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Committee also passes measures to support Taiwan, condemn chemical weapons use, and support free press in Latin America and the Caribbean

Washington, D.C. – Today, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, chaired by Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), passed five measures, including two bipartisan measures to step up efforts to defeat and destroy ISIS.  Specifically, the measures provide arms to the Kurdish forces on the ground fighting ISIS and require a U.S. strategy to combat terrorists’ use of social media.

On passage of the bills to help combat ISIS, Chairman Royce said: “Today, this Committee is taking important steps to confront the grave threats posed by ISIS and other terrorist organizations.  Kurdish forces are some of our most dedicated and effective allies in the fight against ISIS, yet they are on the frontlines without the quantity and quality of arms and equipment they need.  This legislation cuts through the bureaucratic tape to get arms, training and medicine directly to Kurdish forces.

“Additionally, in the wake of the horrific shooting in San Bernardino, the Obama administration needs to get serious about targeting terrorists’ use of social media.  Extremist groups are using Twitter, Facebook and YouTube across borders to recruit, radicalize and encourage attacks on our free society.  Today’s legislation presses the administration to lay out a plan to combat terrorists’ hijacking of social networks.”

The ISIS-related measures the Committee passed:

  • as amended, H.R. 1654, introduced by Chairman Royce (R-CA), authorizes the direct provision of defense articles, defense services, and related training to the Kurdistan Regional Government (a section-by-section summary of the legislation is available HERE);
  • as amended, H.R. 3654, Combat Terrorist Use of Social Media Act of 2015, introduced by Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) requires a report on United States strategy to combat terrorist use of social media.

Additionally, the Committee passed the following measures: 

  • H.R. 4154, Taiwan Naval Support Act, introduced by Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA), directs the President to submit to Congress a time frame for the transfer of certain naval vessels to Taiwan;
  • as amended, H. Res. 346, introduced by Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL), condemns the use of toxic chemicals as weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic;
  • as amended, H. Res. 536, introduced by Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ), supports freedom of the press in Latin America and the Caribbean and condemns violations of press freedom and violence against journalists, bloggers, and individuals exercising their right to freedom of speech.

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

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