Summary: S.925 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Reported to Senate without amendment (04/24/2003)

(This measure has not been amended since it was introduced. The summary has been expanded because action occurred on the measure.)

Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2004 - Title I: Authorizations of Appropriations - Subtitle A: Department of State - (Sec. 101) Authorizes appropriations for FY 2004 for: (1) the administration of foreign affairs; (2) U.S. educational, cultural, and public diplomacy programs; (3) contributions to international organizations; (4) international commissions; and (5) migration and refugee assistance.

Subtitle B: United States International Broadcasting Activities - (Sec. 111) Authorizes appropriations for FY 2004 for certain U.S. international broadcasting activities.

Title II: Department of State Authorities and Activities - Subtitle A: Basic Authorities and Activities - (Sec. 201) Amends Federal criminal law to impose penalties for knowingly and willfully obstructing, resisting, or interfering with a Federal law enforcement agent engaged in the performance of the protection of foreign officials and Department of State officials (including their families), foreign missions, and the provision of security of U.S. and foreign government operations of a diplomatic nature within the United States or the special maritime territorial jurisdiction of the United States.

(Sec. 202) Amends the State Department Basic Authorities Act of 1956 to authorize the Secretary of State, if he or she determines an imminent threat against a person, foreign mission, or international organization, to issue a subpoena requiring the production of any records or other items relevant to the threat and testimony by their custodian concerning their production and authenticity.

(Sec. 203) Authorizes the Secretary to: (1) designate State Department uniformed guards as law enforcement officers for the protection of buildings and areas within the United States for which the Department is responsible; and (2) prescribe regulations for the administration of such buildings and areas (including penalties for violations of such regulations). Authorizes the Secretary to designate firearms and explosives training officers as law enforcement officers for the purpose of safeguarding firearms, ammunition, and explosives that are located at, or are in transit to, approved firearms and explosives training facilities.

(Sec. 204) Amends Federal law to authorize the use of the Department of Defense (DOD) reimbursement rate for military airlift services to the Department of State, provided such services are for activities related to national security objectives.

(Sec. 205) Amends the State Department Basic Authorities Act of 1956 to authorize the Secretary to waive certain requirements requiring congressional notification 15 days in advance of any proposed reprogramming of Department of State funds if, among other things, it is determined that doing so is necessary to provide for the establishment, or renovation of, a diplomatic facility in urgent circumstances; except such notification requirement may not be waived with respect to the reprogramming of more than $10 million for such facility in any one instance.

(Sec. 206) Amends the Foreign Service Buildings Act, 1926 to authorize the Secretary to collect from every Federal agency that has assigned employees to any U.S. diplomatic facility a fee for the purpose of constructing new U.S. diplomatic facilities. Requires such fees to be deposited into the Capital Security Cost-Share Program Fund.

(Sec. 207) Amends the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1994 and 1995 to prohibit the transfer of certain nonimmigrant visa processing fees charged by the State Department to any other agency.

(Sec. 208) Directs the Secretary to seek, to the extent practicable, reimbursement from the U.S. Olympic Committee for security provided to the U.S. Olympic Team by Diplomatic Security Special Agents during the 2004 Summer Olympics. Requires such reimbursements to be deposited as an offsetting receipt to the appropriate State Department account.

Subtitle B: Educational, Cultural, and Public Diplomacy Authorities - (Sec. 211) Authorizes the Secretary to support (by grants, cooperative agreements, or contracts) outreach and public diplomacy activities regarding the benefits of agricultural biotechnology and science-based regulatory systems, including the application of such technology for trade and development purposes.

(Sec. 212) Amends the State Department Basic Authorities Act of 1956 to authorize the Secretary to provide (by contract or grant) for the performance of appropriate museum visitor and educational outreach services, including organizing conference activities, museum shop services, and food services, in the public exhibit and related space utilized by the U.S. Diplomacy Center. Sets forth certain requirements with respect to the disposition of U.S. Diplomacy Center artifacts and materials.

(Sec. 213) Authorizes the Secretary to establish, through a U.S. institution of higher education, an educational program designed to promote civilian control of government ministries in Latin America by teaching young Latin American professionals analytical skills, knowledge of civil institutions, and leadership skills necessary to manage national security functions within a democratic civil society.

Title III: Organization and Personnel of the Department of State - (Sec. 301) Amends the Foreign Service Act of 1980 to establish the Fellowship of Hope Program.

