IRAQ AND SYRIA GENOCIDE EMERGENCY RELIEF AND ACCOUNTABILITY ACT OF 2017
(House of Representatives - June 06, 2017)

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[Congressional Record Volume 163, Number 96 (Tuesday, June 6, 2017)]
[Pages H4632-H4638]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                              {time}  1700
IRAQ AND SYRIA GENOCIDE EMERGENCY RELIEF AND ACCOUNTABILITY ACT OF 2017

  Mr. ROYCE of California. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and 
pass the bill (H.R. 390) to provide for emergency relief to victims of 
genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes in Iraq and Syria, to 
provide accountability for perpetrators of these crimes, and for other 
purposes, as amended.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The text of the bill is as follows:

                                H.R. 390

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

       This Act may be cited as the ``Iraq and Syria Genocide 
     Emergency Relief and Accountability Act of 2017''.

     SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

       Congress finds the following:
       (1) Religious and ethnic minorities in Iraq and Syria are 
     persecuted groups, and the Secretary of State of State 
     declared on March 17, 2016, that Daesh, also known as the 
     Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), was responsible for 
     genocide, crimes against humanity, and other atrocity crimes 
     against several of these groups, including Christians and 
     Yezidis.
       (2) According to the Department of State's annual reports 
     on international religious freedom, the number of Christians 
     living in Iraq has dropped from an estimated 800,000 to 
     1,400,000 in 2002 to fewer than 250,000 in 2015, and the 
     number of Yezidis living in Iraq has dropped from 500,000 in 
     2013 to 350,000 to 400,000 in 2015.
       (3) The annual reports on international religious freedom 
     further suggest that Christian communities living in Syria, 
     which had accounted for between eight and ten percent of 
     Syria's total population in 2010, are now ``considerably'' 
     smaller as a result of the civil war, and that the population 
     of approximately 80,000 Yezidis in 2010 may now be larger 
     because of refugees from Iraq.
       (4) Local communities and entities have sought to mitigate 
     the impact of violence directed against religious and ethnic 
     minorities in Iraq and Syria, including the Chaldean Catholic 
     Archdiocese of Erbil (Kurdistan Region of Iraq), which has 
     used private funds to provide assistance to internally 
     displaced Christians, Yezidis, and Muslims throughout the 
     greater Erbil region, while growing needs and diminishing 
     resources have made it increasingly difficult to continue 
     these efforts.

     SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

       In this Act:
       (1) Appropriate congressional committees.--The term 
     ``appropriate congressional committees'' means--
       (A) the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Committee on the 
     Judiciary, the Committee on Homeland Security, and the 
     Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of 
     Representatives; and
       (B) the Committee on Foreign Relations, the Committee on 
     the Judiciary, the Committee on Homeland Security and 
     Governmental Affairs, and the Select Committee on 
     Intelligence of the Senate.
       (2) Foreign terrorist organization.--The term ``foreign 
     terrorist organization'' mean an organization designated by 
     the Secretary of State as a foreign terrorist organization 
     pursuant to section 219(a) of the Immigration and Nationality 
     Act (8 U.S.C. 1189(a)).
       (3) Humanitarian, stabilization, and recovery needs.--The 
     term ``humanitarian, stabilization, and recovery needs'', 
     with respect to an individual, includes water, sanitation, 
     hygiene, food security and nutrition, shelter and housing, 
     reconstruction, medical, education, and psychosocial needs.
       (4) Hybrid court.--The term ``hybrid court'' means a court 
     with a combination of domestic and international lawyers, 
     judges, and personnel.
       (5) Internationalized domestic court.--The term 
     ``internationalized domestic court'' means a domestic court 
     with the support of international advisers.

     SEC. 4. STATEMENT OF POLICY.

       It is the policy of the United States to ensure that 
     assistance for humanitarian, stabilization, and recovery 
     needs of individuals who are or were nationals and residents 
     of Iraq or Syria, and of communities from those countries, is 
     directed toward those individuals and communities with the 
     greatest need, including those individuals from communities 
     of religious and ethnic minorities, and communities of 
     religious and ethnic minorities, that have been identified as 
     being at risk of persecution, forced migration, acts of 
     genocide, crimes against humanity, or war crimes.

[[Page H4633]]

  


     SEC. 5. ACTIONS TO PROMOTE ACCOUNTABILITY IN IRAQ AND SYRIA 
                   FOR ACTS OF GENOCIDE, CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY, 
                   AND WAR CRIMES.

       (a) Assistance.--The Secretary of State and the 
     Administrator of the United States Agency for International 
     Development are authorized to provide assistance, including 
     financial and technical assistance, as necessary and 
     appropriate to support the efforts of entities, including 
     nongovernmental organizations with expertise in international 
     criminal investigations and law, to undertake the following 
     activities to address crimes of genocide, crimes against 
     humanity, or war crimes, and their constituent crimes, in 
     Iraq since January 2014:
       (1) The conduct of criminal investigations.
       (2) The development of indigenous investigative and 
     judicial skills, including by partnering, directly mentoring, 
     and providing equipment and infrastructure where necessary, 
     for the purpose of effectively adjudicating cases consistent 
     with due process and respect for the rule of law.
       (3) The collection and preservation of evidence and the 
     chain of evidence, including for use in prosecutions in 
     domestic courts, hybrid courts, and internationalized 
     domestic courts, consistent with the activities described in 
     subsection (b).
       (b) Actions by Foreign Governments.--The Secretary of 
     State, in consultation with the Attorney General, the 
     Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of National 
     Intelligence, and the Director of the Federal Bureau of 
     Investigation, shall encourage governments of foreign 
     countries--
       (1) to include in appropriate security databases and 
     security screening procedures of such countries information 
     to identify individuals who are suspected to have committed 
     crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, or war crimes, 
     and their constituent crimes, in Iraq or Syria, including 
     individuals who are suspected to be members of foreign 
     terrorist organizations operating in Iraq or Syria; and
       (2) to prosecute such individuals for acts of genocide, 
     crimes against humanity, or war crimes, as appropriate.
       (c) Consultation.--In carrying out subsection (a), the 
     Secretary of State shall consult with and consider credible 
     information from entities described in such subsection.

