Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding. I also want to thank and express my support for Ranking Member ENGEL’s bill, H.R. 4681, the No Assistance for Assad Act.
As he said, Assad is a butcher, a butcher of his own people. Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad continues to murder the Syrians en masse and destroy what was once a great ancient land. Because of the world’s inaction, he is close to victory.
He has proven that evil triumphs when good men and women do nothing. Now Syria is in ruins and it must be rebuilt, but in the lands that Assad and his thugs control, we should play no part in helping his regime look like the saviors of the country.
He and his Russian and Iranian backers must foot the bill for the destruction they brought upon Syria. Assad and his murderous supporters will try to use any reconstruction to cover up for their crimes.
That is why it is important we pass H.R. 4681, to restrict any U.S.-funded reconstruction assistance to areas the Syrian regime controls. The American people are kind; they are generous and will always help those in need.
We always have—history proves it—but we will not pay for a propaganda win for brutal dictators like Assad. Let Assad and his buddies, the Iranians and the Russians, rebuild Assad’s territory. His regime has weaponized humanitarian aid throughout the war, and we can only expect him to continue to do so as he tries to retake territory.
So, for now, let Assad rule over the ruins of the old Syria, the Syria he destroyed, and no U.S. money should ever go to Assad. One day, the Assads will be gone, but until then, we should not provide a dime of American money to strengthen his rule and grip over that land.
And that is just the way it is.