Democratic Sr Senator; previously Representative (OH-13)
Allow Americans to travel to Cuba.
Brown co-sponsored allowing Americans to travel to Cuba
OnTheIssues.org explanation: The US government has forbidden US citizens from traveling to Cuba since the 1960s. Try booking a trip from Mexico City to Havana on travelocity.com (or any travel website) and it says, `Due to a U.S. government travel restriction we are unable to book this reservation.` You can, however, purchase that same ticket while in Mexico City, or anywhere else in the world. Sanford`s bill attempts to undo this long-standing situation.
OFFICIAL CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY:
Prohibits the President from regulating or prohibiting, directly or indirectly, travel to or from Cuba by US citizens, or any of specified transactions incident to such travel.
Declares that this prohibition does not authorize the importation into the US of any goods for personal consumption acquired in Cuba; &
The restrictions on the President`s authority do not apply in a case in which the US is at war with Cuba.
EXCERPTS FROM BILL:
FREEDOM OF TRAVEL FOR U.S. CITIZENS AND LEGAL RESIDENTS: The President shall not regulate or prohibit travel to or from Cuba by US citizens or legal residents.
TRANSACTIONS INCIDENT TO TRAVEL: The President shall not regulate any transactions ordinarily incident to travel to or from Cuba, including the importation into Cuba or the US of accompanied baggage; the payment of living expenses; or facilitation of travel to, from, or within Cuba.
EXCEPTION: The restrictions on authority contained in section 1 do not apply in a case in which the US is at war with Cuba, armed hostilities between the two countries are in progress, or there is imminent danger to the public health or the physical safety of United States travelers.
LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME: Referred to the House Committee on the Western Hemisphere; never called for a House vote.
Source: Cuba travel bill (H.R.4471) 00-HR4471 on May 16, 2000
Member of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus.
Brown is a member of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus
The Congressional Human Rights Caucus (CHRC) is a bipartisan group of Members of Congress in the United States House of Representatives that works to raise awareness about and combat human rights abuses throughout the world.
The caucus keeps members and their staff informed of opportunities to help through briefings on human rights topics and letter initiatives.
Source: Congressional Caucus Web site 01-CHRC0 on Jan 8, 2001
Multi-year commitment to Africa for food & medicine.
Brown co-sponsored the Hunger to Harvest bill:
In an effort to reduce hunger in sub-Saharan Africa, urges the President to:
set forth five-year and ten-year strategies to achieve a reversal of current levels of hunger and poverty in sub-Saharan Africa, including a commitment to contribute an appropriate U.S. share of increased bilateral and multilateral poverty-focused resources for sub-Saharan Africa, with an emphasis on health (including HIV-AIDS prevention and treatment), education, agriculture, private sector and free market development, democratic institutions and the rule of law, micro-finance development, and debt relief;
work with the heads of other donor countries and sub-Saharan African countries and with private and voluntary organizations and other civic organizations to implement such strategies; and calls for
Congress to undertake a multi-year commitment to provide the resources to implement those strategies; and
the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development to report on such implementation.
Source: House Resolution Sponsorship 01-HCR102 on Apr 4, 2001
Impose sanctions and an import ban on Burma.
Brown co-sponsored imposing sanctions and an import ban on Burma
A bill to impose sanctions on officials of the State Peace and Development Council in Burma, to prohibit the importation of gemstones and hardwoods from Burma, & to promote a coordinated international effort to restore civilian democratic rule to Burma.
(The two Senate versions currently differ in wording). The Saffron Revolution Support Act states that it is U.S. policy to:
support the democratic aspirations of Burma`s people;
condemn the repression carried out by the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC); and
hold accountable individuals responsible for the repression of peaceful political activity in Burma.
Directs the President to submit to the appropriate congressional committees a list of:
SPDC officials who play or have played a substantial role in political repression in Burma or in the commission of human rights abuses;
Subjects persons so identified to U.S. entry prohibition and financial sanctions.
Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003 to prohibit the importation into the US of Burmese gems, teak, or other hardwood timber.
Prohibits any U.S. person or corporation from investing in Burma.
