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H. Res. 259, Expressing concern and condemnation over the political, economic, social, and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela

Dec 4, 2017
Legislative Digest

Floor Situation

On Tuesday, December 5, 2017, the House will consider H. Res. 259, expressing concern and condemnation over the political, economic, social, and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, under suspension of the rules. The resolution was introduced on April 6, 2017 by Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) and was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, which ordered the resolution to be reported, as amended, by voice vote on July 27, 2017.


H. Res. 259 urges the Government of Venezuela to suspend its convening of a national constituent assembly, which took place on July 30, 2017, and to heed international community calls for free and fair elections. The resolution also urges the President of the United States to prioritize resolution of Venezuela’s political and humanitarian crisis by working with regional leaders and multilateral organizations, in addition to the application of targeted sanctions.


Venezuela has struggled with a collapsing economy for many years. Maduro's opponents attempted to hold a referendum vote to remove him from office after they won a National Assembly majority in 2015, but the Supreme Court, stacked with government supporters, blocked all attempts to remove him. Maduro has also delayed local and state elections.[1]

The National Constituent Assembly's election follows months of sometimes deadly anti-regime protests and an economic crisis that led many to leave Venezuela in search of easier access to food and medicine. This latest wave of unrest started after the Supreme Court of Venezuela attempted to dissolve the opposition-led National Assembly.[2]

For his part, Maduro has said the election of this constituent body was needed to help establish order and peace in the country. His opponents, meanwhile, say the new assembly could erase the last traces of democracy in the South American country. Opposition leaders say it was a last-ditch effort by Maduro to get rid of the opposition and the checks and balances between the branches of government.[3]


A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate is currently unavailable.

Staff Contact

For questions about amendments or further information on the bill, contact Dominique Yantko with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 3-1555.








[1] See CNN Article, “New Venezuelan assembly ousts attorney general Ortega,” August 5, 2017. 
[2] Id.
[3] Id.

115th Congress