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Kinzinger-Suozzi Bill Passes House Floor

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Washington, November 28, 2018 | Maura Gillespie (2022253635) | comments
Yesterday, the House passed H.R. 4591, the Preventing Iranian Destabilization of Iraq Act, which Congressman Adam Kinzinger (IL-16) and his colleague Congressman Tom Suozzi (D-NY) introduced in December 2017.
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Washington, DC – Yesterday, the House passed H.R. 4591, the Preventing Iranian Destabilization of Iraq Act, which Congressman Adam Kinzinger (IL-16) and his colleague Congressman Tom Suozzi (D-NY) introduced in December 2017. In applauding the passage of his bill, Congressman Kinzinger released this statement:

“It’s no surprise that Iran is actively trying to gain influence in Iraq, and sow seeds of chaos to destabilize U.S. peacekeeping efforts in the region. We cannot and must not allow this tyrannical regime to obtain the power they seek, and that’s why this legislation is so important. H.R. 4591 will impose sanctions on all those who threaten peace and stability in Iraq. Thank you to Rep. Suozzi for his work on this bill, and to my colleagues for supporting its passage on the House Floor.”

Prior to its passage by voice vote, Congressman Kinzinger spoke on the House Floor in its favor and urged support from his colleagues. The Congressman’s floor speech can be found on his YouTube page, and his remarks as written can be found below:

“Mr. Speaker, I rise today  in strong support of H.R. 4591, the Preventing Iranian Destabilization of Iraq Act, which I proudly introduced with my colleague Rep. Suozzi.

“Since the toppling of Saddam Hussein, Iran has been working to gain access and influence in Iraq by dismantling American efforts to stabilize the country and the region. It is abundantly clear that Iran is working to gain influence in Iraq to further their radical agenda, and we must do everything in our power to counter their tyrannical regime and provide hope for the Iraqi people.

“I am troubled by the growing influence of the Iranian-backed Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), which are being set up as a parallel military structure to undermine the Iraqi security forces. Just this week we saw the head of a powerful PMF, which would be sanctioned under this legislation, demanding that the Iraqi government allow these militia to secure the border with Syria. Not only would this legitimize the PMFs, but it would also give the Iranians one of their greatest desires – a secure land bridge to supply weapons and troops from Tehran to the Mediterranean.

“Over the past few months, we have seen the security situation in Iraq slip further into despair. The U.S. compounds in Baghdad and Basra were attacked by Iranian backed groups, resulting in the latter shutting its doors. I believe retreating will only hurt the Iraqis and make the region a more dangerous place by allowing Iran to further destabilize the country, creating the conditions for the next generation of terror.

Following the elections in Iraq this year, we saw Iranian proxies and militias, as well as Iraqis working on behalf of the Iranians, attempting to form a coalition government in Baghdad. That is why passing this bipartisan legislation is so timely.

“The Preventing Destabilization of Iraq Act, which passed the Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously, would impose sanctions on Iranians or any other person who threatens the peace and stability of Iraq. It will also sanction several terrorist organizations as well as their leaders, many of which are trained and funded by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. Passage of this legislation ensures the Iranians are not given a free pass to meddle in the affairs of the Iraqi people.”

“I must stress: Doing nothing only strengthens the Iranians and their proxies. The United States of America must always must take a stand against tyrannical regimes, oppression, and poverty. Ensuring that the Ayatollah in Tehran does not continue to destabilize the Middle East is part of our mission, and I will continue to do what I can in support of that mission.  

“I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting H.R. 4591, the Preventing Destabilization of Iraq Act. And with that, Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.”


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