Washington D.C. – House Foreign Affairs Lead Republican Michael McCaul (R-TX) delivered the following remarks at a press conference to announce the filing of a discharge petition on his bill, the Strengthening America’s Security Act in the Middle East Act. H.R. 336 is a four part legislative package to protect U.S. national security interests in the Middle East. Together these bills support our allies Israel and Jordan, sanction the murderous Assad regime, and take a stand against anti-Semitism and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Lead Republican McCaul’s legislation, H.R. 336, is the House companion to S.1 which passed the Senate at the start of the Congress in February with wide bipartisan support. 

House Foreign Affairs Lead Republican McCaul was joined by House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney (R-WY), and Reps. Brian Mast (R-FL), Lee Zeldin (R-NY), David Kustoff (R-TN), and Billy Long (R-MO).

Click to Watch

-Remarks as Delivered-

“One of the first bills I introduced in January as the Lead Republican on the Foreign Affairs Committee was this legislation. We had a companion bill that was introduced in the Senate that had such a high priority it was the first bill that they passed, S.1. McConnell made it such a priority and 77 senators voted for it, as the Leader said, including Chuck Schumer.

“Frankly, I thought this bill would have been marked up months ago out of the Foreign Affairs Committee. But, sadly, that has not happened. And I think as was stated about the attacks on Israel – over 600 rocket attacks in the last two weeks against Israel. This bill is about BDS, but it’s also about a lot more – it’s about our Israeli assistance and security package. Over $30 billion over the next ten years to support the State of Israel, our longtime ally.

“It’s about supporting our allies and defeating our enemies like Iran and Russia. It’s also about sanctioning Assad and his brutal regime that are killing children and civilians as I speak in Syria.

“And finally, it’s about Jordan. Jordan has been our steadfast ally in the region under very difficult circumstances in a very dangerous neighborhood, and it allows us to have a security defense cooperation with the country of Jordan – King Abdullah who has been such an ally to us.

“As I said, this should have been marked up months ago. To me that’s sad. It’s unfortunate, when it was the first bill priority in the Senate, had so much bipartisan support, and yet we cannot move it forward here in the house.

“That is why we are choosing to move my bill forward with Congressman Mast’s discharge petition to get it to the Floor for a vote. I would encourage all Democrats to stand up – there were over 30 Democrats [to support] this bill – we can pass it if they stand up for Israel and do the right thing.

“And let me just end with this. I’m the son of a World War II veteran. My dad was a bombardier, B-17, D-Day air campaign, bombed the Nazis. I’ve seen the horrors of Auschwitz. I cannot understand this anti-Semitism rhetoric that is coming out in the American people’s House. Anti-Semitism has no place in this House, it has no place in America, and it has no place in the world.

“Thank you.”


To watch the full press conference click here