Text: H.R.31 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Referred in Senate (01/23/2019)


116th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 31


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

January 23 (legislative day, January 22), 2019

Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations


AN ACT

To require certain additional actions in connection with the national emergency with respect to Syria, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2019”.

TITLE IAdditional actions in connection with the national emergency with respect to Syria

SEC. 101. Measures with respect to Central Bank of Syria.

(a) Determination regarding Central Bank of Syria.—Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of the Treasury shall determine, under section 5318A of title 31, United States Code, whether reasonable grounds exist for concluding that the Central Bank of Syria is a financial institution of primary money laundering concern.

(b) Enhanced due diligence and reporting requirements.—If the Secretary of the Treasury determines under subsection (a) that reasonable grounds exist for concluding that the Central Bank of Syria is a financial institution of primary money laundering concern, the Secretary, in consultation with the Federal functional regulators (as defined in section 509 of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (15 U.S.C. 6809)), shall impose one or more of the special measures described in section 5318A(b) of title 31, United States Code, with respect to the Central Bank of Syria.

(c) Report required.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 90 days after making a determination under subsection (a) as to whether or not the Central Bank of Syria is a financial institution of primary money laundering concern, the Secretary of the Treasury shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report that includes the reasons for the determination.

(2) FORM.—A report required by paragraph (1) shall be submitted in unclassified form, but may include a classified annex.

(3) APPROPRIATE CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEES DEFINED.—In this subsection, the term “appropriate congressional committees” means—

(A) the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Committee on Financial Services, and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives; and

(B) the Committee on Foreign Relations, the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate.

SEC. 102. Sanctions with respect to foreign persons that engage in certain transactions.

(a) Imposition of sanctions.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—On and after the date that is 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall impose the sanctions described in subsection (b) with respect to a foreign person if the President determines that the foreign person, on or after such date of enactment, knowingly engages in an activity described in paragraph (2).

(2) ACTIVITIES DESCRIBED.—A foreign person engages in an activity described in this paragraph if the foreign person—

(A) knowingly provides significant financial, material, or technological support to, or knowingly engages in a significant transaction with—

(i) the Government of Syria (including any entity owned or controlled by the Government of Syria) or a senior political figure of the Government of Syria;

(ii) a foreign person that is a military contractor, mercenary, or a paramilitary force knowingly operating in a military capacity inside Syria for or on behalf of the Government of Syria, the Government of the Russian Federation, or the Government of Iran; or

(iii) a foreign person subject to sanctions pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) with respect to Syria or any other provision of law that imposes sanctions with respect to Syria;

(B) knowingly sells or provides significant goods, services, technology, information, or other support that significantly facilitates the maintenance or expansion of the Government of Syria’s domestic production of natural gas, petroleum, or petroleum products;

(C) knowingly sells or provides aircraft or spare aircraft parts that are used for military purposes in Syria for or on behalf of the Government of Syria to any foreign person operating in an area directly or indirectly controlled by the Government of Syria or foreign forces associated with the Government of Syria;

(D) knowingly provides significant goods or services associated with the operation of aircraft that are used for military purposes in Syria for or on behalf of the Government of Syria to any foreign person operating in an area described in subparagraph (C); or

(E) knowingly, directly or indirectly, provides significant construction or engineering services to the Government of Syria.

(3) SENSE OF CONGRESS.—It is the sense of Congress that, in implementing this section, the President should consider financial support under paragraph (2)(A) to include the provision of loans, credits, or export credits.

(b) Sanctions described.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The sanctions to be imposed with respect to a foreign person subject to subsection (a) are the following:

(A) BLOCKING OF PROPERTY.—The President shall exercise all of the powers granted to the President under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) to the extent necessary to block and prohibit all transactions in property and interests in property of the foreign person if such property and interests in property are in the United States, come within the United States, or are or come within the possession or control of a United States person.

(B) ALIENS INELIGIBLE FOR VISAS, ADMISSION, OR PAROLE.—

(i) VISAS, ADMISSION, OR PAROLE.—An alien who the Secretary of State or the Secretary of Homeland Security (or a designee of one of such Secretaries) knows, or has reason to believe, has knowingly engaged in any activity described in subsection (a)(2) is—

(I) inadmissible to the United States;

(II) ineligible to receive a visa or other documentation to enter the United States; and

(III) otherwise ineligible to be admitted or paroled into the United States or to receive any other benefit under the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.).

