WASHINGTON, DC: Today, Congresswoman Jen Kiggans (VA-02) announced she has cosponsored a bipartisan resolution to condemn Hamas’ brutal and unprovoked attacks, reaffirm Congress’ unwavering support for Israel, and mourn the thousands killed and wounded since October 7, 2023, including at least 14 Americans. H.Res. 768 also condemns Iran’s support of terrorist groups – including Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad – and urges swift and full enforcement of U.S. sanctions to prevent further funding of these groups throughout the Middle East and beyond.
Congresswoman Kiggans completed two deployments to the Persian Gulf as a Navy helicopter pilot and has a firsthand knowledge of Israel’s importance to the stability and security of the Middle East.
“The atrocities being committed against Israel by Iran-backed Hamas terrorists require a swift and unwavering response from America,” said Congresswoman Kiggans. “Israel is – and always will be – our closest ally in the Middle East. I strongly support Israel’s right to self-defense and will do everything in my power to provide the Israeli people with the military, intelligence, and humanitarian aid they need as they fight to defend their nation.”
Additionally, Congresswoman Kiggans cosponsored H.R. 5917, which would sanction Hamas for its use of human shields.
“It’s sickening to see Hamas use kidnapped hostages – including innocent children, women, and the elderly – as human shields,” continued Congresswoman Kiggans. “Make no mistake, these terrorists would not be able to wreak such death and destruction without the help of Iran, the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism. We cannot allow these reprehensible acts to go unpunished. I’m proud to support legislation that ensures the United States will hold terrorists accountable for this unforgivable tactic.”
Specifically, the legislation would extend the length of sanctions on terror groups like Hamas from 2023 to 2030 and gives Congress the power to force the Administration into leveling economic penalties on those leading and supporting the various terror groups. It also would require the President to justify in writing any decision to waive sanctions or skirt their imposition.
Hamas is a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization and a part of a collective of Palestinian terrorist groups to whom Iran has annually provided $100 million.
In September, on the anniversary of 9/11, the Biden Administration unfroze $6 billion worth in Iranian assets as part of a prisoner exchange to the Iranian regime.
Under the Biden Administration, Iranian oil output has surged 40%. In July of 2020, Iran was producing 1.9 million barrels a day. At the end of last year, that number increased to just above 2.7 million. That increase accounts for roughly $55 million in profits per day or $1.6 billion a month.
In 2021, the Biden Administration provided over $200 million in “aid” to Gaza despite highlighting concerns that “there is a high risk Hamas could potentially derive indirect, unintentional benefit from U.S. assistance to Gaza.”
In accordance with the 2016 U.S.-Israel Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), the United States annually provides Israel with $3.3 billion in defense funding, as well as $500 million in missile defense funding. The FY21 National Defense Authorization Act expanded the funding through 2028. Previously, Congress has approved emergency supplemental funding; the most recent instance of which occurred in March of 2022 when it provided an additional $1 billion for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense program, which has proved critical to the safety of Israeli citizens. Since Friday, Hamas has fired more than 3,500 rockets into Israel.
The full text of H.Res. 768 is available here. The full text of H.R. 5917 is available here.