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house Bill H.R. 5732

Do Sanctions on Assad’s Supporters Need to be Increased?

Argument in favor

America needs to take a leadership role in ending the conflict in Syria peacefully. By giving Assad’s supporters a choice between increased sanctions or peace negotiations this will save the lives of innocent Syrians and allow war criminals to be brought to justice.

Dawson's Opinion
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11/15/2016
When good men do not stand against evil, evil becomes the norm.
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Margaret's Opinion
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11/15/2016
Assad is doing horrible things to his own people, and it's causing them to flee Syria and become refugees in other states like Turkey, straining their resources and ultimately, our own. It's time to hold Assad and his friend accountable for his human rights abuses, which include using chemical weapons against his own citizenry. People who prop up Assad's regime - like Putin - deserve to be sanctioned.
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Hagerstown's Opinion
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11/15/2016
Normally I would be against the involvement in these international affairs, but too many innocent people are dying because of this regime and we need to punish those who support it.
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Argument opposed

The U.S. shouldn’t be further involving itself in the Syrian conflict by sanctioning supporters of the Assad regime. Besides, there’s no guarantee that this bill would actually do anything to stop the regime and its Russian supporters from committing more war crimes.

sstarz's Opinion
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11/15/2016
We shouldn't continue to involve ourselves in a war that doesn't pertain to us. Continuing to do so not only costs us money, but harbors hate for the US abroad.
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Joshua's Opinion
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11/15/2016
We have no business with the war in Syria and it involvement has only made things worse in the region and will only continue to worsen the situation there. I don't like Assad, but only his government can stabilize Syria.
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Rosa's Opinion
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11/15/2016
According to the internal UN assessment of the effect of sanctions on aid delivery, entitled Humanitarian Impact of Syria-Related Unilateral Restrictive Measures, leaked to the Independent UK: The US and EU economic sanctions on Syria are causing huge suffering among ordinary Syrians and preventing the delivery of humanitarian aid. The embargo was supposed to target President Bashar al-Assad and contribute to his removal from power. Instead it is making it more difficult for foodstuffs, fuel and healthcare to reach the mass of the people. Aid agencies cited in the report say they cannot procure basic medicines or medical equipment for hospitals because sanctions are preventing foreign commercial companies and banks having anything to do with Syria. The report states that conflict in Syria is the greatest humanitarian crisis the world has seen since the Second World War with 13 million people, or two thirds of the population, in need of assistance. The disaster has led to the exodus of at least five million refugees and four million internally displaced people. The report says that the chaos has produced a weakening of the state and conditions that have fostered the growth of Isis. The big aid agencies are universal in their condemnation of the present system and the way in which it compounds the miseries caused by the war.
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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 November 15th, 2016
    Passed by Voice Vote
      house Committees
      Committee on Financial Services
      Committee on Foreign Affairs
      Committee on the Judiciary
    IntroducedJuly 12th, 2016

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What is House Bill H.R. 5732?

This bill would impose new sanctions on supporters of the Assad regime in Syria, encourage negotiations to end the crisis, and begin investigations that will eventually lead to the prosecution of war criminals.

It would impose new sanctions on anyone who:

  • Does business with or provides financing to the Syrian government, its intelligence or security services, or the Central Bank of Syria;

  • Provides aircraft or spare parts (or financing for either) to Syria’s airlines;

  • Does business with transportation or telecommunications businesses controlled by the Syrian government;

  • Supports Syria’s energy industry.

The president would be able to waive sanctions on a case-by-case basis. Sanctions could also be suspended if the parties to the conflict engage in meaningful negotiations and the violence against civilians has ceased. The suspension would be renewable if it is critical to the continuation of negotiations and attacks against civilians have ceased.

The Secretary of State would be authorized to support entities that are collecting and preserving evidence for the eventual prosecution of those who committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in Syria. The president would be required to give Congress a report with the names of those who are responsible for or are complicit with violating the human rights of the Syrian people.

The bill would also require the president to submit a report on the potential effectiveness, risks, and operational requirements of establishing and maintaining a no-fly zone or safe zone over part or all of Syria.

Impact

Syrian civilians; supporters of the Assad regime and those who will be investigated for war crimes; parties to potential peace negotiations; Congress; and the president.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 5732

The CBO estimates that enacting this bill would cost $3 million over the 2017-2021 period due to additional staffing and administrative costs.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) introduced this bill to hold the Assad regime accountable for its crimes and encourage negotiations to end the conflict which has killed nearly 89,000 civilians:

“American leadership is desperately needed to help bring this conflict to an end. Our legislation would crack down on anyone who is still doing business with the Assad regime, while leaving room for meaningful negotiations to move forward. It would also help ensure that down the road, anyone responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity is held accountable.”

The bill known as the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act in honor of a former Syrian military photographer who defected after documenting Assad’s crimes.

