Sending Office: Honorable Greg Pence
Cosponsor H.R. 2790 to Hold Terrorists Accountable for 1983 Terrorist Attack
Cosponsors (44): Gallego, Timmons, Hern, Dunn, Webster, Turner, Hunter, Wagner, Scalise, DesJarlais, Gooden, Meadows, Burchett, McClintock, Chabot, Waltz, Wright, Flores, Budd, Joyce, Zeldin, Hurd, Byrne, Holding,
Peterson, Taylor, Latta, Crawford, Baird, Steube, Riggleman, Crenshaw, Sensenbrenner, Bost, Green, Bucshon, Stefanik,
Kim, Horn, Lee, Perry, Cisneros, Gaetz, Graves
I respectfully request your support for H.R. 2790, the Our Obligation to Recognize American Heroes (OORAH) Act. Terrorists, and those who support them financially, must be held accountable for their actions.
This legislation is deeply personal. I was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines, and in 1983 we were ordered to Beirut, Lebanon. On October 23rd of that same year, a terrorist affiliated with Hezbollah drove a truck bomb into
the U.S. Marine Barracks in Beirut, killing 241 American servicemen, 220 of which were my fellow Marines. It is by the grace of God that I was able to come home to my wife, who was expecting our first child, and my family in Columbus, Indiana. My battalion
shipped out ten days before the bombing.
The OORAH Act is not unprecedented or without merit. This bipartisan, bicameral legislation would allow the Gold Star families who lost their loved ones to execute on approximately $1.68 billion in Iranian assets currently held by a European firm. These
funds were laundered through the U.S. before making their way to Europe, where they currently sit just outside the jurisdiction of U.S. Courts. The language in our proposal represents a narrowly tailored revision to the
Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012 (PL-112-158), to provide the families the ability to execute on these funds.
The OORAH Act and companion legislation, S. 1529, the Supporting Victims of Iranian Terrorism Act, passed their respective chambers with broad bipartisan support. The OORAH Act, which earned forty-four bipartisan cosponsors, was filed as an amendment
to H.R. 3494, the Matthew Young Pollard Intelligence Authorization Act, and passed without opposition. S. 1529 also passed without opposition in the Senate NDAA.
Regardless of the party you align with or the district you represent, we owe it to the families of these heroes – the ability to pursue a sliver of justice. We must do everything in our power to honor the 241 heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice and ensure
this compassionate, judicious and timely legislation becomes law. Sometimes it takes nearly thirty-six years to do it, but Americans can be proud to know that the U.S. government will always honor our commitment to leave no man behind. It is our obligation
to recognize American heroes.
Member of Congress
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