H. R. 1636
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
March 21, 2007
Mr. Visclosky (for himself, Mr. McCotter, Mr. Cohen, Mr. Dingell, Mr. Emanuel, Mr. Hastings of Florida, Mr. Higgins, and Mr. Lipinski) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs
To establish a United States-Poland parliamentary youth exchange program, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the
United States-Poland Parliamentary
Youth Exchange Program Act of 2007.
Congress makes the following findings:
The United States established diplomatic relations with the newly-formed Polish Republic in April 1919.
The United States and Poland have enjoyed close bilateral relations since 1989.
Poland became a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in March 1999.
Poland became a member of the European Union (EU) in May 2004.
Poland has been a strong supporter, both diplomatically and militarily, of efforts led by the United States to combat global terrorism and has contributed troops to the United States-led coalitions in both Afghanistan and Iraq.
Poland cooperates closely with the United States on such issues as democratization, nuclear proliferation, human rights, regional cooperation in Eastern Europe, and reform of the United Nations.
The United States and Poland seek to ensure enduring ties between both governments and societies.
It is important to invest in the youth of the United States and Poland in order to help ensure long-lasting ties between both societies.
It is in the interest of the United States to preserve a United States presence in Europe and to continue to contribute to the development of transatlantic relationships.
Poland for many years received international and United States financial assistance and is now determined to invest its own resources toward attaining its shared desire with the United States to develop international cooperation.
United States-Poland Parliamentary Youth Exchange Program
The Secretary of State, in cooperation with the Government of Poland, may establish and carry out a parliamentary exchange program for youth of the United States and Poland.
youth exchange program carried out under this subsection shall be known as the
United States-Poland Parliamentary Youth Exchange
The purpose of the youth exchange program is to demonstrate to the youth of the United States and Poland the benefits of friendly cooperation between the United States and Poland based on common political and cultural values.
An individual is eligible for participation in the youth exchange program if the individual—
is a citizen or national of the United States or of Poland;
is under the age of 19 years;
is a student who is enrolled and in good standing at a secondary school in the United States or Poland;
has been accepted for up to one academic year of study in a program of study abroad approved for credit at such school; and
meets any other qualifications that the Secretary of State may establish for purposes of the program.
Under the youth exchange program, eligible participants selected for participation in the program shall—
live in and attend a public secondary school in the host country for a period of one academic year;
while attending public school in the host country, undertake academic studies in the host country, with particular emphasis on the history, constitution, and political development of the host country;
be eligible, either during or after the completion of such academic studies, for an internship in an appropriate position in the host country; and
engage in such other activities as the President considers appropriate to achieve the purpose of the program.
Annual report to Congress
The Secretary of State shall submit to the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate an annual report on the United States-Poland Parliamentary Youth Exchange Program established under this Act. Each annual report shall include—
information on the implementation of the Program during the preceding year;
the number of participants in the Program during such year;
the names and locations of the secondary schools in the United States and Poland attended by such participants;
a description of the areas of study of such participants during their participation in the Program;
a description of any internships taken by such participants during their participation in the Program; and
a description of any other activities such participants carried out during their participation in the Program.
Authorization of appropriations
There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of State for fiscal year 2008 such sums as may be necessary to carry out the youth exchange program authorized by this Act.
Amounts authorized to be appropriated under subsection (a) are authorized to remain available until expended.