This legislation was passed by the House Foreign Affairs Committee on a voice vote, and has the support of 70 bipartisan cosponsors in the House — including 37 Democrats and 33 Republicans.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Bertilvidet / Creative Commons)

AKA

Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2016

Official Title

To halt the wholesale slaughter of the Syrian people, encourage a negotiated political settlement, and hold Syrian human rights abusers accountable for their crimes.

    When good men do not stand against evil, evil becomes the norm.
    Like (41)
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    We shouldn't continue to involve ourselves in a war that doesn't pertain to us. Continuing to do so not only costs us money, but harbors hate for the US abroad.
    Like (24)
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    We have no business with the war in Syria and it involvement has only made things worse in the region and will only continue to worsen the situation there. I don't like Assad, but only his government can stabilize Syria.
    Like (16)
    Follow
    Share
    According to the internal UN assessment of the effect of sanctions on aid delivery, entitled Humanitarian Impact of Syria-Related Unilateral Restrictive Measures, leaked to the Independent UK: The US and EU economic sanctions on Syria are causing huge suffering among ordinary Syrians and preventing the delivery of humanitarian aid. The embargo was supposed to target President Bashar al-Assad and contribute to his removal from power. Instead it is making it more difficult for foodstuffs, fuel and healthcare to reach the mass of the people. Aid agencies cited in the report say they cannot procure basic medicines or medical equipment for hospitals because sanctions are preventing foreign commercial companies and banks having anything to do with Syria. The report states that conflict in Syria is the greatest humanitarian crisis the world has seen since the Second World War with 13 million people, or two thirds of the population, in need of assistance. The disaster has led to the exodus of at least five million refugees and four million internally displaced people. The report says that the chaos has produced a weakening of the state and conditions that have fostered the growth of Isis. The big aid agencies are universal in their condemnation of the present system and the way in which it compounds the miseries caused by the war.
    Like (12)
    Follow
    Share
    Assad is doing horrible things to his own people, and it's causing them to flee Syria and become refugees in other states like Turkey, straining their resources and ultimately, our own. It's time to hold Assad and his friend accountable for his human rights abuses, which include using chemical weapons against his own citizenry. People who prop up Assad's regime - like Putin - deserve to be sanctioned.
    Like (9)
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    Sanctioning the Assad regime would do nothing but strain relations between the US and Russia, and help to embolden ISIL.
    Like (8)
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    Sanctioning Assad and his supporters isn't the way to end this civil war. Especially since there is a two-fold enemy here. By strangling Assad and his supporters, you embolden ISIS and their efforts on the other side. It's clear that ISIS has operatives within the rebel ranks and are using this as cover to work under the radar. We know this. Either declare war and strike hard or wash your hands of this (aside from medical aid, food, and non-military help) and seek diplomatic routes outside of Assad and the Rebels (i.e. those who can pull the strings of these two puppet groups and actually have leverage.)
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    Normally I would be against the involvement in these international affairs, but too many innocent people are dying because of this regime and we need to punish those who support it.
    Like (7)
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    It's time to stop pretending the US is not seeking its own interests in the Middle East. We should get our hands out of their affairs, as we have historically only made matters worse for them. If it had not been for our involvement in Afghanistan, the Taliban would not have risen to power. We don't need to repeat the cycle in Syria.
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    Not our business
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    It's time to come home and to ween ourselves off fossil fuels.
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    Our priority should be dealing with ISIS, not Syria.
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    God forbid. The last thing the world needs is for Russia and the US to be at loggerheads over freaking Syria. Let Assad be. Find some way to declare victory over Islamic State. Bring the troops home. For crying out loud, Barrack Obama is the first two-term president in history to be at war every single day of his presidency. Let's end them already.
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    Assad is to his own people what ISIL is to the world.
    Like (4)
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    By sanctioning Assad, we are ensuring that a man who happily turns chemical weapons on his own people receives substantially less financial support. If we were to lift sanctions, he would only have more resources to feed into the mindless his country has erupted into. While I prefer this is a multi-lateral decision, we must show in some way that we do not support Assad and his lunacy. This isn't foreign meddling, it's our constitutional duty.
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    Without putting troops on the ground, sanctions are a good way to flex US economic power (particularly if NATO also supports the sanctions).
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    Don't touch the middle east anymore. It's a Pandora's box of frustration for the U.S. We are wasting too much time and resources on a war that 99% of Americans don't really care for. Take out some ISIS sure, but stop there.
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    So we're going to sanction Russia? Yeah, that doesn't spell disaster at all.
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    I am not interested in meddling in other countries' conflicts to further corporate interests. They're contracted out for everything but fighting; let them do that, too. As for sanctions, they never work. If the US were really about beating ISIS, we wouldn't be discussing this now. It would be done.
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    None, absolutely zero, of our business. Stop sending our $ & our children to die in useless wars.
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