Text: H.R.5586 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (01/13/2020)

 
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[H.R. 5586 Introduced in House (IH)]

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116th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                H. R. 5586

 To measure the progress of recovery and development efforts in Haiti 
     and the strength of democracy and rule of law in the country.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                            January 13, 2020

 Mr. Jeffries (for himself, Mrs. Wagner, Mr. Hurd of Texas, Mr. Spano, 
Ms. Clarke of New York, Mr. Hastings, Ms. Wilson of Florida, Mr. Waltz, 
  and Ms. Lee of California) introduced the following bill; which was 
              referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
 To measure the progress of recovery and development efforts in Haiti 
     and the strength of democracy and rule of law in the country.

    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 ``Haiti Development, Accountability, 
and Institutional Transparency Initiative Act''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress finds the following:
            (1) On January 12, 2010, a massive earthquake struck near 
        the Haitian capital city of Port-au-Prince, leaving an 
        estimated 220,000 people dead, including 103 United States 
        citizens, 101 United Nations personnel, and nearly 18 percent 
        of the nation's civil service, as well as 300,000 injured, 
        115,000 homes destroyed, and 1,500,000 people displaced.
            (2) The Post Disaster Needs Assessment conducted by the 
        Government of Haiti, the United Nations, the World Bank, the 
        Inter-American Development Bank, and others estimated that 
        damage and economic losses from the January 12, 2010, 
        earthquake totaled $7,804,000,000.
            (3) The international community, led by the United States 
        and the United Nations, mounted an unprecedented humanitarian 
        response to the earthquake in Haiti. Through 2018, more than $8 
        billion has been disbursed by donors. Since the 2010 
        earthquake, the United States Government has disbursed more 
        than $4,000,000,000 in recovery and development funding.
            (4) On October 4, 2016, Hurricane Matthew struck 
        southwestern Haiti on the Tiburon Peninsula, causing widespread 
        damage and flooding and leaving 1.4 million people in need of 
        immediate assistance. The strongest storm to hit Haiti since 
        Hurricane Cleo in 1964, 2.1 million people were directly 
        affected by the hurricane.
            (5) Recovery efforts continue almost 3 years after 
        Hurricane Matthew made landfall in 2016. The World Bank 
        estimates storm-caused losses and damages valued at 32 percent 
        of 2015 Gross Domestic Product.
            (6) Prior to both the earthquake and hurricane, Haiti 
        registered among the lowest socioeconomic indicators and the 
        second highest rate of income disparity in the world, 
        conditions that have further complicated disaster recovery and 
        resilience efforts.
            (7) In June 2019, World Food Program reported that Haiti 
        has one of the highest levels of chronic food insecurity in the 
        world with more than half of its total population chronically 
        food insecure and 22 percent of children chronically 
        malnourished.
            (8) In October 2010, an unprecedented outbreak of cholera 
        in Haiti resulted in over 800,000 reported cases and over 9,000 
        deaths to date. The Pan American Health Organization reported 
        in 2018 that the cholera incidence rate in Haiti is 25.5 cases 
        per 100,000.
            (9) With United States assistance, almost 14,000 jobs have 
        been created, largely in the apparel industry at the Caracol 
        Industrial Park (in partnership with the Inter-American 
        Development Bank, the Haitian government, and the private 
        sector) in northern Haiti.
            (10) Evidence suggests that people displaced by the 2010 
        earthquake and hurricanes in following years, especially 
        Hurricane Matthew in 2016, still face displacement-related 
        vulnerabilities today.
            (11) On November 13, 2018, at least 59 people were shot and 
        killed in the Port-au-Prince neighborhood of La Saline. After 
        months of investigations, no one has been held responsible for 
        the La Saline massacre.
            (12) Since 2018, tens of thousands of Haitians have 
        participated in a series of demonstrations demanding 
        accountability over government spending of Petrocaribe 
        resources. In early 2019, the Haitian superior court of 
        auditors released an investigation implicating high-level 
        government officials in the misappropriation of funds.
            (13) From August 2018 through February 2019, local human 
        rights organizations reported that 64 Haitian citizens were 
        killed in protests.
            (14) In 2019, according to the Committee to Protect 
        Journalists, five Haitian journalists have been shot while 
        covering protests, including one who was killed. On September 
        23, 2019, Haitian Senator Jean Marie Ralph Fethiere shot 
        Associated Press photojournalist Chery Dieu-Nalio in the face 
        after he exited his car and fired multiple shots near a crowd 
        of people surrounding him.
            (15) Economic growth in Haiti is projected to drop below 
        1.5 percent this year. Inflation is estimated to be 15 percent 
        and the local currency has depreciated by 30 percent in the 
        past year. The government and parliament have failed to pass a 
        budget for two years, preventing the International Monetary 
        Fund and other multilaterals from disbursing millions in 
        international assistance.
            (16) Midterm elections set for October 2019 did not take 
        place and will leave President Moise ruling by decree after 
        two-thirds of the Haitian Senate expires in January 2020.

