U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., has teamed up with congressmen from both sides of the aisle to bring out a bill to call for a diplomatic solution to the Libyan conflict.
Deutch, the chairman of the U.S. House Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, paired up with U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, R-SC, U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., and U.S. Rep. Tom Malinowski, D-NJ, to introduce a proposal “to clarify and strengthen American policy in support of a peaceful diplomatic resolution to the Libyan conflict and to deter foreign interference in Libya” at the end of last week.
“This legislation sanctions individuals who commit human rights violations in Libya, support Russia’s military intervention in Libya, or threaten the peace, security, and stability of Libya. It authorizes the Department of State and USAID to provide humanitarian assistance to Libyans and international migrants. The bill also authorizes U.S. support for efforts to strengthen good governance, promote anti-corruption, and foster economic recovery both during and after a negotiated political solution to the Libyan conflict,” the congressman’s office noted.
"The United States cannot afford to ignore the Libyan conflict, which is undermining the stability of North Africa, exacerbating a humanitarian crisis, and impeding a return to UN-sponsored peace talks," Deutch said on Friday. "Libya is increasingly exposed to severe threats by terrorist groups and other non-state actors, and foreign interference is escalating the conflict. It is essential that the United States establish a clear and principled policy towards Libya to mitigate instability, stem the humanitarian crisis, and promote political reconciliation. This legislation seeks to clarify U.S. policy towards Libya and empower the United States with sanctions authority to revitalize diplomacy, secure our national interests, stabilize Libya, and provide peace and opportunity for the Libyan people."
“The ongoing turmoil in Libya has paralyzed the country’s post-Qaddafi political trajectory, created an ideal breeding ground for jihadist terrorist groups of all stripes, and continues to destabilize the broader region,” said Wilson who leads Republicans on the House Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee. “I am grateful for Chairman Deutch’s leadership in crafting a robust, comprehensive, and thoughtful approach to address Libya’s instability and target those that have fueled and exploited the chaos.”
“There is no military solution to the conflict in Libya, yet external state actors are fueling the war to pursue their own interests," Lieu said. "Our legislation targets those threatening peace and stability in Libya and seeks to channel U.S. resources to provide humanitarian assistance to those suffering from the violence. It is in our moral and strategic interest to bolster the UN’s diplomatic efforts, protect civilians, and prevent a vacuum that ISIS-Libya can once again exploit. I’m glad to work with Reps. Deutch, Wilson, and Malinowski on this important piece of bipartisan legislation.”
The bill was sent to the U.S. House Foreign Affairs, Judiciary and Financial Services Committees. So far, there is no companion measure over in the U.S. Senate.