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H.R. 1196 (115th): Counterterrorism Screening and Assistance Act of 2017

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Feb 16, 2017.

Counterterrorism Screening and Assistance Act of 2017

This bill expresses the sense of Congress that: (1) the U.S. government must ensure that capacity-building assistance to combat terrorist travel is coordinated among departments and agencies as well as with foreign implementing partners, and (2) such assistance should be prioritized for the highest-risk countries for travel by terrorists and foreign fighters.

The Department of State shall submit to Congress biennially a foreign partner engagement plan that catalogues existing capacity-building initiatives abroad to combat travel by terrorists and foreign fighters and identifies areas for adjustment to align efforts with risk-based priorities.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the State Department shall accelerate the provision of appropriate versions of the following systems to foreign governments:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection's global travel targeting and analysis systems; and the State Department's watchlisting, identification, and screening systems. DHS may provide, with specified exceptions, excess DHS nonlethal equipment and supplies (as well as related training) to a foreign government if that would:

further U.S. homeland security interests; and enhance the recipient government's capacity to mitigate the threat of terrorism, infectious disease or natural disaster, protect lawful trade and travel, or enforce intellectual property rights. DHS shall:

notify Congress before providing such systems, equipment, or supplies; and report to Congress annually through 2022 regarding foreign government efforts to combat terrorist and foreign fighter travel. The State Department may suspend non-humanitarian, non-trade-related foreign assistance to a foreign country identified in such a report as a country to which the minimum standards for serious and sustained efforts to combat terrorist and foreign fighter travel are applicable but whose government is not fully complying with such standards and is not making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance.