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Calendar No. 284
110th Congress Report
1st Session 110-136
SUPPORT FOR DEMOCRACY AND HUMAN RIGHTS IN ZIMBABWE ACT OF 2007
July 24, 2007.--Ordered to be printed
Mr. Biden, from the Committee on Foreign Relations,
submitted the following
R E P O R T
[To accompany S. 1500]
The Committee on Foreign Relations, having had under
consideration the bill (S. 1500) to support democracy and human
rights in Zimbabwe, and for other purposes, reports favorably
thereon and recommends that the bill do pass.
II. Committee Action.................................................1
IV. Cost Estimate....................................................3
V. Evaluation of Regulatory Impact..................................4
VI. Changes in Existing Law..........................................4
The purpose of S. 1500 is to support democracy and human
rights in Zimbabwe.
II. Committee Action
S. 1500 was introduced by Senators Clinton, Feingold, and
Lugar on May 24, 2007. It is cosponsored by Senators Casey,
Dole, Durbin, Hagel, Kerry, Lieberman, and Sanders. On June 27,
2007, the committee ordered the bill reported favorably by
In recent months, the government of Zimbabwe has engaged in
a systematic and brutal crackdown against persons engaged in
peaceful political demonstrations as part of a broad pattern of
repression. Under President Robert Mugabe, the government has
violently repressed protestors, lawyers, journalists, and many
others. National elections are scheduled in Zimbabwe for 2008,
but President Mugabe remains on the ballot and his government
and party control the political process, often through acts of
extreme violence. Through its misrule, the government of
Zimbabwe has brought the country to the brink of economic
collapse and humanitarian disaster.
The Department of State has detailed violations of human
rights by the government of Zimbabwe including: restrictions on
freedom of assembly, movement, and association; forcible
evictions of civilians from their land; and the persecution and
physical abuse of members of the opposition, the media, the
religious community, civil society, and organized labor.
The United States, the United Nations, the European Union,
and many other voices for human rights have condemned the
violent repression of political freedoms in Zimbabwe and called
for free and fair elections in 2008. South African President
Thabo Mbeki has spearheaded an effort by the Southern African
Development Community (SADC) to mediate between the Mugabe
government and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.
S. 1500 seeks to promote the advancement of human rights
and democracy in Zimbabwe and to support efforts to resolve the
growing political and humanitarian crisis in that country. The
bill reviews Zimbabwe's economic and political decline amid
rising concern for the opposition and civil society. It briefly
reaffirms the longstanding policy of the United States ``to
support the people of Zimbabwe in their efforts to return
democracy and respect for human rights to their country and to
call on President Mugabe to immediately restore these rights.''
The bill expresses the sense of Congress commending President
Mbeki for his efforts to resolve this crisis and outlines some
objectives that the United States hopes will be achieved in
these talks between the government and the main opposition
leaders. The legislation also calls upon the United States to
work with regional and international partners to open political
space and support civil society, but to be prepared to impose
new punitive measures if the government of Zimbabwe continues
to violate fundamental rights and principles.
This legislation updates and sustains the Zimbabwe
Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001 while highlighting
the dramatic deterioration in Zimbabwe's economic and political
environment. It directs the Secretary of State to develop, and
present via quarterly congressional briefings, a comprehensive
U.S. strategy for engagement with Zimbabwe. These briefings are
to address needed resources, regional engagement, policy
options, and the identification of benchmarks in the promotion
of democracy and the protection of human rights that would
allow for the removal of targeted bilateral sanctions on
Zimbabwe and strengthened bilateral relations. The Secretary is
directed to develop this strategy in consultation with the
United Nations, the African Union, SADC, and other multilateral
organizations and interested states.
S. 1500 authorizes the appropriation of up to $10,000,000
to support democracy and governance activities in Zimbabwe
consistent with the provisions of the Zimbabwe Democracy and
Economic Recovery Act of 2001 (Public Law 107-99; 22 U.S.C.
2151 note), including support for free and fair elections,
support for civil society, and support for programs to defend
and protect human rights in Zimbabwe.
IV. Cost Estimate
In accordance with Rule XXVI, paragraph 11(a) of the
Standing Rules of the Senate, the committee provides this
estimate of the costs of this legislation prepared by the
Congressional Budget Office.
United States Congress,
Congressional Budget Office,
July 10, 2007.
Hon. Joseph R. Biden, Jr., Chairman,
Committee on Foreign Relations,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
Dear Mr. Chairman:
The Congressional Budget Office has prepared the enclosed
cost estimate for S. 1500, the Support for Democracy and Human
Rights in Zimbabwe Act of 2007.
If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Sam
Papenfuss, who can be reached at 226-2840.
Peter R. Orszag
cc: Hon. Richard G. Lugar, Ranking Minority Member
Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate
July 10, 2007.
S. 1500 would require the Secretary of State to provide
quarterly briefings to the Congress that would detail the
department's policies and plans for engaging with the country
of Zimbabwe, for three years from the date of enactment. The
bill also would authorize the appropriation of $10 million to
support free elections, reduce political violence, and create
programs to protect human rights in Zimbabwe.
Based on historical spending patterns for similar
activities, CBO estimates that implementing S. 1500 would cost
$2 million in 2008 and $10 million over the 2008-2012 period,
assuming appropriation of the authorized amount. Enacting the
bill would not affect direct spending or receipts.
S. 1500 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and
would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal
The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Sam Papenfuss,
who can be reached at 226-2840. This estimate was approved by
Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant Director for Budget
V. Evaluation of Regulatory Impact
Pursuant to Rule XXVI, paragraph 11(b) of the Standing
Rules of the Senate, the committee has determined that there is
no regulatory impact as a result of this legislation.
VI. Changes in Existing Law
In compliance with paragraph 12 of Rule XXVI of the
Standing Rules of the Senate, the committee notes that no
changes to existing law are made by this bill.