Renacer Act, S. 1064

Floor Speech

Date: Nov. 4, 2021
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. DeFAZIO. Madam Speaker, on November 3, 2021, I voted Present on S. 1064, the Reinforcing Nicaragua's Adherence to Conditions for Electoral Reform (RENACER) Act of 2021.

Let me be clear: I strongly oppose Nicaraguan dictator Daniel Ortega and his repressive and antidemocratic regime. The ills of Ortega's authoritarian regime are manifold. Ortega and his cronies have intimidated or arrested virtually all potential political opposition in the country. Ortega has engaged in numerous human rights abuses, and he has enriched himself and his allies while decimating the Nicaraguan economy and its people.

While I sympathize with this legislation's intent to crack down on Ortega and his cronies, it's not clear that the legislation as written would effectively achieve these aims. Instead, the legislation's text appears to require broad-based sanctions that could contribute to further economic collapse in the country, negatively impact the Nicaraguan people, exacerbate a migration crisis, and further consolidate Ortega's grip on power.

This legislation also did not go through the normal legislative process in the House. Instead of receiving scrutiny through the traditional committee and amendment process, this legislation was put on the floor last-minute as a suspension without adequate input from Members or the House Financial Services Committee--which I understand had significant reservations with the legislation's text.

As we've seen in other countries where the U.S. has engaged in broad- based sanctions, these types of sanctions do not always achieve their intended result. When appropriate, I support smart, targeted sanctions that limit adverse effects on civilian populations. Unfortunately, this legislation--and the lack of adequate legislative scrutiny--does not meet that standard.