December 12, 2023
Senator Ben Cardin
509 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Senator Cardin,
As your Maryland constituents and staunch advocates for human rights, we turn to you to champion the cause of a free and democratic Syria. We are writing to seek your unwavering support for S. 2935, the Assad Regime Anti-Normalization Act. Your pivotal role as Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee positions you to significantly influence the bill's trajectory, and we respectfully request that you prioritize a committee markup of the bill in January 2024.
S. 2935 is a companion bill to H.R. 3202, which garnered unanimous approval from the House Foreign Affairs Committee on May 16, 2023. This legislative measure reiterates Congress' unwavering stance on U.S. policy towards Syria, as delineated in the Caesar Act. It unambiguously declares that the United States will not acknowledge or normalize ties with any government led by genocidal war criminal Bashar al-Assad. The legislation mandates the establishment of an interagency strategy to counter the normalization of Assad while preserving critical humanitarian exemptions stipulated by the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act (P.L. 116-92).
With 48 bipartisan co-sponsors already supporting H.R. 3202, which has also received bipartisan endorsements from former federal officials, we urge you to ensure that S. 2935 receives the same level of robust backing. We strongly encourage you to not only co-sponsor this bill but to actively work towards bringing the bill to the Senate floor for debate.
The crux of our appeal lies in preventing the normalization of the Assad regime—a regime that cannot be permitted to remain unaccountable for its litany of crimes against humanity. Passing this bill will resonate as a powerful testament to the United States' commitment to justice and human dignity, emphatically stating that mass murderers, along with their Russian and Iranian patrons, will not be absolved of responsibility for their heinous acts against the Syrian people.
Your advocacy and support are instrumental in amplifying the United States' solidarity with the Syrian people. We extend our deepest gratitude for your dedication to this critical human rights issue and await your positive response.