UNITED STATES-JORDAN DEFENSE COOPERATION EXTENSION ACT
(House of Representatives - February 05, 2018)

Text available as:

Formatting necessary for an accurate reading of this text may be shown by tags (e.g., <DELETED> or <BOLD>) or may be missing from this TXT display. For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF.

        
[Congressional Record Volume 164, Number 22 (Monday, February 5, 2018)]
[Pages H755-H757]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




         UNITED STATES-JORDAN DEFENSE COOPERATION EXTENSION ACT

  Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass 
the bill (H.R. 2646) to reauthorize the United States-Jordan Defense 
Cooperation Act of 2015, and for other purposes, as amended.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The text of the bill is as follows:

                               H.R. 2646

       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 ``United States-Jordan Defense 
     Cooperation Extension Act''.

     SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

       Congress finds the following:
       (1) In December 2011, Congress passed section 7041(b) of 
     the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012 (Public Law 112-74; 
     125 Stat. 1223), which appropriated funds made available 
     under the heading ``Economic Support Fund'' to establish an 
     enterprise fund for Jordan.
       (2) The intent of an enterprise fund is to attract private 
     investment to help entrepreneurs and small businesses create 
     jobs and to achieve sustainable economic development.
       (3) Jordan is an instrumental partner in the fight against 
     terrorism, including as a member of the Global Coalition To 
     Counter ISIS and the Combined Joint Task Force - Operation 
     Inherent Resolve.
       (4) In 2014, His Majesty King Abdullah stated that 
     ``Jordanians and Americans have been standing shoulder to 
     shoulder against extremism for many years, but to a new level 
     with this coalition against ISIL''.
       (5) On February 3, 2015, the United States signed a three-
     year memorandum of understanding with Jordan, pledging to 
     provide the kingdom with $1,000,000,000 annually in United 
     States foreign assistance, subject to the approval of 
     Congress.

     SEC. 3. SENSE OF CONGRESS.

       It is the sense of Congress that--
       (1) Jordan plays a critical role in responding to the 
     overwhelming humanitarian needs created by the conflict in 
     Syria;
       (2) Jordan, the United States, and other partners should 
     continue working together to address this humanitarian crisis 
     and promote regional stability, including through support for 
     refugees in Jordan and internally displaced people along the 
     Jordan-Syria border and the creation of conditions inside 
     Syria that will allow for the secure, dignified, and 
     voluntary return of people displaced by the crisis; and
       (3) the Governments of the United States and Jordan should 
     negotiate a new Memorandum of Understanding, for fiscal years 
     2018 through 2022, to significantly enhance Jordan's military 
     capacity and local economy.

     SEC. 4. REAUTHORIZATION OF UNITED STATES-JORDAN DEFENSE 
                   COOPERATION ACT OF 2015.

       Section 5(a) of the United States-Jordan Defense 
     Cooperation Act of 2015 (22 U.S.C. 2753 note) is amended--
       (1) by striking ``During the 3-year period'' and inserting 
     ``During the period''; and
       (2) by inserting ``and ending on December 31, 2022'' after 
     ``enactment of this Act''.

     SEC. 5. ESTABLISHMENT OF ENTERPRISE FUND FOR JORDAN.