     SEC. 6. IDENTIFICATION OF AND ASSISTANCE TO ADDRESS 
                   HUMANITARIAN, STABILIZATION, AND RECOVERY NEEDS 
                   OF CERTAIN PERSONS IN IRAQ AND SYRIA.

       (a) Identification.--The Secretary of State, in 
     consultation with the Secretary of Defense, the Administrator 
     of the United States Agency for International Development, 
     and Director of National Intelligence, shall seek to identify 
     the following:
       (1) The threats of persecution and other early-warning 
     indicators of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war 
     crimes against individuals--
       (A) who are or were nationals and residents of Iraq or 
     Syria, are members of religious or ethnic minority groups in 
     such countries, and with respect to which the Secretary of 
     State has determined ISIS has committed acts of genocide, 
     crimes against humanity, or war crimes since January 2014; or
       (B) who are members of other religious or ethnic minority 
     groups in Iraq or Syria and are identified by the Secretary 
     of State as persecuted groups.
       (2) The religious and ethnic minority groups in Iraq or 
     Syria identified pursuant to paragraph (1) that are at risk 
     of forced migration, within or across the borders of Iraq, 
     Syria, or a country of first asylum, and the primary reasons 
     for such risk.
       (3) The humanitarian, stabilization, and recovery needs of 
     individuals described in paragraphs (1) and (2), including 
     the assistance provided by the United States and by the 
     United Nations, respectively, to address the humanitarian, 
     stabilization, and recovery needs, and mitigate the risks of 
     forced migration, of individuals described in paragraphs (1) 
     and (2) and assistance provided through the Funding Facility 
     for Immediate Stabilization and Funding Facility for Expanded 
     Stabilization.
       (4) To the extent practicable and appropriate, the 
     entities, including faith-based entities, that are providing 
     assistance to address the humanitarian, stabilization, and 
     recovery needs of individuals described in paragraphs (1) and 
     (2) and the extent to which the United States is providing 
     assistance to or through such entities.
       (b) Additional Consultation.--In carrying out subsection 
     (a), the Secretary of State shall consult with, and consider 
     credible information from, individuals described in 
     paragraphs (1) and (2) of such subsection and entities 
     described in paragraph (4) of such subsection.
       (c) Assistance.--The Secretary of State and the 
     Administrator of the United States Agency for International 
     Development are authorized to provide assistance, including 
     financial and technical assistance as necessary and 
     appropriate, to support entities described in subsection 
     (a)(4) that the Secretary and Administrator determine have 
     access, and are capable of effectively managing and 
     delivering such assistance, to the individuals described in 
     paragraphs (1) and (2) of such subsection.

     SEC. 7. REPORTS.

       (a) Implementation Report.--Not later than 90 days after 
     the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State 
     shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a 
     report on the following:
       (1) A detailed description of the efforts taken, and 
     efforts proposed to be taken, to implement the provisions of 
     this Act.
       (2) An assessment of the feasibility and advisability of 
     prosecuting individuals for whom credible evidence exists of 
     having committed acts of genocide, crimes against humanity, 
     or war crimes in Iraq since January 2014 or Syria since March 
     2011 in domestic courts in Iraq, hybrid courts, and 
     internationalized domestic courts, and of the measures needed 
     to ensure effective criminal investigations of such 
     individuals, and to effectively collect and preserve 
     evidence, and preserve the chain of evidence, for 
     prosecution.
       (3) Recommendations for legislative remedies and 
     administrative actions to facilitate implementation of this 
     Act.
       (b) Form.--The report required under this section shall be 
     submitted in unclassified form, but may contain a classified 
     annex if necessary.

     SEC. 8. PROHIBITION ON ADDITIONAL FUNDING.

       No additional funds are authorized to be appropriated to 
     carry out this Act. This Act shall be carried out using 
     amounts otherwise authorized.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Royce) and the gentleman from New York (Mr. Espaillat) 
each will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from California.


                             General Leave

  Mr. ROYCE of California. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that 
all Members may have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their 
remarks and to include extraneous material on the bill.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from California?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. ROYCE of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I 
may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I want to begin by recognizing the efforts of our 
colleague, Mr. Smith. Mr. Smith of New Jersey is chairman of the 
Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and 
International Organizations. We appreciate his strong leadership on 
this critical issue. And, as always, I also appreciate Ranking Member 
Engel for his support.
  Mr. Speaker, more than 6 years ago, the world watched with dread as 
Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad ordered action against what were 
peaceful protestors coming down the main boulevard in Damascus. We 
watched on CNN and international television. As they were saying it was 
peaceful, we then saw the automatic weapons of the regime open up and 
mow them down. What has followed has been year after year of mass 
atrocities as Assad seeks to break the Syrian people.
  Building on the vacuum created by Assad, ISIS burst onto the 
international stage in 2014 by declaring themselves and their supposed 
``caliphate''--and committing obscene, horrific acts in an effort to 
spread their nihilistic, death-filled ideology.
  We also saw that they targeted anyone unlucky enough to cross their 
path across Syria and Iraq. Yet, oddly enough, the regime in Syria did 
not target ISIS. They were too busy carrying out their campaign against 
the people of Syria--protesters, the Free Syrian Army, and others--who 
were pushing back against the regime.
  Here, alongside the nightmare that Assad created, came this new 
nightmare of ISIS. These two evils, as I call them, ISIS and Assad, 
exist side by side, perpetrating extreme violence on anyone who would 
oppose their grip on power.
  ISIS is committing genocidal violence against Yazidis and Christians 
in Syria and Iraq, seeking to destroy their entire communities and to 
erase their shared histories. Assad is committing massive crimes 
against humanity, targeting men, women, and children from all sects, 
all religions, and all groups, as documented by Caesar, a military 
photographer who snuck out photos of what goes on in Assad's prisons, 
documenting the torture and death of tens of thousands of citizens in 
Syria.
  More than a year after the Obama administration, under intense 
congressional pressure, finally declared that ISIS' actions against the 
religious communities of Iraq and Syria constituted ``genocide,'' there 
is still an urgent need for assistance to these vulnerable communities. 
These communities, which exist on the outskirts in Syria and on the 
borders, have been devastated by ISIS' efforts to wipe them out.

