A bipartisan group of U.S. senators praised their colleagues in a joint statement for unanimously passing a bill to authorize $10 million in reward money for information that would bring justice to the individuals responsible for the capture and murder of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff.
The bipartisan bill was led by senators from Mr. Foley and Mr. Sotloff’s native states of New Hampshire and Florida — including Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte and Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio and Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson.
Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, also joined the initiative.
“One way we can honor the memories of James Foley and Steven Sotloff is to bring their evil murderers to justice, which this measure will help do,” Mr. Rubio said in a statement on Friday and urged the House to approve the bill as soon as possible.
The lawmakers stressed that the new bill would send a signal to Islamic State terrorists that America would seek justice.
“James and Steven bravely risked their lives to help the world better understand the tragedy in Syria, and we will not rest until their murderers are brought to justice,” Ms. Ayotte said. “Terrorists should know that if they harm Americans, we will hunt them down.”
“We must do all that we can to see that those responsible for these heinous crimes are brought to justice,” Mr. Nelson said. “And this bill is an important step in achieving that goal.”
Mr. Cruz hoped that the bill’s passage would send a strong signal to terrorists and warned of possible attacks on American soil by Islamic State militants.
“ISIS represents a direct and growing threat to the United States,” Mr. Cruz said. “They have brutally murdered Americans on the world stage, and there are reports of jihadists being urged to strike targets such as Times Square, the Las Vegas Strip, and even locations in my home state of Texas. I am encouraged by passage of this bill, and it is my hope the House will join in unity with the Senate, and give President Obama the opportunity to send an emphatic message to the world that we will hunt down and punish these killers and anyone else who seeks to harm U.S. citizens.”
The new bill will update the State Department’s current Rewards for Justice Program. Since 1984, the U.S. has paid more than $125 million to over 80 people that have provided information that put terrorists behind bars.