SANCTIONING HIZBALLAH'S ILLICIT USE OF CIVILIANS AS DEFENSELESS SHIELDS ACT; Congressional Record Vol. 163, No. 172
(House of Representatives - October 25, 2017)

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SANCTIONING HIZBALLAH'S ILLICIT USE OF CIVILIANS AS DEFENSELESS SHIELDS 
                                  ACT

  Mr. ROYCE of California. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and 
pass the bill (H.R. 3342) to impose sanctions on foreign persons that 
are responsible for gross violations of internationally recognized 
human rights by reason of the use by Hizballah of civilians as human 
shields, and for other purposes, as amended.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The text of the bill is as follows:

                               H.R. 3342

       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 ``Sanctioning Hizballah's 
     Illicit Use of Civilians as Defenseless Shields Act''.

     SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

       Congress finds the following:
       (1) Human shields are civilians, prisoners of war, and 
     other noncombatants whose presence is designed to protect 
     combatants and military objects from attack, and the use of 
     human shields violates international law.
       (2) Throughout the 2006 conflict with the State of Israel, 
     Hizballah forces utilized human shields to protect themselves 
     from counterattacks by Israeli forces, including storing 
     weapons inside civilian homes and firing rockets from inside 
     populated civilian areas.
       (3) Hizballah has rearmed to include an arsenal of over 
     150,000 missiles, and other destabilizing weapons provided by 
     the Syrian and Iranian governments, which are concealed in 
     Shiite villages in southern Lebanon, often beneath civilian 
     infrastructure.
       (4) Hizballah is legally required to disarm under both 
     United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701 (2006) and 
     the Taif Agreement (1989).
       (5) Hizballah maintains an armed military force within 
     Lebanon's sovereign territory in direct violation of United 
     Nations Security Council Resolutions 1559 (2004) and 1680 
     (2006), thus preventing Lebanon from exerting its lawful 
     control over its internationally recognized borders.

     SEC. 3. STATEMENT OF POLICY.

       It shall be the policy of the United States to consider the 
     use of human shields by Hizballah as a gross violation of 
     internationally recognized human rights, to officially and 
     publicly condemn the use of innocent civilians as human 
     shields by Hizballah, and to take effective action against 
     those that engage in the grave breach of international law 
     through the use of human shields.

     SEC. 4. UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL.

       The President should direct the United States Permanent 
     Representative to the United Nations to use the voice, vote, 
     and influence of the United States at the United Nations 
     Security Council to secure support for a resolution that 
     would impose multilateral sanctions against Hizballah for its 
     use of civilians as human shields.

     SEC. 5. IDENTIFICATION OF FOREIGN PERSONS THAT ARE 
                   RESPONSIBLE FOR GROSS VIOLATIONS OF 
                   INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNIZED HUMAN RIGHTS BY 
                   REASON OF USE BY HIZBALLAH OF CIVILIANS AS 
                   HUMAN SHIELDS.

       (a) In General.--The President shall impose sanctions 
     described in subsection (c) with respect to each person on 
     the list required under subsection (b).
       (b) List.--
       (1) In general.--Not later than 120 days after the date of 
     the enactment of this Act, the President shall transmit to 
     the appropriate congressional committees a list of the 
     following:
       (A) Each foreign person that the President determines, 
     based on credible evidence, is a member of Hizballah, or 
     acting on behalf of Hizballah, that is responsible for or 
     complicit in, or responsible for ordering, controlling, or 
     otherwise directing, the use of civilians as human shields.
       (B) Each foreign person, or agency or instrumentality of a 
     foreign state, that the President determines has provided, 
     attempted to provide, or significantly facilitated the 
     provision of, material support to a person described in 
     subparagraph (A).
       (2) Updates.--The President shall transmit to the 
     appropriate congressional committees an update of the list 
     required under paragraph (1) as new information becomes 
     available.
       (c) Sanctions Described.--The sanctions to be imposed on a 
     foreign person or an agency or instrumentality of a foreign 
     state on the list required under subsection (b) are the 
     following:
       (1) Blocking of property.--The President shall exercise all 
     of the powers granted to the President under the 
     International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 
     et seq.) to the extent necessary to block and prohibit all 
     transactions in property and interests in property of the 
     foreign person or of such agency or instrumentality of a 
     foreign state if such property or 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 
     determines is a foreign person on the list required under 
     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.--

[[Page H8179]]

       (i) In general.--Any visa or other documentation issued to 
     an alien who is a foreign person on the list required under 
     subsection (b), regardless of when such visa or other 
     documentation was issued, shall be revoked and such alien 
     shall be denied admission to the United States.
       (ii) Effect of revocation.--A revocation under clause (i)--

       (I) shall take effect immediately; and
       (II) shall automatically cancel any other valid visa or 
     documentation that is in the possession of the alien who is 
     the subject of such revocation.

