The Syrian Humanitarian Resolution of 2014 (S. Res. 384), introduced by U.S. Senators Tim Kaine and Marco Rubio, was unanimously approved by the Senate late last week. The resolution requires the President to develop and submit to Congress within 90 days a more robust U.S. strategy for addressing the Syria humanitarian crisis. S. Res. 384 condemns the unlawful use of violence against civilians in Syria, urges all parties in the country to allow for immediate, unfettered access to humanitarian aid, supports the immediate and full implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2139, and calls on the international community to continue assisting innocent victims of the crisis.
"With approval of this resolution, the United States Senate is unanimous in its position that we must alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people and relieve the extreme pressure being put on our regional partners due to the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis," said Kaine, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee that oversees Syria and the Middle East. "I am grateful the Senate came together across party lines, and hopeful our colleagues in the House will do the same."
"I am pleased the Senate sent a clear message to the Obama administration that we need a new strategy to address Syria's humanitarian crisis and increase pressure on Assad to stop committing atrocities against his own people," said Rubio. "I urge my colleagues in the House to act quickly so we can help bring relief to the millions of Syrian civilians suffering under the brutality of the Assad regime."
Other cosponsors include Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Bob Casey (D-PA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Mark Warner (D-VA), Angus King (I-ME), Edward Markey (D-MA) Ted Cruz (R-TX), John Boozman (R-AR), Susan Collins (R-ME), John Cornyn (R-TX), Diane Feinstein (D-CA), Al Franken (D-MN), Richard Burr (R-NC), and Tom Udall (D-NM).
Many humanitarian and human rights organizations have expressed support for this resolution, including: Alliance for Peacebuilding, Amnesty International, The Center for Victims of Torture, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Interaction, International Rescue Committee, Open Society Policy Center, Pax Christi International, Physicians for Human Rights, Refugees International, Syrian American Medical Society, The Syrian Nonviolence Movement, United to End Genocide, Syrian Relief and Development, and World Vision.