[Pages H434-H437]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




         SPECIAL ENVOY TO MONITOR AND COMBAT ANTI-SEMITISM ACT

  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the bill 
(H.R. 221) to amend the State Department Basic Authorities Act of 1956 
to monitor and combat anti-Semitism globally, and for other purposes.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The text of the bill is as follows:

                                H.R. 221

       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 ``Special Envoy to Monitor and 
     Combat Anti-Semitism Act''.

     SEC. 2. FINDING.

       Congress finds that since the Global Anti-Semitism Review 
     Act of 2004 was enacted, in many foreign countries acts of 
     anti-Semitism have been frequent and wide in scope, the 
     perpetrators and variety of threats to Jewish communities and 
     their institutions have proliferated, and in some countries 
     anti-Semitic attacks have increased in frequency, scope, 
     violence, and deadliness.

     SEC. 3. MONITORING AND COMBATING ANTI-SEMITISM.

       (a) In General.--Subsection (a) of section 59 of the State 
     Department Basic Authorities Act of 1956 (22 U.S.C. 2731) is 
     amended--
       (1) in paragraph (2)--
       (A) in subparagraph (A)--
       (i) by inserting before the period at the end the 
     following: ``, who shall be appointed by the President, by 
     and with the advice and consent of the Senate''; and
       (ii) by adding at the end the following new sentence: ``The 
     Special Envoy shall report directly to the Secretary.''; and
       (B) in subparagraph (B)--
       (i) in the heading, by striking ``Appointment'' and 
     inserting ``Nomination'';
       (ii) by striking the first sentence;
       (iii) in the second sentence, by striking ``If the 
     Secretary determines that such is appropriate, the Secretary 
     may appoint'' and inserting ``If the President determines 
     that such is appropriate, the President may nominate''; and
       (iv) in the third sentence, by striking ``The Secretary may 
     allow such officer or employee to retain the position (and 
     the responsibilities associated with such position) held by 
     such officer or employee prior to the appointment'' and 
     inserting ``Such officer or employee may not retain the 
     position (or the responsibilities associated with such 
     position) held by such officer or employee prior to the 
     nomination''; and
       (2) by adding at the end the following new paragraphs:
       ``(3) Duties.--The Special Envoy shall serve as the primary 
     advisor to, and coordinate efforts across, the United States 
     Government relating to monitoring and combating anti-Semitism 
     and anti-Semitic incitement that occur in foreign countries.
       ``(4) Rank and status of ambassador.--The Special Envoy 
     shall have the rank of ambassador.
       ``(5) Qualifications.--The Special Envoy should be a person 
     of recognized distinction in the field of--
       ``(A) combating anti-Semitism;
       ``(B) religious freedom; or
       ``(C) law enforcement.''.
       (b) Nomination.--Not later than 90 days after the date of 
     the enactment of this Act, and not later than 120 after any 
     such position becomes vacant, the President shall nominate 
     the Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combating anti-Semitism 
     under section 59 of the State Department Basic Authorities 
     Act of 1956, as amended by subsection (a) of this section.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from New 
York (Mr. Engel) and the gentleman from Texas (Mr. McCaul) each will 
control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from New York.


                             General Leave

  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members have 
5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include 
extraneous material on H.R. 221, currently under consideration.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from New York?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 221. I am a proud original 
cosponsor of this bill, and I am pleased we are considering it today. 
We passed it with bipartisan, unanimous support in the last Congress, 
and I am looking forward to seeing us show that broad support again. In 
this Congress, we must continue to stand against anti-Semitism.
  I thank my colleagues for their hard work on this effort: Congressman 
Chris Smith, the author of this legislation, and my fellow co-chairs of 
the Bipartisan Taskforce for Combating Anti-Semitism. I am proud to 
stand with a group of legislators committed to fighting intolerance and 
hatred.
  Mr. Speaker, we have seen a sickening increase in anti-Semitism over 
the past few years. Just a few months ago, a gunman stormed a synagogue 
in Pittsburgh, attacking peaceful congregants and killing 11 people. We 
have seen people who embrace hatred and bigotry given a new, loud 
megaphone to spread their poison. Across the United States, we have 
seen an uptick in anti-Semitic language and an increase in threats of 
violence against Jewish communities. In my home State of New York, NYPD 
officials have reported an alarming surge of anti-Semitic hate crimes.
  Every day, more and more alarming anti-Semitic incidents are 
happening across the world: Holocaust survivors recently assaulted, 
rallies and parades glorifying Nazi leaders, and swastikas graffitied 
to incite fear and terror. The list goes on and on.
  This is appalling, and it demands immediate action.
  As a country, we need to come together to say enough is enough. We 
need to confront evil, call it by its name, and say there is no place 
for it anywhere in the United States or around the world. We need to do 
it as citizens. We need to do so in our laws and in our policies. We 
need to make sure that we fill the positions that are supposed to be 
dealing with this issue. The Special Envoy to Combat Anti-Semitism 
position at the State Department is still vacant, and that is simply 
unacceptable.