       (3) Penalties.--The penalties provided for in subsections 
     (b) and (c) of section 206 of the 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 to 
     carry out this section to the same extent that such penalties 
     apply to a person that knowingly commits an unlawful act 
     described in section 206(a) of such Act.
       (4) Regulatory authority.--
       (A) In general.--The President may exercise all authorities 
     provided to the President under sections 203 and 205 of the 
     International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1702 
     and 1704) for purposes of carrying out this section.
       (B) Issuance of regulations.--Not later than 180 days after 
     the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall, 
     promulgate regulations as necessary for the implementation of 
     this section and the amendments made by this section.
       (C) Notification to congress.--Not later than ten days 
     before the promulgation of regulations under subparagraph 
     (B), the President shall brief the appropriate congressional 
     committees on the proposed regulations and the provisions of 
     this section that the regulations are implementing.
       (5) Rule of construction.--Nothing in this section may be 
     construed to limit the authority of the President pursuant to 
     the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 
     1701 et seq.) or any other relevant provision of law.
       (d) Waiver.--The President may waive the application of 
     sanctions under this section for periods not to exceed 120 
     days with respect to a foreign person, or an agency or 
     instrumentality of a foreign state, if the President reports 
     to the appropriate congressional committees that such waiver 
     is vital to the national security interests of the United 
     States.
       (e) Exemptions.--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.

     SEC. 6. REPORT.

       (a) Report.--Not later than 180 days after the date of the 
     enactment of this Act, the President shall submit to the 
     appropriate congressional committees a report containing a 
     determination on whether each person described in subsection 
     (b) meets the criteria described in subparagraph (A) or (B) 
     of section 5(b)(1).
       (b) Persons Described.--The persons described in this 
     subsection are the following:
       (1) The Secretary General of Hizballah.
       (2) Members of the Hizballah Politburo.
       (3) Any other senior members of Hizballah or other 
     associated entities that the President determines to be 
     appropriate.
       (4) Any person, or agency or instrumentality of a foreign 
     state that the President determines provides material support 
     to Hizballah that supports its use of civilians as human 
     shields.
       (c) Form of Report; Public Availability.--
       (1) Form.--The report required under subsection (a) shall 
     be submitted in unclassified form, but may contain a 
     classified annex.
       (2) Public availability.--The unclassified portion of such 
     report shall be made available to the public and posted on 
     the internet website of the Department of State--
       (A) in English, Farsi, Arabic, and Azeri; and
       (B) in pre-compressed, easily downloadable versions that 
     are made available in all appropriate formats.

     SEC. 7. DEFINITIONS.

       In this Act:
       (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) Agency or instrumentality of a foreign state.--The term 
     ``agency or instrumentality of a foreign state'' has the 
     meaning given such term in section 1603(b) of title 28, 
     United States Code.
       (3) Appropriate congressional committees.--In this section, 
     the term ``appropriate congressional committees'' means--
       (A) the Committee on Financial Services, the Committee on 
     Foreign Affairs, the Committee on Ways and Means, the 
     Committee on the Judiciary, and the Committee on 
     Appropriations of the House of Representatives; and
       (B) the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, 
     the Committee on Foreign Relations, the Committee on Finance, 
     the Committee on the Judiciary, and the Committee on 
     Appropriations of the Senate.
       (4) Foreign person.--The term ``foreign person'' means any 
     citizen or national of a foreign country, or any entity not 
     organized solely under the laws of the United States or 
     existing solely in the United States.
       (5) Foreign state.--The term ``foreign state'' has the 
     meaning given such term in section 1603(a) of title 28, 
     United States Code.
       (6) United states person.--The term ``United States 
     person'' means any United States citizen, permanent resident 
     alien, entity organized under the laws of the United States 
     (including foreign branches), or any person in the United 
     States.
       (7) Hizballah.--The term ``Hizballah'' means--
       (A) the entity known as Hizballah and designated by the 
     Secretary of State as a foreign terrorist organization 
     pursuant to section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality 
     Act (8 U.S.C. 1189); or
       (B) any person--
       (i) the property or interests in property of which are 
     blocked pursuant to the International Emergency Economic 
     Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.); and
       (ii) who is identified on the list of specially designated 
     nationals and blocked persons maintained by the Office of 
     Foreign Assets Control of the Department of the Treasury as 
     an agent, instrumentality, or affiliate of Hizballah.