SEC. 3. STATEMENT OF POLICY.

    It is the policy of the United States to support the sustainable 
rebuilding and development of Haiti in a manner that--
            (1) embraces Haitian independence, self-reliance, 
        sovereignty, democratic governance, and efficiency;
            (2) promotes efforts that are led by and support the people 
        and Government of Haiti at all levels so that Haitians lead the 
        course of reconstruction and development of Haiti;
            (3) encourages and assists the building of long-term 
        capacity for civil society in Haiti;
            (4) fosters collaboration between the Haitian diaspora in 
        the United States and the Haitian government;
            (5) combats impunity and prioritizes delivering justice to 
        victims of human rights abuses;
            (6) ensures the protection and promotion of a free Haitian 
        press;
            (7) respects the sovereignty and individual liberty of 
        Haitian citizens to peacefully demonstrate;
            (8) demands increased transparency and heightens 
        accountability among all branches of government, including 
        through efforts to reduce corruption and address human rights 
        concerns;
            (9) assists and helps build community resilience to 
        environmental and weather-related impacts; and
            (10) promotes the holding of free, fair, and timely 
        elections in accordance with democratic principles and the 
        Haitian Constitution.

SEC. 4. ACTIONS TO HOLD LA SALINE SHOOTING PERPETRATORS AND VIOLATORS 
              OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN HAITI ACCOUNTABLE.

    (a) Secretary of State Prioritization.--The Secretary of State 
shall prioritize the protection and preservation of human rights in 
Haiti by carrying out the following initiatives:
            (1) Fostering strong relationships with independent civil 
        society groups focused on monitoring human rights concerns and 
        promoting democracy in Haiti.
            (2) Collaborating with Haitian government officials to 
        ensure that human rights violators in Haiti are held 
        accountable for their actions.
            (3) Identifying corrupt public and private sector officials 
        and violators of human rights in Haiti.
            (4) Addressing concerns of perceived impunity for hostile 
        orchestrators of the La Saline shooting.
    (b) Strategy.--
            (1) Elements.--Not later than 180 days after the date of 
        the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State shall submit 
        to the appropriate congressional committees a detailed summary 
        of the happenings on November 13, 2018, in the Port-au-Prince 
        neighborhood of La Saline and a strategy for carrying out the 
        initiatives described in subsection (a). The strategy shall 
        include--
                    (A) a breakdown of how the massacre in La Saline 
                related to mass protests occurring concurrently in the 
                country;
                    (B) an analysis of the La Saline shooting reports 
                authored by the United Nations, the European Union, and 
                the Government of Haiti;
                    (C) a detailed description of all known actors 
                implicated in the shooting;
                    (D) an overview of efforts taken by the Haitian 
                government to bring the orchestrators of the La Saline 
                shooting to justice; and
                    (E) an assessment of the ensuing treatment and 
                displacement of the La Saline shooting survivors.
            (2) Consultation.--In devising the strategy required under 
        paragraph (1), the Secretary shall consult with nongovernmental 
        organizations in Haiti and the United States.
            (3) Public availability.--The strategy required under 
        paragraph (1) shall be made publicly available on the website 
        of the Department of State.

SEC. 5. ACTIONS TO PROMOTE FREEDOM OF THE PRESS AND ASSEMBLY IN HAITI.

    (a) Prioritization.--The Secretary of State shall prioritize the 
promotion of press and assembly freedoms as well as the protection of 
journalists in Haiti by carrying out the following initiatives:
            (1) Advocating for increased protection of the press and 
        freedom to peacefully assemble in Haiti.
            (2) Collaborating with government and nongovernment 
        officials to increase security for journalists in Haiti.
            (3) Supporting efforts to strengthen access to information 
        in Haiti.
            (4) Ensuring that threats and attacks on journalists and 
        protestors are fully investigated and perpetrators are held 
        accountable.
            (5) Developing increased protection measures against police 
        violence.
    (b) Assessment.--
            (1) Elements.--Not later than 180 days after the date of 
        the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State, shall submit 
        to the appropriate congressional committees an assessment of 
        press freedom and the right to assembly in Haiti. The 
        assessment shall include--
                    (A) a detailed description of all known attacks on 
                journalists in the past 12 months;
                    (B) a description of protests in the past 12 months 
                and an assessment of Haitian government response to 
                each protest;
                    (C) a summary of the Haitian government's efforts 
                to increase protection for journalists; and
                    (D) a description of best practices the United 
                States embassy can employ to promote press freedom and 
                the freedom of expression in Haiti.
            (2) Consultation.--In devising the assessment required 
        under subsection (a), the Secretary of State shall consult with 
        nongovernmental organizations in Haiti and the United States.
            (3) Public availability.--The assessment required under 
        paragraph (1) shall be made publicly available on the website 
        of the Department of State.

