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                                                       Calendar No. 284
110th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 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.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page

  I. Purpose..........................................................1
 II. Committee Action.................................................1
III. Discussion.......................................................1
 IV. Cost Estimate....................................................3
  V. Evaluation of Regulatory Impact..................................4
 VI. Changes in Existing Law..........................................4

                               I. Purpose

    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 
voice vote.

                            III. Discussion

    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,
                                                    Washington, DC.
                                                     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.
          Sincerely,
                                            Peter R. Orszag


Enclosure:


    cc: Hon. Richard G. Lugar, Ranking Minority Member

                                ------                                


               Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

                                                     July 10, 2007.

                                S. 1500

    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 
governments.
    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 
Analysis.

                   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.