(ii) CURRENT VISAS REVOKED.—

(I) IN GENERAL.—The issuing consular officer, the Secretary of State, or the Secretary of Homeland Security (or a designee of one of such Secretaries) shall, in accordance with section 221(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1201(i)), revoke any visa or other entry documentation issued to an alien described in clause (i) regardless of when the visa or other entry documentation is issued.

(II) EFFECT OF REVOCATION.—A revocation under subclause (I)—

(aa) shall take effect immediately; and

(bb) shall automatically cancel any other valid visa or entry documentation that is in the alien’s possession.

(2) PENALTIES.—The penalties provided for in subsections (b) and (c) of section 206 of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1705) shall apply to a person that violates, attempts to violate, conspires to violate, or causes a violation of regulations promulgated under section 303 to carry out paragraph (1)(A) to the same extent that such penalties apply to a person that commits an unlawful act described in section 206(a) of that Act.

(3) EXCEPTION TO COMPLY WITH UNITED NATIONS HEADQUARTERS AGREEMENT.—Sanctions under paragraph (1)(B) shall not apply with respect to an alien if admitting or paroling the alien into the United States is necessary to permit the United States to comply with the Agreement regarding the Headquarters of the United Nations, signed at Lake Success June 26, 1947, and entered into force November 21, 1947, between the United Nations and the United States, or other applicable international obligations.

TITLE IIAssistance for the people of Syria

SEC. 201. Codification of certain services in support of nongovernmental organizations’ activities authorized.

(a) In general.—Except as provided in subsection (b), section 542.516 of title 31, Code of Federal Regulations (relating to certain services in support of nongovernmental organizations’ activities authorized), as in effect on the day before the date of the enactment of this Act, shall—

(1) remain in effect on and after such date of enactment; and

(2) in the case of a nongovernmental organization that is authorized to export or reexport services to Syria under such section on the day before such date of enactment, apply to such organization on and after such date of enactment to the same extent and in the same manner as such section applied to such organization on the day before such date of enactment.

(b) Exception.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Section 542.516 of title 31, Code of Federal Regulations, as codified under subsection (a), shall not apply with respect to a foreign person that has been designated as a foreign terrorist organization under section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1189), or otherwise designated as a terrorist organization, by the Secretary of State, in consultation with or upon the request of the Attorney General or the Secretary of Homeland Security.

(2) EFFECTIVE DATE.—Paragraph (1) shall apply with respect to a foreign person on and after the date on which the designation of that person as a terrorist organization is published in the Federal Register.

SEC. 202. Briefing on strategy to facilitate humanitarian assistance.

(a) In general.—Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall brief the appropriate congressional committees on the strategy of the President to help facilitate the ability of humanitarian organizations to access financial services to help facilitate the safe and timely delivery of assistance to communities in need in Syria.

(b) Consideration of data from other countries and nongovernmental organizations.—In preparing the strategy required by subsection (a), the President shall consider credible data already obtained by other countries and nongovernmental organizations, including organizations operating in Syria.

(c) Appropriate congressional committees defined.—In this section, the term “appropriate congressional committees” means—

(1) the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Committee on Financial Services, and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives; and

(2) the Committee on Foreign Relations, the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate.

TITLE IIIGeneral provisions

SEC. 301. Suspension of sanctions.

(a) In general.—The President may suspend in whole or in part the imposition of sanctions otherwise required under this Act for periods not to exceed 180 days if the President determines that the following criteria have been met in Syria:

(1) The air space over Syria is no longer being utilized by the Government of Syria or the Government of the Russian Federation to target civilian populations through the use of incendiary devices, including barrel bombs, chemical weapons, and conventional arms, including air-delivered missiles and explosives.

(2) Areas besieged by the Government of Syria, the Government of the Russian Federation, the Government of Iran, or a foreign person described in section 102(a)(2)(A)(ii) are no longer cut off from international aid and have regular access to humanitarian assistance, freedom of travel, and medical care.

(3) The Government of Syria is releasing all political prisoners forcibly held within the prison system of the regime of Bashar al-Assad and the Government of Syria is allowing full access to the same facilities for investigations by appropriate international human rights organizations.

(4) The forces of the Government of Syria, the Government of the Russian Federation, the Government of Iran, and any foreign person described in section 102(a)(2)(A)(ii) are no longer engaged in deliberate targeting of medical facilities, schools, residential areas, and community gathering places, including markets, in violation of international norms.

