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house Bill H.R. 194

Should Iran Face Heavier Sanctions for Taking Americans as Hostages?

Argument in favor

For decades the Iranian government has taken hostages to extort other governments, particularly the U.S. This bill would sanction those responsible and help bring that to an end.

Doug's Opinion
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02/01/2019
Absolutely, but let’s apply this same standard to other countries for similar human rights violations. Say like Saudi Arabia, Russia, China and others.
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Gopin2018's Opinion
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02/01/2019
Absolutely yes. Turn Iran into a parking lot! #MAGA
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James's Opinion
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02/01/2019
Absolutely, though I question why anyone would go to Iran now days?
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Argument opposed

It’s not clear that imposing sanctions on Iranian officials and entities that are responsible for taking hostages will stop those activities because of sanctions.

Guillaume's Opinion
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02/01/2019
What needs to happen is Americans need to stop going there and other countries that are openly hostile to Americans! Before they embark on this endeavor they need to be told or reminded that going there is potential hazardous to their health and that the US can’t assure their safety. If they still insist on going wish them luck and let them know they on their own!
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I.Got.an.Idea...'s Opinion
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02/01/2019
One thing I do not appreciate about this bill is this verbiage “as determined by the president.” This president, his cabinet, and his entire Republican Fraternal Regime, has already proven that they do not possess the ethical, moral intellect to utilize logic, intelligence and other human skills to assess, analyze and develop appropriate solutions to protect and serve American Citizens interests. The bigger threat to America, are our own American Conservatives.
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Mike's Opinion
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02/01/2019
I think the imposition of sanctions should be determined by congress. The president has not shown a willingness to follow thru with sanctions against America’s adversaries why should we leave it to him to enforce new sanctions that are not warranted just because of his Prejudices.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Trade
      Committee on Foreign Affairs
      Committee on Ways and Means
    IntroducedJanuary 3rd, 2019

What is House Bill H.R. 194?

This bill would impose property blocking sanctions and visa prohibitions on Iranian officials and entities found to be responsible for human rights abuses, censorship, corruption, or taking U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents as hostages as determined by the president. It would state that it’s U.S. policy not to pay ransom to secure the release of such hostages. The Secretary of State would be required to provide Congress with a strategy to put an end to Iranian hostage taking including attempting to extradite, try, and convict Iranian officials responsible.

The bill would also state that it’s U.S. policy to stand with the people of Iran who seek the opportunity to freely elect a government of their choosing and to increase the use of all available authorities to impose sanctions on Iranian officials responsible for human rights abuses. It would also express the sense of Congress that the administration should support Iranian desires for basic freedoms with better communication tools free from government suppression.

Impact

Iranian individuals and entities responsible for covered human rights abuses; the State Dept.; and the president.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 194

The CBO estimates that enacting this bill cost $1 million in total over the 2018-2023 period, with annual costs less than $500,000 each year.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) reintroduced this bill from the 115th Congress to hold the Iranian regime accountable for taking American citizens hostage by ensuring that those responsible face sanctions:

“Demonstrators throughout Iran protesting the oppressive, corrupt regime in demand of reform and respect for basic human rights illustrates the peoples’ discontent has reached a boiling point. These protests should serve as a stark reminder to the Ayatollahs that Iranian citizens are tired of government officials using the country’s financial resources to fund terrorist organizations abroad while inflation skyrockets at home. Let me be clear, the United States is a friend of the Iranian people. As such, this legislation heeds the public outcry in Iran. They deserve a free, prosperous, and democratic society in which they again have a voice in the direction of their country.”

Original cosponsor Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) added:

“The world is watching as Iranians in cities across the country demand basic human rights from their government. But this radical Iranian regime has long made it its mission to repress its people as well as destabilize the region by financing terrorism and developing dangerous ballistic missiles. The far reaches of this Iranian threat hits us in South Florida, where we continue to demand the release of my constituent Bob Levinson who has been held hostage for nearly 11 years. The United States follows words with actions, and this bill will rightfully punish Iranian officials involved in the kidnapping of American citizens and egregious human rights abuses against its own people.”

This bill has no cosponsors in the current Congress. Last Congress, it passed the House by a 410-2 vote  with the support of 46 bipartisan cosponsors, including 29 Republicans and 17 Democrats.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: BalkansCat / iStock)

AKA

Iran Human Rights and Hostage-Taking Accountability Act

Official Title

To impose additional sanctions with respect to serious human rights abuses of the Government of Iran, and for other purposes.

