FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Caesar Bill Passes House Unanimously
The Syrian American Council celebrates passage of Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act in the House of Representatives and advocates its passing in the Senate
WASHINGTON D.C., January 23, 2019 – The Syrian American Council applauds the passage of the H.R. 31, the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act, on Tuesday by the House of Representatives, and supports the calls made by House Foreign Affairs Chairman Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) and ranking member Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) for the Senate to now pass the bill.
The legislation, which would hold Syrian President Bashar al-Assad accountable for his war crimes while limiting his ability to access funds from allies Russia and Iran, has been in the works for nearly three years with deep bipartisan support. Having passed this latest hurdle, the bill is expected to be considered by the Senate after the end of the partial U.S. government shutdown.
“After three years of advocating for this legislation, we are cautiously optimistic to see the Caesar bill taken up as one of the first measures by the new Congress,” said Suzanne Meriden, executive director of the Syrian American Council. “We are especially grateful to Congressmen Engel and McCaul for their leadership in passing this unique and important bipartisan legislation. The Syrian American Council and greater Syrian-American community will continue to work to ensure Caesar passes the Senate as well.”
The passage of H.R. 31 comes on the heels of the European Union imposing sanctions on 11 individuals and five companies for providing financial and other military assistance to the Assad regime.
“We are seeing a theme this week of sanctions imposed on the Assad regime and its allies and supporters, demonstrating that the international community is still largely unwilling to accept Assad as part of any legitimate solution in Syria,” added Meriden.
Michelle R. Taylor