H.R. 1677 would require the Departments of State and the Treasury to impose sanctions on people and entities responsible for the security and humanitarian crisis in Syria or persons who engage in certain transactions with the government of Syria; that requirement would expire on December 31, 2021. The bill also would authorize the Department of State to assist entities that are investigating war crimes or crimes against humanity in Syria. Finally, the legislation would require briefings and reports to the Congress on the implementation of the act, ongoing assistance programs for the Syrian people, and the feasibility of various options to protect civilians in Syria.
Based on an analysis of information from the Department of State, CBO expects the department would require three additional staff at an annual cost of about $200,000 per person to implement the act’s sanctions and reporting provisions. CBO further estimates that other administrative costs to the Department of the Treasury would total less than $500,000 over the next five years. The Department of State is currently providing assistance to entities that are committed to investigating and preserving evidence of human right violations in Syria. While it is possible that the department would increase such assistance under the bill, CBO has no basis for estimating such additional amounts. In total, and incorporating the effects of inflation, CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 1677 would cost $3 million over the 2018-2022 period; such spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds.