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Public Statements

Statements on Introduced Bills and Joint Resolutions

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STATEMENTS ON INTRODUCED BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS -- (Senate - November 19, 2004)

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By Mr. McCONNELL (for himself and Mr. LUGAR):

S. 3016. A bill to promote freedom, economic growth, and security in Asia, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Foreign Relations.

Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, today I introduce, along with my good friend from Indiana, the "Asia Freedom Act of 2004".

We offer this bill with the full knowledge that it will neither be considered nor voted upon by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations before the 108th Congress ends. Rather, we intend today's introduction to mark what we hope is the start of broader discussion between our respective offices and the Administration on America's foreign policy toward Asia.

The Act is based on the Freedom Support Act for the Former Soviet Union and provides an integrated and coherent framework for U.S. policy toward North and Southeast Asia. It creates 10 broad development activities for the region-ranging from democracy to security and the environment-and endorses the establishment of a coordinator of assistance to the region at the State Department, and a deputy coordinator at USAID.

The Act defines eligibility requirements for U.S. foreign assistance for central governments in the region based on their respective commitments to, among other things, the advancement of freedom and justice and efforts to crack down on international terrorism. It requires the State Department to judge central governments of countries in the region not by what they say, but rather by the concrete actions they undertake to further democracy, security and stability in the region.

The Act requires a number of annual reports, including a description of democracy building activities conducted by the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and other countries and institutions, and a listing on a country-by-country basis of known political prisoners.

Taking a cue from President Bush's January 12, 2004 proclamation denying current and former corrupt public officials entry into the United States, the Act provides authority for the Secretary of Homeland Security to deny visas to those officials in the region whose actions have had an adverse impact on the advancement of democracy, human rights, the rule of law and economic freedom in the region.

the Act is necessary to ensure that appropriate and continuous attention is paid by the U.S. Congress and the Administration to the march of political and economic freedom across Asia. Much ground has been gained over the past year, particularly with successful presidential and parliamentary elections in Indonesia, but more must be done, whether in Burma, Cambodia or Thailand.

In short, the Asia Freedom Act guarantees America's focus, foreign policy and foreign assistance are targeted toward an increasingly important region of the world.

Mr President, I ask unanimous consent that the text of the bill be printed in the RECORD.

There being no objection, the bill was ordered to be printed in the RECORD, as follows:

S. 3016

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 "Asia Freedom Act of 2004".

SEC. 2. STATEMENT OF POLICY.

Liberty is a universal and inalienable right, and, in light of the progress of the people of North and South East Asia in achieving political, economic, and legal reforms, the advancement of democracy, human rights, the rule of law, and economic freedom in North and South East Asia is and will remain a central objective of United States foreign policy.

SEC. 3. DEFINITION OF NORTH AND SOUTH EAST ASIA.

In this Act, the term "North and South East Asia" means Burma, Cambodia, the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Mongolia, the People's Republic of China, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Brunei, Papua New Guinea, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Thailand, Taiwan, the Republic of the Fiji Islands, the Independent State of Samoa, the Solomon Islands, the Kingdom of Tonga, Tuvalu, the Republic of Nauru, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Vanuatu, and Tibet.

SEC. 4. PURPOSE.

The purpose of this Act is to promote regional peace and stability in North and South East Asia and enhance the security of the United States by-

(1) fostering improved living conditions for, and the economic well-being of, the people of North and South East Asia;

(2) supporting freedom, human rights, and justice in North and South East Asia;

(3) countering international terrorism and regional narcotics trafficking in North and South East Asia; and

(4) expanding free markets in North and South East Asia.

SEC. 5. ASSISTANCE FOR NORTH AND SOUTH EAST ASIA.

The President is authorized to provide assistance to North and South East Asia for the following purposes:

(1) HUMANITARIAN NEEDS.-Meeting humanitarian needs arising from manmade or natural disasters and crises.

