedom and access to information in Iran, as required by section 414 of the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012 (22 U.S.C. 24 8754).”
Sec. 7062. SECTOR ALLOCATIONS. Part (f) of this section earmarks not less than $25 million in DA “to support people-to-people reconciliation programs which bring together individuals of different ethnic, religious, and political backgrounds from areas of civil strife and war.” [deleted mention of Israelis and Palestinians]
Middle East in the rest of the Bill
DIVISION Z—ISRAEL RELATIONS NORMALIZATION ACT OF 2022
- To make it use policy to support, promote, and incentivize normalization of relations with Israel, to “oppose efforts to delegitimize the state of Israel and legal barriers to normalization with Israel” and to “work to combat anti-Semitism and support normalization with Israel, including by countering anti-Semitic narratives on social media and state media and pressing for curricula reform in education.”
- To require the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development and the heads of other appropriate Federal departments and agencies, to “develop and submit to the appropriate congressional committees a strategy on expanding and strengthening the Abraham Accords.”
- To make it US policy to break down barriers to normalization with Israel, including requiring an annual report for the next 5 years on the status of efforts to promote normalization of relations with Israel and other countries
Or as summarized by Gottheimer, D-NJ, what this Act does is: “Endorse the Abraham Accords between Israel and the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco; Mandate the formulation of a government-wide strategy to expand and strengthen the accords; and, Identify and push back against government-sponsored efforts in several Arab League countries to discourage and retaliate against their own citizens who engage in people-to-people relations with Israelis.”