[[Page H435]]

  We must have a senior official push back against intolerance and 
hatred of anti-Semitism. American leadership is desperately needed in 
the fight against this ancient form of hatred. I am sick and tired of 
foot-dragging on filling this critical position.
  That is why I am glad we are moving this bill forward. This 
legislation would elevate the Special Envoy position and require the 
President to put forward a nominee no more than 120 days after a 
vacancy. This is essential for making sure that a prolonged vacancy 
like we have right now never happens again. We must have a senior State 
Department official dedicated to coordinating U.S. Government efforts 
to combat anti-Semitism abroad.
  Mr. Speaker, I strongly support this measure. I ask my colleagues to 
join me in doing so, and I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. McCAUL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of this bill to ensure that 
American efforts to fight the scourge of anti-Semitism are as strong as 
possible.
  In December, the European Union released the results of a survey of 
over 16,500 European Jews. The results of this survey are, frankly, 
disturbing.
  In its report, the EU wrote that anti-Semitism pervades everyday 
life. It also stated that anti-Semitism undermines Jews' feelings of 
safety and security and that anti-Semitic harassment is so common that 
it becomes normalized.
  Europe is not alone in seeing a resurgence of anti-Semitism. 
Textbooks across the Middle East teach children to hate Jews. 
Malaysia's Prime Minister has repeated offensive, anti-Semitic 
statements. Here in the United States, we were devastated by the attack 
on a Pittsburgh synagogue in October. No region or country is immune 
from this hatred.
  In 2004, the Global Anti-Semitism Review Act was passed into law, 
establishing a Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism. This 
position was created to combat this threat worldwide through bilateral 
relationships and international organizations such as the European 
Union and the United Nations. Fifteen years later, we need to modernize 
the way our government is set up to fight this hatred.
  This bipartisan bill, which has been previously introduced in the 
House and passed in the House, requires the President to appoint a 
Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism. The bill also 
elevates the Special Envoy position to the rank of Ambassador and 
ensures direct access to the Secretary of State. It is finally time for 
the stature of this position to reflect the level of work that must be 
done.
  Unfortunately, a Special Envoy has yet to be nominated under this 
administration, and I strongly urge the President to appoint a 
qualified candidate as soon as possible.
  Mr. Speaker, I would also like to thank Congressman Chris Smith for 
introducing this important bill, and I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Illinois (Mr. Schneider), who is the Democratic lead on this bill.
  Mr. SCHNEIDER. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of, and I am 
proud to be an original cosponsor of, the bipartisan Special Envoy to 
Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Act, H.R. 221. I thank Representative 
Chris Smith for introducing this bill and Chairman Engel and Ranking 
Member McCaul for their leadership in bringing it to the floor today.