    Absolutely, but let’s apply this same standard to other countries for similar human rights violations. Say like Saudi Arabia, Russia, China and others.
    Like (97)
    Follow
    Share
    What needs to happen is Americans need to stop going there and other countries that are openly hostile to Americans! Before they embark on this endeavor they need to be told or reminded that going there is potential hazardous to their health and that the US can’t assure their safety. If they still insist on going wish them luck and let them know they on their own!
    Like (56)
    Follow
    Share
    One thing I do not appreciate about this bill is this verbiage “as determined by the president.” This president, his cabinet, and his entire Republican Fraternal Regime, has already proven that they do not possess the ethical, moral intellect to utilize logic, intelligence and other human skills to assess, analyze and develop appropriate solutions to protect and serve American Citizens interests. The bigger threat to America, are our own American Conservatives.
    Like (46)
    Follow
    Share
    Absolutely yes. Turn Iran into a parking lot! #MAGA
    Like (19)
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    This bill is another attempt to justify meddling into Iran’s internal affairs. It is an example of “We don’t mind dictators, we just don’t want theirs. We want to choose our own dictator.” Increased sanctions won’t change behavior. We say we are with the Iranian people, just not with their leaders. Guess who says that about the USA? Stop advocating regime change in other countries. Or else Russia will try that with us. Oooops!
    Like (18)
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    I think the imposition of sanctions should be determined by congress. The president has not shown a willingness to follow thru with sanctions against America’s adversaries why should we leave it to him to enforce new sanctions that are not warranted just because of his Prejudices.
    Like (18)
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    Stop grandstanding and go back to real work, please.
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    Iran doesn’t care one whit about US policies. They will continue their terroristic actions. In the end, it is the people of Iran who will feel the sanctions. It’s no secret that Iran is backed by Russia. Therefore, we have to ask ourselves, by imposing sanctions on Iran, how will this help Russia? The truth seems to be, the man calling the shots is not the part-time resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. It’s Putin.
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    Absolutely, though I question why anyone would go to Iran now days?
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    Sure why not but MAGA hat folk need to stop somehow thinking that these types of sanctions were not common against Iran under the Obama administration. Democrats don’t have weak foreign policy, the bonehead in Chief has the weakest foreign policy stances of any President in history! Thankfully we have a State Department.
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    ..."as determined by the president" Ah, no, no, no, no, no, no, no 🎶 (Oh, mama mia, mama mia) Mama mia let me go 🎶 Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me, for me...ahem...I mean, no, "the president" has shown no aptitude for making any sane, reasonable or intelligent determinations that would qualify him for this, please leave him out of the equation or wait for the next one.
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    Certainly. We need to show outrage when a foreign power takes Americans hostage.
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    We have to reverse every advantage that Obama provided them. Never let them attain nuclear weapons that they would use against america and our allies. Stand with Israel.
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    We need a new government. trump and trump’s corrupt criminal regime must be removed from our government. Then we can deal with major world issues and domestic issues. Until we get the nepotistic, kleptocratic, kakistocracy out of our government ....it’s going to be challenging to operate effectively on the world stage and at home.
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    We need to stop provoking Iran and go back to the nuclear deal that the Obama administration had implemented which was actually working! I don’t see how this kind of policy is ever going to lead to the release of American hostages. Iranian officials will just do all they can to avoid these sanctions and prosecution. This just seems like more grandstanding by our pathetic representatives in Congress.
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    Taking hostages is tad amount to declaring war. So, more sanctions will help keep pressure on them to comply with common decency.
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    Not unless we are going to impose similar sanctions on Saudi Arabia, Russia, and the many other countries who are doing the same thing.
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    Sanctions should be a congressional issue. This president doesn’t show an aptitude for foreign policy, nor does he care about hard-earned Intelligence.
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    Stop beating the war drum. Invest in the U.S. not in foreign wars. The only reason Iran’s human rights violations are being highlighted is because they have oil that U.S. corporations want to take away from them. If our government really cared about human rights then we’d be addressing it across the world including in our own country.
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    For decades the Iranian government has taken hostages to extort other governments, particularly the U.S. This bill would sanction those responsible and help bring that to an end.
    Like (3)
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