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S. 371 (115th): Department of State Authorities Act, Fiscal Year 2017, Improvements Act

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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 Dec 19, 2017.

Department of State Authorities Act, Fiscal Year 2017, Improvements Act This bill provides the House and Senate Appropriations Committees with oversight authority regarding congressional reports on: (1) high-risk diplomatic and consular posts, (2) embassy construction costs, (3) combating sexual exploitation in United Nations (U.N.) peacekeeping operations, (4) Department of State overseas staffing levels, and (5) reducing illicit drug supply and abuse in the Western Hemisphere. The bill provides such committees with oversight authority regarding the granting of consular immunity. The Department of State Authorities Act, Fiscal Year 2017 is amended regarding: (1) replacement of a specified reference to anti-Semitism with a reference to intolerance; (2) the definition of "change to the federal status" with respect to the Cuba Service and the Television Marti Service; (3) the report on the costs, strengths, and limitations of U.S. and U.N. peacekeeping operations; (4) U.N. peacekeeper training to reduce sexual exploitation; (5) the U.N. Secretary General; (6) Foreign Service entry; (7) completion of the Western Hemisphere Drug Policy Commission report; and (8) ransoms to foreign terrorist organizations. The United States is urged to use its influence to prohibit U.N. Human Rights Council membership to a country: (1) designated as a Tier 3 human trafficking country, or (2) identified as having failed to prevent or address gross violations of human rights. The President shall report to Congress regarding steps taken to encourage China to enter into a dialogue with the Dalai Lama, his representatives, or successor leading to a negotiated agreement on Tibet. The bill requires inclusion of the foreign affairs committees as recipients of the report made by the State Department before implementation of any reorganization of the department or the U.S. Agency for International Development.