McCaul Bill to Sanction the Iranian Regime Passes the House

Apr 26, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Michael McCaul (TX-10), Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee and a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, applauds the House passage of his legislation, H.R. 4744, the Iran Human Rights and Hostage-Taking Accountability Act.

Specifically, this legislation states that Congress stands with the people of Iran, and it provides the Trump administration with the tools necessary to hold Iranian government officials responsible for human rights violations, corruption, and censorship. Moreover, this bill holds the Iranian regime accountable for taking American citizens and permanent residents hostage by sanctioning those who engage in this deplorable practice.

Congressman McCaul: “I want to thank my colleagues for their overwhelming support of this critical piece of legislation. I urge the Senate to move this bill forward so we can send a clear signal to the corrupt regime in Iran that we will not tolerate the unjust, politically-motivated detention of our citizens, nor turn a blind eye to their oppressive behavior.”

You can click here to watch Congressman McCaul’s floor remarks on his bill.

Below are Congressman McCaul’s remarks as prepared:

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to urge support for my bill to hold the Iranian regime accountable for its continued human rights violations.

I introduced the Iran Human Rights and Hostage-Taking Accountability Act with Congressman Deutch. 

And I’m grateful for Chairman Royce and Ranking Member Engel’s support in this effort.

The Iranian regime continues to perpetuate gross human rights abuses against its own people.

They continue to suppress and censor their people’s calls for democratic reform.

They recklessly use their nation’s resources to expand their destabilizing influence and support of terrorism.

They continue to engage in corrupt practices.

And they continue to illegally detain and imprison our citizens without just cause. 

This is simply unacceptable.

Mr. Speaker, this bill serves as a clear signal to the people of Iran that we support their quest for freedom.

It shines a light on the regime’s human rights violations.

And targets Iranian officials guilty of corruption, censorship, and the diversion of goods intended for the Iranian people.

It requires the President to work with our international partners to develop a strategy to end this inhumane behavior and sanctions those officials complicit in these crimes.

Finally, it sanctions those individuals who take Americans hostage.

Today, there are more than six American citizens and permanent U.S. residents held by the Iranian regime in a shameful attempt to use innocent human lives as political bargaining chips.

These hostages include Bob Levinson, Congressman Deutch’s constituent who has been missing since 2007 and remains America's longest-held hostage;

Siamak Namazi and his 81-year-old father Baquer, held since 2015 and 2016, respectively; PhD student Xiyue Wang, held since 2016; internet freedom activist Nizar Zakka, held since 2016; and others.

The United States has a moral responsibility to devote resources to these hostages and make their return a priority.

I sent a letter with Congressman Lieu requesting the administration to keep Congress informed as to what steps they are taking to guarantee this happens.

I want to again thank Chairman Royce, Ranking Member Engel, and Congressman Deutch for their leadership to hold Iranian officials accountable. 

And with that, I yield back the balance of my time.