  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 of California. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that 
all Members might have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their 
remarks and to include any extraneous material in the Record.
  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 am rising in strong support to this Shields Act, as we 
call it, which sanctions Hezbollah, sanctions them for their use in 
southern Lebanon of not only families, but entire villages as human 
shields; and let me explain this.
  As we have discussed today, the Iranian-backed terrorist 
organization, Hezbollah, has constructed an entire military apparatus 
in the nation that sits just north of Israel's northern border in 
Lebanon. It is now complete with missile production facilities that are 
intended to strike at Israel's civilian centers.
  I do want to thank the gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Gallagher) for 
his leadership because he has helped bring this critical attention to 
us today.
  But, in the process, as we talk about Hezbollah, they have placed 
Israeli and Lebanese civilians directly into the path of the conflict. 
If you go to that border, as I have done, you can see command post 
after command post, not manned by the Lebanese Armed Forces. Those 
flags you see are not Lebanese flags, they are Hezbollah battle flags. 
And they man those posts, surrounded by antitank and infantry 
positions, surrounded by underground tunnels and rocket launchers and 
arms depots. In short, countless Lebanese villages are, in effect, 
military bases, the ones that are right along that border, financed and 
equipped by Iran.
  No one has the right to sacrifice the lives of innocent women and 
children, and certainly not those dedicated to the twisted and evil 
goals of destroying the State of Israel.
  When I say I have seen this firsthand, in 2006, I was in Haifa during 
the war that Hezbollah was conducting with Israel, and Hezbollah forces 
used human shields extensively in a cowardly effort to protect their 
rocket launchers from counterattacks by Israeli forces. I watched as 
those rockets came into civilian populations in Haifa and exploded 
there, and sent those civilians to the trauma hospital.
  In Rambam trauma hospital, as they were bringing people in, I asked 
for the count that day. There were 600 victims, wounded victims of 
those attacks, being treated in that hospital--Arab Israelis, Jewish 
Israelis, Druid Israelis, all of them victims of those Hezbollah 
attacks.
  It seems--and by the way, when you see the devastation, every one of 
those Iranian-made missiles has 90,000 ball bearings in it, and that is 
what they are launching on schools, civilian areas. They attempted to 
hit the hospital itself.
  It seems that Hezbollah and its Iranian backers are willing to fight 
to the

[[Page H8180]]

last villager there in their quest to annihilate the people of Israel, 
yet neither Hezbollah nor Iran has been held to account by responsible 
nations for these egregious crimes.
  While Foreign Minister Zarif of Iran was coddled by the EU, this 
issue was never raised, not by us, not by the EU. We never raised this 
with the Iranians as a serious issue. We have to because the 
willingness to overlook these human rights violations is why we find 
ourselves in the position that we are in today and why this legislation 
is critically important.
  This bill calls on the U.S. and its partners to hold Hezbollah and 
Iran accountable through targeted sanctions and appropriate action at 
the United Nations Security Council.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support this legislation, and I 
reserve the balance of my time.
                                         House of Representatives,


                                 Committee on Foreign Affairs,

                                 Washington, DC, October 23, 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. 3342, Sanctioning Hizballah's 
     Illicit Use of Civilians as Defenseless Shields Act, 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. 3342 into the 
     Congressional Record during floor consideration of the bill. 
     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 Ways and Means,

                                 Washington, DC, October 23, 2017.
     Hon. Edward R. Royce,
     Chairman, Committee on Foreign Affairs,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Chairman Royce: I am writing with respect to H.R. 
     3342, the ``Sanctioning Hizballah's Illicit Use of Civilians 
     as Defenseless Shields Act.''
       As a result of your having consulted with us on this 
     measure, I agree not to seek a sequential referral on this 
     bill so that it may move expeditiously to the floor. The 
     Committee on Ways and Means takes this action with the mutual 
     understanding that 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 
     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 of H.R. 3342.
           Sincerely,
                                                      Kevin Brady,
     Chairman.
                                  ____