Introductory statement by Sponsor:
Sen. McCAIN. The world has reacted with horror and revulsion at the Burmese junta`s recent brutal crackdown against peaceful demonstrators. In crushing the Saffron Revolution, killing hundreds and jailing thousands, including countless Buddhist monks, the junta has left no doubt about its blatant disregard for basic human decency. We, as Americans, stand on the side of freedom, not fear; of peace, not violence; and of the millions in Burma who aspire to a better life, not those who would keep them isolated and oppressed. Our response must go beyond statements of condemnation, and the time to act is now. This legislation imposes meaningful and effective punitive action against the cruel, thuggish, and illegitimate Burmese government.
Source: Burma Democracy Promotion Act (S.2257 & S.2172) 07-S2257 on Oct 29, 2007
Implement Darfur Peace Agreement with UN peacekeeping force.
Brown co-sponsored implementing Darfur Peace Agreement with UN peacekeeping force
A resolution calling for peace in Darfur.
Calls upon the government of Sudan and other signatories and non-signatories to the May 5, 2006, Darfur Peace Agreement to cease hostilities.
Calls upon the government of Sudan to facilitate the deployment of the United Nations-African Union peacekeeping force, including any non-African peacekeepers.
Urges all invited individuals and movements to attend the next round of peace negotiations without preconditions.
Condemns: (1) intimidation or threats against camp or civil society leaders to discourage them from attending the peace talks; and (2) actions by any party that undermines the Darfur peace process.
Calls upon all parties to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement to support all terms of the agreement.
Legislative Outcome: Resolution agreed to in Senate, by Unanimous Consent.
Rated +1 by AAI, indicating a mixed Arab/Palestine voting record.
Brown scores +1 by AAI on Arab-Israeli issues
The Arab American Institute has compiled a Scorecard to catalogue the voting record of the 112th Congress on issues of importance to the Arab American community. Though not comprehensive, we have attempted to provide a snapshot of legislation concerning many of the primary issues concerning Arab Americans. For the Senate, we have included 10 items: two bills on the Arab Spring, three on Palestine, one on Lebanon, one regarding civil liberties, and two for immigration reform.
S. Res. 44: (+) calls on former President Hosni Mubarak to immediately begin a peaceful transition to a democratic political system
S. Res. 109: (+) honoring and supporting women in North Africa and the Middle East
S. Res. 138: (-) calling on the United Nations to rescind the Goldstone report, formally known as the UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, which accused the Israeli government of targeting Palestinian civilians.
S. Res. 185: (-) reaffirming the commitment of the US to a
negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and calling for a US veto of any UN resolution on Palestinian statehood without a settlement.
S. Con. Res. 23: (-) supporting Israel in maintaining defensible borders, and against Israel returning to the armistice lines that existed on June 4, 1967
S. 558: (+) the Cluster Munitions Civilian Protection Act, to limit the use of cluster munitions in areas normally inhabited by civilians.
S. 1125: (+) greater judicial review of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), and greater protections to individuals being monitored or gag-ordered by the FBI.
S.1038, the PATRIOT Sunsets Extension Act, in opposition of PATRIOT Act extension.
S. 723: (-) The Birthright Citizenship Act, limiting citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants born in the US.
S. 952: (+) the DREAM Act, allowing undocumented minors to become US citizens, provided they meet certain conditions, including good moral character
Vigorous support for State of Israel against Hamas in Gaza.
Brown co-sponsored Resolution for Israeli Self-Defense
RESOLUTION expressing vigorous support and unwavering commitment to the welfare, security, and survival of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state with secure borders:
Whereas Hamas was founded with the stated goal of destroying the State of Israel;
Whereas Hamas refuses to recognize Israel`s right to exist, renounce violence, and accept previous agreements between Israel and the Palestinians;
Whereas terrorists in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip have fired approximately 900 rockets and missile shells into Israel this year, an increase from roughly 675 attacks in 2011 and 350 in 2010;
Whereas Israel, a fellow democracy, has an inherent right to self defense in the face of terrorist attacks:
Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the Congress:
expresses unwavering commitment to the security of the
State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state with secure borders, and recognizes and strongly supports its inherent right to act in self-defense to protect its citizens against acts of terrorism;
reiterates that Hamas must end Gaza-linked terrorist rocket and missile attacks against Israel, recognize Israel`s right to exist, renounce violence, and agree to accept previous agreements between Israel and the Palestinians;
urges the UN Security Council to condemn the recent spike in Gaza-linked terrorist missile attacks against Israel, which risk causing civilian casualties in both Israel and Gaza; and
encourages the President to continue to work diplomatically with the international community to prevent Hamas and other Gaza-based terrorist organizations from retaining or rebuilding the capability to launch rockets and missiles against Israel.
