Sunday, 25 December 2016

CAESAR SYRIA CIVILIAN PROTECTION ACT OF 2016

[Pages H6192-H6202]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

CAESAR SYRIA CIVILIAN PROTECTION ACT OF 2016
Mr. ROYCE. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the bill (H.R. 5732) to halt the wholesale slaughter of the Syrian people, encourage a negotiated political settlement, and hold Syrian human rights abusers accountable for their crimes, as amended.
The Clerk read the title of the bill.
The text of the bill is as follows:
H.R. 5732 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1.
SHORT TITLE AND TABLE OF CONTENTS.
(a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2016''.
(b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act is as follows:
Sec. 1. Short title and table of contents.
Sec. 2. Findings.
Sec. 3. Sense of Congress.
Sec. 4. Statement of policy.

TITLE I--ADDITIONAL ACTIONS IN CONNECTION WITH THE NATIONAL EMERGENCY WITH RESPECT TO SYRIA

Sec. 101. Sanctions with respect to Central Bank of Syria and foreign persons that engage in certain transactions.
Sec. 102. Prohibitions with respect to the transfer of arms and related materials to Syria.
Sec. 103. Rule of construction.

TITLE II--AMENDMENTS TO SYRIA HUMAN RIGHTS ACCOUNTABILITY ACT OF 2012

Sec. 201. Imposition of sanctions with respect to certain persons who are responsible for or complicit in human rights abuses committed against citizens of Syria or their family members.
Sec. 202. Imposition of sanctions with respect to the transfer of goods or technologies to Syria that are likely to be used to commit human rights abuses.
Sec. 203. Imposition of sanctions with respect to persons who hinder humanitarian access.

[[Page H6193]] TITLE III--REPORTS AND WAIVER FOR HUMANITARIAN-RELATED ACTIVITIES WITH RESPECT TO SYRIA

Sec. 301. Report on monitoring and evaluating of ongoing assistance programs in Syria and to the Syrian people.
Sec. 302. Report on certain persons who are responsible for or complicit in certain human rights violations in Syria.
Sec. 303. Assessment of potential effectiveness of and requirements for the establishment of safe zones or a no-fly zone in Syria.
Sec. 304. Assistance to support entities taking actions relating to gathering evidence for investigations into war crimes or crimes against humanity in Syria since March 2011.

TITLE IV--SUSPENSION OF SANCTIONS WITH RESPECT TO SYRIA

Sec. 401. Suspension of sanctions with respect to Syria.
Sec. 402. Waivers and exemptions.

TITLE V--REGULATORY AUTHORITY, COST LIMITATION, AND SUNSET

Sec. 501. Regulatory authority.
Sec. 502. Cost limitation.
Sec. 503. Sunset.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS. Congress finds the following:
(1) Over 14,000,000 Syrians have become refugees or internally displaced persons over the last five years.
(2) The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has reported that since 2012, over 60,000 Syrians, including children, have died in Syrian prisons.
(3) In July 2014, the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives heard testimony from a former Syrian military photographer, alias ``Caesar'', who fled Syria and smuggled out thousands of photos of tortured bodies. In testimony, Caesar said, ``I have seen horrendous pictures of bodies of people who had tremendous amounts of torture, deep wounds and burns and strangulation.''.
(4) In a June 16, 2015, hearing of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives, United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Samantha Power, testified that there are alarming and grave reports that the Assad regime has been turning chlorine into a chemical weapon, and on June 16, 2015, Secretary of State John Kerry stated that he was ``absolutely certain'' that the Assad regime has used chlorine against his people.
(5) The Assad regime has repeatedly blocked civilian access to or diverted humanitarian assistance, including medical supplies, to besieged and hard-to-reach areas, in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions.
(6) The course of the Syrian transition and its future leadership may depend on what the United States and its partners do now to save Syrian lives, alleviate suffering, and help Syrians determine their own future.
SEC. 3. SENSE OF CONGRESS. It is the sense of Congress that-- (1) Bashar al-Assad's murderous actions against the people of Syria have caused the deaths of more than 400,000 civilians, led to the destruction of more than 50 percent of Syria's critical infrastructure, and forced the displacement of more than 14,000,000 people, precipitating the worst humanitarian crisis in more than 60 years;

(2) international actions to date have been insufficient in protecting vulnerable populations from being attacked by uniformed and irregular forces, including Hezbollah, associated with the Assad regime, on land and from the air, through the use of barrel bombs, chemical weapons, mass starvation campaigns, industrial-scale torture and execution of political dissidents, sniper attacks on pregnant women, and the deliberate targeting of medical facilities, schools, residential areas, and community gathering places, including markets;

(3) Assad's use of chemical weapons, including chlorine, against the Syrian people violates the Chemical Weapons Convention; and

(4) Assad's continued claim of leadership and actions in Syria are a rallying point for the extremist ideology of the Islamic State, Jabhat al-Nusra, and other terrorist organizations.

SEC. 4. STATEMENT OF POLICY. It is the policy of the United States that all diplomatic and coercive economic means should be utilized to compel the government of Bashir al-Assad to immediately halt the wholesale slaughter of the Syrian people and actively work towards transition to a democratic government in Syria, existing in peace and security with its neighbors.

TITLE I--ADDITIONAL ACTIONS IN CONNECTION WITH THE NATIONAL EMERGENCY WITH RESPECT TO SYRIA SEC. 101. SANCTIONS WITH RESPECT TO CENTRAL BANK OF SYRIA AND FOREIGN PERSONS THAT ENGAGE IN CERTAIN TRANSACTIONS.

(a) Application of Certain Measures to Central Bank of Syria.--Except as provided in subsections (a) and (b) of section 402, the President shall apply the measures described in section 5318A(b)(5) of title 31, United States Code, to the Central Bank of Syria.

(b) Blocking Property of Foreign Persons That Engage in Certain Transactions.--
(1) In general.--Beginning on and after the date that is 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall impose on a foreign person the sanctions described in subsection (c) if the President determines that such foreign person has, on or after such date of enactment, knowingly engaged in an activity described in paragraph (2).

(2) Activities described.--A foreign person engages in an activity described in this paragraph if the foreign person--
(A) knowingly provided significant financial, material or technological support to (including engaging in or facilitating a significant transaction or transactions with) or provided significant financial services for-- (i) the Government of Syria (including Syria's intelligence and security services or its armed forces or government entities operating as a business enterprise) and the Central Bank of Syria, or any of its agents or affiliates; or (ii) a foreign person subject to sanctions pursuant to-- (I) the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) with respect to Syria or any other provision of law that imposes sanctions with respect to Syria; or (II) a resolution that is agreed to by the United Nations Security Council that imposes sanctions with respect to Syria;

(B) knowingly-- (i) sold or provided significant goods, services, technology, information, or other support that could directly and significantly facilitate the maintenance or expansion of Syria's domestic production of natural gas or petroleum or petroleum products of Syrian origin in areas controlled by the Government of Syria; (ii) sold or provided to Syria crude oil or condensate, refined petroleum products, liquefied natural gas, or petrochemical products that have a fair market value of $500,000 or more or that during a 12-month period have an aggregate fair market value of $2,000,000 or more in areas controlled by the Government of Syria; (iii) sold or provided civilian aircraft or spare parts, or provides significant goods, services, or technologies associated with the operation of aircraft or airlines to any foreign person operating in areas controlled by the Government of Syria; or (iv) sold or provided significant goods, services, or technology to a foreign person operating in the shipping (including ports and free trade zones), transportation, or telecommunications sectors in areas controlled by the Government of Syria;

(C) knowingly facilitated efforts by a foreign person to carry out an activity described in subparagraph (A) or (B); (D) knowingly provided loans, credits, including export credits, or financing to carry out an activity described in subparagraph (A) or (B); and (E) is owned or controlled by a foreign person that engaged in the activities described in subparagraphs (A) through (C).

(c) Sanctions Against a Foreign Person.--The sanctions to be imposed on a foreign person described in subsection (b) are the following:

(1) In general.--The President shall exercise all powers granted by the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (except that the requirements of section 202 of such Act (50 U.S.C. 1701) shall not apply) to the extent necessary to freeze and prohibit all transactions in all property and interests in property of the foreign person if such property and interests in property are in the United States, come within the United States, or are or come within the possession or control of a United States person.