                                         House of Representatives,


                                 Committee on Foreign Affairs,

                                 Washington, DC, October 23, 2017.
     Hon. Kevin Brady,
     Chairman, Committee on Ways and Means,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Chairman Brady: Thank you for consulting with the 
     Foreign Affairs Committee and agreeing to forgo a sequential 
     referral request on H.R. 3342, Sanctioning Hizballah's 
     Illicit Use of Civilians as Defenseless Shields Act, 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. 3342 into the 
     Congressional Record during floor consideration of the bill. 
     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. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  I rise in support of this measure. Let me start off by thanking 
Representatives Gallagher of Wisconsin and Suozzi of New York. Mr. 
Suozzi is a very valued, new member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, 
and I want to thank both of them for their hard work on this bill. And, 
as always, I want to thank Chairman Royce for his leadership.
  This is the first of three measures that we are considering today to 
crack down on the terrorist group, Hezbollah. I have been focused on 
this challenge for a long time. More than a decade ago, I wrote a law 
to get Syria out of Lebanon and, with it, Syria's support for 
Hezbollah.
  But this is a group made up of extremists, and they will always try 
to find new ways to gather resources and spread their reach, all in aid 
of its dangerous and violent agenda, which is undermining Lebanon's 
political independence; supporting Iran's activities, aggressive 
activities throughout the region; fueling chaos and war in Syria; and 
threatening our ally, Israel.
  We need to do everything in our power to isolate Hezbollah. We need 
to crack down on its recruiters and financiers. We need to cut off its 
supply of weapons, and we need to silence its propaganda machine.
  The three measures we will now consider will help us meet this 
challenge. The first is a new sanctions bill aimed at Hezbollah's use 
of innocent civilians as human shields. It would ban entry into the 
United States to anyone who uses human shields on behalf of Hezbollah, 
and it would freeze whatever assets they have in the United States.
  This bill would call upon our Ambassador to the U.N. to push for 
multilateral sanctions for the same behavior, and it would require the 
administration to keep Congress apprised about whether certain 
Hezbollah leaders would be caught up in the web of these sanctions.
  It is a good bill and a piece of a broader strategy to cut the legs 
out from under this odious group.
  You know, some our friends in Europe like to say: Well, there are 
really two parts of Hezbollah. One is the military wing, and one is the 
humanitarian wing, and the so-called humanitarian wing takes care of 
people who are in trouble, who need aid, who need help, and that is the 
way the story goes.
  The fact is, a terrorist organization is a terrorist organization. 
You cannot cut it in half and say one wing is good and the other wing 
is not. A terrorist organization is not good. A terrorist organization 
kills innocent people. A terrorist organization doesn't want peace, 
they want war, they want killing, they want people to continue to 
suffer. So let us remember, Hezbollah is a terrorist group.
  Hezbollah is primarily financed by Iran. Assad was losing the war in 
Syria on at least two occasions, and, on those times, Syria had an 
infusion of Hezbollah fighters sent by Iran on the side of the Assad 
regime to prop up Assad. And after they did it, the Russians came in 
and propped up Assad.
  So let's remember the hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians who 
have been murdered in Syria in the Syria civil war. That is Hezbollah, 
a terrorist organization--bombs in Israel against innocent civilians, 
bombs every place else.
  We cannot sit idly by. And so this bill, again, is a piece of a 
broader strategy to cut the legs out from under this odious group.
  Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to support it. I urge everyone to do the 
same, and I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. ROYCE of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the 
gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Gallagher). He is a member of the Armed 
Services and Homeland Security Committees. He is also the author of 
this bill, along with Mr. Tom Suozzi of New York.
  Mr. GALLAGHER. Mr. Speaker, today I rise in support of H.R. 3342, the 
Sanctioning Hizballah's Illicit Use of Civilians as Defenseless Shields 
Act.
  First and foremost, I would like to thank Chairman Royce and Ranking 
Member Engel for their steadfast support of this effort and their 
broader leadership, not only in the Middle East and as it pertains to 
rolling back Iran's influence in their terrorist proxies, foremost 
among them Hezbollah, but also as it pertains to making the case

[[Page H8181]]

for American leadership in the world, making the case for why American 
leadership, buttressed by its strong alliances, is a sound investment 
in our safety here at home.
  I would also like to thank my friend and colleague, Tom Suozzi, for 
his tireless work to make this bill a reality. He and his staff have 
been a pleasure to work with every step along the way, and I think he 
is a perfect example of someone who is here and unafraid to reach 
across the aisle when it comes to doing what is right for the country.
  Mr. Speaker, this bill comes at an extremely important time, when 
Iran and its proxies, such as Hezbollah, are making a concerted push on 
the ground in the Middle East against the United States, our allies, 
and our interests.
  This isn't a new phenomenon, of course. Since its founding in the 
early 1980s, Hezbollah has been one of the most dangerous and 
destructive forces throughout the greater Middle East. With the 
exception of al-Qaida, no foreign terrorist organization has killed 
more Americans than Hezbollah.

