H.R. 1918 would require the President to oppose certain loans by international financial institutions that would benefit the government of Nicaragua until he can certify that the government of that country is taking effective steps to combat corruption and promote democracy, free speech, civil society and rule of law. Specifically the bill:
- States that it is U.S. policy to support the rule of law and an independent judiciary and electoral council in Nicaragua; independent pro-democracy organizations in Nicaragua; free, fair, and transparent elections under international and domestic observers in Nicaragua; and anti-corruption and transparency efforts in Nicaragua;
- Instructs the President to direct the U.S. executive directors at each international financial institution to use U.S. influence to oppose any loan for the government of Nicaragua’s benefit, other than those to promote human rights or democracy, unless the Department of State certifies that Nicaragua is taking effective steps to increase election integrity, promote democracy, strengthen the rule of law and respect freedom of association and expression;
- Requires the Treasury Department to submit a report to Congress on the effectiveness of these program safeguards in Nicaragua;
- Instructs the President to direct the U.S. Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States to use U.S. influence to advocate for an Electoral Observation Mission to be sent to Nicaragua in 2017;
- States that the Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development should prioritize foreign assistance to the people of Nicaragua to assist civil society in democracy and governance programs, including human rights documentation;
- Requires the Department of State to report on the corruption in Nicaragua, including the involvement of senior Nicaraguan government officials in acts of public corruption or human rights violations in Nicaragua.