Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed House amended (03/21/2016)

Counterterrorism Screening and Assistance Act of 2016

(Sec. 2) This bill expresses the sense of Congress that: (1) the U.S. government must ensure that capacity-building assistance to combat terrorist travel is coordinated among departments and agencies as well as with foreign implementing partners, and (2) such assistance should be prioritized for the highest-risk countries for travel by terrorists and foreign fighters.

The Department of State shall submit to Congress biennially a foreign partner engagement plan that catalogues existing capacity-building initiatives abroad to combat travel by terrorists and foreign fighters and identifies areas for adjustment to align efforts with risk-based priorities.

The plan shall be developed in coordination with all relevant U.S. government departments and agencies.

The plan shall:

  • include a risk assessment of each country that includes identification of the number of U.S.-bound flights that originate from last points of departure in the country, visa waiver program status or visa application and denial rates, and the country's overall terror threat environment;
  • detail U.S. government programs and activities for building the country's capacity to combat travel by terrorists and foreign fighters, including estimated spending levels; and
  • outline a plan for prioritizing U.S. government resources for high- and medium-risk countries.

(Sec. 3) The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the State Department shall accelerate the provision of appropriate versions of the following systems to foreign governments:

  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Automated Targeting System--Global, and
  • the State Department's Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System.

Prioritization shall be given to high- and medium-risk countries.

DHS may provide, with specified exceptions, excess DHS nonlethal equipment and supplies (as well as related training) to a foreign government if that would:

  • further U.S. homeland security interests; and
  • enhance the recipient government's capacity to mitigate the threat of terrorism, infectious disease or natural disaster, protect lawful trade and travel, or enforce intellectual property rights.

DHS and the State Department shall notify Congress before providing such systems, equipment, or supplies.

A notification shall include:

  • the vulnerability to be mitigated;
  • an explanation as to why the recipient is unable or unwilling to independently acquire such systems, equipment, or supplies;
  • an evacuation plan for sensitive technologies;
  • how the United States will ensure that such systems, equipment, or supplies are being used as intended; and
  • the total dollar value involved.

(Sec. 4) The State Department shall: (1) report to Congress annually through 2021 regarding foreign government efforts to combat terrorist and foreign fighter travel, and (2) incorporate the report into the annual country reports on terrorism.

The State Department may suspend non-humanitarian, non-trade-related foreign assistance to a foreign country identified in such a report as a country to which the minimum standards for serious and sustained efforts to combat terrorist and foreign fighter travel are applicable but whose government is not fully complying with such standards and is not making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance.

(Sec. 6) No additional funds are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this Act.