[[Page H4634]]

  These ancient communities, whose roots go back centuries, include 
Christians, Yazidis, Assyrians, Syriacs, Turkomans, and many others. 
Their presence in Iraq and Syria is crucial to the social fabric of 
these nations.
  While the U.S. has been generous in providing assistance to those 
targeted, their needs are still urgent and extreme. Whole communities 
have been displaced, enslaved, and slaughtered. Survivors need 
assistance in feeding and clothing their families and in beginning to 
address the extreme trauma caused by ISIS and Assad.
  This bill offers additional immediate relief for these vulnerable 
communities and also directs the State Department to do more to support 
efforts to collect and preserve evidence of ``genocide, crimes against 
humanity, and war crimes'' so that, someday, justice might be served.
  I urge Members to support this bill so that the possibility of 
justice and accountability for these atrocities can give hope to those 
suffering today.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

                                         House of Representatives,


                                   Committee on the Judiciary,

                                   Washington, DC, April 24, 2017.
     Hon. Edward R. Royce,
     Chairman, Committee on Foreign Affairs,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Chairman Royce: I write with respect to H.R. 390, the 
     ``Iraq and Syria Genocide Emergency Relief and Accountability 
     Act.'' As a result of your having consulted with us on 
     provisions within H.R. 390 that fall within thc rule X 
     jurisdiction of the Committee on the Judiciary, I forego any 
     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. 390 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 to H.R. 390 and would ask 
     that a copy of our exchange of letters on this matter be 
     included in the Congressional Record during floor 
     consideration of H.R. 390.
           Sincerely,
                                                    Bob Goodlatte,
     Chairman.
                                  ____

                                         House of Representatives,


                                 Committee on Foreign Affairs,

                                   Washington, DC, April 24, 2017.
     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. 390, the Iraq and Syria 
     Genocide Emergency Relief and Accountability Act of 2017, 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. 390 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.

  Mr. ESPAILLAT. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of this measure.
  I, again, want to thank Chairman Royce and Ranking Member Engel, who 
have worked in a bipartisan way to bring this important measure before 
us today. I would also like to thank Mr. Smith and Ms. Eshoo for their 
work on this bill, the Iraq and Syria Emergency Genocide Act, and for 
their tireless efforts on behalf of religious minorities in the Middle 
East. It is often easy to look away in the face of these atrocities, 
Mr. Speaker, but these lawmakers have made sure that we stay focused on 
preventing genocide and promoting accountability in this part of the 
region.
  On March 17, 2016, Secretary of State John Kerry said: ``In my 
judgment, ISIS is responsible for genocide against groups and areas 
under its control, including Yazidis, Christians, and Shia Muslims . . 
. the United States will strongly support efforts to collect, document, 
preserve, and analyze the evidence of atrocities, and we will do all we 
can do to see that these perpetrators are held accountable.''
  The House had urged the Secretary to designate the crimes against 
minorities in Iraq and Syria as ``genocide,'' and the measure before us 
today follows up on those efforts. It is tragic that a bill like this 
remains necessary. Unfortunately, ISIS continues to target religious 
minorities, including Christians, Yazidis, and Shia.
  We have seen overwhelming evidence of forced migration, execution, 
rape, starvation, enslavement, amputation, and public lashings. In 
Raqqa, which ISIS has declared capital of the caliphate, children are 
forced to watch videos of mass executions in order to desensitize them 
to this level of violence.
  ISIS remains an ongoing threat, and its campaign of violence and 
persecution is an ongoing tragedy for the people across the region. 
This bill would respond to that part of the challenge. It states that 
American assistance for humanitarian, stabilization, and recovery 
should go to those individuals and communities with the greatest need. 
That includes communities of religious and ethnic minorities.
  The bill also will help ensure that those responsible for this 
violence and persecution are brought to justice. It pushes USAID to 
assist in the efforts to conduct criminal investigations and help 
develop skills on the ground to collect evidence and press these cases.
  This legislation is supported by the Knights of Columbus, U.S. 
Conference of Catholic Bishops, HIAS, Yazidi Human Rights Organization-
International, and several other organizations.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support this bill, and I reserve 
the balance of my time.
  Mr. ROYCE of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to the 
gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Smith), the author of this bill and also 
the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global 
Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations.
  Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, I thank the distinguished 
chairman for yielding, and I thank him for his leadership on this bill. 
I want to thank Ranking Member Engel for his support and also Majority 
Leader McCarthy for making sure this bill came to the floor. Without 
that, we wouldn't be here, so I want to thank him especially for his 
support.
  Mr. Speaker, I start off by saying that, since 2013, I have chaired 
nine congressional hearings focused in whole or in part on atrocities 
in Iraq and Syria. The distinguished chairman has had another dozen or 
so such hearings that have brought to light these atrocities.
  In one of our hearings in December of 2015, Gregory Stanton, 
president of Genocide Watch, testified that ``weak words are not 
enough,'' noting that 21 human rights organizations, genocide scholars, 
and religious leaders wrote to President Obama imploring him to 
recognize the ISIS genocide.
  At that same hearing, Chaldean Bishop Francis Kalabat said that 
``since the fall of Mosul in early June 2014, Christians have endured 
targeted persecution in the form of forced displacement, sexual 
violence, and other human rights violations.'' He said, ``ISIS has 
committed terrific atrocities against the Yazidis,'' and then he 
bottom-lined it and said the Christians are ``under threat of 
extinction.''
  On May 9, 2016, the House passed Jeff Fortenberry's genocide 
resolution 393-0. A few days later, Secretary of State John Kerry 
declared ISIS atrocities to be a genocide.
  The existential threat to Christians and Yazidis and other minority 
faiths, however, continues to this day. Some of the fortunate ones have 
made it to the relative safety of Erbil but, astonishingly, have gotten 
no assistance from the United States Government.
  Since 2014, as a matter of fact, the Chaldean Catholic Archdiocese of 
Erbil has provided almost all of the medical care, food, shelter, and 
education received by over 13,200 Christian families,

