Like Countable?

Install the App
TRY NOW

house Bill H.R. 1706

Prohibiting U.S. Aid From Rebuilding Parts of Syria Controlled by Assad

Argument in favor

Until Assad respects the human rights of the Syrian people, no U.S. assistance should go to rebuilding areas of the country controlled by his regime.

jimK's Opinion
···
10/13/2019
Why would we want to help fund a foreign adversary supported, mass-murdering and genocidal leader rebuild infrastructure in regions that he still controls? It only frees up resources to be used for re-taking regions he has lost. My first reaction to this question was to say no due to humanitarian concerns. The legislation spells out meaningful exceptions that allow humanitarian support. I still wish that we could do these kind of common-sense things without legislation; like the good of’ days- when a note from a Congressional subcommittee or oversight board would most often be sufficient. Congress could spend more time dealing with legislative issues at a broader, higher-level and more strategic basis. ... ... ... Maybe we should ban congressional use of word processors and make them go back to carbon-copy typewritten legislation; the kind that has to be carefully and concisely worded, well deliberated and carefully thought through for long term consequences.
Like (82)
Follow
Share
···
10/13/2019
Why impeach: Just released 10,000 Isis fighters into the world when he betrayed the Kurds. Our allies who have fought against Isis right beside our troops for years. They are being slaughtered right now. All because he has a tower in Istanbul. Refusing to comply with the law. Using the power of the presidency to withhold aide to one of the worst humanitarian crisis on the planet in exchange for political favors in order to sway the 20/20 election. Acting like a criminal and threatening the life of the whistleblower. Mr. America first is sending troops to Saudi Arabia in support of a murdering dictator who spends millions at his hotels and resorts. Corey Lewandowski testified to congress that trump ordered him to obstruct justice. Blocking information that pertains to the safety of our country from reaching congress. Has been threatening NOAA, a federal agency, with punishment if they do not disavow the truth and side with his lies. Invited the Taliban to Camp David the week of 9/11. #PussyAssBitch He’s doctoring weather maps to try and prove he’s not an idiot. Has stayed at trump properties 293 days in 3 years, that’s our tax dollars going directly into his pocket. Took money from military daycares to pay for a wall that won’t work and no one wants. The Vice President and the Attorney General are both spending tax payer dollars on trump hotels, lining his pockets and currying his favor. Privately instructed aides to skirt laws and regulations to get the wall built faster — and told them he will pardon them if necessary. Pressuring a government agency to give a contract for his wall to a company whose chief executive is a donor to one of his top GOP allies in Congress. Took hundreds of millions from 127 different projects (FEMA being one of those) for his wall. Thinks nuking a hurricane is an idea. Pushing to host the next G-7 at one of his own resorts. Taunted Iran by tweeting a classified image of an Iranian rocket that had exploded, thereby potentially compromising U.S. intelligence capabilities. His own company would save millions from the low interest rates he is demanding. Was going to give you tax cuts through your paychecks but decided not to. Destroying the economy with HIS trade war. We will soon average a 1.2 trillion deficit. He is repeating NRA talking points on background checks so expect no action taken regardless of the fact there has been 27 arrested over threats to commit mass attacks since El Paso( NOT TOLEDO). Made fun of republicans being afraid of the NRA and then caved after a 30 minute phone conversation with them. Bragged about indefinite child detention because it brings families together. Refusing flue shots, that protect us all(google influenza pandemic), to immigrant children. Attacking fellow congresswomen in really disgusting