House Passes Schneider, Smith Led Bill to Fill Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism
Today, the House of Representatives voted 410-1 to advance bipartisan legislation to elevate the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism at the U.S. State Department to the rank of Ambassador, and require the President to nominate a Special Envoy within 90 days of enactment. The Special Envoy position is currently vacant and has been so since the start of the Trump Administration.
Earlier this month, Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL) joined Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) to re-introduce H.R. 221, the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Act with Reps. Eliot Engel (D-NY), Peter King (R-NY), Marc Veasey (D-TX), Lee Zeldin (D-NY), Nita Lowey (D-NY), and Kay Granger (R-TX).
Schneider helped introduce a similar version in the 115th Congress, which also passed the House, but saw no action in the Senate.
Schneider urged action in his remarks in support of the legislation on the House floor:
“I am proud this House passed our bill overwhelmingly last Congress, but disappointed it saw no action in the Senate. I am pleased that this is a priority for the start of this new Congress. I hope the Senate will follow our lead to take up this important legislation. And I hope the President will take note of this strong bipartisan action and fill this long overdue vacancy.”
Specifically, the bill would elevate the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism to that of Ambassador, with Presidential appointment and Senate confirmation, require the Special Envoy to be a person of recognized distinction in the field of combating anti-Semitism, religious freedom, or law enforcement, direct the Special Envoy to report directly to the Secretary of State, and prohibit the Special Envoy from being tasked with another issue portfolio. The legislation also seeks to ensure the mandate of the Special Envoy is clear, to “serve as the primary advisor to, and coordinate efforts across, the United States Government relating to monitoring and combating anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic incitement that occur in foreign countries.”