  I am sad to say that we live in a time when anti-Semitism is again on 
the rise across our globe. Last fall, the entire world was shocked by 
the shooting in Pittsburgh of 11 Jews at prayer in the Tree of Life 
synagogue, the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in our 
country's history.
  Here in the United States, according to the Anti-Defamation League, 
anti-Semitic incidents increased 57 percent in the U.S. alone in 2017 
compared to the previous year.
  In the European Union, a survey found that European Jewish 
communities fear attacks and rated anti-Semitism on the Internet and 
social media as the biggest social and political problem. A Kantor 
study on contemporary Jewry recently stated that Europe's largest 
Jewish communities are experiencing normalization and mainstreaming of 
anti-Semitism not seen since the Second World War.
  The United States has an important leadership role to play in tamping 
out hate both here and around the world. That is why I am concerned 
that the State Department Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-
Semitism remains unfilled, as it has since the start of the Trump 
administration. Our bill would elevate this role to a position of 
proper importance at the ambassadorial rank and sets requirements to 
ensure the role is filled within 90 days.
  We need to do all we can to support our allies and combat anti-
Semitism wherever and whenever it manifests itself. Hate is truly a 
cancer that eats away at our foundations. What may first begin as words 
can fester and manifest into discrimination, violence, or worse.
  I am proud this House passed our bill overwhelmingly in the last 
Congress but disappointed that the Senate did not take action. I am 
pleased that this is a priority at the start of this new Congress, and 
I hope the Senate will follow our lead and take up this important 
legislation. I hope the President will take note and pass this 
legislation and fill this long-overdue vacancy.
  Mr. McCAUL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the gentleman from New 
Jersey (Mr. Smith), who is the author of this bill.
  Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, I thank Mr. McCaul for yielding 
and for his very strong support of this legislation. And Eliot Engel, 
the new chairman, I thank him as well. I thank Brad Schneider for being 
the original Democratic cosponsor.
  This is a bipartisan bill. In the last Congress, we had 86 
cosponsors. Even in this Congress, we already have gotten up to 80 
cosponsors. It shows that we can reach across the aisle and fight this 
pernicious evil called anti-Semitism.
  In 2004, Mr. Speaker, I authored the provisions of law that created 
and required this position and the office it leads at the State 
Department. H.R. 221 upgrades and strengthens the position to better 
anticipate, prevent, mitigate, and respond to threats against Jewish 
communities worldwide.
  H.R. 221 elevates the Special Envoy to the rank of Ambassador, 
reporting directly to the Secretary of State. This would enable 
sufficient seniority and access inside the U.S. Government and when 
engaging foreign governments.
  The bill requires the President to nominate a candidate no later than 
90 days--and all the Presidents from Bush to Obama, and now, sadly, 
under President Trump, have been very late in coming forward with that 
nominee. There was a nominee for the Special Envoy, but because of 
illness or a health crisis, that person was not named. But we--all of 
us--have asked the President to name that person and to do so 
immediately.
  This bill requires, as I said, to do it no later than 90 days after 
the bill becomes law and no later than 120 days thereafter whenever 
that position is empty.
  H.R. 221 prohibits double-hatting of the Special Envoy with duties 
irrelevant to combating anti-Semitism. The legislation also mandates 
the Special Envoy to be the primary adviser to the U.S. Government on 
monitoring and combating anti-Semitism.
  Far too often, Mr. Speaker, over the decades, the U.S. Government has 
put combating anti-Semitism, human trafficking, and religious freedom 
violations in the back seat of our foreign policy. That is why Congress 
has created offices and positions to ensure the United States was 
focused on fighting these evils.
  Over the past decades, there has been an unprecedented rise in anti-
Semitic acts and rhetoric all over the world: Jews harassed, assaulted, 
and even murdered; synagogues attacked; graves and cemeteries 
desecrated; anti-Semitic slurs; plus targeting the State of Israel 
itself with the three Ds--demonization, double-standard, and 
delegitimization, as my good friend, the great Soviet Jewish refusenik 
and religious prisoner Natan Sharansky named them. The so-called BDS 
movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel is one of the 
most pernicious examples of what Sharansky called the new anti-
Semitism.
  Anti-Semitic hatred is hardwired into the ideology of violent 
Islamist

[[Page H436]]

and White supremacist groups, but the evil goes beyond those 
perpetrators.

