In a conference call today with members of the press, Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-8), announced his upcoming legislation to fight the ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) threat. The Isolate ISIS Act will seek to cut off income to the terrorist organization, crippling it where it is most powerful.
“ISIS is unlike other terrorist organizations because it has the means to raise money,” Fitzpatrick said in the conference call. “By attacking their funding we can slow their growth and limit their resources to push back against their twisted world view.”
The Act will impose sanctions on foreign financial institutions that do business with ISIS or individuals operating on their behalf. It will also impose harsh penalties on U.S corporations or individuals that do commerce with ISIS, including black market petroleum sales from ISIS.
“[This bill] is one piece of a larger response to the threats posed directly by ISIS,” Fitzpatrick said. “Our nation needs a plan, a strategy for foreign policy in the 21st century world.”
This legislation was announced just hours before President Obama is scheduled to address the nation on ISIS. The Obama Administration has previously stated that it will continue without Congressional approval on a broader military and political attack on ISIS that hinges on political and military commitments from European allies. Whether he will consult Congress remains to be seen.
“The President does have the ability, and should as Commander in Chief, to lead and to take aggressive actions to protect our national security. He is currently using this authority” Fitzpatrick said. “I, and members throughout Pennsylvania, are waiting to hear the President’s strategy this evening.”
Fitzpatrick believes that the best way to eliminate the threat posed by ISIS is through “diplomatic action of diplomacy and sanctions.” He holds that it is important to work and listen to other nations, but that the U.S. cannot let our friends or enemies dictate our foreign policy.