The Honorable Jack Reed
Chairman, Senate Armed Services Committee
The Honorable James Inhofe
Ranking Member, Senate Armed Services Committee
Re: Support for Including Six Bipartisan Anticorruption Measures in Forthcoming Defense Bill
Dear Chairman Reed and Ranking Member Inhofe,
As organizations and individuals who work to combat the abuse of power in the public and private sectors, we write to urge the Senate to include the six anticorruption measures passed by the House of Representatives as part of its National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 (“NDAA”) in the substitute amendment or the manager’s package to the Senate NDAA.
Corruption is a driver of violent extremism, mass migration, environmental degradation, and economic volatility around the world, and the lifeblood of transnational criminal organizations, human rights abusers, drug trafficking organizations, and authoritarian governments. From our collective experience working and living around the world, we believe these six measures would help expose and counteract corruption in all corners of the world, and would begin to treat the fight against corruption and kleptocracy as a true national security priority.
Each of these six bills is bipartisan, will significantly advance the core U.S. national security interest of fighting corruption, and, as demonstrated here and elsewhere, has the overwhelming support of organizations and prominent individuals committed to eradicating corruption. In particular, the bills are:
- The Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Reauthorization Act (S. 93), offered by Sen. Cardin (D-MD) with Sen. Wicker (R-MS) as an original cosponsor, and approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in June, would reauthorize and enhance the Global Magnitsky Act, a powerful anticorruption accountability tool focused on targeted individual sanctions;
- The Combating Global Corruption Act (CGCA) (S. 14, H.R. 4322), offered by Sen. Cardin (D-MD) with Sen. Young (R-IN) as an original cosponsor, and approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in June, would require the State Department to produce a public report that evaluates country-by-country compliance with internationally recognized anticorruption norms and standards, with corrupt officials in those countries that score in the lowest of three tiers being evaluated for inclusion on the Global Magnitsky list of sanctions designations;
- The “Navalny 35” (S. 2896) offered by Sen. Cardin (D-MD) with Sen. Wicker (R-MS) as an original cosponsor, would require the administration to evaluate for Global Magnitsky sanctioning the 35 human rights abusers and kleptocrats named by Russian political opposition leader Alexei Navalny;
- The TRAP Act (Transnational Repression Accountability and Prevention Act) (S. 1591, H.R. 4806), offered by Sen. Wicker (R-MS) with Sen. Cardin (D-MD) as an original cosponsor, would establish priorities of U.S. engagement at INTERPOL, identify areas for improvement in the U.S. government’s response to INTERPOL abuse, and protect the U.S. judicial system from abusive INTERPOL notices;
- The Justice for Victims of Kleptocracy Act (S. 2010, H.R. 3781), offered by Sens. Blumenthal (D-CT) and Rubio (R-FL), would create a public Department of Justice database that lists, by country, the total amount of assets stolen by corrupt foreign officials that has been successfully recovered by the United States; and
- The Foreign Corruption Accountability Act (H.R. 3887), offered by Sen. Blumenthal (D-CT) with Reps. Curtis (R-UT) and Malinowski (D-NJ) as original cosponsors in the House, would authorize visa bans on foreign persons who use state power to engage in acts of corruption against any private person.
These measures will enhance the U.S.’s ability to sanction corrupt actors, increase transparency, encourage cooperative anticorruption efforts among the U.S. and its allies, and provide actionable information to victims of corruption. On their own—but especially together—they can help provide strong new means of preventing and ameliorating some of the most harmful uses of corruption across the world.
We strongly urge the Senate to include each of these bipartisan anticorruption measures in the substitute amendment or the manager’s package to the Senate NDAA as quickly as possible.
Africa Faith and Justice Network
Anti-Corruption Data Collective
Bekker Compliance Consulting Partners, LLC
Campaign for America’s Future
Coalition for Integrity
Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency (FACT) Coalition
Human Rights First
Human Rights Foundation
Integrity Initiatives International
International Coalition Against Illicit Economies (ICAIE)
Never Again Coalition
Open Contracting Partnership
The Free Russia Foundation
Transparency International – U.S. Office
Ambassador (ret.) Stephen McFarland, Former US Ambassador to Guatemala
Carrie F. Bekker, Senior Compliance Consultant
Eryn Schornick, Researcher and Advocate
Ilona Tservil, Current Foreign Policy Development Professional
Louise Shelley, Director, Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center
Lieutenant Colonel (ret.) Jodi Vittori, PhD, Former Member, ISAF Task Force Shafafiyat
Michael Dziedzic, Author of Criminalized Power Structures: The Overlooked Enemies of Peace
Nate Sibley, Hudson Institute’s Kleptocracy Initiative
Ntama Bahati, Policy Analyst, Africa Faith and Justice Network
Shaazka Beyerle, Author, Curtailing Corruption: People Power for Accountability and Justice