Washington, D.C. – Today, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, chaired by Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), passed 13 bipartisan measures, including new sanctions on Syria’s Assad regime and a resolution supporting a robust military assistance package for Israel.  A summary of the committee action, including adopted amendments, will be available HERE

On passage of H.R. 5732 as amended, which imposes new sanctions on Syria’s Assad regime and its key backers, Chairman Royce said:  The ongoing atrocities in Syria continue to shock the world.  Today, I stand with Mr. Engel to offer the ‘Caesar’ Syrian Civilian Protection Act of 2016, which should make it harder for the Assad regime to acquire the tools to keep bombing, gassing and killing the people of Syria.”

On passage of H. Res. 729, which supports a robust military assistance package for Israel, Chairman Royce said:  “The administration and Israel are currently negotiating the terms of a new memorandum of understanding for the next 10 years.  Given the threats that Israel faces from Iran and its proxies, we need to ensure that this package is as robust as possible.  That is why the chairman emeritus’ resolution is of such importance.  It places Congress on record as supporting a robust long-term assistance package to our most important regional partner.” 

On passage of H. Res. 780 as amended, urging respect for the constitution of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Chairman Royce said: “President Kabila’s refusal to commit to stepping down at the end of his term is pushing the DRC into deeper political crisis. This resolution sends a clear message: President Kabila should respect the DRC’s constitution and hold the timely elections that Congolese want.”

On passage of H. Res. 821 as amended, which urges the government of Gabon to respect democratic principles during the August 2016 presidential elections, Chairman Royce said: “Gabon isn’t on a good track.  Election observers, including the National Democratic Institute, report the possibility of violence during the election period.  If past elections are an example, voter lists and vote counting will surely be manipulated.  The Gabonese people deserve better. Unfortunately, with no presidential terms limit in place, this could be a low standard.”

On passage of H. Res. 750, which urges the E.U. to designate Hizballah as a terrorist organization, Chairman Royce said:  “While Congress has taken steps to increase the pressure on this terrorist organization, including passage of the Hizballah International Financing Prevention Act last year, we need to work with our European partners to reduce Hizballah’s ability to wreak havoc in the Middle East.” 

On passage of H. Res. 810 as amended, which honors the life and work of Elie Wiesel in promoting human rights, peace and Holocaust remembrance, Chairman Royce said: “Elie Wiesel demanded that the world learn from the Holocaust, attacking indifference and complacency with his superb writing and teaching.  His legacy will endure as we confront the evil he so effectively decried.”    

Additionally, the committee passed the following measures:

  • As amended, H. Res. 634, introduced by Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ), recognizes the importance of the United States-Republic of Korea-Japan trilateral relationship;
  • H. Res. 660, introduced by Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX), expresses support for the territorial integrity of Georgia;
  • As amended, H. Res. 728, introduced by Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), supports human rights, democracy, and the rule of law in Cambodia;
  • H. Res. 808, introduced by Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), calls on Iran to release Iranian-Americans Siamak Namazi and his father, Baquer Namazi;
  • As amended, H.R. 5094, Stability and Democracy for Ukraine Act, introduced by Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), contains, reverses, and deters Russian aggression in Ukraine and assists Ukraine’s democratic transition;
  • As amended, H.R. 5537, Digital Global Access Policy Act of 2016, introduced by Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), to promote internet access in developing countries; and
  • As amended, H.R. 4481, Education for All Act of 2016, introduced by Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), provides assistance for developing countries to promote quality basic education.

A summary of the committee action, including adopted amendments, will be available HERE.