WASHINGTON, DC—Representative Eliot L. Engel, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement announcing his opposition to the so-called Justice for Victims of Iranian Terrorism Act (HR 3457):
“I have enormous sympathy for American victims of Iranian terrorism and their families. But it's clear to me that the so-called Justice for Victims of Iranian Terrorism Act is little more than political fodder and would do nothing to bring justice to these victims.
“Only two weeks ago, Congress voted on the Iran nuclear deal. I opposed the agreement, and I will continue working to hold Iran accountable. But I will not support this attempt to use the suffering of victims of terror to cynically score political points.
“The majority now seems intent on trying to undermine the Iran deal the way it has tried to undermine Obamacare by voting and re-voting on a settled issue. It hasn't worked in the 60 attempts on health care and it won't work now.
“What's more, even if this measure were enacted, it wouldn’t provide a dime’s worth of justice for those who lost loved ones to violent extremism. In fact, it would make it even less likely that they would ever receive compensation for their loss.
“Going forward, Congress has a responsibility to send legislation to the President that will strengthen enforcement of the nuclear deal, protect our friends and allies in the region, and crack down on Iran’s support for terrorist organizations. I will soon offer legislation to advance that agenda, and I hope to work with colleagues of both parties to pursue those goals. So I’m disappointed that House leaders decided to flout regular order and rush this partisan bill to the floor. The hallmark of the Foreign Affairs Committee is our success in advancing reasoned legislation that promotes our national interests abroad. This legislation, which has no bipartisan support, would accomplish nothing, and it should be defeated.”