House Adopts Connolly-Kinzinger Georgia Support Act
Yesterday, the House of Representatives unanimously passed H.R. 598, the Georgia Support Act, bipartisan legislation introduced by Representatives Gerry Connolly (D-VA) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL). The legislation asserts the United States’ continued support for the independence and sovereignty of Georgia, recognizes Georgia’s commitment to democratic values including free and fair elections, and affirms U.S. opposition to Russian aggression in the region.
“With this vote, the House sends a clear and unequivocal statement of support to the people of Georgia in their struggle against an ever-looming Russian threat,” said Connolly. “As the head of the U.S. delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, I am particularly pleased that this bill recognizes that Georgia has been a longstanding NATO-aspirant country. I thank my colleague, Rep. Kinzinger, for working with me to protect and strengthen the relationship between Georgia and the United States.”
“The United States plays a pivotal role in encouraging our Georgian allies to continue working towards independence and complete separation from their aggressive neighbor, Russia,” said Kinzinger. “And I’m proud of their efforts and aspirations to join the NATO alliance, and applaud their commitment to democratic values. Today, the House reasserted the importance of a strong U.S.-Georgia partnership, and I thank my colleagues for their support, especially Rep. Connolly for his efforts to bring this to the floor.”
In Georgia’s occupied regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, Russia has fomented unrest, aided separatist movements, and committed serious human rights abuses, including ongoing detentions and killings. Russian forces continue to harass civilian communities along the administrative boundary line and impede the right of return of internally displaced persons. The Georgia Support Act bolsters Georgia’s territorial integrity by authorizing sanctions against those responsible for or complicit in human rights violations in these occupied territories.
The House first passed the Georgia Support Act during the 115th Congress. Connolly and Kinzinger reintroduced the legislation in the 116th Congress on January 16, 2019. Full text of the legislation is available here.