                              {time}  1515

  With the support of the Iranian Government and the Islamic 
Revolutionary Guard Corps, Hezbollah has engaged in a sustained 
campaign of terrorism and violence, including against the United States 
and Israel.
  Congress, along with the United Nations, has repeatedly documented 
Hezbollah's numerous violations of international law, including 
employing human shields throughout the 2006 conflict; concealing an 
arsenal that has grown to over 150,000 missiles and other destabilizing 
weapons provided by the Syrian and Iranian Governments in southern 
Lebanon, often beneath civilian infrastructure; and maintaining an 
armed military force within Lebanon's sovereign territory in direct 
violation of numerous U.N. Security Council resolutions, thus 
preventing Lebanon from exerting its lawful control over its 
internationally recognized borders.
  The State Department designated Hezbollah as a foreign terrorist 
organization in 1997, leading to the creation of a sanctions regime 
against the group. Despite these sanctions, Hezbollah has continued to 
expand its military capabilities due in large part to extensive Iranian 
financial support. The State Department has continually expressed alarm 
at Hezbollah's capabilities and influence, describing the group in 2010 
as ``the most technically capable terrorist group in the world.'' In 
2013, State Department noted the increasing tempo of Hezbollah's 
terrorist activities.
  Despite its extensive track record of terror, Hezbollah has yet to be 
specifically sanctioned by the United States for its barbaric practice 
of using defenseless civilians as human shields. The Shields Act 
finally changes that and finally punishes Hezbollah for these 
atrocities.
  Just a few of the measures included in the Shields Act include: 
identifying and sanctioning Hezbollah members and those acting on 
behalf of Hezbollah who are complicit in or responsible for ordering or 
directing the use of human shields; identifying and sanctioning foreign 
persons, agencies, or instrumentalities of foreign states who have 
provided, attempted to provide, or facilitated provision of material 
support to identified individuals; and invoking financial penalties 
blocking real estate transactions, and leveraging powers ascribed by 
the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.
  In short and in sum, the Shields Act is a vital and bipartisan bill 
that advances American interest, punishes those who support and enable 
the barbaric practice of using human shields, and protects our allies 
in the region.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to 
support this critical legislation, and I thank the chairman again for 
his help and leadership.
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to the gentleman from New 
York (Mr. Suozzi), my colleague on the Foreign Affairs Committee, a 
fellow New Yorker, and one of the new good members of our committee, 
and coauthor of this important bill.
  Mr. SUOZZI. Mr. Speaker, I would like to start by thanking Chairman 
Royce and Ranking Member Engel for their bipartisan leadership and the 
model that they show all of us on this committee in the work that they 
do together, and for their mentorship as well.
  I would also like to thank and applaud my colleague and friend, Mike 
Gallagher, for his leadership on this bill, and for working so closely 
to get this done. We are very grateful to him for his work here.
  The Shields Act that I rise in support of right now will sanction 
Hezbollah members and their supporters for the use of human shields. It 
also seeks to punish the governments that enable such war crimes, 
including their primary supporter, Iran.
  This summer, I visited Israel and I stood near Lebanon's southern 
border, not far from where Hezbollah threatens Israel's security. In 
the over 30 years since Hezbollah in 1983 killed hundreds of Americans 
when it bombed the Marine Corps barracks in Beirut, they have become 
one of the most dangerous terrorist organizations, not only in Lebanon, 
but across the entire Middle East.
  In 2006, it provoked a war with Israel by killing and kidnapping 
soldiers in cross-border raids, and then for nearly a month rained 
rockets down on Israel cities, killing dozens of civilians. Journalists 
and human rights groups found that it fired many of these rockets from 
populated areas, even from inside private homes and other civilian 
buildings.
  That war ended more than a decade ago, but Hezbollah remains 
committed to Israel's destruction. It has spent millions to replenish 
its arsenal, which now includes up to 150,000 missiles scattered across 
southern Lebanon, much of it concealed in mosques, hospitals, schools, 
and homes where civilians are used as human shields.
  Hezbollah has continued its provocative actions on the border between 
Lebanon and Israel. It has killed and wounded Israeli soldiers. It has 
threatened bombings of gas fields and chemical plants. It has tried to 
smuggle advanced weapons into Lebanon. It has built an expansive 
network of tunnels through civilian neighborhoods. The civilians caught 
in its destructive web of terror would have no safe haven if Hezbollah 
started a war.
  Hezbollah has also expanded its nefarious activities regionally, most 
notably playing a major role in the Syrian civil war, deploying 
thousands of its own men to prop up Bashar al-Assad's vicious regime. 
Hezbollah members are fighting alongside a Syrian army that has killed 
almost half a million of its own people and driven millions more into 
exile.
  In the process, it has trained for its next war with Israel. The 
Israeli intelligence official have said that the group has learned 
frightening skills in urban warfare from its years on the ground in 
Syria. It did all of this, of course, at the behest of its Iran patrons 
who continue threatening to rain warheads down into Jerusalem and Tel 
Aviv.
  From Iraq to Gaza, from Yemen to Bahrain, Iran's proxies have been at 
the center of the chaos consuming the Middle East. But Hezbollah 
remains Iran's oldest and deadliest proxy, and its actions in Syria 
deserve particular attention.
  In town after town, Hezbollah's militants prevented civilians from 
fleeing the Assad regime artillery. Activists have accused the group of 
carrying out mass killings and torturing refugees and other civilians. 
Hezbollah is one of the main reasons Assad's murderous regime continues 
to stay in power in 2017. Hezbollah is not only a threat to the people 
beyond Lebanon's border, it is a threat to the Lebanese people. The 
U.N. has implicated Hezbollah in the assassination of a Lebanese Prime 
Minister. Its use of civilians as human shields endangers the Lebanese 
people every moment of every day.

