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- As Delivered - 

WASHINGTON, DC—Representative Eliot L. Engel, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement on the House floor in support of a resolution that condemns the recent terrorist attacks in Paris (H.Res.524):

“Thank you, Mr. Speaker.  I first of all would like to associate myself with the remarks of our Chairman, Chairman Royce.  I think that all of us share the horror of what happened in Paris just a few short days ago.

“Like so many around the world, we are heartbroken.  We are outraged.  We are stunned.  The perpetrators of these brutal and brazen attacks in Paris are our enemies just as they are the enemies of the people of France.  We must remain vigilant in the face of this challenge.

“Terrorists, Mr. Speaker, want to make their enemies live their lives in fear and retreat from the freedom which underpins our society.  But I think the fanatics responsible for this attack underestimate the French people. 

“Across the centuries, Paris and France have seen far worse.  A bloody revolution.  The darkest days of two world wars.  A Nazi occupation that marched columns of German troops beneath the Arc de Triomphe, and down the Champs-Élysées.  And all the while, their Republic emerged even stronger and more committed to the values of liberty, equality, and fraternity.  Values that we share.  And values that bind the U.S. and France together.

“The people of France will endure and the City of Light will shine even brighter.  Last week’s attacks were an atrocity, but they won’t break the spirit of the French people.  And as France grieves and moves forward, the United States will be standing shoulder-to-shoulder alongside our oldest ally in friendship and solidarity.

“But let’s be clear: friendship and solidarity aren’t all that’s needed in the wake of these attacks.  What’s needed is clarity, resolve, and action.

“Clearly, ISIS is an enemy that must be defeated.  So we need to ramp up our information-sharing and intelligence efforts with our allies and partners, to figure out how ISIS orchestrated this plot and to prevent future attacks.  We need to keep pushing for a resolution to Syria's civil war, which has created the conditions for ISIS to flourish.  We need to increase our support for those on the ground in Syria and Iraq that are already fighting ISIS, so that they can keep building on their recent successes.  We need to stem the flow of foreign fighters traveling to the Middle East to join the ranks of ISIS, and figure out how to counter the radicalization of vulnerable populations.  And we need to bring to justice those responsible for the Paris attacks.  To send a clear, strong message that murder and terrorism will never go unanswered.

“These terrorists, they’re not religious people.  They’re fascists.  They think they can use terror to further their political ends.  They won’t succeed.

“This resolution conveys our deepest condolences to the French people.  Just as importantly, it shows that the United States stands ready to assist France in its time of need, and to respond to the growing threat of ISIS.  I urge all my colleagues to support this measure.  Vivé la France!  Vivé la liberté!  I reserve the balance of my time.”