Congressional Roundup

Congress is considering a number of legislative initiatives that may be of interest to the Iranian American community.  The PAAIA Public Policy Center is pleased to provide a roundup on the status of the legislation. In general, PAAIA focuses on bills and congressional actions concerning three areas: civil liberties, foreign policy towards Iran, and immigration.  PAAIA recognizes that it is important that Iranian Americans be informed about legislative initiatives in these areas and the positions that their members of Congress take concerning them.



Foreign Policy

S.653: Near East and South Central Asia Religious Freedom Act of 2013

S.653 provides for the establishment of a Special Envoy to promote religious freedom for religious minorities in the Near East and South Central Asia.  The duties of the envoy would include monitoring and combating acts of incitement and intolerance directed against religious minorities, working to ensure that the economic and security needs of such minorities are met, and working with foreign governments in the Near East and South Central Asia to address laws that are religiously discriminatory. The Special Envoy would be subject to the direction of the President and the Secretary of State. 

S.653 was originally introduced in the House as H.R.301 and was passed in September of 2013. Minor differences between S.653 and H.R.301 were resolved and the final bill was approved by both chambers and referred to the President on July 30.

S.2650: Iran Nuclear Negotiations Act

On July 23, 2014, Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) introduced S.2650. The legislation has gained a total of 10 co-sponsors, the most recent of whom is Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) .

S.2650 aims to provide for congressional review of agreements relating to Iran’s nuclear program, among other purposes.

S.2667: A bill to prohibit the exercise of any waiver of the imposition of certain sanctions with respect to Iran

On July 24, 2014, Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) introduced S.2667. The legislation has gained a total of 11 co-sponsors, the most recent of whom are Senators James Inhofe (R-OK), Patrick Toomey (R-PA), Mike Johanns (R-NE), and Dean Heller (R-NV).

S.2667 aims to prohibit the exercise of any waiver of the imposition of certain sanctions with respect to Iran unless the President certifies to Congress that the waiver will not result in the provision of funds to the Government of Iran for activities in support of international terrorism, to develop nuclear weapons, or to violate the human rights of the people of Iran.

S.2672: Sanction Iran, Safeguard America Act

On July 29, 2014 Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) introduced S.2672. The legislation has not gained any co-sponsors yet.

S.2667 aims to terminate the authority to waive certain provisions of law requiring the imposition of sanctions with respect to Iran, to codify certain sanctions imposed by executive order, and for other purposes.


H.R.140: Birthright Citizenship Act of 2013

On January 3, 2013, Representative Steve King (R-IA/4th) introduced H.R.140, also known as the Birthright Citizenship Act of 2013. The legislation has gained a total of 36 co-sponsors, the most recent of whom is Representative Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE/1st).

H.R. 140 amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to consider a person born in the United States “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States for citizenship at birth purposes if the person is born in the United States of parents, one of whom is: (1) a U.S. citizen or national, (2) a lawful permanent resident alien whose residence is in the United States, or (3) an alien performing active service in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Special Category

H.CON.RES.27: Supporting the formation of a bipartisan Presidential Commission to study the establishment of a National Museum of the American People

On March 19, 2013, Representative James P. Moran (D-VA/8th) introduced H.CON.RES.27.  The legislation has gained a total of 45 co-sponsors, the most recent of whom is Representative Ken Calvert (R-CA/42nd).

H.CON.RES.27 would create a presidential commission to study the establishment of a National Museum of the American People. The museum would tell the story of all the peoples who came to the United States and contributed to its success and prosperity.  The museum would also serve as a resource to assist state, local, and ethnic museums in presenting exhibits that celebrate the heritage of the people of the United States.


Click here to view all of the current proposed legislation and policies that impact our community.

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