  I applaud the leadership and the members of the Foreign Affairs 
Committee for continuing to find ways to crack down on Hezbollah and 
Iran.
  Today there are four suspension bills on the calendar: H.R. 1698, the 
Iran Ballistic Missiles and International Sanctions Enforcement Act, 
which prevents Iran from undertaking any activity related to advancing 
their ballistic missiles program; H.R. 3329, Hizballah International 
Financing Prevention Amendments Act of 2017, which restricts 
Hezbollah's ability to raise money and recruit for their nefarious 
activities; H. Res. 359, which urges our European allies to drop their 
false distinction between Hezbollah's political

[[Page H8182]]

wing and its military wing, and designate them in their entirety as a 
terrorist organization; and, finally, my and Mr. Gallagher's 
legislation, H.R. 3342, the Shields Act.
  We must pass these four bills to continue to reduce the influence of 
a group and its primary backer, Iran, that have menaced their neighbors 
and their own people for far too long. By passing H.R. 3342, the 
bipartisan Shields Act, we will send a strong message that the United 
States of America will not stand for the use of innocent civilians as 
pawns in the destructive chess game of Iran's and Hezbollah's effort to 
destabilize the region and the West.
  Mr. Speaker, I applaud my colleague, Congressman Gallagher, for his 
leadership. I am proud to join him in this effort. I ask my colleagues 
for their support.
  Mr. ROYCE of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the 
gentleman from California (Mr. Rohrabacher), the chairman of the 
Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats.
  Mr. ROHRABACHER. Mr. Speaker, you can say that again.
  Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to be here with Ranking Member Engel 
and Chairman Royce. I want to congratulate both of them on the great 
work that they are doing on especially Middle East issues. Over and 
over again, they have been on top of the situation and making sure that 
America's position and the moral position of the world is declared by 
this Congress. Today we have four bills that are in keeping with that 
tradition and the great job that they have already been doing.
  First of all, let us just note that this human shield legislation, 
whatever way Hezbollah acts, it is worth us saying: Look how horrible 
it is. Look at the horrible tactics they are using. It is worth us 
having a resolution to draw people's attention to it, but let's just be 
fair.
  What this is today is we are calling for peace in the Middle East. We 
are pleading with those people who have degenerated to the point that 
they are using innocent people as shields, where their bodies will be 
cut apart by shrapnel or by enemy fire. This is how far down those 
people who would destroy Israel have gone. So it is just and right for 
us today.
  Yes, they point out the human shields, but this is part of a bigger 
problem. That is, that you have the leadership in the Islamic world, in 
that part of the world anyway, in the Middle East. The Islamic leaders 
in that part of the world refuse to recognize Israel and its right to 
exist. Whether they are using their people as human shields and 
innocent people as human shields to accomplish their mission, whether 
they are allied with the mullah regime who chants ``death to Israel,'' 
no; when those people--and whether it is Iran or Hezbollah or their 
allies throughout the Middle East--recognize that Israel has a right to 
exist, a major step forward would happen.
  Instead, they play games about the right of return. So how would 
Israel ever be able to accept the fact that their country is going to 
be inundated with other people and taken over the minute they make some 
kind of an agreement to let them do so?
  What we are calling out for today is--yes, we are pointing our 
fingers at the immorality of Hezbollah and their association with both 
the mullahs and the tyrannical Assad regime in Syria. We point that 
out, but what we are really asking for is not just a condemnation. We 
are asking for peace. We are asking for these people to take a look at 
moral arguments. America is standing for these moral arguments. Please, 
we are pleading with you through these condemnations of immoral 
activity, we are pleading with you to reach a peace agreement with 
Israel and to reach a peace agreement with the other peoples of that 
region.
  I am very proud to stand with Mr. Royce and Mr. Engel, as all of us 
are, in the bipartisan effort to make sure America stands for truth, 
justice, and morality.
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
Florida (Ms. Frankel), a valued member of the Foreign Affairs 
Committee.
  Ms. FRANKEL of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I thank the chairman for the 
bipartisan leadership of this committee.
  Mr. Speaker, this week marks the 34th anniversary of the devastating 
Marine Corps barracks bombing in Lebanon. As the very proud mother of a 
U.S. marine, this is deeply personal to me. My son returned safely from 
his tours of service. Not so blessed were the families of 220 marines 
and 21 other service personnel who were murdered when Hezbollah struck 
with truck bombs at a Marine Corps compound in Beirut, Lebanon, on 
October 23, 1983.
  The marines we lost that day were someone's husband, father, brother, 
or son. Except for al-Qaida, Hezbollah has killed more Americans than 
any other terrorist group in the world, and it continues to be a 
menacing threat to all humanity.
  Just look at Syria, the greatest humanitarian crisis of our time: 
hundreds of thousands of civilians murdered; 5 million have fled as 
refugees; Hezbollah, a tool of Iran, propping up Assad and fueling the 
violence.

