(Note RSVP requirement for media covering September 16 hearing)

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, announced the following upcoming Committee events:

Tuesday, September 9

Joint Subcommittee Hearing: Hamas’ Benefactors: A Network of Terror

10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 9 in 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman

Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade

Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX), Chairman

Invited Witnesses Include:

Jonathan Schanzer, Ph.D.
Vice President for Research
Foundation for Defense of Democracies

Mr. Avi Jorisch
Senior Fellow for Counterterrorism
American Foreign Policy Council

Steven A. Cook, Ph.D.
Hasib J. Sabbagh Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies
Council on Foreign Relations

Chairman Ros-Lehtinen on the hearing: “The purpose of this hearing is to allow Members to take an in-depth look at thefinancing capabilities of Hamas, a designated foreign terrorist organization. It is important to understand the relationship between Hamas and its material, financial and arms suppliers, and examine how this terrorist organization continuously finds avenues to conduct nefarious activities in the Gaza Strip. This hearing will highlight ways in which the U.S. should re-evaluate our position with entities financing Hamas and how to cut off the financing operations to this terrorist organization.”

Chairman Poe on the hearing: “A key part of any terrorist network’s strength and viability is the financial support it receives from like-minded individuals and governments. Hamas is no exception. It costs money to launch thousands of rockets into Israel and to pay off the terrorists who kill innocent civilians. In a global financial marketplace, the United States cannot stop Hamas’ money flow by itself. I hope this hearing will expose how more actors, especially governments in the region, can work with us to stop the flow of money to Hamas.”

Tuesday, September 9

Subcommittee Markup: H.R. 4377

2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 9 in 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific

Rep.  Steve Chabot (R-OH), Chairman

Wednesday, September 10 

Hearing: Libya’s Descent

10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, September 10 in 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

Committee on Foreign Affairs

Rep.  Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman

Invited Witnesses Include:

The Honorable Gerald Feierstein
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary
Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs
U.S. Department of State

Chairman Royce on the hearing: “I am deeply concerned about the escalating violence in Libya.  Our Embassy has been evacuated and the airport in Tripoli is in rubble.  A country rich with natural resources is awash with militants – a failed state and a sanctuary for terrorists at Europe’s doorstep.  Countries in the region are taking action on their own. This hearing will examine Libya’s descent and an Administration policy of neglect that has led to a national security and humanitarian crisis.”

Wednesday, September 10

Joint Subcommittee Hearing: Genocidal Attacks Against Christian and Other Religious Minorities in Syria and Iraq

2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 10 in 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations

Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ), Chairman

Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman

Invited Witnesses Include:

Panel I

The Honorable Tom Malinowski
Assistant Secretary
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
U.S. Department of State

The Honorable Anne Richard
Assistant Secretary
Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
U.S. Department of State

The Honorable Nancy Lindborg
Assistant Administrator
Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance
U.S. Agency for International Development

Panel II

His Holiness Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II
Patriarch of the Apostolic See of Antioch & All The East
The Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Syrian Orthodox Church

The Honorable Peter Galbraith
(Former Advisor to the Kurdistan Regional Government)

Her Excellency Pascale Esho Warda
Hammurabi Human Rights Organization
(Former Minister of Immigration and Refugees in the Iraqi Government)

Thomas Farr, Ph.D.
Director, Religious Freedom Project
Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs
Georgetown University

Chairman Smith on the hearing: “Beheaded American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff saw it as their mission to alert the world to the horrors inflicted upon the Christians and other religious minorities of Iraq and Syria by the maniacal Islamist terrorist group ISIL.  Children crucified and beheaded; women bartered, sold and raped, prisoners lined up on their knees to be shot – this is ISIS’ legacy.  Our hearing will call on Administration officials, eyewitnesses to barbarity and religious leaders to clarify the need for a strategy going forward. “

Chairman Ros-Lehtinen on the hearing: “While the persecution of Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East and North Africa has been rampant and prevalent for years, the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has dramatically increased our concern for the safety of Iraq’s religious minorities. ISIL’s campaign has been one of intensified terror, marked with violent actions that seek to cleanse the region from anyone who does not match their radical ideology. Christians have been particularly vulnerable and have been exposed to unimaginable suffering as their communities throughout the region have been devastated. As the situation deteriorates, Christians are faced with no other choice but to flee, risk forced conversions, torture or death. This hearing is an important forum for members to understand the realities on the ground for Christians and other minorities in Iraq as ISIL continues its violent ethnic rampage.”

Tuesday, September 16

Hearing to Press Obama Administration for ISIS Strategy

2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 16 in 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

Media RSVP requirement by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, September 15. Details HERE.

Committee on Foreign Affairs

Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman

Invited Witnesses Include:

The Honorable John F. Kerry
Secretary of State

Chairman Royce on the hearing: “The President said his Administration had no strategy against ISIS two weeks ago, despite it long being on the march.  The Administration is sending mixed messages now.  ISIS is a serious threat to U.S. national security.  The Committee needs to hear a comprehensive strategy from Secretary Kerry on how the Administration is going to confront this brutal and sophisticated terrorist group.”

***See foreignaffairs.house.gov for updates.

***Coverage note: All Foreign Affairs Committee proceedings are webcast live at foreignaffairs.house.gov/live-video-feed.