Summary: H.R.2323 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.2323. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (05/14/2015)

United States International Communications Reform Act of 2015

Revises U.S. international broadcasting and communications structures, missions, and objectives.

Requires U.S. international broadcasting to incorporate specified standards.

Establishes the United States International Communications Agency (USICA), consisting of the Voice of America (VOA) and the offices of the International Broadcasting Bureau.

Directs USICA and the Freedom News Network (FNN) to ensure that U.S. international broadcasting is conducted only to countries and regions that: (1) lack democratic rule and domestic media that provides accurate news, and (2) would benefit U.S. national security.

Expresses the sense of Congress that VOA: (1) has been an indispensable element of U.S. foreign policy and public diplomacy efforts, and (2) would benefit from a recalibration of federal international broadcasting agencies and resources.

Requires VOA to adhere to specified principles and carry out specified duties and responsibilities.

Requires Radio Marti and Television Marti, which constitute the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, to: (1) continue programming and content production consistent with their mission under the Radio Broadcasting to Cuba Act and the Television Broadcasting to Cuba Act, and (2) continue to exist within VOA.

Requires USICA and FNN to consult with the Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Department of Defense, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in order to assess international developments.

Repeals the United States International Broadcasting Act of 1994.

Expresses the sense of Congress that RFE/RL, Incorporated, Radio Free Asia, and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks, Incorporated share a common mission with distinct geographic foci, and should therefore be merged into a single organization with distinct marketing brands to provide news and related programming and content in countries where free media are not established.

Consolidates RFE/RL Incorporated, Radio Free Asia, and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks, Incorporated into FNN to carry out all international broadcasting activities supported by the U.S. government. Retains the brand names of the individual grantees.

Specifies FNN standards and principles, including consistency with broad U.S. foreign policy objectives.

Directs USICA and FNN to establish procedures to vet and monitor employees for affiliations to terrorist organizations, foreign governments to protect against espionage, sabotage, foreign propaganda messaging, and other subversive activities.