       (a) Establishment of Jordan Enterprise Fund.--The President 
     is authorized to establish and operate an enterprise fund to 
     provide assistance to Jordan.
       (b) Procedures and Requirements.--The provisions contained 
     in section 201 of the Support for East European Democracy 
     (SEED) Act of 1989 (22 U.S.C. 5421), excluding the provisions 
     of subsections (a), (b), (c), (d)(3), (f), and (j) of that 
     section, shall be deemed to apply with respect to the Jordan 
     Enterprise Fund and to funds made available to the enterprise 
     fund in the same manner and to the same extent as such 
     provisions apply with respect to enterprise funds established 
     pursuant to such section or to funds made available to such 
     established enterprise funds.
       (c) Operation of Fund.--
       (1) Expenditures.--Funds made available to the Jordan 
     Enterprise Fund shall be expended at the minimum rate 
     necessary to make timely payments for projects and 
     activities.
       (2) Administrative expenses.--Not more than 3 percent of 
     the funds made available to the Jordan Enterprise Fund may be 
     obligated or expended for the administrative expenses of the 
     enterprise fund.
       (d) Board of Directors.--
       (1) In general.--The Jordan Enterprise Fund shall be 
     governed by a Board of Directors comprised of private 
     citizens of the United States or Jordan, who--
       (A) shall be appointed by the President, in consultation 
     with the chair and ranking member of each of the appropriate 
     congressional committees; and
       (B) have pursued international business careers and have 
     demonstrated expertise in international and emerging market 
     investment activities.
       (2) Majority member requirement.--The majority of the 
     members of the Board of Directors shall be United States 
     citizens.
       (e) Reports.--Not later than 1 year after the date of the 
     enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter until the 
     Jordan Enterprise Fund terminates in accordance with 
     subsection (g), the Board of Directors shall--
       (1) submit to the appropriate congressional committees a 
     report detailing the administrative expenses of the 
     enterprise fund; and
       (2) publish, on an Internet website administered by the 
     enterprise fund, each report submitted pursuant to subsection 
     (b) in accordance with section 201(p) of the Support for East 
     European Democracy (SEED) Act of 1989 (22 U.S.C. 5421(p)).
       (f) Liquidation.--Any funds resulting from any liquidation, 
     dissolution, or winding up of the Jordan Enterprise Fund, in 
     whole or in part, shall be returned to the Treasury.
       (g) Termination.--The authority of the Jordan Enterprise 
     Fund to provide assistance shall terminate on the earlier 
     of--
       (1) the date that is 7 years after the date of the first 
     expenditure of amounts in accordance with subsection (c)(1); 
     or
       (2) the date on which the enterprise fund is liquidated in 
     accordance with subsection (f).
       (h) Appropriate Congressional Committees.--In this section, 
     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.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from 
Florida (Ms. Ros-Lehtinen) and the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. 
Brendan F. Boyle) each will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Florida.


                             General Leave

  Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all 
Members may have 5 legislative days within which to revise and extend 
their remarks and to include extraneous materials on this measure.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentlewoman from Florida?
  There was no objection.
  Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I want to thank Chairman Royce and Ranking Member Engel 
for their support for this measure and for their leadership in helping 
to bring H.R. 2646, the United States-Jordan Defense Cooperation 
Extension Act, to the floor today.
  I also want to thank my friends and colleagues Nita Lowey, Ted 
Deutch, Hal Rogers, and Adam Schiff for joining me in introducing this 
bill.
  This is a strong bipartisan bill that underscores the importance of 
the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in helping both of our nations work 
toward achieving shared goals of security and stability in the Middle 
East.
  It acknowledges what we have all known for many years, and that is 
that His Majesty and the kingdom are indispensable allies in the fight 
against radicalism and terror in the region.
  Jordan and its military have played important roles in many of our 
counter-ISIS operations, and in many ways our relationship with Jordan 
has served as a force multiplier and has allowed the coalition to make 
all the positive gains that we have made over the past year or so.
  But that would have not been possible without a robust foreign 
military financing--FMF--program that we have in place with our allies 
in Jordan. That is why in 2015, Mr. Speaker, I introduced and the 
President signed in 2016 the United States-Jordan Defense Cooperation 
Act.
  This bill authorized the administration to enter into a memorandum of 
understanding--MOU--with Jordan.
  Why?
  To increase our military cooperation with Jordan and to provide the 
kingdom with increased FMF assistance.

[[Page H756]]

