The U.S. House of Representatives passed bipartisan legislation — the Special Envoy for the Abraham Accords Act (H.R. 3099) — requiring the State Department to establish an ambassador-level Special Envoy position for the Abraham Accords. The Special Envoy shall serve as the primary advisor to the U.S. government for expanding and strengthening the Abraham Accords. The duties of the Special Envoy include (1) encouraging counties without diplomatic relations with Israel to establish formal diplomatic, economic, security, and people-to-people ties; (2) expanding and strengthening existing relationships between Israel and Muslim-majority countries; and (3) coordinating efforts across the US government and engaging diplomatically with foreign governments, nongovernmental organizations, and other stakeholders to expand and strengthen the Abraham Accords.
The Special Envoy will be appointed by the President, confirmed by the Senate, and report directly to the Secretary of State. The Envoy would be required to possess high-level diplomatic experience and deep knowledge about the Jewish and Islamic worlds, regional security, and economics. This individual could come from within the State Department.
The legislation was passed by a vote of 413-13. The no votes were cast by: Reps. Rich McCormick (R-GA), Thomas Massie (R-KY), Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), Betty McCollum (D-MN), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Cori Bush (D-MO), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Summer Lee (D-PA), Delia Ramirez (D-IL), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Chuy Garcia (D-IL).
Barbara Lee subsequently said she had voted in error and inserted a statement into the Congressional Record to say she supported the legislation.
H. R. 3099
To establish in the Department of State the position of Special Envoy for the Abraham Accords, and for other purposes.
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
SEC. 3. SPECIAL ENVOY FOR THE ABRAHAM ACCORDS.
“SEC. 64. SPECIAL ENVOY FOR THE ABRAHAM ACCORDS.
“(1) encouraging countries without diplomatic relations with Israel to establish formal diplomatic, economic, security, and people-to-people ties;
“(2) seeking to expand and strengthen existing relationships between Israel and Muslim-majority countries, including those outside the geographic scope of the Near Eastern Affairs Bureau of the Department of State, to ensure that all parties reap tangible security and economic benefits for their citizens;“(3) building on existing efforts, including the Negev Forum, to help foster enhanced cooperation between Israel and Muslim-majority countries on shared priorities including as relates to trade, agriculture, and water security;“(4) providing diplomatic support for Israel’s integration into cooperative efforts related to regional security; and“(5) coordinating lines of effort across the United States Government, including the regional and functional bureaus within the Department of State, and conducting appropriate diplomatic engagement with foreign governments, nongovernmental organizations, and other stakeholders determined appropriate by the Special Envoy in order to expand and strengthen the Abraham Accords.
“(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 1 year after the date of the confirmation of the first Special Envoy appointed pursuant to this section, and annually thereafter, the Special Envoy shall submit to the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate a report describing all United States efforts to expand the Abraham Accords, including specific diplomatic engagements and status of efforts with respect to specific countries.“(2) FORM OF REPORT.—The report required by paragraph (1) shall be submitted in unclassified form but may contain a separate, classified annex.”.
Passed the House of Representatives June 13, 2023.
Gottheimer-Backed Bipartisan Legislation to Create a Special Envoy for the Abraham Accords Passes House, Josh Gottheimer New Jersey’s Fifth District, (June 13, 2023).
H.R.3099 - Special Envoy for the Abraham Accords Act, Congress.gov.