(2) Aliens ineligible for visas, admission, or parole.-- (A) Visas, admission, or parole.--An alien who the Secretary of State or the Secretary of Homeland Security (or a designee of one of such Secretaries) knows, or has reason to believe, meets any of the criteria described in subsection (a) is-- (i) inadmissible to the United States; (ii) ineligible to receive a visa or other documentation to enter the United States; and (iii) otherwise ineligible to be admitted or paroled into the United States or to receive any other benefit under the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.).

(B) Current visas revoked.-- (i) In general.--The issuing consular officer, the Secretary of State, or the Secretary of Homeland Security (or a designee of one of such Secretaries) shall revoke any visa or other entry documentation issued to an alien who meets any of the criteria described in subsection (a) regardless of when issued. (ii) Effect of revocation.--A revocation under clause (i)-- (I) shall take effect immediately; and (II) shall automatically cancel any other valid visa or entry documentation that is in the alien's possession. (3) Exception to comply with united nations headquarters agreement.--Sanctions under paragraph (2) shall not apply to an alien if admitting the alien into the United States is necessary to permit the United States to comply with the Agreement regarding the Headquarters of the United Nations, signed at Lake Success June 26, 1947, and entered into force November 21, 1947, between the United Nations and the United States, or other applicable international obligations.

(4) Penalties.--The penalties provided for in subsections (b) and (c) of section 206 of the [[Page H6194]] International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1705) shall apply to a person that knowingly violates, attempts to violate, conspires to violate, or causes a violation of regulations promulgated under section 501(a) to carry out paragraph (1) of this subsection to the same extent that such penalties apply to a person that knowingly commits an unlawful act described in section 206(a) of that Act.

(d) Definitions.--In this section: (1) Admitted; alien.--The terms ``admitted'' and ``alien'' have the meanings given such terms in section 101 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101). (2) Financial, material, or technological support.--The term ``financial, material, or technological support'' has the meaning given such term in section 542.304 of title 31, Code of Federal Regulations, as such section was in effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.

(3) Government of syria.--The term ``Government of Syria'' has the meaning given such term in section 542.305 of title 31, Code of Federal Regulations, as such section was in effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.

(4) Knowingly.--The term ``knowingly'' has the meaning given such term in section 566.312 of title 31, Code of Federal Regulations, as such section was in effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.

(5) Petroleum or petroleum products of syrian origin.--The term ``petroleum or petroleum products of Syrian origin'' has the meaning given such term in section 542.314 of title 31, Code of Federal Regulations, as such section was in effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.

(6) Significant transaction or transactions; significant financial services.--A transaction or transactions or financial services shall be determined to be a significant for purposes of this section in accordance with section 566.404 of title 31, Code of Federal Regulations, as such section was in effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.

(7) Syria.--The term ``Syria'' has the meaning given such term in section 542.316 of title 31, Code of Federal Regulations, as such section was in effect on the date of the enactment of this Act. SEC. 102.

PROHIBITIONS WITH RESPECT TO THE TRANSFER OF ARMS AND RELATED MATERIALS TO SYRIA.

(a) Sanctions.--
(1) In general.--Beginning on and after the date that is 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall impose on a foreign person the sanctions described in subsection (b) if the President determines that such foreign person has, on or after such date of enactment, knowingly exported, transferred, or provided significant financial, material, or technological support to the Government of Syria to--

(A) acquire or develop chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons or related technologies;
(B) acquire or develop ballistic or cruise missile capabilities;
(C) acquire or develop destabilizing numbers and types of advanced conventional weapons;
(D) acquire defense articles, defense services, or defense information (as such terms are defined under the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2751 et seq.)); or
(E) acquire items designated by the President for purposes of the United States Munitions List under section 38(a)(1) of the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2778(a)(1)).
(2) Applicability to other foreign persons.--The sanctions described in subsection (b) shall also be imposed on any foreign person that--
(A) is a successor entity to a foreign person described in paragraph (1); or
(B) is owned or controlled by a foreign person described in paragraph (1).

(b) Sanctions Against a Foreign Person.--
The sanctions to be imposed on a foreign person described in subsection (a) are the following:
(1) In general.--The President shall exercise all powers granted by the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (except that the requirements of section 202 of such Act (50 U.S.C. 1701) shall not apply) to the extent necessary to freeze and prohibit all transactions in all property and interests in property of the foreign person if such property and interests in property are in the United States, come within the United States, or are or come within the possession or control of a United States person.
(2) Aliens ineligible for visas, admission, or parole.--

(A) Visas, admission, or parole.--An alien who the Secretary of State or the Secretary of Homeland Security (or a designee of one of such Secretaries) knows, or has reason to believe, meets any of the criteria described in subsection (a) is-- (i) inadmissible to the United States; (ii) ineligible to receive a visa or other documentation to enter the United States; and (iii) otherwise ineligible to be admitted or paroled into the United States or to receive any other benefit under the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.).

(B) Current visas revoked.-- (i) In general.--The issuing consular officer, the Secretary of State, or the Secretary of Homeland Security (or a designee of one of such Secretaries) shall revoke any visa or other entry documentation issued to an alien who meets any of the criteria described in subsection (a) regardless of when issued. (ii) Effect of revocation.--
A revocation under clause (i)-- (I) shall take effect immediately; and (II) shall automatically cancel any other valid visa or entry documentation that is in the alien's possession.
(3) Exception to comply with united nations headquarters agreement.--
Sanctions under paragraph (2) shall not apply to an alien if admitting the alien into the United States is necessary to permit the United States to comply with the Agreement regarding the Headquarters of the United Nations, signed at Lake Success June 26, 1947, and entered into force November 21, 1947, between the United Nations and the United States, or other applicable international obligations. (4) Penalties.--
A person that violates, attempts to violate, conspires to violate, or causes a violation of any regulation, license, or order issued to carry out this section shall be subject to the penalties set forth in subsections (b) and (c) of section 206 of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1705) to the same extent as a person that commits an unlawful act described in subsection (a) of that section. (c) Definitions.--

In this section:
(1) Admitted; alien.--The terms ``admitted'' and ``alien'' have the meanings given such terms in section 101 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101).
(2) Financial, material, or technological support.--The term ``financial, material, or technological support'' has the meaning given such term in section 542.304 of title 31, Code of Federal Regulations, as such section was in effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.
(3) Foreign person.--The term ``foreign person'' has the meaning given such term in section 594.304 of title 31, Code of Federal Regulations, as such section was in effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.
(4) Knowingly.--The term ``knowingly'' has the meaning given such term in section 566.312 of title 31, Code of Federal Regulations, as such section was in effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.
(5) Syria.--The term ``Syria'' has the meaning given such term in section 542.316 of title 31, Code of Federal Regulations, as such section was in effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.
(6) United states person.--The term ``United States person'' has the meaning given such term in section 542.319 of title 31, Code of Federal Regulations, as such section was in effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 103. RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.
The sanctions that are required to be imposed under this title are in addition to other similar or related sanctions that are required to be imposed under any other provision of law.
TITLE II--

AMENDMENTS TO SYRIA HUMAN RIGHTS ACCOUNTABILITY ACT OF 2012 SEC. 201. IMPOSITION OF SANCTIONS WITH RESPECT TO CERTAIN PERSONS WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR OR COMPLICIT IN HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES COMMITTED AGAINST CITIZENS OF SYRIA OR THEIR FAMILY MEMBERS.
(a) In General.--
Section 702(c) of the Syria Human Rights Accountability Act of 2012 (22 U.S.C. 8791(c)) is amended to read as follows:

``(c) Sanctions Described.-- ``

(1) In general.--
The President shall exercise all powers granted by the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (except that the requirements of section 202 of such Act (50 U.S.C. 1701) shall not apply) to the extent necessary to freeze and prohibit all transactions in all property and interests in property of a person on the list required by subsection (b) if such property and interests in property are in the United States, come within the United States, or are or come within the possession or control of a United States person. ``(2) Aliens ineligible for visas, admission, or parole.-- ``
(A) Visas, admission, or parole.--
An alien who the Secretary of State or the Secretary of Homeland Security (or a designee of one of such Secretaries) knows, or has reason to believe, meets any of the criteria described in subsection (b) is-- ``(i) inadmissible to the United States; ``(ii) ineligible to receive a visa or other documentation to enter the United States; and ``(iii) otherwise ineligible to be admitted or paroled into the United States or to receive any other benefit under the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.).

