The James W. Foley Freedom Award honors individuals that are committed to ensuring the “freedom of all Americans held hostage abroad” along with promoting the safety of journalists across the world. The event was held on May 4th, and numerous individuals were honored including Florida Rep. Michael Waltz (R), Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R), and Florida Rep. Ted Deutch (D). Taking to Twitter, Deutch shared that he was honored to have received the inaugural Robert Levinson Excellence in Government Service award.
Last night I was honored receive the inaugural Robert Levinson Excellence in Government Service award from @JamesFoleyFund.⁰
Being part of this event w/ individuals like Dexter Filkins, Eliza Griswold, Mohamed Soltan, my colleagues & the Levinsons is a moment l'll always cherish pic.twitter.com/j7G2E0j4K6
— Rep. Ted Deutch (@RepTedDeutch) May 5, 2022
In late February, Deutch announced that he would not be seeking reelection in the upcoming midterm election. Instead, he will become the next Chief Executive Officer for the American Jewish Committee.
However, Deutch informed on social media that there is much work to be done in the coming days leading up to November, and one effort he will focus on is to make sure that the Robert Levinson Hostage Recovery and Hostage Taking Accountability Act, passed in 2020, continues to be implemented. As signed by President Joe Biden (D), Deutch thanked the Biden administration, saying that it takes “seriously the importance of returning American hostages.”
“After the darkness the Levinson family has endured, we hope that this new law will be able to provide some relief to other victims & family,” shared Deutch, saying that the legislation “was the culmination of work by so many families, advocates & Members of Congress.”
Deutch reminded that the legislation ensures the President will “impose sanctions on those who take American hostages, mandates the appointment of a Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, increases U.S. government engagement with families of hostages & those unlawfully or wrongfully detained.”
Finally, he expressed gratitude to the efforts of former hostages and their families, noting that “their stories continue to inspire all of us to push for progress and together, we must continue to do our part to bring every American home.”