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.
BILLS & RESOLUTIONS
H.RES.109: Condemnation of Persecution of Baha’is
On March 12, 2013, Representative Michael Grimm (R-NY/11th) introduced H.RES.109. The legislation has gained a total of 155 co-sponsors, the most recent of whom are Representatives Raul Ruiz (D-CA/36th), Randy Hultgren (R-IL/14th), Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ/2nd), G.K. Butterfield (D-NC/1st), Jerry McNerney (D-CA/9th), Bobby Rush (D-IL/1st), Daniel Lipinski (D-IL/3rd), and Cory Gardner (R-CO/4th).
H.RES.109 calls on Iran to release all prisoners being held solely on account of their religion. It calls on the U.S. president and secretary of state, in cooperation with responsible nations, to condemn Iran’s continued human rights violations and demand that prisoners held for their religious beliefs be released. H.RES.109 also urges the president and secretary to impose sanctions on Iranian government officials and other individuals directly responsible to serious human rights abuses, including abuses against Iran’s Baha’i community.
H.RES.109 has been introduced in the Senate as S.RES.75.
H.R.4411: To prevent Hezbollah and associated entities from gaining access to international financial and other institutions
On April 7, 2014, Representative Mark Meadows (R-NC/11th) introduced H.R.4411. The legislation has gained a total of 322 co-sponsors, the most recent of whom are Representatives Elijah Cummings (D-MD/7th) and Alcee Hastings (D-FL/20th). On July 23, 2014, it was referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.
H.R.4411 aims to prevent Hezbollah and associated entities from gaining access to international financial and other institutions, and for other purposes.
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 9 co-sponsors, the most recent of whom are Senators John Hoeven (R-ND), John Barrasso (R-WY), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Jim Risch (R-ID), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), John McCain (R-AZ), Marco Rubio (R-FL).
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 7 co-sponsors, the most recent of whom are Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), John Cornyn (R-TX), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), John Hoeven (R-ND), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), and Pat Roberts (R-KS).
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.
On July 24, 2014, Kirk also submitted amendment S.AMDT.3652, intended to be proposed by him to S. 2569, a bill to provide an incentive for businesses to bring jobs back to America. S.AMDT.3652 is similar to the bill S.2667, prohibiting the exercise of any waiver of the imposition of certain sanctions with respect to Iran.
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 35 co-sponsors, the most recent of whom is Representative Bill Posey (R-FL/8th).
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.
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 43 co-sponsors, the most recent of whom are Representatives John Lewis (D-GA/5th) and John Conyers (D-MI/13th).
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.