``(B) Current visas revoked.-- ``(i) In general.--

The issuing consular officer, the Secretary of State, or the Secretary of Homeland Security (or a designee of one of such Secretaries) shall revoke any visa or other entry documentation issued to an alien who meets any of the criteria described in subsection (b) regardless of when issued. ``(ii) Effect of revocation.--
A revocation under clause (i)--
``(I) shall take effect immediately; and ``(II) shall automatically cancel any other valid visa or entry documentation that is in the alien's possession. ``
(3) Penalties.--
A person that violates, attempts to violate, conspires to violate, or causes a violation of this section or any regulation, license, or order issued to carry out this section shall be subject to the penalties set forth in subsections (b) and (c) of section 206 of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1705) to the [[Page H6195]] same extent as a person that commits an unlawful act described in subsection (a) of that section.
``(4) Regulatory authority.--
The President shall, not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this section, promulgate regulations as necessary for the implementation of this section.
``(5) Exception to comply with united nations headquarters agreement.--Sanctions under paragraph (2) shall not apply to an alien if admitting the alien into the United States is necessary to permit the United States to comply with the Agreement regarding the Headquarters of the United Nations, signed at Lake Success June 26, 1947, and entered into force November 21, 1947, between the United Nations and the United States, or other applicable international obligations.
``(6) Rule of construction.--Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the authority of the President to impose additional sanctions pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.), relevant Executive orders, regulations, or other provisions of law.''.
(b) Serious Human Rights Abuses Described.--
Section 702 of the Syria Human Rights Accountability Act of 2012 (22 U.S.C. 8791) is amended by adding at the end the following:
``(d) Serious Human Rights Abuses Described.--
In subsection (b), the term `serious human rights abuses' includes--
``(1) the deliberate targeting of civilian infrastructure to include schools, hospitals, and markets; and ``(2) hindering the prompt and safe access for all actors engaged in humanitarian relief activities, including across conflict lines and borders.''. (c) Effective Date.--

The amendments made by subsections (a) and (b) shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act and shall apply with respect to the imposition of sanctions under section 702(a) of the Syria Human Rights Accountability Act of 2012 on after such date of enactment.

SEC. 202. IMPOSITION OF SANCTIONS WITH RESPECT TO THE TRANSFER OF GOODS OR TECHNOLOGIES TO SYRIA THAT ARE LIKELY TO BE USED TO COMMIT HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES.

Section 703(b)(2)(C) of the Syria Human Rights Accountability Act of 2012 (22 U.S.C. 8792(b)(2)(C)) is amended--

(1) in clause (i), by striking ``or'' at the end; (2) in clause (ii), by striking the period at the end and inserting a semicolon; and (3) by adding at the end the following: ``(iii) any article designated by the President for purposes of the United States Munitions List under section 38(a)(1) of the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2778(a)(1)); or ``(iv) other goods or technologies that the President determines may be used by the Government of Syria to commit human rights abuses against the people of Syria.''.

SEC. 203. IMPOSITION OF SANCTIONS WITH RESPECT TO PERSONS WHO HINDER HUMANITARIAN ACCESS.

The Syria Human Rights Accountability Act of 2012 (22 U.S.C. 8791 et seq.) is amended--
(1) by redesignating sections 705 and 706 as sections 706 and 707, respectively;
(2) by inserting after section 704 the following:

``SEC. 705. IMPOSITION OF SANCTIONS WITH RESPECT TO PERSONS WHO HINDER HUMANITARIAN ACCESS. ``(a) In General.--

The President shall impose sanctions described in section 702(c) with respect to each person on the list required by subsection (b). ``(b) List of Persons Who Hinder Humanitarian Access.--
``(1) In general.--
Not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2016, the President shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a list of persons that the President determines have engaged in hindering the prompt and safe access for the United Nations, its specialized agencies and implementing partners, national and international non- governmental organizations, and all other actors engaged in humanitarian relief activities in Syria, including across conflict lines and borders.
``(2) Updates of list.--The President shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees an updated list under paragraph (1)--
``(A) not later than 300 days after the date of the enactment of the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2016 and every 180 days thereafter; and
``(B) as new information becomes available. ``(3) Form of report; public availability.-- ``(A) Form.--The list required by paragraph (1) shall be submitted in unclassified form but may contain a classified annex.
``(B) Public availability.--
The unclassified portion of the list required by paragraph (1) shall be made available to the public and posted on the websites of the Department of the Treasury and the Department of State.''; and (3) in section 706 (as so redesignated), by striking ``or 704'' and inserting ``704, or 705''.

TITLE III--
REPORTS AND WAIVER FOR HUMANITARIAN-RELATED ACTIVITIES WITH RESPECT TO SYRIA SEC. 301. REPORT ON MONITORING AND EVALUATING OF ONGOING ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS IN SYRIA AND TO THE SYRIAN PEOPLE.

(a) In General.--
Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State and the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development shall submit to the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate a report on the monitoring and evaluation of ongoing assistance programs in Syria and to the Syrian people.
(b) Matters To Be Included.--
The report required by subsection (a) shall include--
(1) the specific project monitoring and evaluation plans, including measurable goals and performance metrics for assistance in Syria; and
(2) the major challenges to monitoring and evaluating programs in Syria.

SEC. 302. REPORT ON CERTAIN PERSONS WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR OR COMPLICIT IN CERTAIN HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN SYRIA.
(a) In General.--
Not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a detailed report with respect to whether each person described in subsection (b) is a person that meets the requirements described in section 702(b) of the Syria Human Rights Accountability Act of 2012 (22 U.S.C. 8791(b) for purposes of inclusion on the list of persons who are responsible for or complicit in certain human rights abuses under such section. For any such person who is not included in such report, the President should include in the report a description of the reasons why the person was not included, including information on whether sufficient credible evidence of responsibility for such abuses was found.

(b) Persons Described.--
The persons described in this subsection are the following:
(1) Bashar Al-Assad.
(2) Asma Al-Assad.
(3) Rami Makhlouf.
(4) Bouthayna Shaaban.
(5) Walid Moallem.
(6) Ali Al-Salim.
(7) Wael Nader Al-Halqi.
(8) Jamil Hassan.
(9) Suhail Hassan.
(10) Ali Mamluk.
(11) Muhammed Khadour, Deir Ez Zor Military and Security.
(12) Jamal Razzouq, Security Branch 243.
(13) Munzer Ghanam, Air Force Intelligence.
(14) Daas Hasan Ali, Branch 327.
(15) Jassem Ali Jassem Hamad, Political Security.
(16) Samir Muhammad Youssef, Military Intelligence.
(17) Ali Ahmad Dayoub, Air Force Intelligence.
(18) Khaled Muhsen Al-Halabi, Security Branch 335.
(19) Mahmoud Kahila, Political Security.
(20) Zuhair Ahmad Hamad, Provincial Security.
(21) Wafiq Nasser, Security Branch 245.
(22) Qussay Mayoub, Air Force Intelligence.
(23) Muhammad Ammar Sardini, Political Security.
(24) Fouad Hammouda, Military Security.
(25) Hasan Daaboul, Branch 261.
(26) Yahia Wahbi, Air Force Intelligence.
(27) Okab Saqer, Security Branch 318.
(28) Husam Luqa, Political Security.
(29) Sami Al-Hasan, Security Branch 219.
(30) Yassir Deeb, Political Security.
(31) Ibrahim Darwish, Security Branch 220.
(32) Nasser Deeb, Political Security.
(33) Abdullatif Al-Fahed, Security Branch 290.
(34) Adeeb Namer Salamah, Air Force Intelligence.
(35) Akram Muhammed, State Security.
(36) Reyad Abbas, Political Security.
(37) Ali Abdullah Ayoub, Syrian Armed Forces.
(38) Fahd Jassem Al-Freij, Defense Ministry.
(39) Issam Halaq, Air Force.
(40) Ghassan Al-Abdullah, General Intelligence Directorate.
(41) Maher Al-Assad, Republican Guard.
(42) Fahad Al-Farouch.
(43) Rafiq Shahada, Military Intelligence.
(44) Loay Al-Ali, Military Intelligence.
(45) Nawfal Al-Husayn, Military Intelligence.
(46) Muhammad Zamrini, Military Intelligence.
(47) Muhammad Mahallah, Military Intelligence. (c) Form of Report; Public Availability.--
(1) Form.--
The list required by subsection (a) shall be submitted in unclassified form, but may contain a classified annex if necessary.
(2) Public availability.--
The unclassified portion of the list required by paragraph (1) shall be made available to the public and posted on the Web sites of the Department of the Treasury and the Department of State. (d) Definition.--
In this section, the term ``appropriate congressional committees'' means--
(1) the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Committee on Financial Services, the Committee on Ways and Means, and the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives; and (2) the Committee on Foreign Relations, the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate.

