Case’s BLUE Pacific Act Provisions Expanding U.S. Commitments To Pacific Islands Added To Major House Foreign Policy Package
House Foreign Affairs Committee Includes Case’s Pacific Islands Caucus’ Initiatives in its Signature Ensuring American Global Leadership and Engagement (EAGLE) Act
Washington, July 20, 2021
(Washington, DC) – Congressman Ed Case (HI-01) reports that the House Committee on Foreign Affairs has included the bulk of his Boosting Long-Term U.S. Engagement in the Pacific (BLUE Pacific) Act in its major measure, the Ensuring American Global Leadership and Engagement (EAGLE) Act, as approved by the Committee last Thursday.
The EAGLE Act, H.R. 3524, is the U.S. House’s signature foreign policy initiative in the current 117th Congress.
It would reassert U.S. leadership and engagement across an all-government spectrum in non-defense programs. It was approved by the House Foreign Affairs Committee last Thursday after substantial debate.
H.R. 2967, the BLUE Pacific Act, establishes a long-term comprehensive strategy for U.S. engagement in the critical Pacific Islands region. The sections included as part of the EAGLE Act would:
· Expand U.S. diplomatic and development presence in the Pacific Islands;
· Require coordination of U.S. engagement, including security and development assistance, through a formal consultative process with regional partners, allies and multilateral institutions;
· Direct U.S. agencies to devise and implement a strategy to invest in climate resilient development projects, including by using the U.S. voice and vote at international financial institutions, and authorize $50 million per year for the next five years for this purpose;
· Expand coverage of the International Law Enforcement Academies program to the Pacific Islands;
· Establish a comprehensive strategy for U.S. security assistance to the Pacific Islands to enhance maritime security, address illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, tackle transnational crimes like human and drug trafficking, and more;
· Increase U.S. efforts to assist the Pacific Islands in addressing transnational crime through ratification and implementation of international legal instruments and enhanced action on illegal forestry and logging;
· Implement an emergency preparedness initiative for the Pacific Islands through education and training programs, technical assistance and more, and authorize $40 million per year for the next five years for this purpose; and
· Expand Peace Corps presence in the Pacific Islands.
Case introduced an initial version of the BLUE Pacific Act in the 116th Congress together with other members of his bipartisan Congressional Pacific Islands Caucus which he co-founded. More information on the Caucus is here: https://pacificislandscaucus-case.house.gov/.
The current version is substantially updated with further input from federal agencies as well as many of the countries of the Pacific. Case’s remarks on introduction of the BLUE Pacific Act https://case.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=356 .
“I welcome inclusion of much of the BLUE Pacific Act in the EAGLE Act, our House’s signature foreign policy package to reassert U.S. global leadership and engagement,” said Case.
“This sends a powerful message to our critical Pacific Islands partners and allies that our country values our relationships and intends to invest further in them and to continue as an active and engaged partner in pursuit of our shared interests and in defense of our shared values.”
Pending potential consideration by other committees of jurisdiction, the EAGLE Act will head to the full House for consideration.
· Meeks’ statement on last Thursday’s committee passage: https://foreignaffairs.house.gov/press-releases?ID=AEA032A8-D0A0-43A5-9775-4BE3B5D9C556
· Original press release on the bill: https://foreignaffairs.house.gov/press-releases?ID=411185A8-740D-4FD3-947D-E5A304D6CB27