  It also allowed Jordan to be included in a list of close and trusted 
allies that are eligible for streamlined and expedited defense sales.
  Why is that important?
  Because Jordan is on the front lines in the fight against terror and 
we rely heavily on Jordan's cooperation.
  That bill also authorized the administration to increase our economic 
support for the kingdom. We recognize the great contributions that 
Jordan has made in response to the Syrian refugee crisis. Since the 
Assad regime began its campaign of destruction, murdering over half a 
million people in the process, millions of Syrians have fled their war-
torn nation. Hundreds of thousands, if not over a million, Syrians have 
crossed over the border into Jordan seeking refuge from the fighting. 
For a country of just a few million in population, an influx of this 
magnitude would strain the government's already limited resources.
  Yet, Jordan recognized the need to provide refuge to those fleeing 
the murderous Assad regime and its cronies; the Putin regime; and Iran 
and its proxy, the terror group Hezbollah. We, in return, recognized 
the strategic importance of Jordan's security and stability. That is 
why we must ensure that the kingdom does indeed have the resources that 
it needs, both in the fight against terror but also in support of the 
larger refugee population.
  That memorandum of understanding was signed 3 years ago this week, 
and it ran through fiscal year 2017. Unfortunately, Mr. Speaker, 
Jordan's current and future security and stability are far from 
guaranteed. Most of the refugees remain, and despite having made great 
progress in defeating ISIS, the terror threat is far from being 
eliminated.
  That is why I authored this bill before us today, along with this 
bipartisanship coalition of colleagues, to extend the provisions of the 
original United States-Jordan Defense Cooperation Act for another 5-
year period through 2022.
  We need to enhance Jordan's military capacity and its local economy 
significantly, and it is my hope that our two governments will soon 
enter into a renewed memorandum of understanding--MOU--at an increased 
level that meets the needs of the kingdom.
  In addition to extending the provisions of the Defense Cooperation 
Act, this bill provides for the establishment of a Jordanian Enterprise 
Fund. An enterprise fund would attract private investment and help 
entrepreneurs and small businesses create jobs in a way that would 
foster sustainable economic development in Jordan for the long term and 
in a self-sustaining fashion.

  Mr. Speaker, Jordan's security and Jordan's stability, they are both 
vital not just for our ally, but they are vital for the region and for 
our own national security interests. It is vital that we send a strong 
bipartisanship message of support. I urge my colleagues to support this 
measure.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield the remainder of my time to the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Royce), our esteemed chairman, and I ask unanimous 
consent that he be allowed to control that time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentlewoman from Florida?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. ROYCE of California. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my 
time.
  Mr. BRENDAN F. BOYLE of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, I thank my 
colleague from the Foreign Affairs Committee, Congresswoman Ros-
Lehtinen; as well as my colleague, the ranking member of the Middle 
East and North Africa Subcommittee, Ted Deutch, for their work on this 
important piece of legislation.
  The United States-Jordan Defense Cooperation Extension Act would 
ensure Jordan's continued eligibility for a more streamlined process 
for accessing defense articles, acknowledging the very difficult 
challenges that Jordan faces from extremist organizations both within 
Jordan and on its borders.
  The legislation supports a new memorandum of understanding to enhance 
Jordan's military capacity and economic growth, and it authorizes an 
enterprise fund that would invest in Jordan's economy.
  I am glad that this bill reflects our comprehensive relationship with 
Amman, which is so vital at this point in history in the region.

                              {time}  1715

  The legislation acknowledges the key role Jordan plays as a partner 
against ISIS, or Daesh, and as a home to thousands of Iraqi, Syrian, 
and Palestinian refugees.
  I would like to note the important work that Jordan does in 
facilitating cross-border assistance to Syria, preventing further 
destabilization. Jordan also plays a critical role in the Israeli-
Palestinian peace process, and I hope that Jordan and Israel are able 
to soon return to the normal level of diplomatic cooperation.
  The bottom line is this: it is in our national security interest to 
work with Jordan on the security threats facing the region, as well as 
opportunities for economic growth within Jordan. This bill will help 
advance both of those goals.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support this bill, and I reserve 
the balance of my time.
  Mr. ROYCE of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I 
may consume.
  We are here, really, to reaffirm a very important commitment that we 
have to one of our closest partners in the Middle East, and that is 
Jordan. I think all of us agree that, over the generations, it has been 
astounding the way Jordan has always offered safe haven and refuge 
through the generations to others.
  This bill gives us an opportunity to continue that close working 
relationship that we have with Jordan because, as we know, Jordan is 
locked--has been locked--in a struggle with ISIS, or Daesh, as they 
call it in that part of the world. They have been involved on the 
battlefield, and this bill addresses both the military and economic 
elements of the close relationship we have with Jordan.
  As they valiantly fight ISIS, Jordanians have struggled to absorb, 
most recently, more than 1 million Syrian refugees; and they are doing 
this, obviously, while coping with a tough economy, with an 
overburdened infrastructure, and with high unemployment for their 
youth. I have been to some of the schools in Jordan to see the 
Jordanians as they once again reach out a hand of friendship to help 
those who are in this predicament.
  Although Jordan has successfully worked with the Millennium Challenge 
Corporation and the World Bank to address some of the economic 
challenges, it really has not been enough to create the level of vital 
economic growth needed in the circumstances that Jordan is in.
  Economic opportunity and prosperity in Jordan are one element of our 
bulwark against extremist groups, against the Iranian regime, the IRGC, 
who seek to spread chaos and destruction, and as ISIS seeks to spread 
death.
  In addition to supporting existing efforts, including regional water 
and energy projects that bring needed resources and will bring 
increased cooperation between neighbors, this bill calls for the 
establishment of an enterprise fund for Jordan. This is a measure 
previously authorized, previously funded by this body, and this fund 
will help create economic opportunity through private-public 
partnership, through investments in small and medium enterprises, and 
it will also create market development in Jordan.
  Although not a familiar measure to many, enterprise funds have 
already been very successful in Tunisia, and we have seen that. We have 
seen that success.
  Mr. Speaker, I want to thank our colleagues for their support for 
this measure for our ally and friend, Jordan, and I reserve the balance 
of my time.
  Mr. BRENDAN F. BOYLE of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 
such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I am going to go ahead and close now and just reiterate 
what I said earlier. This is such important legislation and really 
achieves both goals on the security front as well as the economic 
front.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge its adoption, and I yield back the balance of my 
time.
  Mr. ROYCE of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I 
may consume.
  In closing, I would like to thank my colleagues. I would like to 
thank the ranking member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Mr. Engel, 
but I would also like to thank Mr. Eagle over there, Brendan Boyle, and 
I would

