From his perch on the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., brought back his proposal cracking down on state sponsors of terror.
Back in September, the House passed Yoho’s “State Sponsors of Terrorism Review Enhancement Act" on voice vote. The North Central Florida Republican introduced the proposal back in June and rounded up nine co-sponsors including U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-SC, and U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif. But the measure died in the U.S. Senate which did not vote on it.
Currently, a president can remove a nation from the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism after a six month period. Yoho’s proposal extends that period to two years. His legislation also doubles the amount of time Congress has in reviewing the executive branch’s decision to remove a nation from the state sponsor of terror list from 45 days to 90 days.
With a new Congress kicking off earlier this month, Yoho announced on Tuesday that he would file the same legislation again.
“Today, I want to send a message to supporters of terrorism, if you are a state sponsor of terror; you will be held accountable and labeled a pariah in the world community,” Yoho said. “No nation that supports the murder of innocents should be delisted for politically motivated reasons—as was the case with North Korea. My bill will protect against such egregious actions.
“My bill will establish a uniform process through which Congress can disapprove of a president’s decision to remove a country from the state sponsor of terrorism list,” Yoho added. “This legislation will assert Congressional scrutiny and oversight -- and hopefully bring to an end politically motivated de-listings. Successive administrations, Republican and Democrat alike, delisted countries based on their presidential legacy rather than the facts.
“This bill will stop absurd de-listings like that of North Korea in 2008,” Yoho continued. “North Korea was de-listed in exchange for their promises of dismantling their nuclear program. However, 9 years and 5 nuclear tests later they remain off the list—this rescission from the list has enabled North Korea to engage in supporting terrorism abroad---By increasing the amount of time for a state to not be engaged in terrorism and increasing congressional oversight and scrutiny, my legislation will not allow mistakes such as the delisting of North Korea to take place.
“By increasing the amount of time for a state to show they are not engaged in terrorism and increasing congressional oversight and scrutiny, we will force countries to prove they are not bad actors,” Yoho concluded.
Currently, the State Department has Iran, Sudan and Syria listed as state sponsors of terror. Cuba, Iraq. Libya. North Korea and South Yemen had been on the list but have been removed.
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