Elie Wiesel Act Passes Out Of U.S. Congress

important anti-atrocity legislation is now on the President's desk

Posted by Mark Hackett on December 22nd, 2018

Yesterday, The Elie Wiesel Act was passed out of the United States Congress following a landslide House vote. This is a moment our organization and 600+ of our supporters in Tennessee helped make possible. Last update, we mentioned that because of your advocacy the bill was amended and passed out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and United States Senate.

Late Friday afternoon, the House voted 367-4 to send The Elie Wiesel Act to the President so it could be signed into law. 

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What The Bill Does

S. 1158 is new federal legislation that helps ensure the U.S. government has the tools, training, and funding needed to save lives and promote peace when it becomes apparent that serious mass atrocity threats are emerging on foreign soil. Specifically, this legislation:

  • Affirms that atrocity prevention is in the U.S. national interest;
  • Calls on the government to pursue a government-wide strategy to: strengthen U.S. diplomatic, risk analysis/monitoring, early warning, and response capacities around atrocity crimes; improve the use of U.S. foreign assistance to address the root causes of violent conflict; strengthen support to transitional justice mechanisms and local civil society groups in countries at risk of or experiencing mass atrocities; support and strengthen local civil society, including human rights defenders and others working to help prevent and respond to atrocities; promote financial transparency and enhance anti-corruption initiatives as part of addressing causes of conditions that may lead to atrocities; and prioritize preventative diplomacy through unilateral, bilateral, and multilateral mechanisms;
  • Requires specialized training for Foreign Service Officers who will be deployed to a country experiencing or at risk of mass atrocities; and
  • Mandates annual reporting to Congress of the Executive Branch's efforts to prevent and respond to mass atrocities, provide an assessment of countries and regions at risk of such violence, and provide a report on Foreign Service Officer training.

Additional information about the bill and the full text can be found here

We would like to thank all of you for raising up your voices around this bill. A special thank you to Senator Corker for his leadership in seeing the Elie Wiesel Act moved through his committee and into the Senate. We would also like to thank Congressmen David Kustoff (R-TN) and Steve Cohen (D-TN) for cosponsoring the House version of this bill that passed that chamber in July, as well as for their yay votes on S.1158 yesterday 

S.1158 is now sitting on the President's desk for his signature or veto. 

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The people of Sudan are overcoming two of the greatest challenges facing humanity today: war and genocide. Operation Broken Silence is accelerating their ability to generate lasting change by funding storytelling and movement-building, education and emergency response, and grassroots advocacy programs. Here are a few ways you can join us:

1. Join The Renewal. This is our family of monthly givers who never stop pushing the needle forwards. They give automatically each and every month, providing consistent support to the education and healthcare programs we empower. Monthly givers who donate $25+ a month also get free tickets to our two annual events! LEARN MORE »

2. Double Your Impact. When you make a one-time gift to the new high school we are helping to open in Yida Refugee Camp, your gift will be matched by a small group of private donors! You can even give in honor of a loved one and send them a holiday e-card with your message of love. GIVE HERE » 

3. Email The White House About S.1158. The President has not signed this critical legislation into law yet. You can urge him to do so by emailing the White House asking him to sign the bill today. CONTACT THE WHITE HOUSE »

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