[[Page H4635]]

almost one-third of the Christians remaining in Iraq, who escaped ISIS. 
The archdiocese also provides assistance to Yazidis and Muslims. The 
funding for all of this has been private, with money from Knights of 
Columbus, Aid to the Church in Need, and a few others.
  Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, which has 
donated more than $12 million to the effort, testified in one of my 
hearings and said the Knights and other private sources have responded. 
``But nongovernmental organizations can only do so much.''
  ``The rich tapestry,'' as he pointed out, ``of religious pluralism in 
the region must be preserved now or it will be lost forever,'' noting 
that there has been an 80 percent decline of Christians in Iraq and 70 
percent in Syria.
  He said: ``With its loss will come increased instability and threats 
to our own security and that of the world.
  ``We have a unique opportunity--and, some would say, unique 
responsibility--to protect the victims of genocide.''
  Mr. Speaker, just before Christmas of last year, I traveled to Erbil 
with a staff delegation at the invitation of the Chaldean archbishop, 
Bashar Warda, to meet with survivors and to visit an internally 
displaced person camp of about 6,000 individuals. Both my staff and I 
were amazed and inspired by the genocide survivors' resiliency and deep 
faith in the Lord, despite the cruelty that they had endured.

                              {time}  1715

  There was so much joy, love, and courage despite the loss of family 
and friends to ISIS. They had deep hope. The children sang Christmas 
carols--it was December 23 when we were there--with smiles and with 
reverence. The leaders, especially Archbishop Warda, trusted in God 
while working unceasingly and unselfishly for others.
  Because the needs on the ground have always exceeded private support, 
the archdiocese has had to battle chronic funding crises over these 
last several years. Archbishop Warda told me recently that they had to 
temporarily suspend their distribution of medicines, and are on track 
to run out of money for food sometime this June.
  H.R. 390 provides authority and direction to the secretary and the 
administrator of USAID to identify the humanitarian, stabilization, and 
recovery needs of these communities.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. ROYCE of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield the gentleman an 
additional 2 minutes.
  Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. This bill also authorizes and directs the 
secretary to fund entities, including faith-based ones, that are 
effectively providing assistance to meet those needs on the ground.
  It addresses another urgent aspect of this crisis: evidence linking 
specific ISIS perpetrators to specific atrocity crimes that is being 
destroyed or lost. And we have seen this in the past in Rwanda, in 
Sierra Leone, and in the former Yugoslavia. You have got to collect the 
information that is actionable in order to prosecute these crimes 
against humanity. This legislation directs that, and that is why it has 
the support of all four former U.S. Ambassadors at Large for war crimes 
issues.
  It also directs the Secretary of State to work with foreign 
governments to ensure that they are including identifying information 
about suspected perpetrators in their security databases and security 
screening and are prosecuting perpetrators of these horrific crimes.
  President Trump and Vice President Pence have strongly, publicly, and 
repeatedly committed the administration to providing relief to 
Christians, Yazidis, and other genocide survivors. This legislation 
tangibly supports this commitment and is a blueprint for action.
  I especially want to thank tonight the coauthor of this legislation, 
Anna Eshoo. Her tireless efforts on behalf of all Christians and other 
persecuted religious minorities has been really fantastic, and I want 
to thank her for that and for working so cooperatively together with me 
and my staff and the full committee staff.
  I would also like to thank the great staff work of Nathaniel Hurd, 
Piero Tozzi in my office, Matt McMurray in Anna Eshoo's office, Doug 
Anderson and Joan Condon in the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and 
Roger Mahan and Luke Murry in the majority leader's office. And, as 
always, I want to thank Kelly Dixon, who ultimately helped us bring 
this legislation to the floor.
  Mr. Speaker, I include in the Record the statement of Mr. Carl A. 
Anderson before the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human 
Rights, and International Organizations.

 Opening Statement of Mr. Carl A. Anderson, Supreme Knight, Knights of 
                                Columbus

       (Before the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health Global 
     Human Rights and International Organizations of the Committee 
     on Foreign Affairs, U.S. House of Representatives, at a 
     hearing titled The ISIS Genocide Declaration: What Next?, May 
     26, 2019)
       Thank you for the opportunity to appear before this 
     subcommittee and to discuss the next steps that need to be 
     taken needed to protect the survivors of ongoing genocide in 
     Iraq and Syria. Let me begin by saying that the House of 
     Representatives, the State Department and the United States 
     Commission on International Religious Freedom are all to be 
     commended for the important step of declaring the situation 
     confronting Christians and other religious minorities in the 
     Middle East genocide.
       The world's greatest humanitarian crisis since World War II 
     is unfolding now in the Middle East. In addition to millions 
     of refugees, many of the region's indigenous communities now 
     face extinction. These communities may disappear in less than 
     a decade. But their fate is not inevitable. The United States 
     can avert this unfolding tragedy.


                       A unique historical moment

       Around the world, people of good will, Muslim and non-
     Muslim alike, wish to differentiate themselves from the 
     horrific and violent theology espoused by ISIS.
       It is certainly true that such extremists make up a small 
     percentage of Muslims overall. But among the world's billion 
     Muslims, the majority simply want to raise their families in 
     peace and are scandalized by what ISIS is doing in the name 
     of Islam.
       Prominent Islamic leaders and scholars from around the 
     world have recently taken an important step in the Marrakesh 
     Declaration. Attempts such as this, which seek to align Islam 
     with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights should be 
     supported.
       At the same time, it is clear that Christians, and other 
     indigenous minorities, are experiencing genocide, at the 
     hands of the Islamic State and related groups. Their plight 
     is now at the top of the world's agenda in a way that it 
     never has been before.
       These factors together create an unparalleled opportunity 
     for the United States, and for all those opposed to ISIS' 
     radical vision--Muslims and non-Muslims alike--to advance an 
     agenda of equality, justice, peace, and accountability in the 
     region.


