U.S. Senate Committee passes humanitarian aid resolution on Syria

Notes on U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Hearing

Date: Tuesday, April 01, 2014
Time: 02:15 PM
Location: S-116 Capitol Building

Attended / compiled by Anna McMahon, Intern, Middle East/North Africa Advocacy Department, Amnesty International USA

U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
Presiding: Senator Menendez

Summary: Unanimous passage of Resolution 384 from Committee.

Resolution 384:

“Expressing the sense of the Senate concerning the humanitarian crisis in Syria and neighboring countries, resulting humanitarian and development challenges, and the urgent need for a political solution to the crisis.”

Text: http://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/senate-resolution/384/text

Sponsor: Sen. Kaine, Tim [D-VA]
Cosponsors:

Sen. Rubio, Marco [R-FL]* 03/13/2014
Sen. Durbin, Richard [D-IL]* 03/13/2014
Sen. Klobuchar, Amy [D-MN]* 03/13/2014
Sen. Murphy, Christopher S. [D-CT]* 03/13/2014
Sen. Leahy, Patrick J. [D-VT]* 03/13/2014
Sen. Cardin, Benjamin L. [D-MD]* 03/13/2014
Sen. Shaheen, Jeanne [D-NH]* 03/13/2014
Sen. Menendez, Robert [D-NJ]* 03/13/2014
Sen. Gillibrand, Kirsten E. [D-NY]* 03/13/2014
Sen. Boxer, Barbara [D-CA]* 03/13/2014
Sen. Whitehouse, Sheldon [D-RI]* 03/13/2014
Sen. Casey, Robert P., Jr. [D-PA]* 03/13/2014
Sen. Blumenthal, Richard [D-CT]* 03/13/2014
Sen. Warner, Mark R. [D-VA]* 03/13/2014
Sen. Kirk, Mark Steven [R-IL]* 03/13/2014
Sen. King, Angus S. Jr. [I-ME]* 03/13/2014
Sen. Markey, Edward J. [D-MA]* 03/13/2014
Sen. Cruz, Ted [R-TX]* 03/13/2014
Sen. Feinstein, Dianne [D-CA] 03/25/2014
Sen. Collins, Susan M. [R-ME] 03/25/2014
Sen. Cornyn, John [R-TX] 03/26/2014
Sen. Boozman, John [R-AR] 03/31/2014
Sen. Franken, Al [D-MN] 03/31/2014

Details:

All Senators present voted ‘yay’ or yes to Resolution 384, expressing their overall frustration with the humanitarian crisis in Syria. There was bipartisan agreement that military action in Syria would not be successful, and the senators expressed concern for the rising death toll in the Syrian conflict, as well as the rising number of Syrian refugees and their lack of aid.

Resolution 384 asks for the following:

“Condemns the unlawful use of violence against civilians by all parties to the conflict in Syria, particularly the violence and human rights violations by the government of Syria. Urges all parties to halt indiscriminate attacks on civilians. Affirms the neutrality of medical professionals providing humanitarian assistance and health care on a non-political basis. Urges all parties in Syria to allow for access to humanitarian aid throughout the Syrian Arab Republic. Supports the full implementation of United Nations (U.N.) Security Council Resolution 2139 calling for unimpeded access of humanitarian assistance to all Syrians. Calls on the international community to assist the people of Syria in meeting basic needs, implement steps that prevent gender-based violence, and support neighboring countries and host communities that are supporting Syrian refugees. Calls on international donors and aid agencies to integrate humanitarian relief and longer term development programs to address the protracted crisis in Syria. Calls on the President to develop and submit to Congress a strategy for U.S. engagement in the Syrian humanitarian crisis.”

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