(2) DEMOCRACY, HUMAN RIGHTS, AND THE RULE OF LAW.-Establishing and facilitating democratic and free societies, including by-

(A) fostering political, social, and economic pluralism;

(B) fostering respect for internationally recognized human rights and the rule of law, including the rights of people with disabilities;

(C) encouraging the development of institutions of democratic governance, including electoral, legislative, and judicial processes;

(D) fostering the institution and improvement of public administration at the national, intergovernmental, regional, and local levels;

(E) assisting in the development of, and providing ongoing support to, grassroots and nongovernmental organizations that promote democracy, the rule of law, human rights, and accountability and transparency in the political process;

(F) encouraging international exchanges, other forms of public diplomacy, and the use of the Internet to promote greater understanding and appreciation of democracy, the rule of law, human rights, the public policy process, market institutions, and the role of an independent judiciary in democratic societies;

(G) supporting political parties and coalitions that are committed to promoting democracy, human rights, the rule of law, and economic reforms;

(H) fostering the growth of civic organizations that are committed to promoting and defending human rights;

(I) promoting respect for human rights and civil liberties in military and security forces;

(J) promoting the development of effective control by elected civilian officials over, and the development of, a nonpolitical officer corps in military and security forces;

(K) fostering strengthened administration of justice through programs and activities carried out by nongovernmental organizations, civic organizations, and political parties; and

(L) supporting the development and promulgation of laws and regulations that increase accountability and transparency in governance, including asset disclosure for senior public officials and candidates for political office.

(3) FREE AND INDEPENDENT MEDIA.-Developing free and independent media, including-

(A) supporting all forms of independent media reporting, including print, radio, and television;

(B) providing special support for, and public access to, nongovernmental Internet-based sources of information, dissemination, and reporting, including the provision of technical and other support for web-based radio services and the provision of computers and other necessary resources and training related to the Internet;

(C) providing training in journalism, including investigative journalism techniques that educate the public on the costs of corruption; and

(D) establishing exchange programs for journalists, including journalists affiliated with democratic political parties.

(4) FREE MARKET SYSTEMS.-Creating and supporting private enterprise and free market systems based on the principles of private ownership of property, including through support for-

(A) the development of private cooperatives, credit unions, labor unions, and microfinance lending institutions;

(B) the improvement of the collection and analysis of statistical information;

C) the reform and restructuring of banking and financial systems;

(D) the protection of intellectual property rights;

(E) the development of protocols and safeguards against money laundering and other illicit financial activities, including those relating to regional terrorism and the production and trafficking of narcotics; and

(F) the promotion of trade and investment.

(5) SECURITY.-Developing professional military and police forces capable of countering terrorism, narcotics, and other illicit activities, and ensuring civilian control and oversight of military and police forces.

(6) SOCIAL PROGRAMS.-Investing in education, health, and other social programs, including for disenfranchised communities.

(7) ENVIRONMENT.-Promoting the sustainable use of natural resources and protecting the environment in both urban and rural areas.

(8) POLITICAL OPPOSITION.-Safeguarding and supporting democratic and viable political opposition.

(9) PARLIAMENTARY EXCHANGES.-Promoting exchanges between democratic legislators and reformers in North and South East Asia and members of Congress.

(10) MIGRATION.-Protecting and caring for refugees, displaced persons, and other migrants, addressing the root causes of migration, and promoting the development of appropriate immigration and emigration laws and procedures.

SEC. 6. COORDINATION OF ASSISTANCE.

(a) COORDINATOR OF ASSISTANCE.-

(1) ESTABLISHMENT OF POSITION.-Congress strongly urges the President to designate, within the Department of State, a coordinator of assistance, and within the United States Agency for International Development, a deputy coordinator of assistance, to be responsible for-

(A) designing an overall strategy to advance the mutual interests of the United States and North and South East Asia;

(B) ensuring program and policy coordination among agencies of the United States government in carrying out assistance activities under this Act;

C) pursuing coordination with other countries and international organizations with respect to assistance to North and South East Asia; and

(D) ensuring that United States assistance programs for North and South East Asia are established and carried out in a manner consistent with this Act.

(2) RANK AND STATUS.-An individual designated as coordinator of assistance under paragraph (1) shall have the rank and status of ambassador.

(b) COORDINATION OF ACTIVITIES.-The coordinator of assistance under subsection (a) shall carry out activities described in that subsection in coordination and consultation with officials as follows:

(1) EXPORT PROMOTION ACTIVITIES.-In the case of activities relating to the promotion of exports of United States goods and services to North and South East Asia, the Secretary of Commerce who, in the role of Chair of the Trade Promotion Coordination Committee, shall retain primary responsibility for the coordination of such activities.

(2) INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES.-In the case of activities relating to United States participation in international financial institutions, and to organization of multilateral efforts aimed at currency stabilization, currency convertibility, debt reduction, and comprehensive economic reform programs, with respect to North and South East Asia, the Secretary of the Treasury who, in the role of Chair of the National Advisory Council on International Monetary and Financial Policies and as the United States governor of international financial institutions, shall retain primary responsibility for the coordination of such activities.