             Six principles for sound policy in the region

       The United States can avert the extinction of indigenous 
     religious and ethnic communities in Iraq and Syria with a 
     policy that contains the following six principles:
       (1) Increase aid and ensure that it actually reaches those 
     most in need;
       We are reliably informed that official government and U.N. 
     aid does not reach the Christian genocide survivors in Iraq 
     and Syria.
       Repeatedly, we hear from Church leaders in the region that 
     Christians--and other genocide survivors--are last in line 
     for assistance from governments. Significantly, the 
     Archdiocese of Erbil, where most Iraqi Christians now live, 
     receives no money from any government whatsoever. If 
     assistance from outside Church affiliated agencies ends in 
     Erbil, Christians there will face a catastrophic humanitarian 
     tragedy within 30 days. The situation is similar in Syria, 
     according to Christian leaders there.
       Those who face genocide are a tiny fraction of the 
     population. They often must avoid official refugee camps 
     because they are targeted for violence there by extremists. 
     As a result, these minorities often do not get ``official'' 
     aid. This will continue to be the reality unless specific 
     action is taken to bring the aid to where these minorities 
     are forced to reside by continuing violence.
       The Knights of Columbus and others private sources have 
     responded to this situation. Since 2014, we have raised more 
     than $10.5 million for relief, assisting Christians and other 
     internally displaced persons and refugees in Iraq, Syria, 
     Jordan, and Lebanon. We have partnered with dioceses and 
     religious agencies working in the region to provide general 
     relief, food, clothing, shelter, education, and medical care. 
     In doing so we assist both Christians and non-Christians. We 
     are also working with church entities to ensure that they are 
     making use of all government or U.N. resources available.
       But non-governmental organizations can only do so much. 
     Government aid is essential to the long-term survival of 
     these indigenous religious and ethnic minorities. It is 
     urgent that Congress appropriate funding to save those who 
     have escaped genocide. I urge you to consider special 
     emergency appropriations, however modest, to improve the 
     humanitarian conditions on the ground in Iraq.
       This funding, whatever the vehicle, should come with 
     mechanisms in place--reporting

[[Page H4636]]

     requirements and oversight--to ensure that American aid does 
     not get diverted from its intended purpose.
       (2) Support the long-term survival in the region of these 
     ancient indigenous religious and ethnic communities;
       In Iraq, the Christians population has declined by more 
     than 80 percent, and in Syria by nearly 70 percent.
       American policy should recognize the important differences 
     in the situations of those fleeing violence and those 
     targeted for genocide. And we should prioritize the latter.
       Consider this analogy. After World War II, there were 
     approximately 50 million refugees, and only a small fraction 
     were Jews. Yet the world understood that Jews, who had 
     survived genocide, faced a qualitatively different situation, 
     and deserved heightened consideration.
       The same is true today for the indigenous religious and 
     ethnic minorities of the region. They have an indisputable 
     right to live in their country--in whatever region of it they 
     wish. Depending on the circumstances, this may mean where 
     they are originally from, or where they find themselves now, 
     but as survivors of an ongoing genocide, they deserve to be 
     prioritized, not left behind by American policy decisions.
       (3) Punish the perpetrators of genocide and crimes against 
     humanity;
       The United States should support action by the U.N. 
     Security Council to refer key perpetrators of genocide for 
     prosecution. Equally important, we should support the Iraqi 
     Central Government and the Kurdish Regional Government's 
     adjudication of the cases of thousands of ISIS fighters 
     and supporters who currently remain in local detention 
     centers.
       As the population of captured ISIS fighters increases, 
     local detention centers and jails risk becoming their own 
     humanitarian issue. The need to improve this situation cannot 
     be overstated.
       Additionally, although substantial evidence of genocide 
     exists, the United States should cooperate in taking further 
     action to develop additional documentation and preservation 
     before physical evidence is lost. Appropriations intended to 
     assist in the adjudication of ISIS fighters will be critical 
     in the coming months.
       (4) Assist victims of genocide in attaining refugee status.
       A news report last week indicated that of the 499 Syrian 
     refugees admitted to the U.S. in May, not one was listed as 
     being Christian or as explicitly coming from any of the 
     groups targeted for genocides. How long will this situation 
     be allowed to continue?
       The U.S. should appropriate funding and work with the U.N. 
     High Commissioner for Refugees to make provisions for 
     locating and providing status to individuals--such as Yezidis 
     and Christians--that have been targeted for genocide. Many of 
     these genocide survivors fear going into official U.N. 
     refugee camps, where they are targeted. Thus they are 
     overlooked, and find it nearly impossible to acquire official 
     refugee status or immigrate.
       Congress should act now. Senator Tom Cotton has introduced 
     the Religious Persecution Relief Act, S. 2708, to provide for 
     overlooked minorities in the prioritization of refugees. We 
     support this bill and urge its passage.
       (5) Prepare now for foreseeable human rights challenges as 
     ISIS-controlled territory is liberated by ensuring that 
     Christians and other minorities have equal rights to decide 
     their future;
       We should prepare now for the consequences of the 
     liberation of ISIS controlled areas, including Mosul and the 
     Nineveh Region, as well as regions in Syria. We are likely to 
     see another humanitarian crisis as civilians flee the 
     fighting or return to their former communities when fighting 
     ceases.
       There has been much debate concerning plans for victims of 
     genocide in Iraq. Some have argued for returning people 
     safely to the Nineveh Region, others that they should be 
     allowed to stay in Kurdistan, still others that they be 
     allowed to immigrate. But these are not necessarily mutually 
     exclusive, competing proposals. People should be allowed to 
     decide their own future. And when they do, we should work to 
     ensure they are treated with fairness, dignity and equality. 
     This also means that it will be increasingly important to 
     ensure that the property rights and claims of minority groups 
     are respected.
       (6) Promote the establishment of internationally agreed 
     upon standards of human rights and religious freedom as 
     conditions for humanitarian and military assistance.
       The United States should advocate for full and equal rights 
     for religious and ethnic minorities in the region in exchange 
     for our military and humanitarian aid. A necessary first step 
     to prevent genocide is to overcome the social and legal 
     inequality that is its breeding ground.
       Religious hatred, discrimination and second-class 
     citizenship too often constitute a way of life in the 
     region--and it is a way of life that is an antecedent to 
     genocide. We cannot accept one standard for human rights in 
     the region and another standard for the rest of the world.
       The guarantees in the Universal Declaration of Human 
     Rights--and the First and Fourteenth amendments to our own 
     constitution--regarding equality under the law and freedom of 
     speech and religion must become a reality for all citizens of 
     Iraq, Syria and elsewhere throughout the region.