ways and making anti-Semitic remarks about Jews calling them disloyal. Thinks he’s the chosen one based on a conspiracy theory web sight. Impeachment: Obstruction of Justice. Profiting from the Presidency. Collusion - They had a meeting & lied about it. Advocating political & police violence. Abuse of power. Engaging in reckless behavior. Persecuting political opponents. Attacking the free press. Violating immigrants Right to Due Process. Violating campaign finance laws. Racist: Speaks directly to and often tweeting straight from white supremacists. Calls them very fine people. Told fellow congresswomen to go back where they came from. Called them shit hole countries. Called them murderers and rapists. Calls her Pocahontas. Took out full page adds calling for the death of five innocent black kids in New York, 1989. Literally has said in an interview he has Hitlers speeches, My New Order in his nightstand. Our Money: Spent campaign finance money on hush payments to silence a porn star he had an affair with in order to hide it from the voters. Has spent over $100 million of our tax dollars playing golf at his own golf courses. Has never divested from companies and advertises and profits off the White House. Was going to cut Medicaid and Medicare funding to pay for the tax cuts he gave to the rich. Is actively destroying farmers lives with his trade wars that we all know only hurts our pockets not Chinas. Has made the lives of every truck driver across America as well as our own, more dangerous by removing safety regulations that only benefits the pockets of the CEOs of those companies. Has removed any and all protections we had in place from work safety, environment, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights and gives that power back to the CEOs, oil companies, men and old white men. Saudi funded lobbyist rented 500 rooms at a trump hotel he never divested from right after he became president. Wonder why? Sexual Predator: Accused by more than 20 women of molestation and rape. Bragged about said molestation on tape. Has cheated on all three wives (see above). Has made sexual remarks on camera about his daughter. Belittles and bully’s strong women. Not even sure he’s aware he has two daughters. Idiot: Has allowed North Korea to grow there nuclear weapons program. Took the side of Putin over America’s own security agencies on the national stage. Lacks the intelligence and facts needed to communicate on a global level much less national one. Makes policy decisions based on FOX media. Lies when speaks. Doesn’t believe in science and quite often displays his ignorance of it. Russia: Lied about meetings with Russians. Lied about a trump tower Moscow. Personal attorney Michael Cohen (same guy who broke campaign finance laws under trumps direction) had contacts with russian officials. National Security aide Flynn resigned over Russian contacts. Jeff Sessions recused himself because of Russian contacts. Manafort resigned because of Russian contacts. Campaign foreign policy adviser Papadopoulos met with Russians then bragged about it to Australians who then turned that info over to our FBI. Sixteen campaign officials had contacts with Russia and at least nine others new about it. Russian mobster lived in trump tower. trump casino was flagged 106 times for lax money laundering standards and same Russian frequently stayed at trump casino. Has been selling real estate to Russians for years. It really is surprising how many connections to Russians this man has. Rick Scott, Marco Rubio, Bill Posey You are my representatives. OLC policy: The indictment or criminal prosecution of a sitting President would unconstitutionally undermine the capacity of the executive branch to perform its constitutionally assigned functions. It’s time to do your job. You swore an oath to this country, it’s people and me to uphold the constitution. The president has never upheld that oath. How do you want to be remembered?
Like (44)
Follow
Share
Dennison 's Opinion
···
10/13/2019
Do not support dictators! America cannot support those who abuse human rights abroad or at home!
Like (26)
Follow
Share

