Sen. Cruz Introduces Bills to Protect National Security, Support Men and Women in Uniform
Colleagues join to stop Americans who fight with terrorists overseas from returning to U.S.; support heroes facing danger in the fight against Ebola
January 23, 2015
WASHINGTON, DC -- U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, today introduced two bills to protect our national security and support our men and women in uniform. First, the Expatriate Terrorist Act (ETA), establishes that Americans who fight alongside a terrorist organization overseas effectively renounce their U.S. citizenship, and prevents such individuals from reentering the United States. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-IA, is cosponsor of the ETA and Rep. Steve King, R-IA, is sponsor of companion legislation in the House. Second, the Operation United Assistance Tax Exclusion Act, cosponsored by Sen. John Cornyn, R-TX, and Sen. Grassley, provides that members of our military deployed to combat the spread of Ebola be entitled to the same tax benefits as those serving in a combat zone.
“America continues to suffer the consequences of the failed Obama-Clinton-Kerry foreign policy,” said Sen. Cruz. “From Syria to Iraq to Yemen, it is clear that when America withdraws from the world, the world becomes a more dangerous place. We must take bold action to protect our homeland by declaring that Americans who have traveled abroad to fight with radical Islamic terrorists have renounced their citizenship, and we must preempt any of their efforts to re-enter the country and launch further attacks on Americans.”
Sen. Cruz continued: “While we take steps to protect Americans at home, we must never forget that once our Armed Forces are deployed in harm's way, Congress and the Commander-in-Chief have a responsibility to support them and their families who remain behind. That’s why I am also reintroducing the Operation United Assistance Tax Exclusion Act, to give our troops the appropriate recognition for their service in the fight against Ebola.”
Complete text of the Expatriate Terrorist Act, S. 247, is available here.
“I believe these American terrorists have voluntarily renounced their citizenship upon taking an oath to a foreign terrorist organization (FTO),” said Rep. King. “That is why Sen. Cruz and I have introduced the Expatriate Terrorist Act. ETA will fill in these statutory holes that harbor the rights of American terrorists by providing the Secretary of State the legal authority to revoke a terrorist's passport. ETA will also make it clear that if a national of the U.S., by birth or naturalization, chooses to take an oath or pledge allegiance to a designated foreign terrorist organization; that individual has affirmatively renounced American citizenship. Such individuals who engage in hostilities or commit acts of terror against the United States are demonstrating they no longer uphold their pledge to the United States. Therefore, if a U.S. citizen were to join an FTO, and bomb a school in Israel (after pledging their allegiance to Hamas) they would be eligible to lose their U.S. citizenship, and subsequently have their passport revoked.”
The Expatriate Terrorist Act of 2015 amends an existing statute that provides certain actions by which a United States citizen renounces his or her citizenship to include becoming a member of, fighting for, or providing material assistance to a designated foreign terrorist organization. The bill also grants the authority for the Secretary of State to deny or revoke passports to anyone who is a member, or attempting to become a member of a designated foreign terrorist organization. Provided the requirements of due process are observed, if a United States citizen undertakes these acts with the intent of supplanting his United States citizenship with loyalty to a terrorist organization, that person can be deemed to have forfeited his or her right to be a United States citizen and return to the United States.
The Operation United Assistance Tax Exclusion Act supports American heroes facing dangers on the front lines of the Ebola fight in West Africa. Specifically, the bill compensates those who are performing the hazardous mission Operation United Assistance as if they were deployed to any other Executive Order-designated combat zone. The benefit shall only apply to service members who are required to undergo a 21-day quarantine.
Complete text of the Operation United Assistance Tax Exclusion Act, S. 249, is available here.