  Their actions don't stop there. Israelis live under the constant 
shadow of Hezbollah's missile arsenal that is pointed directly at them. 
In just a decade, they have increased their rocket count from 15,000 to 
150,000. They hold the Lebanese people hostage by embedding weapons in 
their mosques, their hospitals, and their schools.
  These bipartisan bills before us that I wholeheartedly support will 
help America go after the full range of Hezbollah's activities, 
sanctioning them for utilizing civilians as human shields, targeting 
Iran's financial support to Hezbollah, and urging the European Union to 
designate Hezbollah in its entirety as a terrorist organization.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge adoption of these bills.
  Mr. ROYCE of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the 
gentlewoman from Florida (Ms. Ros-Lethinen), who chairs the Foreign 
Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa.
  Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I thank our dynamic duo once again for 
this wonderful legislation and for bringing this bill before us this 
afternoon. I rise in strong support of H.R. 3342, Sanctioning 
Hizballah's Illicit Use of Civilians as Defenseless Shields Act, 
authored by our friends, Congressmen Gallagher and Suozzi. I thank the 
gentleman for their leadership.
  I am proud to be a cosponsor of this bill, Mr. Speaker, and I applaud 
our effort here in the House to take up several measures, as you have 
heard, that address a variety of threats that Iran and its proxies pose 
to our national security and the security of those in the region.
  The use of human shields is unconscionable, morally unacceptable, and 
a clear violation of human rights. Yet for terrorist groups such as 
Iran proxies, Hezbollah, and Hamas, the use of human shields is an 
acceptable tactic. It is a tactic used because they engage in terror 
activity and asymmetric warfare. They don't have the same beliefs and 
morals of the United States or Israel.

                              {time}  1530

  It is an attempt to cause innocents to be dragged into their conflict 
and to cause as many casualties as they can with no regard whatsoever 
for human life.
  Iran and Hezbollah know that if they engage in hostilities with 
Israel, the world will be quick to blame Israel for civilian deaths 
despite the great precautions Israel takes to not only save human 
lives, but to only go against belligerents.
  Responsible nations must condemn this tactic by Hezbollah and by all 
of its state sponsors of terrorism. We must take action to hold anyone 
who engages in such actions accountable.
  Iran and Hezbollah will continue to take advantage of our morality--
what they perceive to be a weakness on our part--and they will continue 
to employ the use of human shields during armed conflicts until the 
world sends a strong and unified message, and that is what this bill 
does.
  Mr. Speaker, I thank the chairman and I thank the ranking member.
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. ROYCE of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the 
gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Garrett), who is a member of the Foreign 
Affairs and Homeland Security Committees.
  Mr. GARRETT. Mr. Speaker, I thank Chairman Royce and Ranking Member 
Engel.

[[Page H8183]]

