Deutch Bills on Bob Levinson, US-Tunisia Partnership Pass Foreign Affairs Committee
Today, the House Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously passed two bills introduced by Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-22), Chairman of the Middle East, North Africa, and International Terrorism Subcommittee.
Chairman Deutch's bipartisan ‘‘Robert Levinson Hostage Recovery and Hostage-Taking Accountability Act," introduced with Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC), Congressman Ted Lieu (D-CA), and Congressman Michael Waltz (R-FL), would empower the President to impose sanctions on those who take American hostages, mandate the appointment of a Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, increase U.S. government engagement with families of hostages and those unlawfully or wrongfully detained, and mandate the creation of a Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell and a Hostage Response Group to help free Americans unjustly held abroad.
"I'm grateful to my committee colleagues for their support on these important bills," Congressman Deutch said. "As we approach the 13-year mark since Bob Levinson's disappearance, it is meaningful that my Democratic and Republican colleagues unanimously supported this bill to strengthen our recovery efforts of American hostages around the world. Bringing Americans home must be a priority of our government."
He also introduced a bipartisan resolution with Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC), Congressman Alcee Hastings (D-FL), and Congressman David Schweikert (R-AZ) to reaffirm the strong partnership between Tunisia and the United States and support the people of Tunisia in their continued pursuit of democratic reforms.
"As Tunisia continues to face many challenges, including security threats and economic impediments, the United States must remain a committed partner and support the Tunisian people on their path toward democracy, stability, and prosperity," said Congressman Deutch.
Both bills were unanimously approved by the House Foreign Affairs Committee.