SEC. 6. ACTIONS TO COMBAT CORRUPTION IN HAITI.

    (a) Prioritization.--The Secretary of State shall prioritize 
efforts to combat corruption in Haiti by carrying out the following 
initiatives:
            (1) Identifying government and nongovernment officials 
        known or alleged to have partaken in corrupt acts.
            (2) Supporting the strengthening of a justice system 
        independent of the executive branch.
            (3) Ensuring that both government and nongovernment 
        officials are held accountable for corrupt actions.
            (4) Promoting and protecting nongovernment civil society 
        groups monitoring institutionalized corruption in Haiti.
            (5) Supporting demands for clarity and accountability in 
        the Petrocaribe scandal.
            (6) Strengthening institutional transparency and ensuring 
        that Haitian government officials are not immune from 
        prosecution.
    (b) Assessment.--
            (1) Elements.--Not later than 180 days after the date of 
        the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State, in 
        coordination with the Administrator of the United States Agency 
        for International Development, shall submit to the appropriate 
        congressional committees an assessment for combating 
        institutional corruption in Haiti. The assessment shall 
        include--
                    (A) an overview and detailed history of the 
                Petrocaribe scandal, including an in-depth description 
                of former and current officials and businesses 
                implicated in such scandal and the Haitian government 
                response;
                    (B) a description of United States efforts to 
                consult and engage with Haitian government officials to 
                address growing allegations of corruption within the 
                Haitian government;
                    (C) an assessment of the extent of corruption, 
                including embezzling state funds, an account of steps 
                needed to be taken to impose sanctions pursuant to the 
                Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act (22 
                U.S.C. 2656 note), and a list of government and 
                nongovernment officials known or alleged to have 
                partaken in such corruption; and
                    (D) a list of United States entities, including 
                financial institutions with financial ties to alleged 
                corrupt actors in Haiti.
            (2) Consultation.--In devising the assessment required 
        under subsection (a), the Secretary of State shall consult with 
        nongovernmental organizations in Haiti and the United States.
            (3) Public availability.--The assessment required under 
        paragraph (1) shall be made publicly available on the website 
        of the Department of State.

SEC. 7. ACTIONS TO ASSESS POST-EARTHQUAKE AND POST-HURRICANE RECOVERY 
              AND DEVELOPMENT EFFORTS IN HAITI.

    (a) Prioritization.--The Secretary of State, in coordination with 
the Administrator of the United States Agency for International 
Development, shall prioritize a strategy of post-earthquake and post-
hurricane recovery and development efforts in Haiti by carrying out the 
following initiatives:
            (1) Collaborating with the Haitian government to promote a 
        detail-oriented and transparent development plan.
            (2) Supporting the strengthening of local institutions 
        through a post-earthquake and post-hurricane recovery and 
        development planning.
            (3) Assessing both the United States and the international 
        community's recovery and development efforts in Haiti over the 
        past 10 years.
            (4) Supporting disaster resiliency and reconstruction 
        efforts.
            (5) Addressing underlying causes of poverty and inequality 
        by providing health resources, access to clean water, food 
        security, and shelter.
            (6) Identifying and responding to long-term humanitarian 
        needs caused by natural disasters and extreme poverty.
    (b) Assessment.--Not later than 180 days after the date of the 
enactment of this Act and annually thereafter for two years, 
Administrator of the United States Agency for International 
Development, in coordination with the Secretary of State, shall submit 
to the appropriate congressional committees an assessment on best 
practices to ensure efficient and transparent earthquake and hurricane 
recovery and development efforts in Haiti. The assessment shall 
include--
            (1) an analysis of the sustainability of United States-
        financed projects, including the Caracol Industrial Park and 
        supporting infrastructure;
            (2) a breakdown of local procurement by year and a 
        description of efforts to increase local procurement, including 
        of food aid;
            (3) a strategy to assign fixed quantitative and qualitative 
        indicators to assess progress and benchmarks for United States 
        initiatives focused on natural disaster recovery, resiliency, 
        and sustainable development in Haiti; and
            (4) a description of United States efforts taken to assist 
        Haitian pursuits for free and fair democratic elections.

SEC. 8. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act the term ``appropriate congressional committees'' 
means--
            (1) the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on 
        Appropriations of the House of Representatives; and
            (2) the Committee on Foreign Relations and the Committee on 
        Appropriations of the Senate.
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