Washington D.C. – Today, the House of Representatives unanimously passed H.R. 31, co-sponsored by House Foreign Affairs Committee lead Republican Michael McCaul (R-TX) and sponsored by Chairman Eliot Engel (D-NY). This bipartisan legislation will increase international pressure on Assad and his backers, impose new sanctions on human rights abusers, and encourage negotiations to end the nearly eight-year crisis. The Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act is named in honor of the former Syrian military photographer “Caesar” who risked his life to document Assad’s horrific brutality and revealed his findings to members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.


Ranking Member McCaul: “For seven years, the brutal Assad regime has carried out a merciless campaign of violence and murder with impunity. In order to secure lasting peace in the region, we need a strategy that moves beyond Assad’s debilitating stronghold to encourage negotiations and pursue a political solution to end this conflict. This legislation provides the Administration much-needed leverage to impose sanctions against Assad and his backers, punish war criminals, and cut off funding that fuels the regime’s war tactics. We must act immediately to hold Assad and his supporters accountable to deter this perpetual cycle of brutality against the innocent people of Syria. I look forward getting this vital legislation over to the White House.”


Chairman Engel: “Nothing can undo the horrors they have had to endure for nearly eight years. Nothing can bring back those who have been lost. But the world owes it to the living and the dead to try to bring this crisis to an end. And the role America must play is to push for a political solution that allows the Syrian people to choose their own future. That’s what American leadership looks like. That’s what sets us apart from other great powers on the world stage. We simply cannot look the other way and allow Assad, Russia, and Iran to steamroll over Syria. My bill would give the Administration greater leverage to raise the cost for Assad and crack down on his lifelines.”


NOTE: To watch Ranking Member McCaul’s full remarks as delivered on H.R. 31, click here.