(3) MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORPORATION.-In the case of activities relating to the provision of United States assistance for North and South East Asia through the Millennium Challenge Corporation, the Secretary of State who, in the role of Chair of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, shall retain primary responsibility for the coordination of such activities.

(4) HIV/AIDS.-In the case of activities relating to the provision of United States assistance for HIV/AIDS prevention and related activities for North and South East Asia, the Coordinator for United States Government Activities to Combat HIV/AIDS Globally who shall retain primary responsibility for the coordination of such activities.

(5) TIBET.-In the case of activities relating to Tibet, the Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues.

SEC. 7. ELIGIBILITY FOR ASSISTANCE.

(a) IN GENERAL.-In carrying out the responsibilities described in section 6, including the providing of assistance, the coordinator of assistance designated under that section shall take into account the extent to which the central governments in North and South East Asia are-

(1) making progress toward, and is committed to the comprehensive implementation of, a democratic system of government based on the rule of law, individual freedoms, and representative government determined by free and fair elections;

(2) making progress toward, and is committed to the comprehensive implementation of, economic reform based on market principles, private ownership, and integration in the global economy, including the implementation of the legal and policy frameworks necessary for such reform (including protection of intellectual property rights and respect for contracts);

(3) respecting internationally recognized human rights, including the rights of minorities and the rights of freedom of religion and of emigration;

(4) denying support for acts of international terrorism and cooperating with the United States to combat international terrorism;

(5) respecting international law and obligations, refraining from the threat of use of force, and demonstrating a commitment to settling disputes peacefully;

(6) cooperating in seeking peaceful resolution of ethnic and regional conflicts;

(7) implementing responsible security policies, including-

(A) reducing military forces and expenditures to a level consistent with legitimate defense requirements;

(B) working to eliminate the proliferation of nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons, and related delivery systems and technologies; and

(C) restraining conventional arms transfers; and

(8) taking constructive actions to protect the international environment, prevent significant transnational pollution, and promote the sustainable use of natural resources.

(b) DETERMINATION OF INELIGIBILITY.-

(1) RESTRICTIONS.-Except as described under paragraph (2), no funds authorized to be appropriated to carry out the provisions of this Act may be made available for assistance for any central government in North and South East Asia if the Secretary of State determines that such government-

(A) is engaged in a consistent pattern of violations of internationally recognized human rights or international law;

(B) has, on or after the date of the enactment of this Act, knowingly provided financial or other support to terrorist groups, terrorists, or narcotics traffickers; or

(C) has, on or after the date of the enactment of this Act, transferred any material, equipment, or technology that the government knew or had reason to know would be used by any country or international terrorist group to manufacture any weapon of mass destruction, including nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons.

(2) EXCEPTION.-The restrictions described under paragraph (1) do not apply to funds made available for the promotion of democracy, human rights, and exchanges.

(c) OTHER RESTRICTIONS.-None of the funds authorized to be appropriated by this Act may be made available for assistance for any central government in North and South East Asia that is otherwise prohibited from receiving such assistance.

(d) SUSPENSION OR TERMINATION OF ASSISTANCE FOR NATIONAL SECURITY REASONS.-The Secretary of State may suspend or terminate assistance under this Act in whole or in part to a country or entity in North and South East Asia if the Secretary determines that the country or entity is engaged in activities that are contrary to the national security interests of the United States.

SEC. 8. SECURITY ASSISTANCE.

There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of section 23 of the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2763) and section 541 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2347) to enhance security in Asia, including in Cambodia, Brunei, the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Taiwan.

SEC. 9. INSTITUTE FOR REFORM IN ASIA.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, there are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary for assistance for an institute for reform in Asia, which shall be located in Hong Kong, for the purpose of advancing democracy, human rights, and the rule of law in North and South East Asia in cooperation with an indigenous organization in that region that is committed to the principles of freedom and justice.

SEC. 10. ADDITIONAL AUTHORITIES AND LIMITATIONS.

(a) LAW ENFORCEMENT.-Notwithstanding section 660 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2420), and except as otherwise provided for in this Act, assistance for law enforcement forces under this Act may be provided for police, counterterrorism, and other law enforcement forces in North and South East Asia.

(b) PROMOTION OF COMPETITIVE ELECTIONS.-

(1) IN GENERAL.-Assistance may be provided under this Act to foreign political parties or organizations for the purpose of increasing competition in elections in countries in North and South East Asia where a nondemocratic, ruling political party controls or exercises significant influence over national or local electoral bodies, print and electronic media, the judiciary, or national and local security forces, including the police and military, to the detriment of a democratic opposition.