                               Conclusion

       The rich tapestry of religious pluralism in the region must 
     be preserved now or it will be lost forever. With its loss 
     will come increased instability and threats to our own 
     security and that of the world.
       We have a unique opportunity--and some would say, unique 
     responsibility--to protect the victims of genocide. The 
     United States can provide such protection with a policy that 
     includes the principles outlined above. Mr. Chairman, thank 
     you very much for your leadership and that of the members of 
     this subcommittee.

  Mr. ESPAILLAT. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time to 
close.
  The only way for the people of Iraq and Syria to find peace and 
stability in the coming years is to move towards more inclusive 
governing, ensuring that minorities have a stake in the way their 
countries are run, and for those responsible for violence to face 
justice. It is as simple as that.
  This legislation is a recognition that there are no military 
solutions in the Middle East; rather, the best way forward is to 
address the underlying causes that led to the creation of ISIS so we 
can prevent the next ISIS from rising up from the ashes in Iraq and 
Syria.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support this legislation, and I 
yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. ROYCE of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of 
my time.
  Just in speaking about the conditions of the Christian community, 
outside of Erbil, like Chairman Smith, I had the opportunity last year 
to speak to Archbishop Warda and to many of those Christian families 
that have survived, and to see many of the children that are struggling 
there.
  I did want to commend the Knights of Columbus, the archbishop, and 
Catholic Charities for their sustained effort, which goes not only to 
this Christian community, but also the neighboring Yazidi community. 
These communities have no other means of support.
  I think that as we reflect upon this, beyond the genocidal actions of 
ISIS, we have also seen the depravity of the Assad regime, which has 
engaged in a massive effort to destroy anyone, regardless of sect or 
religion or ethnicity, if they suspect them of being unwilling to bow 
to Syria's murderous dictator. None are safe.
  I say ``suspect'' because so many of those who were tortured to death 
to give up other names are simply caught up in a web of intelligence 
services who go out and try to find those who they believe may not be 
loyal. And they haul them in for torture. And under the knife, many of 
these people will give up names of other families, whoever they can 
remember, whoever they know who may or may not in any way be involved 
in politics, but then find themselves in those same torture chambers.
  The result of this kind of a society year after year breeds a sense 
of absolute hopelessness, of blowback, of problems throughout Syria 
from which, I must say, I suspect this long climb back is going to be a 
very difficult one.
  At the end of the day, though, it is still absolutely imperative that 
those responsible for those hideous crimes be held accountable. A key 
aspect of any lasting peace is going to be accountability, because a 
renewal of trust and the prospect of justice is going to be based on 
some measure on whether we are going to hold to account those who 
committed those kinds of crimes, those who led to this kind of horror. 
Whether it is Assad's regime or whether it is ISIS, there is so much 
devastation left in the wake.
  I urge Members to support this resolution so that the possibility of 
peace can be sustained by the hope that justice will prevail. I again 
thank Mr. Smith for authoring this measure. I also thank Ranking Member 
Engel for his passionate leadership on the crisis in Syria for so many 
years.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, since 2013, I have chaired nine 
Congressional hearings focused, in whole or in a large part, on 
atrocities in Iraq and Syria.
  At one hearing in December of 2015, Professor Gregory Stanton, 
President of Genocide Watch testified that ``weak words are not 
enough'' noting that twenty one human rights organizations, genocide 
scholars, and religious leaders wrote to President Obama imploring him 
to recognize the ISIS genocide.
  At the same hearing, Chaldean Bishop Francis Kalabat testified that 
``since the fall of

[[Page H4637]]

