Baltic Advocacy Days RecapMay 14, 2022
EANC Election Committee Announces 32* Candidates for the XXIII CouncilJune 9, 2022
Dear Baltic advocate,
It has been more than a month since our Baltic Advocacy Days 2022!
Thank you all once more for actively participating in our program, and we hope that you will continue to fight to support the common interests that concern our communities. Please keep us in mind as a resource for information about key points in the U.S.-Baltic agenda. Best wishes in your ongoing and future advocacy!
Thanks in small part to our efforts, there are several legislative items brought up during our advocacy days that have seen action. Here is an update about some of the measures brought up, including a new Baltic resolution introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.
- On May 21, President Biden signed a $40 billion aid package for Ukraine, with over half of that amount for security assistance, and the remaining largely directed to humanitarian and economic assistance programs.
- The Baltic Defense and Deterrence Act – the Senate version (S.3950, introduced by Senate Baltic Freedom Caucus co-chairs Richard Durbin and Chuck Grassley) currently has 17 co-sponsors, with Senator Jeff Merkley from Oregon joining as a direct result of our meeting with him and his staff during advocacy week. Senator Merkley has also joined in cosponsoring two other bills (S.4059 and S.2876). Thank you to the Oregon team for helping to make this happen! The House version of the BDDA (H.R.7290, introduced by House Baltic Caucus co-chairs Ruben Gallego and Don Bacon) now has ten co-sponsors, with most signing on in May. Rep. Chris Pappas of New Hampshire joined as a direct result of one of our advocacy day meetings. Thank you, New Hampshire team! In the meantime, JBANC has written to members of the House Baltic Caucus and House Armed Services committees, urging those members to co-sponsor the bill.
- Asset Seizure for Ukraine Reconstruction Act – the House version (H.R.6930) passed just prior to our advocacy days and the Senate version (S.3838) is still pending.
- The NATO “Backfill” bill (S.4059) – “A bill to require the Secretary of Defense to replace equipment provided to Ukraine by certain member countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.” This bill currently has three cosponsors, including Senator Merkley, as mentioned previously.
- The Ukraine Invasion War Crimes Deterrence and Accountability Act (H.R.7276) passed overwhelmingly in the House in April. During our advocacy days we were asking for Senate consideration of this measure. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is marking up the bill on June 9 during a business meeting. Stay tuned!
- The Transatlantic Telecommunications Security Act – H.R.3344 passed on April 27 with 35 cosponsors. The Senate bill, S.2876, currently has six cosponsors. JBANC is focusing on supporting a committee mark-up for this bill.
- A new resolution,“Recognizing 100 years of diplomatic relations between the United States and the Baltic States”(H.Res.1142), was introduced on May 27 by House Baltic Caucus co-chairs Don Bacon and Ruben Gallego, who both recently visited all three Baltic countries. The Senate version, S.Res.499, introduced by Senate Baltic Freedom Caucus co-chairs Richard Durbin and Chuck Grassley, passed in the House on May 26. JBANC reached out to SFRC members asking for their support in passing this. We are planning to reach out to the House side as well for their support for H.Res.1142.
Thank you once again,
Karl Altau, Managing Director of The Joint Baltic American National Committee, Inc.