[[Page H6196]] SEC. 303. ASSESSMENT OF POTENTIAL EFFECTIVENESS OF AND REQUIREMENTS FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF SAFE ZONES OR A NO-FLY ZONE IN SYRIA.
(a) In General.--Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall submit to the appropriate congressional committee a report that--
(1) assesses the potential effectiveness, risks, and operational requirements of the establishment and maintenance of a no-fly zone over part or all of Syria, including--
(A) the operational and legal requirements for United States and coalition air power to establish a no-fly zone in Syria;
(B) the impact a no-fly zone in Syria would have on humanitarian and counterterrorism efforts in Syria and the surrounding region; and
(C) the potential for force contributions from other countries to establish a no-fly zone in Syria; and (2) assesses the potential effectiveness, risks, and operational requirements for the establishment of one or more safe zones in Syria for internally displaced persons or for the facilitation of humanitarian assistance, including--
(A) the operational and legal requirements for United States and coalition forces to establish one or more safe zones in Syria;
(B) the impact one or more safe zones in Syria would have on humanitarian and counterterrorism efforts in Syria and the surrounding region; and
(C) the potential for contributions from other countries and vetted non-state actor partners to establish and maintain one or more safe zones in Syria.
(b) Form.--
The report required by subsection (a) shall be submitted in unclassified form, but may contain a classified annex if necessary.
(c) Definition.--
In this section, the term ``appropriate congressional committees'' means--
(1) the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives; and (2) the Committee on Foreign Relations and the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate.

SEC. 304. ASSISTANCE TO SUPPORT ENTITIES TAKING ACTIONS RELATING TO GATHERING EVIDENCE FOR INVESTIGATIONS INTO WAR CRIMES OR CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY IN SYRIA SINCE MARCH 2011.
(a) In General.--
The Secretary of State, acting through the Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor and the Assistant Secretary for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, is authorized to provide assistance to support entities that are conducting criminal investigations, building Syrian investigative capacity, supporting prosecutions in national courts, collecting evidence and preserving the chain of evidence for eventual prosecution against those who have committed war crimes or crimes against humanity in Syria, including the aiding and abetting of such crimes by foreign governments and organizations supporting the Government of Syria, since March 2011.
(b) Report.--
Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State shall submit to the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate a detailed report on assistance provided under subsection (a).

TITLE IV--SUSPENSION OF SANCTIONS WITH RESPECT TO SYRIA SEC. 401. SUSPENSION OF SANCTIONS WITH RESPECT TO SYRIA.
(a) Suspension of Sanctions.--
(1) Negotiations not concluding in agreement.--
If the President determines that internationally recognized negotiations to resolve the violence in Syria have not concluded in an agreement or are likely not to conclude in an agreement, the President may suspend, as appropriate, in whole or in part, the imposition of sanctions otherwise required under this Act or any amendment made by this Act for a period not to exceed 120 days, and renewable for additional periods not to exceed 120 days, if the President submits to the appropriate congressional committees in writing a determination and certification that the Government of Syria has ended military attacks against and gross violations of the human rights of the Syrian people, specifically--

(A) the air space over Syria is no longer being utilized by the Government of Syria and associated forces to target civilian populations through the use of incendiary devices, including barrel bombs, chemical weapons, and conventional arms, including air-delivered missiles and explosives;

(B) areas besieged by the Assad regime and associated forces, including Hezbollah and irregular Iranian forces, are no longer cut off from international aid and have regular access to humanitarian assistance, freedom of travel, and medical care;

(C) the Government of Syria is releasing all political prisoners forcibly held within the Assad regime prison system, including the facilities maintained by various security, intelligence, and military elements associated with the Government of Syria and allowed full access to the same facilities for investigations by appropriate international human rights organizations; and

(D) the forces of the Government of Syria and associated forces, including Hezbollah, irregular Iranian forces, and Russian government air assets, are no longer engaged in deliberate targeting of medical facilities, schools, residential areas, and community gathering places, including markets, in flagrant violation of international norms.

(2) Negotiations concluding in agreement.--
(A) Initial suspension of sanctions.--

If the President determines that internationally recognized negotiations to resolve the violence in Syria have concluded in an agreement or are likely to conclude in an agreement, the President may suspend, as appropriate, in whole or in part, the imposition of sanctions otherwise required under this Act or any amendment made by this Act for a period not to exceed 120 days if the President submits to the appropriate congressional committees in writing a determination and certification that-- (i) in the case in which the negotiations are likely to conclude in an agreement-- (I) the Government of Syria, the Syrian High Negotiations Committee or its successor, and appropriate international parties are participating in direct, face-to-face negotiations; and (II) the suspension of sanctions under this Act or any amendment made by this Act is essential to the advancement of such negotiations; and (ii) the Government of Syria has demonstrated a commitment to a significant and substantial reduction in attacks on and violence against the Syrian people by the Government of Syria and associated forces.

(B) Renewal of suspension of sanctions.--
The President may renew a suspension of sanctions under subparagraph (A) for additional periods not to exceed 120 days if, for each such additional period, the President submits to the appropriate congressional committees in writing a determination and certification that-- (i) the conditions described in clauses (i) and (ii) of subparagraph (A) are continuing to be met; (ii) the renewal of the suspension of sanctions is essential to implementing an agreement described in subparagraph (A) or making progress toward concluding an agreement described in subparagraph (A); (iii) the Government of Syria and associated forces have ceased attacks against Syrian civilians; and (iv) the Government of Syria has publically committed to negotiations for a transitional government in Syria and continues to demonstrate that commitment through sustained engagement in talks and substantive and verifiable progress towards the implementation of such an agreement. (3) Briefing and reimposition of sanctions.--

(A) Briefing.--
Not later than 30 days after the President submits to the appropriate congressional committees a determination and certification in the case of a renewal of suspension of sanctions under paragraph (2)(B), and every 30 days thereafter, the President shall provide a briefing to the appropriate congressional committees on the status and frequency of negotiations described in paragraph (2).

(B) Re-imposition of sanctions.--
If the President provides a briefing to the appropriate congressional committees under subparagraph (A) with respect to which the President indicates a lapse in negotiations described in paragraph (2) for a period that equals or exceeds 90 days, the sanctions that were suspended under paragraph (2)(B) shall be re- imposed and any further suspension of such sanctions is prohibited.

(4) Definition.--In this subsection, the term ``appropriate congressional committees'' means--
(A) the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Committee on Financial Services, the Committee on Ways and Means, and the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives; and

(B) the Committee on Foreign Relations, the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate.

(b) Sense of Congress To Be Considered for Determining a Transitional Government in Syria.--
It is the sense of Congress that a transitional government in Syria is a government that--
(1) is taking verifiable steps to release all political prisoners and provided full access to Syrian prisons for investigations by appropriate international human rights organizations;

(2) is taking verifiable steps to remove former senior Syrian Government officials who are complicit in the conception, implementation, or cover up of war crimes, crimes against humanity, or human rights abuses from government positions and any person subject to sanctions under any provision of law;

(3) is in the process of organizing free and fair elections for a new government--
(A) to be held in a timely manner and scheduled while the suspension of sanctions or the renewal of the suspension of sanctions under this section is in effect; and
(B) to be conducted under the supervision of internationally recognized observers;
(4) is making tangible progress toward establishing an independent judiciary;
(5) is demonstrating respect for and compliance with internationally recognized human rights and basic freedoms as specified in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
(6) is taking steps to verifiably fulfill its commitments under the Chemical Weapons [[Page H6197]] Convention and the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and is making tangible progress toward becoming a signatory to Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction, entered into force March 26, 1975, and adhering to the Missile Technology Control Regime and other control lists, as necessary;
(7) has halted the development and deployment of ballistic and cruise missiles; and
(8) is taking verifiable steps to remove from positions of authority within the intelligence and security services as well as the military those who were in a position of authority or responsibility during the conflict and who under the authority of their position were implicated in or implicit in the torture, extrajudicial killing, or execution of civilians, to include those who were involved in decision   making or execution of plans to use chemical weapons.