(5) The Government of Syria is—

(A) taking steps to verifiably fulfill its commitments under the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction, done at Geneva September 3, 1992, and entered into force April 29, 1997 (commonly known as the “Chemical Weapons Convention”), and the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, done at Washington, London, and Moscow July 1, 1968, and entered into force March 5, 1970 (21 UST 483); and

(B) making tangible progress toward becoming a signatory to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction, done at Washington, London, and Moscow April 10, 1972, and entered into force March 26, 1975 (26 UST 583).

(6) The Government of Syria is permitting the safe, voluntary, and dignified return of Syrians displaced by the conflict.

(7) The Government of Syria is taking verifiable steps to establish meaningful accountability for perpetrators of war crimes in Syria and justice for victims of war crimes committed by the Assad regime, including by participation in a credible and independent truth and reconciliation process.

(b) Briefing required.—Not later than 30 days after the President makes a determination described in subsection (a), the President shall provide a briefing to the appropriate congressional committees on the determination and the suspension of sanctions pursuant to the determination.

(c) Reimposition of sanctions.—Any sanctions suspended under subsection (a) shall be reimposed if the President determines that the criteria described in that subsection are no longer being met.

(d) Rule of construction.—Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the authority of the President to terminate the application of sanctions under section 102 with respect to a person that no longer engages in activities described in subsection (a)(2) of that section.

(e) Appropriate congressional committees defined.—In this section, the term “appropriate congressional committees” means—

(1) the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Committee on Financial Services, the Committee on Ways and Means, the Committee on the Judiciary, and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives; and

(2) the Committee on Foreign Relations, the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, the Committee on the Judiciary, and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate.

SEC. 302. Exemptions; Waivers; exception relating to importation of goods.

(a) Exemptions.—The following activities and transactions shall be exempt from sanctions authorized under this Act:

(1) Any activity subject to the reporting requirements under title V of the National Security Act of 1947 (50 U.S.C. 3091 et seq.), or to any authorized law enforcement, national security, or intelligence activities of the United States.

(2) Any transaction necessary to comply with United States obligations under—

(A) the Agreement regarding the Headquarters of the United Nations, signed at Lake Success June 26, 1947, and entered into force November 21, 1947, between the United Nations and the United States;

(B) the Convention on Consular Relations, done at Vienna April 24, 1963, and entered into force March 19, 1967; or

(C) any other international agreement to which the United States is a party.

(b) Waiver.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The President may, for periods not to exceed 180 days, waive the application of any sanction authorized under this Act with respect to a foreign person if the President certifies to the appropriate congressional committees that such a waiver is in the national security interests of the United States.

(2) BRIEFING.—Not later than 90 days after the issuance of a waiver under paragraph (1), and every 180 days thereafter while the waiver remains in effect, the President shall brief the appropriate congressional committees on the reasons for the waiver.

(c) Humanitarian waiver.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The President may waive, for renewable periods not to exceed 2 years, the application of any sanction authorized under this Act with respect to a nongovernmental organization providing humanitarian assistance not covered by the authorization described in section 201 if the President certifies to the appropriate congressional committees that such a waiver is important to address a humanitarian need and is consistent with the national security interests of the United States.

(2) BRIEFING.—Not later than 90 days after the issuance of a waiver under paragraph (1), and every 180 days thereafter while the waiver remains in effect, the President shall brief the appropriate congressional committees on the reasons for the waiver.

(d) Exception relating to importation of goods.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The authorities and requirements to impose sanctions authorized under this Act shall not include the authority or requirement to impose sanctions on the importation of goods.

(2) GOOD DEFINED.—In this subsection, the term “good” means any article, natural or man-made substance, material, supply or manufactured product, including inspection and test equipment, and excluding technical data.

(e) Appropriate congressional committees defined.—In this section, the term “appropriate congressional committees” means—

(1) the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Committee on Financial Services, the Committee on Ways and Means, the Committee on the Judiciary, and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives; and

(2) the Committee on Foreign Relations, the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, the Committee on the Judiciary, and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate.

SEC. 303. Regulatory authorities.

The President shall, not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, promulgate regulations as necessary for the implementation of this Act.

SEC. 304. Sunset.

This Act shall cease to be effective on the date that is 5 years after the date of the enactment of this Act.

Passed the House of Representatives January 22, 2019.

    Attest: karen l. haas,   
    Clerk