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Shaheen urges Senate to pass bipartisan resolution decrying killing of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, calling for action against ISIS

(Click here to watch Senator Shaheen’s floor speech)

(Washington, DC) – This evening, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) spoke on the Senate floor in support of her bipartisan resolution honoring the lives of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, who were brutally murdered by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), also known Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), terrorists. The resolution is co-sponsored by Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ). Foley, a New Hampshire native, was abducted while reporting in Syria on Thanksgiving Day of 2012, and Sotloff, a Florida native and graduate of Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, New Hampshire, was abducted in Syria in August of 2013.

The resolution mourns the loss of Foley and Sotloff and strongly condemns ISIS while calling for the immediate release of all hostages held by the terrorist organization. Last month, Shaheen called on the Departments of Treasury and State to do everything in their power to disrupt and stop the flow of money and foreign fighters to ISIS.

Shaheen’s remarks as prepared for delivery are included below:

Mr. President,

These last few weeks have been very trying for America. 

In August, as the result of the cowardly acts of a barbaric terrorist group - America lost two courageous and inspiring journalists – James Foley and Steven Sotloff.

Along with my colleagues Senators Ayotte, Nelson, Rubio, and Chairman Menendez, I am introducing a resolution to honor the lives of James Foley, born and raised in New Hampshire, and Steven Sotloff, a Florida native and graduate of Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, New Hampshire. 

Our resolution mourns James and Steven, two outstanding journalists who pursued their profession under the most difficult and dangerous conditions in order to tell the stories that needed to be told. Of the struggles the people on the ground were facing in the middle of difficult conflicts. 

We will never forget their bravery and their dedication to the ideals of freedom that they so embodied. 

Our resolution strongly condemns the terrorist group ISIS, a group that has committed unspeakable atrocities against humanity and attempted to justify them through a perverted interpretation of Islam. 

ISIS fighters have targeted Iraqi Christians, killing many and forcing others to flee their ancient homeland; they have massacred Muslims who do not subscribe to their depraved ideology; they have threatened genocide against the ancient Yazidi population of Iraq and targeted other religious and ethnic minority groups; and they have threatened to conduct terrorist attacks internationally, including against the United States. 

And, of course, ISIS brutally murdered these two American journalists, James Foley and Steven Sotloff. 

Let us be clear, we must hold ISIS accountable for their despicable acts. 

We must vigorously pursue those responsible and bring them to justice. 

We must not let the deaths of these two Americans go unanswered.

The terrorists who murdered James Foley are deeply mistaken if they think their barbaric acts will lessen America’s resolve and pave the way for ISIS to continue terrorizing.

We will bring an end to those who stand against everything these men stood for.

I hope that the entire United States Senate, Republicans and Democrats, will stand together to pass this resolution. 

Let us show the world that our nation is united in its commemoration of the lives of James Foley and Steven Sotloff and in our condemnation of the barbaric group who took these brave Americans from us. 

I yield the floor.