December 8, 2022
Washington, DC – Representative Gregory W. Meeks, Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, today issued a statement celebrating the House passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY23.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee successfully included Chairman Meeks’ historic Burma Unified through Rigorous Military Accountability (BURMA) Act of 2022, the 2022 State Department authorization bill, and comprehensive global health security legislation into the annual defense authorization bill, among other key measures.
“I am very proud to have successfully included major House Foreign Affairs Committee priorities in this year’s NDAA.
“The inclusion of my bill, the BURMA Act, is a major victory for the people of Burma who are fighting for democracy, and is a critical step in holding the murderous Burmese military accountable. This bill also authorizes additional targeted sanctions on those responsible for the coup, those responsible for committing human rights abuses, and the state-owned companies bankrolling the junta.
“Resuming regular authorizing of the State Department and its activities has been my top legislative priority as Chairman – I’m proud that last year I was able to shepherd a State Department authorization bill into law for the first time in 18 years; we have continued that momentum, partnering with Senate colleagues to include the Department of State Authorization Act of 2022 in this year’s NDAA. This year’s reauthorization is instrumental in strengthening diversity, equity, and inclusion at the department—including through establishing a paid student internship program—and helping the Department address new and emerging issues by establishing a bureau dedicated to cyberspace and digital policy. It also includes additional key provisions that ensure our diplomats are able to engage with local populations around the world.
“Given the devastation that COVID-19 has caused in the United States and around the world, I am proud that this year’s NDAA includes the Global Health Security and International Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response Act by Congressman Connolly. This measure overhauls the United States’ global health security architecture to prevent and respond to future pandemics and other deadly infectious disease threats more effectively.
“I am also proud that HFAC successfully negotiated the inclusion of the Taiwan Enhanced Resilience Act, a historic legislative package that strengthens deterrence on the Taiwan Strait through additional security assistance and expands support for Taiwan in international organizations.
“I am disappointed that this year’s NDAA failed to include important provisions related to accountability for Saudi Arabia’s actions against dissidents and civil society, which, despite bipartisan support from Members of the House, Senate Republicans opposed for the second year in a row.
“From food security to pandemic prevention and preparedness, the existential threat of climate change, or threats to human rights around the world, the United States must be prepared to respond quickly and effectively. The legislation included by the House Foreign Affairs Committee in the NDAA makes important strides in addressing the many challenges facing U.S. foreign policy objectives.”
Summaries of all key HFAC provisions can be found here.