(Sec. 302) Amends Federal law to grant an education allowance or payment of travel costs to an employee with extraordinary and necessary expenses (not otherwise compensated for) incurred because of such employee's service in a foreign area for activities required for successful completion of a grade or course with respect to the education of the employee's dependents. Grants an allowance for travel expenses of such dependents to and from a post-baccalaureate educational institution, except that such allowance may not be made for such dependent during the 12 months following the dependent's arrival at the selected educational institution. Provides that such allowances may include (with limitation) the payment or reimbursement of the costs incurred to store baggage for the employee's dependent at or in the vicinity of the dependent's school during the dependent's annual trip between the school and the employee's duty station.

(Sec. 303) Amends the Foreign Service Act of 1980 to authorize the Secretary to waive certain requirements regarding the termination or reduced payment of an annuity to a Foreign Service employee that is reemployed on a temporary basis if, among other things, the annuitant is employed in a position for which there is exceptional difficulty in recruiting or retaining a qualified employee.

(Sec. 304) Revises requirements limiting the payment of travel expenses of Foreign Service members and their families to the cost of one round trip during any continuous two-year tour and of two round trips during any continuous three-year tour by removing the unbroken-by-home-leave requirements for each respective tour.

Authorizes the Secretary to order a Foreign Service employee to take a leave of absence upon the completion by such employee of 12 months (currently, 18 months) of continuous service abroad.

(Sec. 305) Amends Federal law to increase from 25 to 35 percent of the basic pay rate the maximum limit of post differential and danger pay allowance that may be granted to a Foreign Service employee that is detailed in a foreign area based on conditions of environment which differ substantially from conditions of environment in the United States, or conditions of danger, and so warrant additional pay as a recruitment and retention incentive.

(Sec. 306) Amends the Foreign Service Act of 1980 to authorize the Secretary to suspend a Foreign Service employee without pay when there is reasonable cause to believe that the employee has committed a crime for which a sentence of imprisonment may be imposed and there is a connection between the conduct and the efficiency of the Foreign Service. Sets forth requirements: (1) authorizing the filing of a grievance by the suspended employee; and (2) providing for the review of such grievance by the Foreign Service Grievance Board.

(Sec. 307) Amends the State Department Basic Authorities Act of 1956 to authorize the Secretary to use appropriated funds to make administrative corrections or adjustments to a State Department employee's pay, allowances, or differentials, resulting from mistakes or retroactive personnel actions, as well as back pay, as part of the settlement or compromise of administrative claims or grievances filed against the State Department.

(Sec. 308) Amends the Foreign Service Act of 1980 to repeal requirements for the recertification process for members of the Senior Foreign Service.

(Sec. 309) Amends the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2003 to require the Office of Personnel Management to prescribe regulations concerning retirement credit for certain Government service performed abroad not later than 60 days after enactment of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2004.

(Sec. 310) Amends the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1998 and 1999 to require the Secretary to identify, and recommend for separation, any member of the Foreign Service ranked by promotion boards of the State Department in the bottom two percent (currently, five percent) of his or her class for at least twice in any five-year period (currently, for two or more of the five years preceding the enactment of this Act), if the rating official for such member was not the same individual for any two of the years of lowest ranking.

(Sec. 311) Amends the Foreign Service Act of 1980 to authorize the President to confer temporarily for a six-month duration the personal rank of ambassador or minister upon an individual, provided prior to such conferral the President reports to the Committee on Foreign Relations certain information about the individual, including a financial disclosure report.

(Sec. 312) Amends the United Nations Participation Act of 1945 to revise provisions for living quarters and allowances to U.S. Representatives to the United Nations (UN). Prohibits the Secretary from making available living quarters or allowances to an employee occupying living quarters the employee owns.

Title IV: International Organizations - (Sec. 401) Amends the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1994 and 1995 to limit the U.S. share of assessments for UN peacekeeping operations after calendar year 2004 to 27.40 percent of the total of all assessed contributions for that operation.

(Sec. 402) Directs the Secretary to submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report assessing the progress made to implement the recommendations set out in the Report of the Panel on UN Peace Operations (Brahimi Report) (transmitted from the UN Secretary General to the President of the UN General Assembly and the President of the Security Council on August 21, 2000).

(Sec. 403) Amends the Department of State Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2003 to require the United States, in connection with its voice and vote in the UN General Assembly and the UN Economic and Social Council, to make every reasonable effort to: (1) prevent membership on the UN Commission on Human Rights or the UN Security Council by any government of a nation that is a sponsor of terrorism, or is the subject of UN sanctions; and (2) advocate that such nation is not elected to a leadership position in the UN General Assembly, the UN Commission on Human Rights, the UN Security Council, or any other UN entity.