[[Page H757]]

like to thank Ileana Ros-Lehtinen as well.
  Jordan, of course, is a key partner in our struggle against ISIS and 
against the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and other destabilizing 
actors in the Middle East. This bill supports our joint efforts on the 
battlefield and will help Jordan achieve much-needed economic growth.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support this bill and, once 
again, extend the arm of friendship to our closest partner, Jordan.
  Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that the gentleman from 
Pennsylvania (Mr. Brendan F. Boyle) be allowed to reclaim his unused 
time, and I reserve the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from California?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. BRENDAN F. BOYLE of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, I thank the 
chairman.
  We have one of the two main sponsors for the bill who has just joined 
us and wants the opportunity to speak.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman 
from Florida (Mr. Deutch).
  Mr. DEUTCH. Mr. Speaker, I thank my friend from Pennsylvania, and I 
greatly appreciate the chairman for his unanimous consent request.
  I want to thank Chairman Ros-Lehtinen for her tremendous leadership 
in helping advance H.R. 2646, the United States Jordan Defense 
Cooperation Extension Act. This bill is important because our 
partnership with Jordan is important, and I want to quickly explain why 
my constituents back home believe that this is important.
  Those good-news headlines that we have read about, U.S. military 
success against ISIS, are, in part, thanks to Jordan. Jordan is a key 
partner in the international coalition to defeat ISIS and has fought 
airstrikes right alongside us. Just last week, the U.S. finished 
delivery of Black Hawk helicopters to Amman that are used to take 
terrorists off the battlefield, helping to keep both our nations safer.
  The bill before us today ensures that Jordan continues to get this 
critical military assistance, but it does more than that. It also 
ensures that Jordan gets the economic support it needs to care for over 
1 million Syrian refugees now living in Jordan as a result of the war 
next door. This influx has taken a huge toll on Jordan's resources.
  Today, we are helping ease that burden with emergency services, 
education, and access to clean water. In fact, Chairman Ros-Lehtinen 
and I had an opportunity just a few years ago to see firsthand a USAID 
project: a wastewater treatment facility that, today, is providing 
access to clean water for millions of Jordanians.
  This is the right thing to do both for America's strategic interests 
and for American values. Jordan's stability is vital to regional 
stability. Our commitment to an enduring strategic partnership with 
Jordan is critical to our mission of defeating ISIS, caring for the 
victims of war, and pursuing end-of-conflict agreements throughout the 
Middle East.
  Mr. Speaker, I want to again thank my colleagues for their bipartisan 
support of this piece of legislation, and I urge all of us to vote 
``yes'' for H.R. 2646.
  Mr. BRENDAN F. BOYLE of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the 
balance of my time.
  Mr. ROYCE of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my 
time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the 
gentleman from California (Mr. Royce) that the House suspend the rules 
and pass the bill, H.R. 2646, as amended.
  The question was taken; and (two-thirds being in the affirmative) the 
rules were suspended and the bill, as amended, was passed.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.

                          ____________________