Argument opposed

The U.S. shouldn’t restrict its reconstruction assistance from going to parts of Syria controlled by the Assad regime, as that’s a significant portion of Syria.

B.R.'s Opinion
···
10/13/2019
As long as the Assad regime is in control, the demands of this bill are not going to happen. Besides, they can get reconstruction assistance from Russia, Iran, and probably China without making any human right changes.
Like (14)
Follow
Share
Ronald's Opinion
···
10/13/2019
No action on anything, until Congress has healed itself from their impeachment mdness.
Like (6)
Follow
Share
Robert j.'s Opinion
···
10/13/2019
Lost cause. After Mr Trump’s error most of Syria will be abandoned.
Like (3)
Follow
Share

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Foreign Affairs
    IntroducedMarch 13th, 2019

What is House Bill H.R. 1706?

This bill — the No Assistance for Assad Act — would prohibit U.S. assistance for reconstruction and stabilization efforts in Syria from being available in areas controlled by the Assad regime if the regime meets several conditions related to human rights (a list of which can be found below). The limitation wouldn’t apply to projects administered by the local community or humanitarian assistance.

Specifically, the president would have to certify the regime has done the following before providing assistance:

  • Ceased indiscriminate use of weapons and any attacks against civilians and civilian facilities;
  • Released all political prisoners and provide full access to Syrian prisons for investigations by appropriate international human rights organizations;
  • Removed senior Syrian government officials who are complicit in human rights abuses along with human rights abusers from positions of authority in the military, intelligence, and security services;
  • Moved to organize free and fair elections for a new government to establish an independent judiciary;
  • Respected and complied with internationally recognized human rights;
  • Fulfilled its commitments under the chemical weapons convention;
  • Halted the development and deployment of ballistic and cruise missiles;
  • Minimized the Syrian government’s reliance on Iran and Iranian proxy forces to act on behalf or in support of Syria; and
  • Commenced a process to organize the safe, unfettered and voluntary return of Syrian refugees and internally displaced persons to their homes.

The president would be required to submit annual reports to Congress detailing any projects that utilize the exceptions and laying out a strategy for getting humanitarian assistance to besieged areas.

Impact

Parts of Syria controlled, or not, by the Assad regime; and the U.S. government.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1706

The CBO estimates that enacting this bill wouldn’t alter the amount or type of foreign assistance provided by the U.S. to the region.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) introduced this bill to prohibit U.S. assistance from going to parts of Syria controlled by the Assad regime:

“Until Assad respects the rights of his people, until they’re on the path toward a better future for themselves, and until there’s accountability for the regime’s war crimes, the United States shouldn’t spend a dime on reconstruction efforts in areas controlled by the regime. Buoyed by his patrons in Moscow and Tehran, the Butcher in Damascus broke Syria. Now he and his regime have to pay the price. We should not support any scenario that leaves him in power to continue his violence and oppression against the Syrian people.”

In floor remarks last Congress, Rep. Engel said: 

"[E]very time we think that the crisis in Syria could not get any worse, the Assad regime manages to plunge the country into even deeper depths. Children living in besieged Madaya could not get food, so they resort to eating leaves.  A seven-year-old and her mother tweeted goodbye messages from Aleppo under siege... [T]he regime has continued using chemical weapons, which the world swore we would never use again.  But no matter how Assad’s victims have met their ends—from nerve gas or barrel bombs or at the hands of Assad’s Russian or Iranian patrons—the loss of innocent life is staggering. My heart really bleeds for the people of Syria. What they have had to endure should be endured by anyone. And the United States needs to be vocal and we need to take action.As we continue to find some way to end the bloodshed, we also need to start thinking about what will come down the road. This bill says that American assistance for reconstruction in Syria should be available in areas controlled by Assad only if the regime stops indiscriminate use of weapons, ends attacks on civilians and civilian facilities, releases political prisoners, allows human-rights organizations access to the prisons, and removes senior officials complicit in human-rights abusesIf Bashar al-Assad, the Butcher of Syria, wants to destroy his own country and then expects the United States to pick up the pieces, he is sorely mistaken.  That simply won’t happen.  He and Russia and Iran broke Syria, and now they have to buy it.  We were careful in crafting this legislation to ensure that these limitations won’t affect locally administered projects. And the bill permits humanitarian assistance to all in need. Recovery in Syria will be a slow and painful process. But we cannot allow those responsible for hundreds of thousands of murders to control American dollars meant to help the country rebuild... [T]his legislation sends a message—particularly after the Assad regime used chemical weapons—that we are closely watching the developments in Syria and that the United States will not assist those who are party to such heinous war crimes."