Mosul in early June 2014, Christians have endured targeted persecution 
in the form of forced displacement, sexual violence, and other human 
rights violations.'' He said ``ISIS has committed horrific atrocities 
against the Yazidis.'' The bishop said Christians are ``under threat of 
extinction.''
  On May 9, 2016, the House passed Jeff Fortenberry's Genocide 
resolution 393 to 0. A few days later, Secretary of State John Kerry 
declared ISIS atrocities to be a genocide.
  The existential threat to Christians and Yazidis and other minorities 
continues to this day. Some of the fortunate ones, however, have made 
it to relative safety in Erbil but astonishingly have not gotten 
assistance from the United States.
  Since 2014, the Chaldean Catholic Archdiocese of Erbil has been 
providing almost all of the medical care, food, shelter and education 
received by 13,200 Christian families, almost one third of Christians 
remaining in Iraq, who escaped ISIS. The Archdiocese also provides 
assistance to Yazidis and Muslims. The funding has been private--
Knights of Columbus, Aid to the Church in Need, and a few others.
  Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus--which has 
donated more than $12 million to the effort--testified that the Knights 
and other private sources have responded, ``But non-governmental 
organizations can only do so much.'' He also made numerous 
recommendations including supporting the ``Long term survival in the 
region of these ancient indigenous religions and ethnic communities. In 
Iraq, the Christian population has declined by more than 80 percent, 
and in Syria, it has declined by almost 70 percent . . . The rich 
tapestry of religious pluralism in the region must be preserved now or 
it will be lost forever.'' He said, ``With its loss will come increased 
instability and threats to our own security and that of the world. We 
have a unique opportunity--and some would say, unique responsibility--
to protect the victims of genocide.''
  Just before Christmas last year, I travelled to Erbil at the 
invitation of the Chaldean Catholic Archbishop of Erbil, Bashar Warda, 
to meet with survivors and visit an IDP camp.
  Both my staff and I were amazed and inspired by the genocide 
survivors resiliency and deep faith in the Lord despite the cruelty 
they endured.
  There was much joy, love, and courage despite the loss of family and 
friends to ISIS. They had hope. The children sang Christmas carols with 
smiles and reverence.
  The leaders--especially Archbishop Warda--trust in God while working 
unceasingly for others.
  Because the needs on-the-ground have always exceeded private support, 
however, the Archdiocese has had to battle chronic funding crises. 
Archbishop Warda told me they recently had to temporarily suspend their 
distribution of medicines and are on-track to run out of money for food 
sometime this June.
  H.R. 390 provides authority and direction to the Secretary and 
Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development to 
identify the humanitarian, stabilization, and recovery needs of these 
communities. The bill also authorizes and directs the Secretary and 
Administrator to fund entities--including faith-based ones--that are 
effectively providing assistance to meet those needs on-the-ground.
  H.R. 390 addresses another urgent aspect of this crisis: Evidence 
linking specific ISIS perpetrators to specific atrocity crimes is being 
destroyed or lost. It is vital that evidence that can be used in a 
range of court settings is collected and preserved. This will enable 
accountability and support our efforts to counter terrorist groups by 
demonstrating that the perpetrators are chronic rapists, child abusers, 
drug dealers and human traffickers.
  This legislation authorizes and directs the Secretary and 
Administrator to fund entities that are conducting criminal 
investigations into perpetrators of atrocity crimes in Iraq.
  The Commission for International Justice and Accountability is an 
example of a non-governmental organization that has been conducting 
such criminal investigations on-the-ground. CIJA has collected and 
preserved ISIS recruitment forms, foreign fighter passports, and ISIS 
instructions from ISIS facilities, laptops, hard drives, and memory 
sticks. It has taken hundreds of witness statements from victims, 
perpetrators, detained fighters, defectors, insiders, witnesses, and 
other witnesses. CIJA has developed pretrial briefs and perpetrator 
profiles that are of a world-class quality.
  In 2016, CIJA received 409 requests for assistance on cases from law 
enforcement agencies in many countries, including the Department of 
Homeland Security and FBI and works closely with both agencies. Yet, 
CIJA has received no financial support from the U.S. government.
  H.R. 390 also directs the Secretary to work with foreign governments 
to ensure that they are including identifying information about 
suspected perpetrators in their security databases and security 
screening and are prosecuting perpetrators.
  ISIS fighters in Iraq are being captured and detained in the battle 
for Mosul and beyond. Others are escaping the region and attempting to 
return to their home countries around the world. We should help ensure 
that in addition to being screened and prosecuted for terrorism, they 
are screened and prosecuted for atrocity crimes.
  President Trump and Vice President Pence have strongly, publicly 
committed the Administration to providing relief to Christians, 
Yazidis, and other genocide survivors, and ensuring perpetrators are 
brought to justice. H.R. 390 supports this commitment and is a 
blueprint for implementation.
  H.R. 390 has the bipartisan co-sponsorship of 46 members, support 
from a range of prominent Christian, Yezidi, religious freedom, and 
accountability organizations, and has been endorsed by all four former 
U.S. Ambassadors-at-Large for War Crimes Issues.
  I especially want to acknowledge my co-author and good friend Anna 
Eshoo. Her tireless efforts on behalf of Christians and other 
persecuted religious minorities, and the fantastic partnership with her 
and her staff on this bill, are a testament to the hi-partisanship of 
H.R. 390 and international religious freedom more broadly.
  And finally, Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the great staff work 
of Nathaniel Hurd and Piero Toni in my office. Matt McMurray in Anna 
Eshoo's office. Doug Anderson and Joan Condon in the House Foreign 
Affairs Committee. Roger Mahan and Luke Murry in the Majority Leader's 
Office. And Kelly Dixon who ultimately helped us get it to the floor.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, as a senior member of the Homeland 
Security Committee and as a member of the Congressional Refugee Caucus, 
I rise in strong support of H.R. 390, the ``Iraq and Syria Genocide 
Emergency Relief and Accountability Act of 2017.''
  This legislation makes clear that it is the policy of the United 
States to ensure that assistance for humanitarian, stabilization, and 
recovery needs is directed toward those individuals and communities 
with the greatest need, including those individuals from communities of 
religious and ethnic minorities, and communities of religious and 
ethnic minorities, that have been identified as being at risk of 
persecution, forced migration, acts of genocide, crimes against 
humanity, or war crimes.
  Mr. Speaker, this legislation is a timely and important response to 
acts of genocide and other war crimes committed by ISIS in a its 
continuing effort to subjugate the Yazidi religious minority in Syria 
and Iraq.
  ISIS has targeted and continues to target Muslims, Jews, Sikhs, 
Christians, Yazidis and its reprehensible actions are reminiscent of 
what we have seen in some of the darkest periods of human history.
  For example, according to reports of human rights watchgroups, Shiite 
Muslims have been killed by ongoing waves of ISIS bombings of Shiite 
neighborhoods, and Shiite members of Iraq's security forces have been 
victims of mass ISIS executions.
  ISIS is believed to be holding 3,500 people as slaves, and most of 
the enslaved are women and children from the Yazidi community.
  ISIS claimed credit for the twin blasts that struck Christian 
Egyptian churches during Palm Sunday services, in which at least 47 
Christians were murdered.
  Sadly, Mr. Speaker, in our own country we are witnessing an alarming 
increase in violence, bigotry, and acts of terror against members of 
many of our religious minorities:
  1. Muslim college students have been shot and killed, execution-
style, in their living room and outside of their mosques.
  2. Jewish communities are struggling to deal with desecrated 
cemeteries and waves of bomb threats being called to their community 
centers and places of worship.
  3. Two Sikh men were killed in New York City, a crime police declared 
to be a hate-shooting.
  4. Nine African American parishioners were shot to death during Bible 
study at a Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in 
Charleston, South Carolina.
  H.R. 390 aims to promote accountability in Iraq and Syria for the 
atrocities committed against the religious minorities living in those 
countries.
  It also provides emergency relief for victims of genocide, crimes 
against humanity, and war crimes in Iraq and Syria.
  Specifically, the bill authorizes the providing of financial and 
technical assistance to those in need, as well as working with 
nongovernmental organizations with expertise in international criminal 
investigations and law to investigate and address crimes of genocide, 
crimes against humanity, or war crimes, and their constituent crimes, 
occurring in Iraq since January 2014.
  H.R. 390 also authorizes United States aid agencies to provide 
assistance to entities determined to be capable of effectively managing 
and delivering recovery, humanitarian, or stabilization assistance to 
Iraqi and Syrian religious or ethnic minorities that have been 
victimized by ISIS.

