One of the roles I take most seriously in Congress is the opportunity to be a voice for the voiceless. Too often, people around the world are persecuted because of their beliefs, religion, gender or ethnicity—we cannot afford to remain silent in the face of these crimes. This week, we passed several bills to hold evil regimes accountable:
- Iran Human Rights and Hostage-Taking Accountability Act: This bill sanctions the Iranian regime for its ongoing human rights violations, including most recently, Iran’s violent repression of demonstrators protesting against their widespread corruption, Iran’s costly support for terrorist groups around the world, and Iran’s jailing of innocent people—including American citizens. This bill will sanction Iranian officials complicit in these violations of human rights and wrongful jailing of Americans, sending a powerful message that we will not tolerate this reprehensible behavior.
- The No Assistance for Assad Act: This bill limits our assistance to government-controlled areas in Syria until its government has ceased its pervasive crimes against humanity and has demonstrated progress towards a free and fair government that demonstrates compliance with internationally recognized rights.
- The Justice for Uncompensated Survivors Today (JUST) Act: This bill requires the State Department to report on the progress of European countries in the returning of or restitution for wrongfully confiscated property during the Holocaust, and it requires a report specifically for US citizen Holocaust survivors and their family members.
As the greatest force for human dignity in the world, we must continue to be a leader in sharing the values of freedom and human dignity. As a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, I will continue to fight to make sure American power is used for good around the world—holding perpetrators accountable for their actions.