SEC. 402. WAIVERS AND EXEMPTIONS.
(a) Exemptions.--
The following activities and transactions shall be exempt from sanctions authorized under this Act: (1) Any activity subject to the reporting requirements under title V of the National Security Act of 1947 (50 U.S.C. 3091 et seq.), or to any authorized intelligence activities of the United States.

(2) Any transaction necessary to comply with United States obligations under--
(A) the Agreement between the United Nations and the United States of America regarding the Headquarters of the United Nations, signed at Lake Success June 26, 1947, and entered into force November 21, 1947; or (B) the Convention on Consular Relations, done at Vienna April 24, 1963, and entered into force March 19, 1967. (b) Humanitarian and Democracy Assistance Waiver.--
(1) Statement of policy.--
It shall be the policy of the United States to fully utilize the waiver authority under this subsection to ensure that adequate humanitarian relief or support for democracy promotion is provided to the Syrian people.
(2) Waiver.--Except as provided in paragraph (5), the President may waive, on a case-by-case basis, for a period not to exceed 120 days, and renewable for additional periods not to exceed 120 days, the application of sanctions authorized under this Act with respect to a person if the President submits to the appropriate congressional committees a written determination that the waiver is necessary for purposes of providing humanitarian assistance or support for democracy promotion to the people of Syria.
(3) Content of written determination.--
A written determination submitted under paragraph (1) with respect to a waiver shall include a description of all notification and accountability controls that have been employed in order to ensure that the activities covered by the waiver are humanitarian assistance or support for democracy promotion and do not entail any activities in Syria or dealings with the Government of Syria not reasonably related to humanitarian assistance or support for democracy promotion.
(4) Clarification of permitted activities under waiver.--
The President may not impose sanctions authorized under this Act against a humanitarian organization for--
(A) engaging in a financial transaction relating to humanitarian assistance or for humanitarian purposes pursuant to a waiver issued under paragraph (1);
(B) transporting goods or services that are necessary to carry out operations relating to humanitarian assistance or humanitarian purposes pursuant to such a waiver; or
(C) having incidental contact, in the course of providing humanitarian assistance or aid for humanitarian purposes pursuant to such a waiver, with individuals who are under the control of a foreign person subject to sanctions under this Act or any amendment made by this Act unless the organization or its officers, members, representatives or employees have engaged in (or the President knows or has reasonable ground to believe is engaged in or is likely to engage in) conduct described in section 212(a)(3)(B)(iv)(VI) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(3)(B)(iv)(VI)).
(5) Exception to waiver authority.--
The President may not exercise the waiver authority under paragraph (2) with respect to a foreign person who has (or whose officers, members, representatives or employees have) engaged in (or the President knows or has reasonable ground to believe is engaged in or is likely to engage in) conduct described in section 212(a)(3)(B)(iv)(VI) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(3)(B)(iv)(VI)). (c) Waiver.-- (1) In general.--The President may, on a case-by-case basis and for periods not to exceed 120 days, waive the application of sanctions under this Act with respect to a foreign person if the President certifies to the appropriate congressional committees that such waiver is vital to the national security interests of the United States.
(2) Consultation.--
(A) Before waiver issued.--
Not later than 5 days before the issuance of a waiver under paragraph (1) is to take effect, the President shall notify and brief the appropriate congressional committees on the status of the foreign person involvement in activities described in this Act.
(B) After waiver issued.--
Not later than 90 days after the issuance of a waiver under paragraph (1), and every 120 days thereafter if the waiver remains in effect, the President shall brief the appropriate congressional committees on the status of the foreign person's involvement in activities described in this Act.
(3) Definition.--In this subsection, the term ``appropriate congressional committees'' means--
(A) the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Committee on Financial Services, the Committee on Ways and Means, and the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives; and (B) the Committee on Foreign Relations, the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate.
(d) Codification of Certain Services in Support of Nongovernmental Organizations' Activities Authorized.--

(1) In general.--Except as provided in paragraph (2), section 542.516 of title 31, Code of Federal Regulations (relating to certain services in support of nongovernmental organizations' activities authorized), as in effect on the day before the date of the enactment of this Act, shall--
(A) remain in effect on and after such date of enactment; and
(B) in the case of a nongovernmental organization that is authorized to export or reexport services to Syria under such section on the day before such date of enactment, shall apply to such organization on and after such date of enactment to the same extent and in the same manner as such section applied to such organization on the day before such date of enactment.

(2) Exception.--
Section 542.516 of title 31, Code of Federal Regulations, as codified under paragraph (1), shall not apply with respect to a foreign person who has (or whose officers, members, representatives or employees have) engaged in (or the President knows or has reasonable ground to believe is engaged in or is likely to engage in) conduct described in section 212(a)(3)(B)(iv)(VI) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(3)(B)(iv)(VI)).

TITLE V--REGULATORY AUTHORITY, COST LIMITATION, AND SUNSET SEC. 501. REGULATORY AUTHORITY.
(a) In General.--
The President shall, not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, promulgate regulations as necessary for the implementation of this Act and the amendments made by this Act. (b) Notification to Congress.--
Not less than 10 days before the promulgation of regulations under subsection (a), the President shall notify and provide to the appropriate congressional committees the proposed regulations and the provisions of this Act and the amendments made by this Act that the regulations are implementing. (c) Definition.--
In this section, the term ``appropriate congressional committees'' means--
(1) the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Financial Services of the House of Representatives; and (2) the Committee on Foreign Relations and the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate.
SEC. 502. COST LIMITATION.
No additional funds are authorized to carry out the requirements of this Act and the amendments made by this Act.
Such requirements shall be carried out using amounts otherwise authorized.
SEC. 503.
SUNSET. This Act shall cease to be effective beginning on December 31, 2021.
The SPEAKER pro tempore.
Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from California (Mr. Royce) and the gentleman from New York (Mr. Engel) each will control 20 minutes.
The Chair recognizes the gentleman from California.

GENERAL LEAVE Mr. ROYCE.
Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and to enter any extraneous material into the Record.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from California? There was no objection.

Mr. ROYCE.
Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank, first of all, the gentleman from New York (Mr. Engel). He is the ranking member of this committee, but he has also been the leader in authorizing this critical legislation and also has been such a prophetic voice on this subject of Syria policy from the beginning, from that first day when we saw people out, on CNN, out on the streets in Damascus, saying, ``peaceful, peaceful,'' only to see the automatic weapons of the regime open up on those citizens.
From that day forward, he has tried to focus us on this issue. I wish this body and I wish the White House had done more to heed his calls, for what we have now is a grim lesson, a grim lesson in human suffering.
The Syrian regime has launched wave after wave after wave of unrelenting destruction, and I am talking about the airstrikes, the chemical weapons, the starvation, the industrial-scale torture, and the deliberate targeting, as [[Page H6198]] we have seen time and time again, of hospitals and of schools and of marketplaces with precision bombs, and then with crude barrel bombs, and then with chemical weapons.

These are the hallmarks of life for millions of people in Syria. The number of dead from this alone exceeds 450,000, and another 14 million souls have been driven from their homes. ISIS plays a role, also, for the people of Syria in the violence that they face there, and so it is that they face this twin challenge. But it is Bashar al-Assad and his backers that have this instrument of death from the air, this capacity.
It is Russia, it is Iran and Hezbollah who now are the primary drivers of the death and the destruction. It is the Russian and Syrian fighter planes, helicopters, that drop these bombs on these hospitals and schools. It is Hezbollah, and it is the IRGC fighters from Iran and the commanders who besiege cities, who burn the crops and prevent food and water and medical supplies from reaching cities. It is Assad's secret police and intelligence groups, the intelligence apparatus of maybe 14 different agencies, who kidnap and then torture and then get new names from those they have killed and then go out to repeat that process and murder civilians from every ethnic group and every political party. Whether Sunni or Shia or Christian or Alawite, none are safe. We have gone through, in the committee, some of the--well, there were tens of thousands of photographs, but I think we have identified 11,000 souls, people in these photographs that were individually killed, tortured and killed in the prisons, Assad's prisons. And there is this bizarre--I have never understood it--this bizarre focus on recording every death. That is why we know the numbers, recording the death and putting a number on that body and cataloging this. For some reason, totalitarian regimes have done this from the Soviet era to the Nazis to Pol Pot; and for whatever reason, this practice continues.

