H. Con. Res. 75, Expressing the sense of Congress that the atrocities perpetrated by ISIL against religious and ethnic minorities in Iraq and Syria include war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide, as amended

H.Con.Res. 75

Expressing the sense of Congress that the atrocities perpetrated by ISIL against religious and ethnic minorities in Iraq and Syria include war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide, as amended

Date
March 14, 2016 (114th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Molly Newell

Floor Situation

On Monday, March 14, 2016, the House will consider H. Con. Res. 75, Expressing the sense of Congress that the atrocities perpetrated by ISIL against religious and ethnic minorities in Iraq and Syria include war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide, as amended, under suspension of the rules. H. Con. Res. 75 was introduced on September 9, 2015 by Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), and was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, which ordered the bill reported with an amendment in the Nature of a Substitute by Unanimous Consent on March 2, 2016.

Bill Summary

H. Con. Res. 75 resolves that the House of Representatives and the Senate concurring that:

  • The atrocities perpetrated by ISIL against Christians, Yezidis, and other religious and ethnic minorities constitute war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide;
  • All governments and international organizations should call ISIL atrocities by their rightful names;
  • United Nations members should coordinate on measures to prevent further atrocities and punish those responsible;
  • Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and the Kurdish Regional Government of Iraq are to be commend for their efforts to protect those persecuted; and
  • The protracted Syrian civil war has contributed to the growth of ISIL.

Background

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and associated extremists have continued to commit egregious atrocities against ethnic and religious minorities in Iraq and Syria, including Christians. ISIL specifically targets these groups intending to kill them or force their submission, conversion, or expulsion. The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, the European Parliament, and other bodies have stated clearly that Yezidis, Christians, and other minorities are facing genocide. Although the Administration has so far deliberately avoided answering the question, it is facing a March 17 statutory deadline to report to Congress on whether the persecution of Christians and other religious believers there constitutes genocide.

The United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, signed and ratified by the United States, defines genocide as ‘‘any of the following acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”

Cost

The Congressional Budget Office does not estimate the cost of Concurrent Resolutions, which do not authorize or appropriate funds.

Additional Information

For questions or further information please contact Molly Newell with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 2-1374.