Original cosponsor Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) added:

“The genocide of the Syrian people by Bashar al Assad and his Russian and Iranian backers may be the worst humanitarian crisis of our generation. We cannot and must not allocate any resources to the brutal Assad regime in reconstructing what he has destroyed. As co-chair of the Friends of a Free, Stable and Democratic Syria Caucus, our goal will continue to be in support of the people of Syria who simply seek to live free and in peace. Today, we introduce this legislation to ensure Assad will pay the price for his oppression and violence.”

James Dobbins, a former US ambassador to the European Union under President George H.W. Bush, says the West — including the U.S. — may have to accept some conditions for engaging in reconstruction activities in Syria:

"At its base, the issue is: Do we want to stabilize Syria. If that’s the objective, then being willing under some conditions to engage in — or at least allow our partners to engage in — reconstruction activities across the country is an important piece of leverage. In fact, it’s virtually our only piece of leverage.”

Dobbins warns that boycotting reconstruction in Syria, as this bill would have the U.S. do for the time being, would only strengthen U.S. enemies, such as Iran and Russia, who, along with China, are the main countries currently contemplating investments in Assad regime areas. This, he says, would be dangerous: 

"I think what you’d see in the case in Russia is a sort of crony capitalism in which individuals connected to the Russian regime would have privileged positions and further prey on Syria. In the case of Iran it would probably be institutions connected to the [Islamic Revolutionary] Guard.” 

In March 2019, the Trump administration proposed zeroing out all new U.S. funding for Syria stabilization, while pressing U.S. allies to step up their military and financial commitments to the ongoing crisis. Members of Congress, including some sponsors of this bill, from both parties called this a mistake. Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA) said

"It is a dangerous decision [to zero out U.S. stabilization funds for Syria]. It ends up essentially signaling a green light to this mass murderer that he and his awful allies, like the Iranian regime, will be able to just do carte blanche whatever they want."

This bill has 21 bipartisan cosponsors, including 12 Republicans and nine Democrats, in the current Congress. 

Last Congress, this bill passed the House by a voice vote with the support of 25 bipartisan cosponsors, including 17 Republicans and eight Democrats.


Of Note: Since its civil war began in 2011, the destruction in Syria has been immense. Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed, nearly half the prewar population has been displaced, and the country's economy has collapsed. In 2018, the World Bank estimated that about 60 percent of Syrians in Syria lived in "extreme poverty," compared with only 12.3 percent in 2007.

Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: Beshr Abdulhadi via Flickr / Creative Commons)

AKA

No Assistance for Assad Act

Official Title

To limit assistance for areas of Syria controlled by the Government of Syria or associated forces, and for other purposes.