                              {time}  1530

  Politicians, entertainers, and public intellectuals across the 
philosophical spectrum have exhibited anti-Semitism. Strong American 
leadership, therefore, is essential to battle this bigotry.
  Combating anti-Semitism, as I said earlier, has always been a 
bipartisan effort. This bill did pass the last Congress 393-2. The text 
before us in the legislation is identical. I hope we have very strong 
support for it and the Senate, hopefully, will take it up, consider it, 
pass it, and get it to the President.
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
Florida (Ms. Wasserman Schultz).
  Ms. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for 
yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of H.R. 221, the Special 
Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Act, and thank our bipartisan 
cosponsors for moving it forward.
  This bill would elevate the position of Special Envoy to Monitor and 
Combat Anti-Semitism to the rank of ambassador, with nomination by the 
President and confirmation by the Senate. Sadly, this bill is very much 
needed.
  A report last year published by the Kantor Center at Tel Aviv 
University found an increase in anti-Semitic harassment and abuse 
worldwide, including in schools and online. The report recounts abuse 
against Jews in dozens of countries around the world.
  Yet, despite its clear findings, the Trump administration has yet to 
even fill the position of Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-
Semitism. This is simply shameful and inexplicable. It is particularly 
shameful given this President's unabashed embrace of the alt-right, a 
movement which was linked to the murderous attack on the Tree of Life 
synagogue, the deadliest attack on a Jewish community in American 
history.
  Talk is cheap. If President Trump genuinely cared about the Jewish 
community, he would have made this appointment a priority--and he has 
not.
  I thank my colleagues who are moving this bill forward on both sides 
of the aisle. I urge us to pass this bill, again, and send it to the 
Senate and eventually to the President's desk so that America can lead 
by example by filling this vital role that demonstrates our commitment 
that Jews and people of all faiths are free to practice their religion 
without fear or harm.
  Mr. McCAUL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Florida (Mr. Bilirakis), the cosponsor of this bill.
  Mr. BILIRAKIS. Mr. Speaker, I thank Chairman Engel for his friendship 
and all his good work over the years, as well. Again, I also thank 
Representative Smith, my good friend, for sponsoring this piece of 
legislation.
  As co-chair of the International Religious Freedom Caucus, I rise in 
strong support of H.R. 221, the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat 
Anti-Semitism Act.
  The Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism was established 
by the Global Anti-Semitism Review Act. The Special Envoy develops and 
implements policies and projects to support efforts to combat anti-
Semitism globally.
  This bill elevates the position to the rank of ambassador, directly 
reporting to the Secretary of State, sending a clear message to the 
world regarding our commitment to combating anti-Semitism.
  In addition to requiring the position be filled, the bill prevents 
the appointee from holding any other office, making this a priority and 
ensuring their sole focus is monitoring and combating the scourge of 
anti-Semitism.
  Throughout history, humanity has experienced tremendous evil, Mr. 
Speaker. Our brightest moments as a Nation were those when we 
recognized evil and worked together to swiftly and unapologetically 
defeat it. Our darkest moments were those when we stood by and did 
nothing while making excuses for our passivity.
  Combating anti-Semitism and promoting human rights are pivotal 
components of American diplomacy and foreign policy. Additionally, 
dedicated U.S. leadership in this area is crucial, especially at a time 
when anti-Semitism around the world is dangerously on the rise.
  I urge my colleagues to support this good, bipartisan bill.
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Florida (Mr. Deutch), one of my fellow co-chairs of a bipartisan task 
force to combat anti-Semitism.
  Mr. DEUTCH. Mr. Speaker, I thank Chairman Engel for helping to 
shepherd this legislation through the committee last year and for 
bringing it to the floor so quickly this year. I thank the ranking 
member, I thank my fellow co-chairs of the Anti-Semitism Task Force, 
and I especially want to thank my colleague, Chris Smith, who has been 
a stalwart ally in combating anti-Semitism and has worked to create and 
strengthen this position for many years.
  Mr. Speaker, 4 years ago, on January 9, 2015, a gunman entered a 
kosher supermarket in Paris, killing four. Last year, on the 
anniversary of the Hypercacher shooting, another kosher supermarket in 
southern Paris was targeted with swastikas and arson.
  Tragically, there have been countless attacks against the Jewish 
communities of Europe over the last few years, some of which make 
headlines, but many of which don't: The anti-Semitic murder of a 
Holocaust survivor; the man attacked in Germany for wearing a kippah, a 
Jewish skullcap; the shootings at the Jewish Museum of Belgium in 
Brussels that killed four; the shooting at a Bat Mitzvah in Copenhagen; 
an 11-year-old in England attacked on the street as children shouted, 
``Burn all the Jews;'' and White supremacists and anti-Semites marching 
in European capitals.
  Anti-Semitism is certainly not a new phenomenon, but we should expect 
that the United States Government would take a leading role in 
tracking, combating, and preventing it.
  After October 27, when the deadliest attack on the Jewish community 
in America took place and 11 Jews were gunned down for practicing their 
religion, America has an obligation to lead. We need a global-facing 
officer at the State Department who will engage Jewish communities and 
European leaders to make their countries safer for Jews.

