MAJOR VICTORY – HR-390 has passed in the HOUSE
Your post cards and calls to Congress did the job! HR-390, The Iraq and Syria Genocide Emergency Relief and Accountability Act, was introduced by our friend Congressman Chris Smith on January 10th of this year, shortly after the 115th Congress began its first session. Within a few weeks the Religious Freedom Coalition began to mail tens of thousands of letters in support of HR-390 to Americans across the country. Each letter contained personalized post card petitions for these Americans to mail to their congressmen and senators.
Since the first mailing in January, the RFC mailed hundreds of thousands more letters containing post card petition to build pressure on Congress. But by May there was still no movement on HR-390, it was being ignored by the Leadership of the House.
It was then that I began to publish the phone number of the Majority Leader in the House Kevin McCarthy and ask supporters of the HR-390 to call his office to demand a vote on the bill.
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Then, on Tuesday, June 6th, I went on USA Radio news, which is heard on more than 500 stations in the United States to explain the need for HR-390 and ask those listening to call Majority Leader McCarthy’s office, giving out his phone number right there on the air.
That very night the House Leadership moved the bill to the floor and passed it with an overwhelming vote!
The bill was placed on the floor for a vote under “suspension rules.” A motion to suspend the rules can only be called on Mondays and Tuesdays and only be made by the Speaker of the House or their designee, which is usually the Majority Leader. Once the motion to “suspend the rules” is made, debate is limited to 40 minutes, no amendments can be made, and a 2/3 majority of Members present and voting is required to pass the motion.
To my dismay there was no rollcall! The chair called for a voice vote and then declared that he heard 2/3 say yea. There were no objections from any member and HR-390 was on its way to the Senate.
But there is still work to do!
Unfortunately, as of right now there is no Senate version of The Iraq and Syria Genocide Emergency Relief and Accountability Act.. In order to take advantage of this momentum, it is urgent you call your Senator at once insisting they introduce and pass a Senate version of HR-390 right away!.
Call (202) 224-3121 and ask the Congressional Switchboard Operator to forward to your senators’ offices.
Explain to the staff member in your Senators office why HR-390 is so important:
First HR-390 will give assistance for victims of genocide
The bill directs the Administration to provide assistance to genocide survivors from Iraqi and Syrian religious and ethnic minority communities. Currently U.S. funds for aid to Iraq and Syria are given through the United Nations and the Iraqi government. Most Christians are not receiving this aid because they are not in U.N. camps because they are targeted for violence by Sunni Muslim gangs who control the camps. Christians often do not receive “official” aid. H.R. 390 will fix that.
Second, HR-390 demands accountability for the perpetrators of genocide
HR-390 directs the Administrion to provide funding and support entities that are conducting criminal investigations, building Syrian and Iraqi investigative and judicial capacity, collecting evidence, and preserving the chain of evidence for eventual prosecution. HR-390 also directs the Administration to review U.S. criminal codes to allow prosecution of Americans, or non-Americans present in the United States who may have been involved in the genocide of Christians or other minorities. This is important because the Obama Administration allowed tens of thousands of Sunni Muslims to enter the United States from Syria and Iraq without proper vetting.
Third, HR-390 will give the victims of genocide priority refugee status
Right now 98% of the refugees admitted to the United States are Sunni Muslims. HR-390 would give priority status to the Christians refugees who are the actual victims of genocide, instead of ignoring them under current policy.
Again … Please call your senators today at (202) 224-3121 and insist they introduce and vote for a Senate version of HR-390.