Summary: H.R.5708 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed House amended (09/21/2016)

Nicaraguan Investment Conditionality Act (NICA) of 2016

(Sec. 3) This bill states that is U.S. policy to support: (1) the rule of law and an independent judiciary and electoral council in Nicaragua; (2) independent pro-democracy organizations in Nicaragua; and (3) free, fair, and transparent elections under international and domestic observers in Nicaragua in 2016 and 2017.

(Sec. 4) The President shall instruct the U.S. executive director at each international financial institution to use U.S. influence to oppose any loan for the government of Nicaragua's benefit, other than for basic human needs or to promote democracy, unless the Department of State certifies that Nicaragua is taking effective steps to: (1) hold elections overseen by credible domestic and international electoral observers, (2) promote democracy and an independent judiciary system and electoral council, (3) strengthen the rule of law, and (4) respect the right to freedom of association and expression.

The Department of the Treasury shall submit a report assessing: (1) the effectiveness of international financial institutions in enforcing applicable program safeguards in Nicaragua, and (2) the effects of specified election and fiscal transparency matters in Nicaragua on long-term prospects for positive development outcomes there.

(Sec. 5) The President shall direct the U.S. Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States to use U.S. influence to advocate for an Electoral Observation Mission to be sent to Nicaragua in 2016 and 2017.

(Sec. 6) The bill provides that Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development should prioritize foreign assistance to the people of Nicaragua to assist civil society in democracy and governance programs, including human rights documentation.

(Sec. 7) The State Department shall report on the involvement of senior Nicaraguan government officials, including members of the Supreme Electoral Council, the National Assembly, and the judicial system, in acts of public corruption or human rights violations in Nicaragua.