[[Page H4638]]

  Mr. Speaker, the crimes ISIS has committed against Iraqi and Syrian 
religious and ethnic minorities are horrific.
  The victims of this campaign of terror are innocent and in dire need 
of humanitarian and stabilization assistance.
  As the global leader and champion of human rights and human dignity, 
the United States has an obligation to lead the international effort to 
defeat ISIS and ameliorate the suffering caused by its heinous acts.
  H.R. 390 is a welcome and positive step in the right direction and I 
urge all Members to join me in voting for this important legislation.
  Ms. ESHOO. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of H.R. 390, the 
Iraq and Syria Genocide Emergency Relief and Accountability Act of 
2017.
  In March of 2016, Congress declared in unequivocal terms that the 
persecution of Christians, Yezidis, and other ethnic and religious 
minorities in Iraq and Syria by ISIS constituted genocide.
  This was a seminal moment in the U.S. Congress because it's only the 
third time in history that Congress has declared a genocide. 
Unfortunately, the conditions for the tens of thousands of survivors of 
these crimes against humanity grow worse each day.
  Mr. Speaker, we are witnessing the systematic extermination of 
Christians and other religious and ethnic minorities at the hands of 
ISIS.
  And despite the fact that Congress has appropriated over $1 billion 
in humanitarian aid to help these communities in Fiscal Year 2017, the 
money has not reached survivors because the only organizations focused 
solely on aiding survivors are religious groups, which the State 
Department will not provide assistance to.
  For example, the Archdiocese of Erbil is currently providing food, 
housing, and medical care to more than 70,000 Christians who escaped 
death at the hands of ISIS. Even though the Archdiocese of Erbil is 
providing assistance to survivors at the center of this crisis, the 
State Department will not distribute U.S. assistance through religious 
organizations. H.R. 390 would resolve this ongoing problem.
  The bill directs the Secretary of State and USAID to provide 
assistance directly to entities, including faith-based entities that 
are effectively providing assistance to genocide survivors or other 
persecuted religious and ethnic communities on the ground in Iraq and 
Syria. Importantly, the aid can only be used for humanitarian relief on 
the ground, not to support the general operations of the church or 
faith-based entity.
  H.R. 390 also includes important provisions that will help the 
international community document the crimes against humanity that have 
been committed by ISIS, hold the perpetrators accountable, and ensure 
we learn from the horrors we have witnessed over the last six years so 
that we can one day prevent the next large-scale genocide from 
occurring.
  I want to thank the bill's sponsor and my partner in this ongoing 
effort to help the tens of thousands of survivors of genocide in Iraq 
and Syria, Congressman Chris Smith. He has been a tireless advocate on 
behalf of these persecuted communities and I commend him for the work 
he has done to get this bill through the House.
  Thirteen months after the House and Senate took the important step to 
label these crimes against humanity as genocide, my colleagues now have 
the opportunity to help bring an end to the suffering.
  I urge my colleague to vote ``YES'' on H.R. 390.
  Mr. BABIN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 390, the Iraq 
and Syria Genocide Emergency Relief and Accountability Act.
  For too long, the Middle East--the birth place of Christianity--has 
been the place where thousands of Christians have been led to their 
deaths. The Pew Research Center reports that Christians are the world's 
most persecuted faith community, with Middle Eastern Christians 
experiencing this most severely.
  In 2012, President Obama declared what is happening to Christians in 
the Middle East as ``genocide'', but not much has been done to respond 
to this crisis.
  This bill will provide the dire supports and safeguards that 
Christians and other religious minorities desperately need. 
Specifically, it gives prioritized consideration to Christians and 
other religious minorities in the Middle East for admission into the 
U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, while keeping standard vetting 
procedures in place.
  This is so important given that less than half of one percent of 
Syrians chosen for resettlement between 2011 and 2016 have been 
Christians.
  H.R. 390 also supports entities that are conducting criminal 
investigations into the bad actors perpetrating violence against 
Christians and supports groups helping victims of genocide in the 
region.
  Clearly, persecuted Christians in the Middle East desperately need 
our support. As a fellow Christian, I will keep working to bring 
attention to the failures of our current refugee program in helping 
these individuals, as well as promote efforts to provide resources and 
assistance to them in their time of need.
  I applaud the passage of H.R. 390 and hope that the Senate will give 
it timely consideration.
  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. 390, as amended.
  The question was taken; and (two-thirds being in the affirmative) the 
rules were suspended and the bill, as amended, was passed.
  The title of the bill was amended so as to read: ``A bill to provide 
emergency relief for victims of genocide, crimes against humanity, and 
war crimes in Iraq and Syria, for accountability for perpetrators of 
these crimes, and for other purposes.''.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.

                          ____________________