The Foreign Affairs Committee heard the agonizing testimony from Syrians caught in this horror, including the brave Syrian defector known to the world now as Caesar and for whom this bill is named, who testified to us of the shocking scale of torture being carried out within the prisons of Syria. It was his job for the regime to document this with his camera. Throughout all of the suffering, the administration has failed to use the tools at its disposal. Time after time, when given the opportunity to take steps to stop this suffering, the administration has decided not to decide; and that, itself, unfortunately, has set a course where here we sit and we watch, and the violence only worsens.

Mr. Speaker, America has been sitting back and watching these atrocities for far too long. Vital U.S. national security interests are at stake, and from increased humanitarian aid to serious, increased assistance to the moderate opposition, to safe zones, to the application of U.S. economic power, there are options available. These options are available to us. This particular legislation is designed to increase the cost to Assad and to his outside backers by targeting the sectors of the economy that allow Assad to murder with impunity. {time} 1545 Under the bill, foreign companies and banks will have to choose between doing business with that regime that is carrying out these kinds of practices or with the United States. For there to be peace in Syria, the parties must come together. And as long as Assad and his backers can slaughter the people of Syria with no consequences, there is no hope for peace. Mr. Speaker, this bill is long overdue. I urge all Members to support this legislation as we seek to ease the suffering of the Syrian people. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

House of Representatives, Committee on Foreign Affairs, Washington, DC, September 15, 2016. Hon. Jeb Hensarling, Chairman, Committee on Financial Services, Washington, DC. Dear Chairman Hensarling: Thank you for consulting with the Foreign Affairs Committee and agreeing to be discharged from further consideration of H.R. 5732, the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2016, so that the bill may proceed expeditiously to the House floor. I agree that your forgoing further action on this measure does not in any way diminish or alter the jurisdiction of your committee, or prejudice its jurisdictional prerogatives on this resolution or similar legislation in the future. I would support your effort to seek appointment of an appropriate number of conferees from your committee to any House-Senate conference on this legislation. I will seek to place our letters on H.R. 5732 into the Congressional Record during floor consideration of the resolution. I appreciate your cooperation regarding this legislation and look forward to continuing to work together as this measure moves through the legislative process. Sincerely, Edward R. Royce, Chairman. ____ House of Representatives, Committee on Financial Services, Washington, DC, September 16, 2016.

Hon. Ed Royce, Chairman, Committee on Foreign Affairs, Washington, DC. Dear Chairman Royce:

I am writing concerning H.R. 5732, the ``Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2016.'' As a result of your having consulted with the Committee on Financial Services concerning provisions in the bill that fall within our Rule X jurisdiction, I agree to forgo action on the bill so that it may proceed expeditiously to the House Floor. The Committee on Financial Services takes this action with our mutual understanding that, by foregoing consideration of H.R. 5732 at this time, we do not waive any jurisdiction over the subject matter contained in this or similar legislation, and that our Committee will be appropriately consulted and involved as this or similar legislation moves forward so that we may address any remaining issues that fall within our Rule X jurisdiction.

Our Committee also reserves the right to seek appointment of an appropriate number of conferees to any House-Senate conference involving this or similar legislation, and requests your support for any such request. Finally, I would ask that a copy of our exchange of letters on this matter be included in the Congressional Record during floor consideration of the legislation.
Sincerely, Jeb Hensarling, Chairman. ____

House of Representatives, Committee on Foreign Affairs, Washington, DC, September 15, 2016. Hon. Bob Goodlatte, Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary, Washington, DC.
Dear Chairman Goodlatte:
Thank you for consulting with the Foreign Affairs Committee and agreeing to be discharged from further consideration of H.R. 5732, the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2016, so that the bill may proceed expeditiously to the House floor. I agree that your forgoing further action on this measure does not in any way diminish or alter the jurisdiction of your committee, or prejudice its jurisdictional prerogatives on this resolution or similar legislation in the future. I would support your effort to seek appointment of an appropriate number of conferees from your committee to any House-Senate conference on this legislation. I will seek to place our letters on H.R. 5732 into the Congressional Record during floor consideration of the resolution. I appreciate your cooperation regarding this legislation and look forward to continuing to work together as this measure moves through the legislative process.

