Summary: H.R.301 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed House amended (09/18/2013)

(Sec. 2) Directs the President to appoint a Special Envoy to Promote Religious Freedom of Religious Minorities in the Near East and South Central Asia within the Department of State. Requires the Special Envoy to have the rank of ambassador.

(Sec. 3) Requires the Special Envoy to: (1) promote the right of religious freedom of religious minorities in the countries of the Near East and South Central Asia, denounce the violation of such right, and recommend appropriate U.S government responses to such violations; (2) monitor and combat acts of religious intolerance and incitement targeted against such religious minorities; (3) ensure that the needs of such religious minority communities are addressed, including economic and security needs directly tied to religious-based discrimination and persecution; (4) work with foreign governments of such countries to address inherently discriminatory laws; and (5) coordinate and assist in the preparation of specified reports required by the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 and the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998.

(Sec. 4) Authorizes the Special Envoy, subject to direction by the President and the Secretary of State, to represent the United States in matters and cases relevant to religious freedom in: (1) contacts with foreign governments, intergovernmental organizations, and specialized agencies of the United Nations (U.N.), the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe, and other international organizations; and (2) multilateral conferences and meetings relevant to religious freedom.

(Sec. 5) Requires the Special Envoy to give priority to programs, projects, and activities for Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

(Sec. 6) Directs the Secretary to eliminate certain positions within the State Department as necessary to offset the costs of carrying out this Act.

(Sec. 7) Declares that this Act shall cease to be effective on October 1, 2018.