Title V: Designation of Foreign Terrorist Organizations - (Sec. 501) Amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to revise requirements authorizing the Secretary to designate an organization as a foreign terrorist organization. Sets forth procedures requiring the Secretary to review the designation of a foreign terrorist organization upon the organization's filing a petition for revocation within two years after such designation. Requires the Secretary to review a designation if no review has taken place within a four-year period.

Title VI: Strengthening Outreach To The Islamic World - Subtitle A: Public Diplomacy - (Sec. 601) Amends the U.S. Information and Educational Exchange Act of 1948 to direct the President to develop and report to specified congressional committees an international information strategy that consists of public information plans designed for major regions of the world, including a focus on regions with significant Muslim populations. Requires the President, in preparation of the annual national security strategy report to Congress, to include a comprehensive discussion of how public diplomacy activities are integrated into the U.S. national security strategy, and how such activities are designed to advance the goals and objectives identified in that report.

(Sec. 602) Amends the Foreign Service Act of 1980 to direct the Secretary to ensure that public diplomacy is an important component of training at all levels of the Foreign Service. Requires Foreign Service officer training to be directed primarily toward providing expert knowledge in the basic functions of analysis and reporting as well as, among other things, public diplomacy.

(Sec. 603) Directs the Secretary to report to the appropriate congressional committees containing an evaluation of the feasibility of conducting regular, televised briefings by State Department personnel about U.S. foreign policy in major foreign languages, including Arabic, Farsi, Chinese, French, and Spanish.

Subtitle B: Strengthening United States Educational and Cultural Exchange Programs - (Sec. 612) Authorizes the Secretary to provide for the expansion of international educational and cultural exchange programs with an eligible country or entity in Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, or Southeast Asia that has a significant Muslim population.

(Sec. 613) Authorizes the Secretary to establish an international exchange visitor program under which eligible secondary school students from such eligible countries would: (1) attend public secondary school in the United States; (2) live with an American host family; and (3) participate in activities designed to promote a greater understanding of American and Islamic values and culture.

(Sec. 614) Authorizes appropriations.

Subtitle C: Fellowship Program - Edward R. Murrow Fellowship Act - (Sec. 622) Establishes the Edward R. Murrow Fellowship program under which the Broadcasting Board of Governors shall provide fellowships to foreign national journalists while they serve, for a six month period, in positions at the Voice of America, RFE/RL, Incorporated, or Radio Free Asia in order to obtain direct exposure to the operations of professional journalists.

Title VII: International Parental Child Abduction Prevention - International Parental Child Abduction Prevention Act of 2003 - (Sec. 702) Amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to prohibit the U.S. admission of aliens supporting international child abductors and relatives of such abductors until the child is surrendered to the legal custodian and such child and custodian are permitted to return to the United States or the custodian's residence, or until such child is 21 years of age. Expands the scope of "relatives" to include grandsons or granddaughters, grandparents, cousins, uncles, aunts, nephews, and nieces, as well as the abducted child's spouse.

Authorizes the Secretary to cancel a designation made under this section. Directs the Secretary to: (1) identify inadmissible aliens supporting child abductors and relatives of abductors; and (2) take appropriate action to cause the entry into the Consular Lookout and Support System of the name of such potentially inadmissible persons. Requires the Secretary to report annually to specified congressional committees with respect to the operation of this section.

Title VIII: Miscellaneous Provisions - (Sec. 801) Amends the Emergency Supplemental Act, 2000 to repeal the requirement for a semiannual report on the extradition of narcotics traffickers.

(Sec. 803) Prohibits the Broadcasting Board of Governors from eliminating foreign language broadcasting in Bulgarian, Czech, Estonian, Hungarian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Slovene, Slovak, Romanian, Croatian, Armenian, and Ukrainian. Directs the Secretary to report to the appropriate congressional committees on the state of democratic governance and freedom of the press in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovenia, Slovakia, Romania, Croatia, Armenia, and Ukraine.

Expresses the sense of Congress that providing surrogate broadcasting in countries that have a stable, democratic government and an independent press should not be a priority of U.S. international broadcasting efforts.

(Sec. 804) Directs the Secretary, in carrying out international exchange programs, to design and implement a fellowship program to encourage eligible foreign students to study at an accredited U.S. institution of higher education in an appropriate graduate program that provides for the multidisciplinary study of issues relating to weapons nonproliferation. Earmarks specified funds for such program.

(Sec. 805) Directs the Secretary to report to the appropriate congressional committees on U.S. policy toward Haiti, including a description of U.S. activities to resolve Haiti's political crisis and promote free elections and efforts to release certain economic assistance to such country.

