1. Update
  2. Peacebuilding

Senate Committee Acts to Reduce Violence

By Ben Rowles, June 26, 2019

The Global Fragility Act (S.727) just passed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (18-4) with strong, bipartisan support! Now it heads to the Senate floor for a vote.

Companion legislation to this bill passed the full House in May. Changes to the Senate version in committee made it more like the House bill (H.R. 2116) and strengthened its provisions to prevent violent conflict.

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For example, both the House and Senate versions of the Global Fragility Act now include robust support for peacebuilding funding. They would each authorize the Stabilization and Prevention Fund at $200 million and the Complex Crises Fund at $30 million annually for five years. These crucial peacebuilding accounts enhance the U.S. government’s ability to prevent and respond more quickly to violent crises.

By sending the Global Fragility Act to the floor, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee made a powerful statement in support of conflict prevention and stabilization of fragile states.

“The United States has spent nearly $5.9 trillion in the 18 years since 9/11 in combating extremism and terrorism around the world,” noted Sen. Chris Coons (CT), the bill’s original sponsor. The Global Fragility Act is “a genuinely bipartisan approach” to preventing violent conflict, he said.

As Sen. Lindsey Graham (SC) explained, “we are not talking about nation-building; instead, we are talking about the United States doing more on deterrence and prevention which, in the long run, will make us safer at home.”

Sen. Marco Rubio (FL), an original cosponsor, made a moral and national security case for the bill: “As the U.S. responds to the many humanitarian crises around the world, we must address the factors driving instability and violence. It is both moral and in our national security interest to promote stable and prosperous countries that can one day be reliable allies and partners.”

We are excited to see the Global Fragility Act advance in the Senate, but our work is not done. We must make it a U.S. foreign policy priority to address the root causes of conflict.

Background Global Fragility Act  

H.R.2116, S.727

World-wide levels of violence are at a 25-year peak, undercutting stability, reversing development gains, and spurring a global migration crisis not seen since World War II. Violence has surpassed natural disasters as the main driver behind forced displacement.

Background Five Reasons to Support the Global Fragility Act  

H.R.2116, S.727

Representatives Eliot Engel (NY-16), Michael McCaul (TX-10), Adam Smith (WA-09), Ann Wagner (MO-02), Bill Keating (MA-09), and Francis Rooney (FL-19) and Senators Chris Coons (DE), Lindsey Graham (SC), Jeff Merkley (OR), Marco Rubio (FL), and Todd Young (IN) have introduced the Global Fragility Act (H.R.2116, S.727).

Ben Rowles

  • Program Assistant, Peacebuilding

Ben Rowles served as FCNL's Program Assistant for peacebuilding in 2018-2019. In that capacity he supported FCNL’s lobbying efforts to change U.S. foreign policy from one that is overly militarized to one that prevents, mitigates, and transforms violent conflict. Ben also facilitated the work of the Prevention and Protection Working Group, a group of organizations dedicated to reducing violent crisis, preventing mass atrocities, and protecting civilians threatened by such crises.