  We have repeatedly asked this administration to fill the Special 
Envoy position. They have left it vacant for almost 2 full years under 
two different Secretaries of State. Members of Congress have sent 
letters to the White House and the State Department. We have asked 
administration officials in person about when or whether they plan to 
appoint a Special Envoy. There is bipartisan frustration over the 
delay.
  Mr. Speaker, anti-Semitism is the canary in the coal mine. When it is 
present in your country, there is hatred in your country. I am pleased 
the House will vote on this bipartisan bill early in this Congress to 
send a clear message to the administration that there is no time to 
waste. Democrats and Republicans together expect America and the 
President to stand firmly against anti-Semitism by filling this 
important position.
  Mr. McCAUL. Mr. Speaker, I continue to reserve the balance of my 
time.
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from New 
York (Mrs. Lowey), my good friend. She and I have districts that border 
each other.
  Mrs. LOWEY. Mr. Speaker, I am so pleased to thank Chairman Engel for 
initiating and working so hard on this absolutely essential issue.
  It is really shocking to me, with anti-Semitism spreading throughout 
Europe and other places in the world, that we don't have a Special 
Envoy. I have brought this to the attention of the former Secretary of 
State. The urgency of this issue demands a person who is focused, with 
a staff, and working with Members of Congress who share their passion. 
We need this Special Envoy now.
  Mr. McCAUL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.
  In closing, I thank the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Smith) for his 
hard work to ensure that anti-Semitism remains at the top of our 
country's foreign policy agenda. I, too, echo my colleagues' on the 
other side of the aisle plea to this administration in a bipartisan way 
to appoint a Special Envoy.

[[Page H437]]

  If I can just conclude by saying that I am the son of a World War II 
veteran. My father was a bombardier on a B-17. He was part of the D-day 
air campaign. He bombed the Nazis. We saw the horrors of Nazi Germany. 
I have been to Auschwitz to see the horrors of the gas chambers and 
what the Nazis perpetrated against the Jewish people. We thought it was 
stamped out then. We thought it was over. And yet it is not. It is hard 
to believe that so many years later, anti-Semitism and neo-Nazis still 
exist in this world.
  It is my sincere hope, with this Special Envoy we can truly make a 
difference--the Greatest Generation fought against it--and that this 
scourge will be eliminated entirely from the planet.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the 
gentleman from Florida (Mr. Hastings).
  (Mr. HASTINGS asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. HASTINGS. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of this particular 
measure.
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.
  In closing, let me say that I strongly support this bipartisan bill. 
As all of my colleagues have said, we can never become complacent when 
we see anti-Semitism rear its ugly head. We need to reject it. We need 
to fight it. We need to shine a light in all the dark corners so it has 
no place to hide and fester.
  What does that look like when it comes to foreign policy?
  It starts by appointing a senior diplomat, someone we can point to 
with confidence and say, ``You are leading America's effort to grapple 
with this problem around the world.''
  This bill would make sure that that seat will not remain vacant the 
way it has for the last 2 years. I am proud to be an original cosponsor 
of this legislation. I am proud that we have such bipartisan support 
for this legislation.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.

  Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 221, 
the ``Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Act.''
  H.R. 221 amends the State Department Basic Authorities Act of 1956 to 
allow the monitoring and combatting of Anti-Semitism globally.
  H.R. 221 requires that the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-
Semitism be a presidentially-appointed and Senate confirmed position.
  This position holds the rank of Ambassador and will report directly 
to the Secretary of State.
  H.R. 221 requires the President nominate a Special Envoy no later 
than 90 days after the bill's enactment and no more than 120 days after 
the position becomes vacant.
  Since the passing of the Global Anti-Semitism Review Act of 2004, 
Congress has found that in many foreign countries acts of anti-Semitism 
have been frequent, threats to Jewish communities and their 
institutions have proliferated, and in some countries these attacks 
have increased in frequency, scope, violence, and lethality.
  The Kantor Center, a research department at Tel Aviv University 
focused on the interdisciplinary research of European Jewry from the 
end of World War II to the present day, recorded 327 worldwide major 
incidents of violence, vandalism, and desecration in 2017.
  This number, 327, does not represent all incidents, only the major 
incidents--arson, weapon and weaponless attacks, serious threats, 
vandalism, and desecration.
  Targets of these attacks include people, synagogues, community 
centers and schools, cemeteries and memorial sites, and private 
property.
  There has also been an increase in harassment and abuse, both in 
person and digitally.
  Anti-Semitic attacks are human rights violations and they need to be 
treated that way.
  For these reasons, I ask my colleagues to join me in supporting H.R. 
221 which establishes a Special Envoy that will serve, not only as the 
primary advisor to the Government, but will also coordinate efforts 
relating to monitoring and combating anti-Semitism showing the United 
States' commitment to human rights worldwide.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the 
gentleman from New York (Mr. Engel) that the House suspend the rules 
and pass the bill, H.R. 221.
  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. ENGEL. 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.

                          ____________________