MAHSA Act Passes as Part of House Foreign Aid Package

MAHSA Act Passes as Part of House Foreign Aid Package 

Washington, DC — The Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) is pleased to announce that the 21st Century Peace Through Strength Act passed in the House of Representatives with the Mahsa Amini Human rights and Security Act (MAHSA Act) included in its text.  It was passed with bipartisan support with 360 yea votes.  

On Thursday this week, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul introduced the 21st Century Peace Through Strength Act which was included in a larger foreign aid package. The aid package comprised a number of different bills that would provide aid to Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan, while also targeting the Russia, China, Iran alliance.  Division H of the 21st Century Peace Through Strength Act contains the MAHSA Act text sponsored by Representative Jim Banks in the House.  

“Thank you, Chairman McCaul, for including the MAHSA Act within today’s foreign aid package,” said Dr. Neda Bolourchi, PAAIA’s Executive Director. “The MAHSA Act is an important step toward holding Iranian leaders accountable for their ongoing human rights abuses and continued support for terrorism. PAAIA continues to stand with the people of Iran as they confront the Islamic Republic’s oppressive policies and brutal tactics.” 

The MAHSA Act would require the Executive Branch to determine sanctions against the Supreme Leader of Iran, the President of Iran, their entities and offices, and their inner circle under existing executive orders 13876, 13553, 13818, and 13224 as well as impose visa and property bans pursuant to section 7021(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act of 2021.  

Today’s win for the MAHSA Act comes after the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) passed another version of the bill earlier this week. The SFRC bill had a few amendments attached which changed the nature of the legislation.  The version of the MAHSA Act that passed the House of Representatives last September is the version that was included in today’s foreign aid package.  

Now that the 21st Century Peace Through Strength Act has passed, this aid package will be sent to the Senate for a vote.  President Biden has already stated that he will sign the package into law if it is passed in both chambers.  This is arguably the closest the MAHSA Act has come to being made law since its initial introduction in 2022 after the death of Mahsa Amini.   

PAAIA is proud of the dedicated advocacy of the Iranian American community with regards to this legislation. Through our combined efforts as a community, we can achieve important progress like we saw today. Encourage your Senators to support the 21st Century Peace through Strength Act so that the MAHSA Act can officially become law.  

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