Skip to content

Risch, Rubio Introduce Legislation to Further Isolate Assad Regime, Extend Caesar Act

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) today introduced the Assad Regime Anti-Normalization Act, legislation to extend and strengthen the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act.

“Bashar al Assad, along with his Russian and Iranian backers, has committed unspeakable atrocities against the Syrian people, including the use of chemical weapons against unarmed civilians, torture, forced disappearance, and starvation as a weapon of war. Despite a growing mountain of evidence against Assad for war crimes, there has been a troubling wave of efforts to rehabilitate and whitewash the regime and its crimes,” said Risch. “This legislation enforces a policy of diplomatic and economic isolation against the Assad regime and its enablers and sends a strong signal that we will continue to seek accountability for all atrocities.”

“The U.S. must limit any sort of normalization of relations to the criminal Assad regime. There is no reason why our nation should grant this bloody dictatorship international legitimacy. This bill would prioritize the efforts needed to limit our recognition of this anti-democratic tyranny,” said Rubio.

The Assad Regime Normalization Act:

  • Extends the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act to 2032.
  • Prohibits any U.S. department or agency from recognizing or normalizing with any government in Syria led by Bashar al-Assad.
  • Requires an annual strategy to counter normalization with the Assad regime, specifically targeting those countries that have taken steps to normalize with the Assad regime.
  • Expands sanctions to entities that divert humanitarian assistance or expropriate property from the Syrian people for luxury or personal gain.
  • Expands sanctions to the Syrian People’s Assembly and senior officials of the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party in Syria.
  • Clarifies that sanctions apply to energy transactions.
  • Directs a determination whether Asma al-Assad’s ‘charity,’ the Syria Trust for Development, meets the criteria for sanctions under the Caesar Act.
  • Authorizes the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to request a presidential determination on entities suspected of Caesar Act violations.
  • Directs analysis and reporting on United Nations assistance diverted to the benefit of the Assad regime, to include through currency manipulation.

Text of this legislation can be found here.