Disallow Palestine from joining ICC to threaten Israel.
Brown signed disallowing Palestine from joining ICC to threaten Israel
Excerpts from Letter from 73 Senators to Secretary of State Kerry We are deeply concerned by the decision of the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to seek membership in the International Criminal Court (ICC), because the Palestinian Authority is not a state and its express intent is to use this process to threaten Israel.
Pres. Abbas` effort contravene the spirit of earlier agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and erodes the prospect for peace. Therefore, the US must make clear that joining the ICC is not a legitimate or viable path for Palestinians.
Israel is a major strategic partner of the US and is facing increasing pressure from those who seek to delegitimize its very existence. The only realistic and sustainable path to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is through direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
Supporting argument: (Heritage Foundation, `U.S. Should Not Join the ICC,` Aug. 18, 2009):
The ICC prosecutor is exploring a request by the Palestinian National Authority to prosecute Israeli commanders for alleged war crimes committed during the recent actions in Gaza. Palestinian lawyers maintain that the Palestinian National Authority can request ICC jurisdiction as the de facto sovereign even though it is not an internationally recognized state. By countenancing Palestine`s claims, the ICC prosecutor has enabled pressure to be applied to Israel over alleged war crimes, while ignoring Hamas`s incitement of the military action and its commission of war crimes against Israeli civilians. Furthermore, by seemingly recognizing Palestine as a sovereign entity, the prosecutor`s action has created a pathway for Palestinian statehood without first reaching a comprehensive peace deal with Israel. This determination is an inherently political issue beyond the ICC`s authority.
Source: Palestinian Bid to ICC 14LTR-ICC on Jan 29, 2015
Two-state solution despite Israeli settlements on West Bank.
Brown signed two-state solution despite Israeli settlements on West Bank
Congressional Summary: S.Res.6/H.Res.11 objects to U.N. Security Council Resolution 2334, which characterizes Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem as illegal and demands cessation of settlement activities.
Calls for such resolution to be repealed or fundamentally altered and allows all final status issues toward a two-state solution to be resolved through direct bilateral negotiations between the parties.
Notes that granting membership and statehood standing to the Palestinians at the UN, its specialized agencies, and other international institutions outside of the context of a bilateral peace agreement with Israel would cause severe harm to the peace process.
Urges upholding the U.S. practice of vetoing all Security Council resolutions that recognize unilateral Palestinian actions or dictate terms and a time line for a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Reaffirms that it is U.S. policy to seek a sustainable, just, and secure two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Opposing argument: (Cato Institute, Dec. 19, 2003): In principle, separation seems the best answer to stop the killing. For this reason, a security fence makes sense--if it actually separates Jew from Arab. Unfortunately, to protect a number of disparate Israeli settlements erected in the midst of Palestinian communities, Israel currently is mixing Jew and Arab and separating Arab from Arab. Thus are sown the seeds for conflict. After 36 years of occupation, the land remains almost exclusively Arab. The limited Jewish presence is the result of conscious colonization. The settlements require a pervasive Israeli military occupation, imposing a de facto system of apartheid. Separation offers the only hope, but separation requires dismantling Israeli settlements.
Source: S.Res.6 & H.Res.11 17-SRes6 on Jan 3, 2017
Brown supports the CC survey question on supporting Israel
The Christian Coalition Voter Guide inferred whether candidates agree or disagree with the statement, 'The US Should Continue to Support and Stand with the Nation of Israel Against her Enemies '
Christian Coalition's self-description: "Christian Voter Guide is a clearing-house for traditional, pro-family voter guides. We do not create voter guides, nor do we interview or endorse candidates."