(2) LIMITS ON ASSISTANCE.-None of the funds provided to a foreign political party or organization pursuant to paragraph (1) may be used as-

(A) a cash grant;

(B) payment for salaries, fees, or honoraria to any candidate, political party leader, or campaign official during the campaign period; or © payment to individuals for the purpose of influencing votes.

(c) POLITICAL TRANSITIONS.-The Secretary of State shall make available additional assistance under this Act for countries and entities in North and South East Asia that successfully complete the transition from an authoritarian regime or government to a democratic government.

(d) TAIWAN AND THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA.-Amounts made available under this Act for assistance for Taiwan and the Republic of Korea for the purposes of furthering political and legal reforms shall only be made available to the extent that such amounts are matched by funds from sources other than the United States Government.

SEC. 11. ACCOUNTABILITY FOR FUNDS.

Any agency managing and implementing an assistance program for North and South East Asia under this Act shall maintain an accounting of any funds made available to it for such program.

SEC. 12. ANNUAL REPORTS.

(a) SUMMARY OF ACTIVITIES.-Not later than January 31, 2005, and annually thereafter, the coordinator of assistance designated under section 6 shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report containing-

(1) a list of activities undertaken by the Department of State, the United States Agency for International Development, and the Department of the Treasury to advance democracy, human rights, the rule of law, and economic freedom in North and South East Asia;

(2) a description of assistance provided by international financial institutions and countries, including the European Union, the United Nations, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand, to advance democracy, human rights, and the rule of law in North and South East Asia;

(3) an analysis, on a country-by-country basis, of obstacles to the advancement of democracy, human rights, the rule of law, and economic growth and freedom in North and South East Asia, including barriers to increased popular participation in political and economic decisionmaking; and

(4) an analysis of actions undertaken by the Government of the People's Republic of China, including the People's Liberation Army, to exert its political and economic influence throughout the region.

(b) POLITICAL PRISONERS.-Not later than January 31, 2005, and annually thereafter, the Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report setting forth the names and locations of known political prisoners, on a country-by-country basis, in North and South East Asia.

(C) CHILD SOLDIERS.-Not later than January 31, 2005, and annually thereafter, the coordinator of assistance shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report-

(1) describing the use of child soldiers in North and South East Asia; and

(2) detailing the efforts of the United States Government to raise and debate in the United Nations Security Council the issue of the use of child soldiers.

SEC. 13. DENIAL OF VISAS.

(a) IN GENERAL.-The Secretary of Homeland Security may deny visas and entry to the following individuals:

(1) Any public official or former public official, including any military or police official, who has been credibly alleged to have solicited or accepted any article of monetary value or other benefit in exchange for any act or omission in their performance of their public functions, which has had a serious adverse effect on the advancement of democracy, human rights, the rule of law, and economic freedom in North and South East Asia.

(2) Any person whose provision of, or offer to provide, an article of monetary value or other benefit to any public official, including military and police officials, in exchange for any act or omission in the performance of such official's public functions has had a serious adverse effect on democracy, human rights, the rule of law, and economic freedom in North and South East Asia.

(3) Any public official, former public official, or other person who has been credibly alleged to have misappropriated funds or interfered with the judicial, electoral, or other public processes, which has had a serious adverse effect on the advancement of democracy, human rights, the rule of law, and economic freedom in North and South East Asia.

(4) Any spouse, child, or dependent household member of a person described in paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of this subsection who is the direct beneficiary of any article of monetary value or other benefit obtained by such person.

(b) DATABASE.-The Secretary of State shall maintain and regularly update a database of individuals who may be denied visas under subsection (a).

SEC. 14. SENSE OF CONGRESS ON DEMOCRACY FUNDS.

It is the sense of Congress that any democracy fund established by the United Nations in response to the September 21, 2004, speech by President George W. Bush to the United Nations General Assembly should be known as the "Daw Aung San Suu Kyi Democracy Fund".

SEC. 15. ASSISTANCE AUTHORITIES.

There are authorized to be appropriated for fiscal year 2005 such sums as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this Act.

SEC. 16. OTHER DEFINITIONS.

In this Act:

(1) APPROPRIATE CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEES.-The term "appropriate congressional committees" means the Committees on Foreign Relations and Appropriations of the Senate and the Committees on International Relations and Appropriations of the House of Representatives.

(2) CHILD SOLDIER.-The term "child soldier" means a person below the age of 18 years (unless, under the law applicable to the person, majority is attained earlier) that is part of an armed group affiliated with, or the armed forces of, a national government.

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