As reported by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on September 26, 2019
S. 1838 would require the Administration to impose sanctions on foreign persons (individuals or entities) who are responsible for violations of human rights in Hong Kong. In addition, the bill would require the Department of State to provide guidance and training to consular officers to ensure that politically motivated detention or arrest would not be used as a basis to deny visas to applicants from Hong Kong.
By requiring sanctions, CBO estimates that enacting S. 1838 would increase the number of people who would be denied visas by the Department of State and the number who would be subject to civil or criminal penalties. Most visa fees are retained by the department and spent without further appropriation, but some fees are deposited in the Treasury as revenues. Penalties also are recorded as revenues, and a portion of those penalties can be spent without further appropriation. Because CBO expects that very few additional people would be affected under the new sanctions or by the consular guidance required by S. 1838, CBO estimates that those provisions would have insignificant effects on both revenues and direct spending.
S. 1838 also would require the department to report to the Congress on:
- Hong Kong’s autonomy and whether it should retain its current treatment under U.S. law, treaties, and agreements;
- Its strategy to protect U.S. citizens and businesses from the adverse effects of any legislation proposed by the Hong Kong government; and
- Sanctions imposed under the bill.