Bipartisan Bills from House Foreign Affairs Committee to Address Border Problems in Markup

Chairman Eliot L. Engel (right) and other Democrats visit the border during a recent recess

NOTE: All bills were passed in this meeting for markups. (See bottom for tweets and Markup). There are five amendments to the markup. We will blog this tomorrow.

Today in opening remarks, Chairman Eliot L. Engel urged his fellow Representatives of the “full committee on markups” to support the nine (9) propsed bills (H.R. 2615, H.R. 2744, H.R. 598, H.R. 2140, H.R. 2023, H.R. 2046, H.Res. 129, H.Res. 372, H.Res. 345). To be clear, the “markups” is an effort by the committee to gather more support for the bills already voted out for approval by the House. The “markups” allows other members of the House to add to these bills.

Included in the pack are two (2) Bills that offer solutions to the current border crisis. The two bills are Northern Triangle Enhanced Engagement Act and the USAID Branding Modernization Act. This comes in a flurry of proposed legislation – where the Main Stream Media (both left and right) are ignoring some efforts of some in favor of headlines. To be clear, both the Senate and House have bi-partisan efforts, but those bi-partisan efforts are being ignored.

The two (2) House Bills, implicitly tied together, are the latest in the hardball politics from the hill. As blogged earlier, The bill does address the problem with some helpful tools, but at the cost of administrative power; as an example


  • Puts in place targeted visa bans and asset freezes on individuals who are determined to be engaged in acts of corruption impacting the Northern Triangle countries.


  • Requires advance notification to Congress on security assistance to Northern Triangle countries, regardless of the dollar amount for the following three years.

In the press release, Representative Engel was quoted. His remarks on the two (2) bills are as follows:

“I want to first mention the United States – Northern Triangle Enhanced Engagement Act, which I introduced with Ranking Member McCaul, to address the root causes of migration from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

“Mr. McCaul and I visited El Salvador in March just as the Trump Administration announced that it was cutting off assistance to the Northern Triangle countries.

“We saw firsthand the positive impact that U.S. foreign assistance is having in creating much-needed opportunities and stemming violence in those countries. We need to continue to invest in a safer and more prosperous Central America, to create more opportunities for the people living there. This bill does just that by authorizing $577 million in assistance for Central America.

“This is a good bill, and I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting it. Providing foreign assistance helps both people who are in need and furthers our foreign policy objectives. In El Salvador, when Mr. McCaul and I visited programs that teach young adults software engineering, it gave me such pride to see the USAID logo, which was visible to all.

“So, I’m pleased to support the USAID Branding Modernization Act, a bill I’m proud to cosponsor with Mr. McCaul. This legislation affirms the obligation to brand foreign assistance, as appropriate, and requires a comprehensive review to ensure that USAID-funded projects are appropriately branded in the field.

“Human rights, democracy and the rule of law are core American values and should underpin everything we do overseas. So, I’m glad we are considering a number of bills today that promote human rights and freedom of expression.


Engel Remarks at Full Committee Markup of H.R. 2615, H.R. 2744, H.R. 598, H.R. 2140, H.R. 2023, H.R. 2046, H.Res. 129, H.Res. 372, H.Res. 345
May 22, 2019



MARKUP NOTICE: H.R. 2615, H.R. 2744, H.R. 598, H.R. 2140, H.R. 2023, H.R. 2046, H.Res. 129, H.Res. 372, H.Res. 345

  • Omar amendment #23 to H.R. 2615
  • Sires amendment #11 to H.R. 2615
  • Wagner amendment #19 to H.R. 2615
  • Engel amendment #50 to H.R. 2615
  • McCaul amendment #23 to H.R. 2615