South Carolina Congressman Jeff Duncan achieved another major legislative victory on Wednesday evening after one of his bills, the Countering Iran in the Western Hemisphere Act (HR 3783), passed the United States Senate. The measure passed by unanimous consent with a technical amendment from Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. The Senate’s action sends the bill back to the US House for a final vote before going to the President for his signature.
“This is a common sense, pro-liberty bill. We're not giving the government any more power. Part of the problem with this emerging threat is that many federal agencies aren't on the same page. This bill assesses the problem, gets agencies to collaborate, and starts the process of developing a strategy to combat this threat,” Duncan said.
“We must be vigilant in protecting against new threats here at home,” said Duncan. “In the shadow of Iran’s growing nuclear ambitions, there’s a new threat emerging of an Iranian-backed terror network in our own hemisphere.”
“From the deployment of an Iranian television network in Latin America, to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s frequent trips to the region; Iran’s made their interest in the region well known,” said Duncan. “Recent developments including arresting suspected Hezbollah terrorists in Mexico, and evidence showing terrorist networks potentially working closely with Mexican drug cartels is even more disturbing.”
Since Duncan’s bill has already passed the House of Representatives without a single Democrat objection, significantly increasing the legislation’s chance of being signed into law.
“Iran’s actions in our neighborhood represent a real threat to our safety and security,” said Duncan. “This bill provides the first step to countering Iran’s hostile presence right here at home, and I’m hopeful that this measure will be signed by the President.”
- Establishes a strong U.S. posture, policy, and relationship with Latin American countries
- Protects U.S. interests and assets in the Western Hemisphere such as embassies, consulates, businesses, energy pipelines, and cultural organizations, including threats to U.S. allies
- Addresses the vital national security interests of the United States by ensuring that energy supplies from the Western Hemisphere are free from the influence of any foreign government that would attempt to manipulate or disrupt global energy markets
- Requires a secure U.S. border with the U.S. working in coordination with the governments of Mexico and Canada to prevent Iranian operatives from entering the U.S. Counters efforts by foreign persons, entities, and governments in the region to assist Iran in evading U.S. and international sanctions