Source: Christian Coalition Surve 18CC-17 on Jul 1, 2018
Acknowledge the Armenian Genocide of the early 1900s.
Brown co-sponsored acknowledging the Armenian Genocide of the early 1900s
WHEREAS the Armenian Genocide was conceived and carried out by the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923, resulting in the deportation of nearly 2,000,000 Armenians, of whom 1,500,000 men, women, and children were killed, and which succeeded in the elimination of more than 2,500-year presence of Armenians in their historic homeland;
WHEREAS, on May 24, 1915, the Allied Powers issued the joint statement of England, France, and Russia that explicitly charged, for the first time ever, another government of committing `a crime against humanity`;
WHEREAS, despite the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide, the failure of the domestic and international authorities to punish those responsible for the Armenian Genocide is a reason why similar genocides have recurred and may recur in the future, and that a just resolution will help prevent future genocides:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Senate calls on the President, in the
President`s annual message commemorating the Armenian Genocide, to accurately characterize the systematic annihilation of 1,500,000 Armenians as genocide and to recall the proud history of US intervention in opposition to the Armenian Genocide.
Sen. DURBIN: The definition of `genocide` is `the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group.` Scholars agree that what the Armenian people suffered in 1915 to 1917 fits the definition of genocide. To date, 19 countries and 37 US states recognize the Armenian Genocide. Genocide is wrong. It is evil. It is evil whether its victims are Armenians, Sudanese, Rwandan Tutsis, Cambodians or European Jews. Not to acknowledge genocide for what it is denigrates the memory of its victims. Recognition of genocide is part of the healing process. Official recognition will reaffirm our tradition of protecting the vulnerable and inspire us to not stand by and watch as genocide occurs in our time.
Source: Armenian Genocide Resolution (S.RES.106/H.RES.106) 2007-SR106 on Mar 14, 2007
Develop a strategy to protect civilians in Darfur.
Brown co-sponsored developing a strategy to protect civilians in Darfur
A resolution calling on the United States Government and the international community to promptly develop, fund, and implement a comprehensive regional strategy in Africa to protect civilians, facilitate humanitarian operations, contain and reduce violence, and contribute to conditions for sustainable peace in eastern Chad, northern Central African Republic, and Darfur, Sudan.
Source: Darfur Resolution (S.RES.76) 2007-SR76 on Feb 8, 2007
Condemn violence by Chinese government in Tibet.
Brown co-sponsored condemning the violence by Chinese government in Tibet
A resolution condemning the violence in Tibet and calling for restraint by the Government of the People`s Republic of China and the people of Tibet. Calls for:
a dialogue between the government of China and His Holiness the Dalai Lama on religious and cultural autonomy for Tibet within China; and
release of peaceful protesters.
Calls on the PRC to:
respect the right of the people of Tibet to speak of the Dalai Lama and possess his photograph;
respect basic human rights;
allow international journalists free access to China; and
provide a full accounting of the March 2008 protests in Tibet.
Urges that the agreement permitting the PRC to open further diplomatic missions in the United States should be contingent upon establishment of a U.S. government office in Lhasa, Tibet.
Pressure friendly Arab states to end Israeli boycott.
Brown signed Schumer-Graham letter to Secy. Rice from 79 Congress members
Dear Secretary Rice, In the past, the lack of sufficient support from [non-participating] Arab states have made it difficult to reach agreements [on the Arab-Israeli conflict]. You should press friendly Arab countries that have not yet done so, to:
Participate in the upcoming international meeting and be a full partner of the US in advancing regional peace
Take visible, meaningful steps in the financial, diplomatic and political arena to help Palestinian President Abbas govern effectively and meet obligations to fight terror
Stop support for terrorist groups and cease all anti-Israel and anti-Jewish incitement
Recognize Israel`s right to exist and not use such recognition as a bargaining chip for future Israeli concessions
End the Arab League economic boycott of Israel in all of its forms
Pressure Hamas to recognize Israel, reject terror, and accept prior agreements, and isolate Hamas until it takes such steps.
Source: Schumer-Graham letter to Secy. Rice from 79 Congress members 2010-LT-AR on Oct 2, 2007