  Mr. Speaker, today, I think, represents the culmination of a series 
of wonderful bipartisan efforts that, while on their face to those who 
are not initiated may seem to deal with disparate subjects insofar as 
they stem from Iranian ballistic missiles to Hezbollah's use of humans 
as shields, are, in effect, dealing with the same subject.
  Mr. Speaker, one can't separate Hezbollah from Iran. In fact, 
Hezbollah was born only a few short years after the Iranian Revolution, 
which brought such heartache that the loss of life in Iran, adjusted 
for population, mirrors that of the entire loss of life by the United 
States in combat during the entire Second World War.
  These are innocent Iranians killed by their own government, Mr. 
Speaker. And we see, also, that the Hezbollah forces in Israel, 
Lebanon, and, indeed, around the world quite literally have continued 
to use human shields.
  My friend and colleague from California, Congressman Rohrabacher, 
said that Hezbollah actions had degenerated to the point where they 
were using human shields. While I hold Mr. Rohrabacher in great esteem, 
I would submit that they haven't degenerated, because that implies at 
some point that Hezbollah didn't engage in such reprehensible behavior.
  So the bipartisan actions led by Ranking Member Engel and Chairman 
Royce today bring us to where, indeed, we need to be by virtue of the 
reality of the world in which we live. Hezbollah does not exist but for 
the largess of Iran and the monies funneled by the Iranian regime.
  The Hezbollah missiles, which Member Frankel eloquently spoke of, 
are, indeed, Iranian missiles, and the ICBMs that Iran is developing 
that we seek to curtail stem from a failure to include a prohibition on 
ICBM development in the JCPOA under which this Congress and this 
administration now labor.
  I would note for the Record, for the Members, and for those who might 
be viewing at home that U.N. Security Council Resolution 1929 of 2010, 
which included signatures from the Russians and the Chinese, said that 
Iran was forbidden from engaging in missile development. The JCPOA says 
Iran is asked not to engage in this.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. ROYCE of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield the gentleman from 
Virginia an additional 1 minute.
  Mr. GARRETT. Mr. Speaker, so we then arrive at the point where the 
good work of Mr. Engel and Chairman Royce is needed today, and that is 
what we do. It is with a glad heart that I note the bipartisan nature 
of these agreements.
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the remainder of my time to 
close the way I always do.
  Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleagues on both sides for their 
hard work on this bill. I want to remind my colleagues that, just a few 
years ago when the last war was raging in Gaza, the other terrorist 
group, Hamas, used civilians as human shields. We had a resolution on 
the floor of this House condemning it, and I was very, very proud that 
that resolution passed unanimously.
  We need to condemn these terrorist groups no matter what they do, but 
when they use people as human shields--innocent people--and then try to 
blame the other side for the death, it is not something that we can 
countenance or stand for at all. I hope that we rise to the occasion 
this time, as well, because I can think of nothing more despicable than 
using innocent civilians as human shields.
  These bomb factories are built in mosques, they are built in schools, 
and they are built in playgrounds. They are built where children are. 
They are built because they are daring Israel and the United States to 
go after them when we know that there will be human casualties. It is 
really a despicable position.
  Here you have two terrorists groups, Hezbollah and Hamas. One is 
Shia; one is Sunni. It doesn't matter. They are both out to kill 
people. They are both out to terrorize people. They are both out to do 
the opposite of what we try to do in the United States: lifting people 
up.
  They need to be stopped, and this Congress needs to keep sending 
strong messages with teeth behind them to the world that we will not 
sit idly by and allow these terrorist activities to happen.
  Using civilians as human shields is really the lowest of the low. The 
fact that Hezbollah would put innocent men, women, and children in 
harm's way as human shields tells you everything you need to know about 
this organization. It is a cowardly practice by a gruesome group, and 
it cannot and shall not be tolerated.
  This measure puts us on record again condemning this terrorist group, 
and it gives the administration more tools to deal with one of 
Hezbollah's worst tools, more tools to deal with Hezbollah to stop its 
terrorist activities. So I urge a bipartisan ``yes'' vote.
  I thank Chairman Royce again for his collaboration with us on both 
sides of the aisle. That is one of the great things about the Foreign 
Affairs Committee because we realize that partisanship stops at the 
water's edge. When we are talking about terrorist groups and we are 
talking about antidemocratic groups, they affect us all. It is 
important that this Congress sends strong bipartisan measures and a 
strong bipartisan voice to say we will not tolerate these atrocities.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge a ``yes'' vote from all my colleagues on both 
sides, and I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. ROYCE of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the remainder of 
my time.
  Mr. Speaker, I did want to say I have had the opportunity to travel 
extensively with Mr. Engel and to observe him and his work here in this 
House for many years. He has always transcended partisanship in my 
view, but, more importantly, from my standpoint, he has been a servant 
of the national interests here and the core values of the United States 
of America and our attempt to represent those core values around the 
world.
  I want to take this moment, especially given his eloquent statement 
here about these values as he spoke about Hezbollah. These are values 
that I think all of us should share.
  The Geneva Convention, itself, establishes standards for 
international law, and it does so for the protection of civilians in a 
war zone. They specifically prohibit, under that Geneva Convention, of 
course, the use of civilians as human shields. It is article 58 of the 
Convention's additional protocols that require parties of any conflict 
to avoid locating military objectives within or near densely populated 
areas.
  So, to date, Hezbollah's arsenal is well over 100,000. As I shared 
with you, all of them are manufactured today by Iran. Those rockets and 
missiles of various ranges today include precision-guided missiles.
  I spoke earlier of 2006, the second Lebanon War. That actually should 
be called the Hezbollah war. At that time, as I talked about the 600 
victims that were in the trauma hospital, they were down to an 
inventory of 10,000 missiles. Today, they have, in the hands of 
Hezbollah--again, because of Iran--over 100,000 such rockets and 
missiles.
  So I think, yes, Hezbollah has blatantly violated the well-
established laws of armed conflict. It has targeted civilians for more 
than two decades in both Lebanon and Israel. As a result, both peoples 
are victims of Hezbollah's--and, frankly, of Iran's--brutality, and it 
is high time we hold them accountable. This we try to do in this 
legislation.
  Mr. Speaker, I thank, again, Mr. Engel, and I yield back the balance 
of my time.
  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. 3342, 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.

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