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Congressman Kinzinger on the ‘No Assistance for Assad Act’

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Washington, April 25, 2018 | Maura Gillespie ((202) 225-3635) | comments
Yesterday, Congressman Adam Kinzinger (IL-16) spoke on the House Floor in support of H.R. 4681, the ‘No Assistance for Assad Act,’ which he introduced with his House Foreign Affairs Committee colleagues, Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-NY), Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA), and his co-chair of the Syria Caucus, Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA).
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Washington, DC – Yesterday, Congressman Adam Kinzinger (IL-16) spoke on the House Floor in support of H.R. 4681, the ‘No Assistance for Assad Act,’ which he introduced with his House Foreign Affairs Committee colleagues, Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-NY), Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA), and his co-chair of the Syria Caucus, Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA).

The bill places strict conditions on American support for non-humanitarian assistance in Syrian territories controlled by Bashar al Assad, his regime, or their allies. These bad actors and war criminals have not only committed genocide across Syria, they have reduced much of the country to rubble and thus will be held responsible for rebuilding what they’ve destroyed. This legislation ensures that the security of the Syrian people will be central to reconstruction and stabilization efforts.

Shortly after the co-leads on this legislation spoke on the House Floor in support of H.R. 4681, the House passed the ‘No Assistance for Assad Act’ by voice vote. 

The Congressman’s full floor speech can be found on his YouTube page, and his remarks as written can be found transcribed below:

“Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of H.R. 4681, the No Assistance for Assad Act, which I proudly introduced with my House Foreign Affairs colleagues Chairman Royce, Ranking Member Engel, and my co-chair of the Syria Caucus, Rep. Boyle.

“Since the start of the Syrian War in 2011, over 500,000 Syrians have been killed, including more than 50,000 innocent children, at the hands of the brutal Assad regime.  Bashar al Assad, his regime, and his Russian and Iranian backers have committed genocide across Syria – they have targeted hospitals and schools, and they have destroyed critical infrastructure with indiscriminate barrel bombs and airstrikes.

“They reduced much of the country to rubble, and as long as Assad is in power, they should be fully responsible for rebuilding. The ‘No Assistance for Assad Act’ would place conditions on American non-humanitarian assistance in Syrian territories controlled by the Assad regime or their allies.

“By limiting our reconstruction assistance to Assad, we send a strong message that the American people will not support ANY efforts to legitimize or bolster the barbaric Assad regime—a regime that uses chemical weapons on its own innocent civilians.

“We have seen far too many horrifying images of the bloodied and besieged children across Syria, suffering at the hands of a war criminal.  As of January 2018, the United States has provided more than $7.7 billion in humanitarian assistance to the people of Syria. And we will continue to support the innocent victims with the emergency food, safe drinking water, shelter, and other vital resources they so desperately need.

“Separately, this legislation places strict conditions on the non-humanitarian assistance for things like early recovery, stabilization, and reconstruction in the Assad-controlled Syrian territories. The release of all political prisoners and providing full access to Syrian prisoners for human rights investigations, and removing those human rights abusers from positions of authority are just two of the conditions included in this bill. The Syrian Government must also end all attacks against civilians, and halt the development and deployment of ballistic and cruise missiles.

“For our own national security, and that of our allies, we must do all we can now to prevent the next generation of terrorists down the road. Without hope and opportunity, the people of Syria and those across the Middle East will become prime recruits for groups like ISIS, Hezbollah, and others.

“The United States of America must take a stand against the genocide in Syria, the inhumane war crimes against the innocent Syrian people, and oppressive strongmen like Assad. I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting H.R. 4681, the No Assistance for Assad Act. And with that, Mr. Speaker, I yield back.”

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