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house Bill H.R. 4744

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.

Karan's Opinion
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04/24/2018
If a country dares to take one of our citizens hostage, they should feel the heat
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operaman's Opinion
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04/24/2018
Iran will know the US is serious by the sanctions imposed. Being “kind” or “fair” won’t qualify as serious.
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AlecToGo's Opinion
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04/24/2018
Absolutely! They are terrorists! They have killed thousand’s of Americans.
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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.

K.d.'s Opinion
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04/24/2018
I don’t trust the current administration to make level-headed decisions about anything, much less this.
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burrkitty's Opinion
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04/24/2018
“as determined by the president” <- NO. No more tools to serve that twit’s islamaphobia. Our policy is already not to pay ransoms so the rest is just hogwash. “PPD-30 reaffirms our longstanding commitment to make no concessions to individuals or groups holding U.S. nationals hostage. This policy protects U.S. nationals and strengthens national security by removing a key incentive for hostage-takers to target U.S. nationals and by helping to deny terrorists and other malicious actors the resources they need to conduct attacks against the United States, its nationals, its allies, and its interests.”
Like (76)
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Pamela 's Opinion
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04/24/2018
Why are republicans so eager for war. They are just building and building a reason for war. Two words...John Bolton.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Foreign Relations
  • The house Passed April 26th, 2018
    Roll Call Vote 410 Yea / 2 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Financial Services
      Trade
      Committee on Foreign Affairs
      Committee on the Judiciary
      Committee on Ways and Means
    IntroducedJanuary 9th, 2018

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What is House Bill H.R. 4744?

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. 4744

$1.00 Million
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) introduced this bill 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 legislation passed the House Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously and has 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.

    If a country dares to take one of our citizens hostage, they should feel the heat
    Like (86)
    Follow
    Share
    I don’t trust the current administration to make level-headed decisions about anything, much less this.
    Like (130)
    Follow
    Share
    “as determined by the president” <- NO. No more tools to serve that twit’s islamaphobia. Our policy is already not to pay ransoms so the rest is just hogwash. “PPD-30 reaffirms our longstanding commitment to make no concessions to individuals or groups holding U.S. nationals hostage. This policy protects U.S. nationals and strengthens national security by removing a key incentive for hostage-takers to target U.S. nationals and by helping to deny terrorists and other malicious actors the resources they need to conduct attacks against the United States, its nationals, its allies, and its interests.”
    Like (76)
    Follow
    Share
    Why are republicans so eager for war. They are just building and building a reason for war. Two words...John Bolton.
    Like (72)
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    Share
    The last time Iran took American hostages, Reagan used them to get elected. This is such an oddly specific bill. My guess is this is a backdoor means of killing the Iran nuclear deal.
    Like (35)
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    Iran will know the US is serious by the sanctions imposed. Being “kind” or “fair” won’t qualify as serious.
    Like (35)
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    Not until the rep sponsoring this bill 👟walks the talk and addresses his own legacy of failures to protect the basic human rights of the women and children living in his district. 🍎And on the subject of Iran, Jamie Oliver is correct ten is definitely more than zero, so please stop trying to set off a nuclear war.
    Like (32)
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    If the decision is totally up to Trump to decide who stays and who goes, I say nay to him and this bill.
    Like (22)
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    I could care less. They are so far away from me, I don't worry about it. I worry about the terrorist organizations here in America: the KKK, NEO-NAZIS and groups like that. So until we take care of the terrorist here, we cannot police the terrorist in another country
    Like (22)
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    Absolutely! They are terrorists! They have killed thousand’s of Americans.
    Like (21)
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    This is becoming harder to justify given how our own government treats many, especially non-white, residents and citizens of this country. We, as a nation, no longer have the right to claim any superiority in human rights.
    Like (15)
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    I am a yea on this but, it does not go far enough. Not even by a long shot. As a country we must stand for certain things and these ideals should not negotiable. One of these things should be having ZERO tolerance for anyone, or any country, who takes our citizens hostage for any reason. The retaliation should be swift and severe without letup until our citizen/s are returned home safely.
    Like (14)
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    This is just common sense, something that had been lacking in our dealings with Iran during the Obama years. Make it so!
    Like (12)
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    Yes, remove the ill-gained psychological, political and all leverage which perpetrators gain from hostage taking. Hostage taking is a power war. Shatter their power.
    Like (11)
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    Cut off all aid period
    Like (10)
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    yes
    Like (10)
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    Bi-partisan, voting yes for a noble cause. Iran needs to be held accountable. Of course after getting a plane load of cash in the dead of night—without the public’s knowledge-by the Obama administration, this may be like shutting the barn door after the cows are out, since that money—true to tyrannical states—never got to the people, but instead funded terrorism in the Middle East.
    Like (9)
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    Absolutely. Also, Iran deal should be terminated unless the sunset clauses are repealed and international investigators obtain full access to Iranian nuclear and ballistic missile testing facilities.
    Like (9)
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    Any country that holds our citizens illegally should be held responsible.
    Like (8)
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    Not if “determined by the president” means Trump. He has no tether to reality. We cannot trust him.
    Like (8)
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