Sincerely, Edward R. Royce, Chairman. ____
House of Representatives, Committee on the Judiciary, Washington, DC, September 16, 2016. Hon. Edward R. Royce, Chairman, Committee on Foreign Affairs, Washington, DC. Dear Chairman Royce: I write with respect to H.R. 5732, the ``Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2016,'' which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs and in addition to the Committee on the Judiciary among others. As a result of your having consulted with us on provisions within H.R. 5732 that fall within the Rule X jurisdiction of the Committee on the Judiciary, I agree to discharge our committee from further consideration of this bill so that it may proceed expeditiously to the House floor for consideration. The Judiciary Committee takes this action with our mutual understanding that by foregoing consideration of H.R. 5732 at this time, we do not waive any jurisdiction over subject matter contained in this or similar legislation and that our committee will be appropriately consulted and involved as this bill or similar legislation moves forward so that we may address any remaining issues in our jurisdiction. Our committee also reserves the right to seek appointment of an appropriate number of conferees to any House-Senate conference involving this or similar legislation and asks that you support any such request. I would appreciate a response to this letter confirming this understanding with respect [[Page H6199]] to H.R. 5732 and would ask that a copy of our exchange of letters on this matter be included in your committee report and in the Congressional Record during floor consideration of H.R. 5732.
Sincerely, Bob Goodlatte, Chairman. ____
House of Representatives, Committee on Ways and Means, Washington, DC, August 1, 2016. Hon. Edward R. Royce, Chairman, Committee on Foreign Affairs, Washington, DC. Dear Chairman Royce: I am writing with respect to H.R. 5732, the ``Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2016.'' As a result of your having consulted with us on provisions in H.R. 5732 that fall within the Rule X jurisdiction of the Committee on Ways and Means, I agree not to request a sequential referral on this bill so that it may proceed expeditiously to the House floor. The Committee on Ways and Means takes this action with the mutual understanding that by forgoing formal consideration of H.R. 5732, we do not waive any jurisdiction over the subject matter contained in this or similar legislation, and the Committee will be appropriately consulted and involved as the bill or similar legislation moves forward so that we may address any remaining issues that fall within our Rule X jurisdiction. The Committee also reserves the right to seek appointment of an appropriate number of conferees to any House-Senate conference involving this or similar legislation, and requests your support for such request. Finally, I would appreciate your response to this letter confirming this understanding, and would ask that a copy of our exchange of letters on this matter be included in the Congressional Record during floor consideration thereof.
Sincerely, Kevin Brady, Chairman. ____
House of Representatives, Committee on Foreign Affairs, Washington, DC, September 15, 2016. Hon. Kevin Brady, Chairman, Committee on Ways and Means, Washington, DC. Dear Chairman Brady: Thank you for consulting with the Foreign Affairs Committee on HR. 5732, the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2016, and for agreeing to forgo a sequential referral request so that the bill may proceed expeditiously to the House floor. I agree that your declining to pursue a sequential referral in this case does not diminish or alter the jurisdiction of the Committee on Ways and Means, or prejudice its jurisdictional prerogatives on this bill or similar legislation in the future. I would support your effort to seek appointment of an appropriate number of conferees from your committee to any House-Senate conference on this legislation. I will seek to place our letters on this bill into the Congressional Record during floor consideration of the bill. I appreciate your cooperation regarding this legislation and look forward to continuing to work with the Committee on Ways and Means as this measure moves through the legislative process. Sincerely, Edward R. Royce, Chairman. Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of my measure. First of all, as usual, I want to thank our chairman, Ed Royce, for his leadership on the Foreign Affairs Committee and for agreeing to bring this bill forward. I am proud to have him as my partner. I am proud to have him as the lead Republican cosponsor of the bill. And more than 80 of our colleagues on both sides of the aisle have joined as cosponsors, putting their support behind this legislation. This is what I said before, this is what we do best on the Foreign Affairs Committee, Mr. Speaker: we advance meaningful legislation with broad- based support. Mr. Speaker, 2 years ago, as Mr. Royce just said, a man known as Caesar sat before the Foreign Affairs Committee and told his story through words and, horrifically, through pictures. He was a photographer who worked for the Assad Government in Syria. The images he captured of the Assad regime's brutality eventually pushed him to defect to the opposition. His real name wasn't Caesar. He was in hiding. He wore a mask. We couldn't see his face. These are images he shared with members of our committee: images of death, torture, and unthinkable, inhuman cruelty. I will never forget what he showed us. We know that what we saw was the smallest fraction of what the Assad regime was inflicting on its own citizens, and we know that violence has gone on unabated for at least 2 years since. Those bodies--those dead bodies--lined up are unbelievable. I will never get it out of my mind. More is needed to jolt this crisis out of its bloody status quo. I welcome the recent decision by the European Union to sanction members of the regime responsible for the brutal air campaign against civilians in Aleppo. We need to look for more ways to work with partners to dial up pressure on Assad and his enablers. This bill would give the administration more tools to do so. It will impose new sanctions on parties that continue to do business with the Assad regime. As Chairman Royce said 3, 3\1/2\ years ago, 4 years ago, I thought that we should have aided the Free Syria Army. They came to us in Washington and begged us for help. They weren't looking for American troops. They were simply looking for weaponry. I really believe if we had given it to them, the situation in Syria would have been different today. You can't prove it because it didn't happen. But all I know is we never would have imagined that now, as we are going into the new year of 2017, Assad still clings to power at the expense of killing millions of his citizens. So we need to look for more ways to work with partners to dial up pressure on Assad and his enablers. This bill would give the administration, as I mentioned, more tools. It would impose new sanctions on parties that continue to do business with the Assad regime. We want to go after the things driving the war machine: money, airplanes, spare parts, oil--the military supply chain. And, yes, we want to go after Assad's partners in violence. Russia's air campaign has enabled the Syrian regime, along with Iranian and Hezbollah forces. Russian planes have targeted schools, hospitals, and public spaces. When Syrian helicopters would attack, at least the civilians would hear them coming and have a few minutes to run for cover. President Putin's planes don't even give them that chance. Under this legislation, if you are acting as a lifeline to the Assad regime, you risk getting caught up in the net of our sanctions. Mr. Speaker, we marked this bill up in committee several months ago. It was ready to come to the floor before we left for the election. But, at the time, a cease-fire showed a glimmer of hope, and we thought maybe we can wait because maybe the cease-fire would come, but it didn't. The glimmer has gone out. It is time now, finally, to take a different approach and try to move towards a resolution. When we are on that path, the bill will also help lay the groundwork for addressing the war crimes and the crimes against humanity that have marked this conflict. This bill will guide efforts to put together evidence for an eventual prosecution and would establish a report so that the world knows the names of those responsible for these brutal human rights violations. Once again, I am grateful to Chairman Royce for his leadership. He has been a strong and consistent voice on Syria, and I know he wants to see an end to the bloodshed as well. I ask all Members to support my bill. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time. Mr. ROYCE. Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the gentlewoman from Florida (Ms. Ros-Lehtinen). She chairs the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa. Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the chairman and my good friend, the ranking member, for bringing forth this important bill to the floor before us today. I rise in strong support of this bill, H.R. 5732, the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act, a bill of which I am proud to be an original cosponsor. And I want to thank again our wonderful chairman and esteemed ranking member for always working together in a strong bipartisan manner to bring important issues to the House floor. This bill is no exception. Often lost in the debate on the fight against ISIS or the future of Syria is the humanitarian crisis that has resulted from this conflict that is now in its sixth year with no end in sight. These numbers are horrific. You heard Chairman Royce and Ranking Member Engel speak of them: hundreds of thousands dead, millions that have fled their homes, and millions more who are in desperate need of assistance. Yet the Assad regime and its patrons in Iran and Russia continue to bring pain and suffering to the people of [[Page H6200]] Syria. What is worse is they continue to deny humanitarian assistance to parts of the country. Actions need to be taken, Mr. Speaker, against Assad and his regime, and they need to be taken against those who are providing materiel support to Assad that allows this horrific conflict to continue. Accountability is imperative, and that is what this bill aims to do. Mr. Speaker, this bill builds upon a bill that I authored in 2012 which became law: the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act. It expands the sanctions currently on the books, and it gives the administration the tools to go after those who are responsible for this humanitarian crisis and the ongoing suffering of the people of Syria. I was so pleased to work with Chairman Royce and Ranking Member Engel to include amendments that I authored into this bill that would determine that denying or hindering access to humanitarian aid is, indeed, a serious human rights violation and, as such, would allow the administration to sanction any individual responsible for doing so. The United Nations Security Council has already passed several resolutions to allow for direct and free access to humanitarian aid. But, Mr. Speaker, as reported in a recent GAO review that I commissioned alongside our esteemed Foreign Affairs colleagues, Congressman Ted Deutch, Ron DeSantis, and Gerry Connolly, the Assad regime, between the years 2015 and earlier this year, has denied 100 of the 113 requests from the United Nations to deliver humanitarian aid. This is unconscionable. This must be put to an end immediately. This step, therefore, Mr. Speaker, is a step in that correct direction to bring accountability to Assad and the supporters of this evil regime for the atrocities they have committed or are complicit in. I would urge my colleagues to support this important measure before us, and I would urge the administration to lend its strong support for this bill and use this legislation as an opportunity to fully and vigorously enforce these sanctions in an attempt to put an end to one of the greatest humanitarian tragedies in a generation. Mr. Speaker, I thank Mr. Royce and Mr. Engel. Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Kildee) who was an original cosponsor of the bill. Mr. KILDEE. Mr. Speaker, I thank my friend, the ranking member, and Chairman Royce for their work on this really important piece of legislation. For 5 years--for 5 long years--the world has witnessed this terrible tragedy unfold before our eyes. Nearly half a million Syrians have been killed--not soldiers--men, women, and children killed, 5 million Syrian citizens driven from their own country, 10 million displaced from their homes, often leaving homes that have generation after generation of history, leaving behind their legacy; and atrocities, as we have recounted, the targeting of children, the targeting of hospitals, and the targeting of schools. Clearly, this Congress can and should act, and that is why I am so pleased to be a cosponsor of this and to join my colleagues in supporting this important legislation. This legislation would bring much-needed and long overdue accountability to the Assad regime. After all, they are responsible for these horrific crimes. It would do so by imposing sanctions on those responsible and for those who are abetting these coldhearted and merciless acts. It would authorize the Department of State to do what they need to do to assist those entities investigating these terrible war crimes and to hold the Assad regime accountable. It would mandate that the U.S. Government explore every option available to it to address this horrific conflict, to do whatever we can in order to bring it to an end, and to use every tool we have available to us to stand with the Syrian people. Assad must be held accountable for this massacre--the massacre of his own people. It is also important, as we move forward with this legislation, that we pause for a moment to thank those many people who have worked for so long to get this legislation to the floor. I am talking about citizens, particularly a lot of young people who, facing incredible pain, have made it their cause to ensure that this day comes. Let's not just stand with the Syrian people against Assad but also stand with those who have brought this question to us, and validate and support their exercise of their civic responsibility and their democratic efforts to get this Congress to do the work of the American people. Our principles demand that we support this legislation. This is the American thing to do. We have to act, and I am proud to stand with my colleagues and encourage all my colleagues--Democrats and Republicans-- to speak with one voice on this matter and pass this really critical and important humanitarian legislation. Mr. Speaker, I thank the ranking member for his time, and I thank the chairman for his efforts on this matter. Mr. ROYCE. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Curbelo). Mr. CURBELO of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I thank the chairman for yielding. Mr. Speaker, today I rise in strong support of H.R. 5732, the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2016. This legislation would impose sanctions on those who are responsible for the Syrian humanitarian crisis and on those who hinder or deny humanitarian assistance in Syria by declaring that to be a serious abuse of human rights. I have consistently said that the conflict in Syria is one of the greatest blemishes on human history, and it is imperative that we do more to put an end to it. Bashar al-Assad's regime has committed horrific abuses against civilians in his country by employing widespread torture and other tactics that have shocked the international community. The regime also continues to block aid from reaching parts of Syria in spite of U.N. Security Council resolutions calling for access to humanitarian assistance. This legislation holds not only regime officials accountable but also those who are providing the regime the support it needs to carry out its appalling crimes. {time} 1600 Since 2011, millions have been forced to flee from their homes to escape the brutal violence and unlivable conditions that plague the country. Half a million people have died. I believe that strong action is long overdue. H.R. 5732 is a step forward, and I encourage all of my colleagues to vote in favor of it. I want to thank Representative Engel for introducing this important legislation and Chairman Royce for all of his work. Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time. Mr. ROYCE. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Smith), chairman of the Foreign Affairs subcommittee responsible not only for Africa, but also for global human rights issues. Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my good friend and colleague, Ed Royce, the chairman of our committee, for his leadership on all things related to the Syrian crisis, the Iranian crisis, and the large number of hearings that we have had that have brought a focus on these horrific atrocities being committed by Assad. And I want to thank Eliot Engel for sponsoring the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2016. Mr. Speaker, for more than 5 years, the Assad regime has been committing crimes against humanity and war crimes against civilians, including murder, torture, and rape, and has been doing so on an industrial scale. No one has been spared from its targeting--not even children. These atrocities have fueled the largest refugee crisis since World War II, overwhelming the region and propelling a refugee crisis in Europe. More than 6 million people are also internally displaced inside of Syria, which has become one of the most deadly places in the world to deliver humanitarian assistance. The administration's response has not stopped the carnage, nor have the European efforts. This has emboldened the regime; and for months the Syrian and Russian militaries have systematically been bombing Aleppo, Syria's most populous city before the conflict, and they have been bombing it into rubble. The United States must impose the strongest available sanctions on perpetrators in the Syrian regime who are [[Page H6201]] complicit in these atrocities and foreigners who feed its killing machine. This legislation is a very, very important step in that direction. I urge its support and, again, thank the chairman and the ranking member for their leadership. Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume. We cannot delay action on Syria any longer. The violence has gone on too long and at too great a cost. If we don't get this legislation across the finish line in the next few weeks, we are back at square one. The gentlewoman from Florida (Ms. Ros-Lehtinen), who spoke earlier, talked about working in this region and the legislation that we did. Well, in 2004, I believe, she and I cosponsored the Syria Accountability Act and it passed into law. We really regarded it at the time as a major achievement which helped calm things down in that area. But now it has been many years and things are getting worse. When I speak with people who have direct knowledge of what is going on on a daily basis in Aleppo and in other places, they tell me that not only are barrel bombs being dropped on the civilian population-- and, as somebody mentioned before, these aren't people dying who are dying in war; they are civilians, and they have had barrel bombs dropped on them, which is terrible--now do you know what the Assad regime is doing? It is dropping bunker-buster bombs on its people, on its civilians. So the people who go underground--literally underground--to avoid the bombs from being dropped on top of them get murdered by bunker-busting bombs that actually go there and have no purpose except to kill innocent civilians. It is absolutely a disgrace, and we cannot stand idly by and just allow this to happen. This legislation won't tie the hands of this administration or the next administration. This bill has plenty of flexibility built in so that we can adapt to changing conditions. But if we pass it and put it to work, this measure will tie the hands of the Assad regime. It will help to cut off its ability to carry out violence against its own people, and it will discourage other powers from sustaining the campaign of violence. I echo every word that was said today from our colleagues on both sides of the aisle. So let's do the right thing for the Syrian people, the right thing for humanity, and pass this bill. I urge all Members to vote ``aye.'' I yield back the balance of my time. Mr. ROYCE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume. In closing, I want to once again recognize our colleague, Ranking Member Eliot Engel, not only for authoring this bill, but, over the years, for raising this issue with his colleagues, with the President of the United States, with the media, and with the NGO community in order to try to get action. And I thank, also, other Members who contributed on this bill. Our committee, as Eliot has shared with you, has heard firsthand accounts of the suffering. I guess the one thing I would say is that the EU has finally been moved to take steps recently. We welcome those steps to sanction those within the Assad regime responsible for the brutal air campaign against innocent civilians in Aleppo. We heard firsthand accounts not only of the suffering, but we heard the testimony from Raed Saleh of the Syrian White Helmets. These are the doctors and the nurses and the volunteers who actually, when the bombs come, run toward the areas that have been hit in order to try to get the injured civilians medical treatment. They try to provide relief for these victims. They have lost over 600 doctors and nurses. Doctors and nurses come from all over the world to try to assist. When Mr. Engel told you about these bunker-buster bombs that are being dropped from the air, they are being dropped on civilians, but they are also being dropped on the hospitals. In Aleppo, there are six hospitals. Four of them have been destroyed. Last week, four of those last six were utterly destroyed by bunker-buster bombs dropped by Russian planes and by the Syrian Air Force. But there are two that are partially left. In these two, there is, no longer, morphine and there are, no longer, medical supplies. They bring those injured who have some chance of survival in there to try to treat them. In the meantime, the bombs rain down every day. They were nominated, the organization, the White Helmets--the volunteer group, doctors and nurses--for a Nobel Peace Prize, but so many of them now have gone to their graves. We have heard of the terror. Dr. Mohamed Tennari of the Syrian American Medical Society described for the committee the sound of those helicopters overhead, the thump of exploding bombs and the overpowering smell of bleach in the area, that bleach that is dropped as part of chemical weaponry, and then the effects of the toxic gas on the human body: foaming at the mouth, gasping for breath, dying slow, agonizing deaths as the chlorine gas turns to hydrochloric acid in the lungs of the victims. Many of those victims--so many of those victims--are children, and so many of those attacks come in the dead of night. And again, these are the broad civilian areas of that country that are not presently controlled by the Assad regime. We are not talking about the attacks on the front lines. We are talking about the attacks on hospitals in the civilian sectors. Mr. Speaker, for 5 years, or nearly that, international diplomats have debated ways to protect the civilian populations targeted by the Assad regime and its backers. Listen, we can see the ethnic cleansing going on. There is a reason why you have got 14 million people fleeing. It is this aggressive campaign, when we talk about ethnic cleansing, aggressive campaign now by the Russian Air Force that has joined the Syrian Air Force in hitting Aleppo and other parts of the country. Even the United Nations calls this crimes of historic proportions--crimes of historic proportions. Enough is enough. Today we send a message that this will not stand and that the United States will work to ensure that war crimes committed by Assad, that the war machine cannot rain down on the people of Syria unrelentingly. It is not too late to act. We have to cut off their ability to have this capacity, and we have to put those sanctions in place on this. I urge all Members to support this legislation. I yield back the balance of my time.

Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, as a former member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and Senior Member of the House Judiciary Committee; I rise in support of H.R. 5732, the ``Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2016.'' The situation in Syria is truly appalling, innocent civilians are subject to the Assad's brutality. Over 14 million Syrians have become refugees or have been internally displaced over the last five years. The Syrian transition and its future leadership are likely to depend on what the United States and its partners do now to save the lives of innocent Syrians. I am pleased to join in co-sponsoring this legislation that will hinder the Assad's access to resources it uses to harm its people. This bill is named in honor of the courageous former Syrian military photographer, known as ``Caesar,'' who testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee in 2014 about the Assad regime's torture of Syrian civilians. H.R. 5732 will help halt the slaughter of the Syrian people, encourage a negotiated political settlement, and hold Syrian human rights abusers accountable for their crimes. H.R. 5732 requires the President to report to Congress the persons responsible for, or complicit in, gross violations of human rights of the Syrian people. This process will name and shame the violator of these human rights. H.R. 5732 additionally requires the President to impose new sanctions on anyone who (1) does business with or provides financing to the Government of Syria, including Syrian intelligence and security services, or the Central Bank of Syria; (2) provides aircraft or spare parts for aircraft to Syria's airlines (including financing); (3) does business with transportation or telecom sectors controlled by the Syrian government; or (4) supports Syria's energy industry. H.R. 5732 requires the President to submit a report on the potential effectiveness of imposing a No-Fly Zone and the risks, and operational requirements of the establishment. This report will a ditionally contain maintenance updates of a no-fly zone or a safe zone over part or all of Syria. H.R. 5732 authorizes the President also to waive sanctions on a case- by-case basis. Sanctions cans also be suspended if the parties are engaged in meaningful negotiations and the violence against civilians has ceased. [[Page H6202]] Suspension is renowable if the suspension is critical to the continuation of negotiations and attacks against civilians have ceased. On balance, I support H.R. 5732 because it will help alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people. I urge my colleagues to join me in voting for H.R. 5732. The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the gentleman from California (Mr. Royce) that the House suspend the rules and pass the bill, H.R. 5732, as amended. The question was taken; and (two-thirds being in the affirmative) the rules were suspended and the bill, as amended, was passed. A motion to reconsider was laid on the table. ___________________

No comments :

Post a Comment