    Why would we want to help fund a foreign adversary supported, mass-murdering and genocidal leader rebuild infrastructure in regions that he still controls? It only frees up resources to be used for re-taking regions he has lost. My first reaction to this question was to say no due to humanitarian concerns. The legislation spells out meaningful exceptions that allow humanitarian support. I still wish that we could do these kind of common-sense things without legislation; like the good of’ days- when a note from a Congressional subcommittee or oversight board would most often be sufficient. Congress could spend more time dealing with legislative issues at a broader, higher-level and more strategic basis. ... ... ... Maybe we should ban congressional use of word processors and make them go back to carbon-copy typewritten legislation; the kind that has to be carefully and concisely worded, well deliberated and carefully thought through for long term consequences.
    Like (82)
    Follow
    Share
    As long as the Assad regime is in control, the demands of this bill are not going to happen. Besides, they can get reconstruction assistance from Russia, Iran, and probably China without making any human right changes.
    Like (14)
    Follow
    Share
    Why impeach: Just released 10,000 Isis fighters into the world when he betrayed the Kurds. Our allies who have fought against Isis right beside our troops for years. They are being slaughtered right now. All because he has a tower in Istanbul. Refusing to comply with the law. Using the power of the presidency to withhold aide to one of the worst humanitarian crisis on the planet in exchange for political favors in order to sway the 20/20 election. Acting like a criminal and threatening the life of the whistleblower. Mr. America first is sending troops to Saudi Arabia in support of a murdering dictator who spends millions at his hotels and resorts. Corey Lewandowski testified to congress that trump ordered him to obstruct justice. Blocking information that pertains to the safety of our country from reaching congress. Has been threatening NOAA, a federal agency, with punishment if they do not disavow the truth and side with his lies. Invited the Taliban to Camp David the week of 9/11. #PussyAssBitch He’s doctoring weather maps to try and prove he’s not an idiot. Has stayed at trump properties 293 days in 3 years, that’s our tax dollars going directly into his pocket. Took money from military daycares to pay for a wall that won’t work and no one wants. The Vice President and the Attorney General are both spending tax payer dollars on trump hotels, lining his pockets and currying his favor. Privately instructed aides to skirt laws and regulations to get the wall built faster — and told them he will pardon them if necessary. Pressuring a government agency to give a contract for his wall to a company whose chief executive is a donor to one of his top GOP allies in Congress. Took hundreds of millions from 127 different projects (FEMA being one of those) for his wall. Thinks nuking a hurricane is an idea. Pushing to host the next G-7 at one of his own resorts. Taunted Iran by tweeting a classified image of an Iranian rocket that had exploded, thereby potentially compromising U.S. intelligence capabilities. His own company would save millions from the low interest rates he is demanding. Was going to give you tax cuts through your paychecks but decided not to. Destroying the economy with HIS trade war. We will soon average a 1.2 trillion deficit. He is repeating NRA talking points on background checks so expect no action taken regardless of the fact there has been 27 arrested over threats to commit mass attacks since El Paso( NOT TOLEDO). Made fun of republicans being afraid of the NRA and then caved after a 30 minute phone conversation with them. Bragged about indefinite child detention because it brings families together. Refusing flue shots, that protect us all(google influenza pandemic), to immigrant children. Attacking fellow congresswomen in really disgusting ways and making anti-Semitic remarks about Jews calling them disloyal. Thinks he’s the chosen one based on a conspiracy theory web sight. Impeachment: Obstruction of Justice. Profiting from the Presidency. Collusion - They had a meeting & lied about it. Advocating political & police violence. Abuse of power. Engaging in reckless behavior. Persecuting political opponents. Attacking the free press. Violating immigrants Right to Due Process. Violating campaign finance laws. Racist: Speaks directly to and often tweeting straight from white supremacists. Calls them very fine people. Told fellow congresswomen to go back where they came from. Called them shit hole countries. Called them murderers and rapists. Calls her Pocahontas. Took out full page adds calling for the death of five innocent black kids in New York, 1989. Literally has said in an interview he has Hitlers speeches, My New Order in his nightstand. Our Money: Spent campaign finance money on hush payments to silence a porn star he had an affair with in order to hide it from the voters. Has spent over $100 million of our tax dollars playing golf at his own golf courses. Has never divested from companies and advertises and profits off the White House. Was going to cut Medicaid and Medicare funding to pay for the tax cuts he gave to the rich. Is actively destroying farmers lives with his trade wars that we all know only hurts our pockets not Chinas. Has made the lives of every truck driver across America as well as our own, more dangerous by removing safety regulations that only benefits the pockets of the CEOs of those companies. Has removed any and all protections we had in place from work