Ros-Lehtinen’s Bi-Partisan Nicaraguan Investment Conditionality (NICA) Act Passes Senate Foreign Relations Committee

Sep 26, 2018

Ros-Lehtinen’s Bi-Partisan Nicaraguan Investment Conditionality (NICA) Act Passes Senate Foreign Relations Committee

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman Emeritus of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, made the following statement after the Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously approved the Nicaraguan Investment Conditionality (NICA) Act which seeks to condition U.S. approval for loans to the Ortega regime from international financial institutions. Ros-Lehtinen is the author of the House version of the NICA Act, H.R. 1918, alongside Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, and which the House of Representatives passed by voice vote on October 3, 2017. Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Marco Rubio (R-FL), David Perdue (R-GA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced a similar bill on December 22, 2017.

Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:

“I am very pleased that the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations has taken decisive action to pass my NICA Act and the sanctions proposed by my colleague Bob. As I’ve said before, the United States will not stand idly-by as Ortega continues to intensify the repression, incarcerating and killing innocent people every day. Since this crisis began five months ago, the State Department has canceled visas for dozens of the regime’s associates, and the Treasury Department has also imposed strong sanctions against several officials in Ortega’s inner circle. However, my work and the work of those who love freedom and democracy does not end here.

We must continue working together to ensure that these two bills are not only signed into law, but are implemented quickly and effectively. It is important to continue pressuring the Administration to sanction more  individuals, including the Ortega Murillos, under the Global Magnitsky Act. We must also remain vigilant of efforts by Russia, Cuba, Venezuela, China and Iran that continue to help Ortega with military equipment, surveillance, and other technology support, to oppress the people and keep Ortega in power. The United States will not hesitate to take appropriate action against any nation or person that commits these heinous acts.”

NOTE: Senator Menendez’s S. 3233, the Nicaragua Human Rights and Anticorruption Act of 2018, which seeks to impose additional sanctions on Nicaraguan regime officials, was merged with the NICA Act which will now be sent back to the House. Ros-Lehtinen introduced the House companion to the Menendez bill, H.R. 6683, on August 28, 2018.

Ros-Lehtinen re-introduced the NICA Act on April 5, 2017. The NICA Act was passed unanimously in the House Foreign Affairs Committee on July 27, 2017 and passed the Western Hemisphere subcommittee on May 24, 2017.

Last Congress, on September 21, 2016, the U.S. House of Representative approved a similar version of the legislation by unanimous consent. The NICA Act aims to put conditions on Nicaragua similar to what Congress has already enacted into law regarding Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador (P.L. 114-113).

 

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