(Sec. 806) Directs the Secretary to report to the appropriate congressional committees on services overseas for U.S. citizens or nationals who are victims of violent crime abroad. Establishes a database to maintain statistics on incidents of violent crime against U.S. citizens or nationals abroad that are reported to U.S. missions.

(Sec. 807) Bars the expenditure of funds appropriated by this Act for the operation of any U.S. consulate or diplomatic facility in Jerusalem that is not under the supervision of the U.S. Ambassador to Israel. Prohibits the use of funds appropriated by this Act for the publication of any official U.S. document that lists countries, including Israel, and their capital cities unless the publication identifies Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

(Sec. 808) Amends the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2003 to direct the Secretary, within 60 days after the enactment of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2004, to submit an additional report to the appropriate congressional committees with respect to U.S. efforts to promote Israel's diplomatic relations with other countries.

(Sec. 809) Declares that Congress reiterates the President's statement that the United States will not recognize a Palestinian state until the Palestinians elect new leadership that: (1) demonstrates a firm commitment to peaceful coexistence with the State of Israel; and (2) takes appropriate measures to counter terrorism and terrorist financing in the West Bank and Gaza.

(Sec. 810) Amends the U.S. International Broadcasting Act of 1994 to make annual grants to a Middle East Broadcasting Network for the purpose of carrying out radio and television broadcasting to the Middle East region consistent with certain broadcasting standards and principles.

(Sec. 811) Expresses the sense of Congress that: (1) the President should be commended for seeking the support of the international community to build a stable and secure Iraq; (2) the President's position that the oil resources of Iraq (including revenues) are the sovereign possessions of the Iraqi people should be supported; and (3) the President should pursue measures, in cooperation with other nations, to protect an interim or successor regime in Iraq from the negative economic implications of indebtedness incurred by the Saddam Hussein regime, and to assist in developing a resolution of all outstanding claims against Iraq.

(Sec. 812) Expresses the sense of Congress that the United States should continue to press for full membership for the Magen David Adom Society in the International Red Cross Movement.

(Sec. 813) Expresses the sense of Congress that the United States should demonstrate international leadership and responsibility in reducing the health, environmental, and economic risks posed by climate change.

(Sec. 814) Amends the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 to extend through FY 2004 the authorization of appropriations for the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

Title IX: Peace Corps Charter For The 21st Century - Peace Corps Charter for the 21st Century Act - (Sec. 904) Amends the Peace Corps Act to require all recruiting of volunteers to be undertaken primarily by the Peace Corps. Conditions the President's authority to detail or assign Peace Corps volunteers to certain Federal and State agencies and other entities upon a determination that such a detail or assignment does not contradict the standing of such volunteers as being independent.

(Sec. 905) Amends reporting requirements for the Director of the Peace Corps. Requires the Director to report to Congress at least once in each fiscal year on various topics, which shall include any recommendations for improving coordination of development projects between the Peace Corps and international or host country voluntary service organizations. States that the Director should consult with specified congressional committees with respect to any major new initiatives not discussed in the latest submitted annual report. Requires the Director to report to Congress on student loan forgiveness programs.

(Sec. 906) Requires the Director to develop, and report to Congress on, a plan to increase the number of Peace Corps volunteers to a number that is not less than twice the number of Peace Corps volunteers who were enrolled in the Peace Corps on September 30, 2002.

(Sec. 907) Requires the Director to report to Congress on initiatives that the Peace Corps intends to pursue with eligible countries where the presence of Peace Corps volunteers would facilitate a greater understanding that a universe exists of commonly shared human values and aspirations. Authorizes and strongly urges the Director to utilize the services of returned Peace Corps volunteers having language and cultural expertise, including those who may have served previously in countries with substantial Muslim populations, in order to open or reopen Peace Corps programs in such countries.

(Sec. 908) Requires the Director to develop a training program for all Peace Corps volunteers in the education, prevention, and treatment of infectious diseases.

(Sec. 909) Amends requirements for membership on the Peace Corps Advisory Council.

(Sec. 910) Increases Peace Corps volunteer readjustment allowances from $125 to $275 a month.

(Sec. 911) Directs the Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation for National and Community Service to award grants to private nonprofit corporations for the purpose of enabling returned Peace Corps volunteers to carry out programs and projects to forward Peace Corps goals. States that such programs and projects may include: (1) educational programs; (2) partnerships with libraries; and (3) audio-visual projects. Requires corporations receiving grants to have a board of directors composed of returned Peace Corps volunteers with a background in community service, education, or health.

Sets forth grant requirements, including that the grantee give preferential consideration to proposals submitted by returned Peace Corps volunteers that request less than $100,000 to carry out a program or project.

(Sec. 912) Authorizes appropriations through FY 2007.