safety, environment, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights and gives that power back to the CEOs, oil companies, men and old white men. Saudi funded lobbyist rented 500 rooms at a trump hotel he never divested from right after he became president. Wonder why? Sexual Predator: Accused by more than 20 women of molestation and rape. Bragged about said molestation on tape. Has cheated on all three wives (see above). Has made sexual remarks on camera about his daughter. Belittles and bully’s strong women. Not even sure he’s aware he has two daughters. Idiot: Has allowed North Korea to grow there nuclear weapons program. Took the side of Putin over America’s own security agencies on the national stage. Lacks the intelligence and facts needed to communicate on a global level much less national one. Makes policy decisions based on FOX media. Lies when speaks. Doesn’t believe in science and quite often displays his ignorance of it. Russia: Lied about meetings with Russians. Lied about a trump tower Moscow. Personal attorney Michael Cohen (same guy who broke campaign finance laws under trumps direction) had contacts with russian officials. National Security aide Flynn resigned over Russian contacts. Jeff Sessions recused himself because of Russian contacts. Manafort resigned because of Russian contacts. Campaign foreign policy adviser Papadopoulos met with Russians then bragged about it to Australians who then turned that info over to our FBI. Sixteen campaign officials had contacts with Russia and at least nine others new about it. Russian mobster lived in trump tower. trump casino was flagged 106 times for lax money laundering standards and same Russian frequently stayed at trump casino. Has been selling real estate to Russians for years. It really is surprising how many connections to Russians this man has. Rick Scott, Marco Rubio, Bill Posey You are my representatives. OLC policy: The indictment or criminal prosecution of a sitting President would unconstitutionally undermine the capacity of the executive branch to perform its constitutionally assigned functions. It’s time to do your job. You swore an oath to this country, it’s people and me to uphold the constitution. The president has never upheld that oath. How do you want to be remembered?
    Like (44)
    Follow
    Share
    Do not support dictators! America cannot support those who abuse human rights abroad or at home!
    Like (26)
    Follow
    Share
    We should only rebuild and sablilze area controlled by the Kurds at this time. Having a strong ally in the region should be a goal. The Kurd have been loyal and effective in the fight against ISIS. Assad only wants to wipe out the enemies of his regained. Some of these rebels hate the Kurds and Christians. We cannot help Assad by our actions. We should introduce and back the Kurds, when negotiating with other Arab nations, and our other allies. You would think that the world knows that, we don’t support, murders, and despots
    Like (19)
    Follow
    Share
    America must restore its standing as a beacon for human rights.
    Like (15)
    Follow
    Share
    Sadly this is probably necessary. Please congress-don’t help Assad. It’s likely necessary to pass this bill because trump will help Assad and Putin and Erdogan. Ruthless cruel murdering dictator thugs stick together. That’s the company trump keeps. Mobsters and thugs.
    Like (15)
    Follow
    Share
    Why is this even a proposal? Assad is a dictator, who terrorizes his people. He destroyed he nation and killed many of his people. Even now will not come to the aid of the Syrian Kurds who are being attacked by by Turkey
    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
    Aid will never get to the people who need it, it will go to to warlords, or whoever the leadership is controling the area at this moment.
    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
    Well said Beth. Putin and Assad now control northern Syria and are coming to the aid of the Kurds. Putin bought Trump, the GOP, and the election in 2016. CHECKMATE PUTIN!
    Like (8)
    Follow
    Share
    Why is this even being considered? We should never prop up dictators, especially those who commit genocide!
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    Assad needs to respect the human rights of the Syrian population. This is one way to make him do that.
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    No aid to a murdering leader. Trump is now just like him. He left our friends the Kurds to be murdered. Same thing!!!
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    No action on anything, until Congress has healed itself from their impeachment mdness.
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    NO, for the same reason that we should condemn the American abandonment of the Kurds. We do not support Dictators. Politically or financially
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    I like what Hindsight2020 said. Dear Mr. Hindsight. I copied what you wrote. I hope you don’t mind. It is full of goodies about Trump. Doozeys i’d say. But Trump is evil, and when someone shares this truth, it should be a loud blasting, so the world can hear. My answer is YES OF COURSE TRUMP NEEDS TO BE WATCHED LIKE A HAWK, AND HIS EVIL DEEDS PRONOUNCED FROM THE ROOFTOPS!
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    Lets rebuild America instead!
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    No money to Assad! He’s a murderer
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    Yes. I don’t support using our tax dollars to help Assad.
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    We should not do anything that helps this murderer.
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    MORE