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Senate Advances Bills to Reauthorize State Department Programs

Senate Floor

On April 28, the Senate approved, by unanimous consent, S. 1635, the FY2016 Department of State Operations Authorization and Embassy Security Act, sponsored by Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN).

Among several other provisions, the bill would require the secretary of State to develop or update, and make public, a global strategy to address violence against women and girls globally. The measure would require the secretary to work with low- and middle-income countries that have “significant levels” of gender-based violence to address the issue.

The bill also would direct the secretary to convene an interagency working group to address international parental abductions and require the secretary to notify Congress of countries whose rankings in the annual human trafficking report will change.

Foreign Relations Committee

On April 28, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved the FY2017 Department of State Authorization Act (as-yet-unnumbered). Among other provisions, the bill, also sponsored by Sen. Corker, would require the secretary of State to develop a strategy to combat sexual abuse and exploitation by United Nations peacekeeping operations.

The legislation also would authorize the secretary of State to transmit electronically to visa applicants regulations under the Violence Against Women Act (P.L. 109-162).

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