From his perch on the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., scored a win this week as his proposal cracking down on state sponsors of terror passed the House.
On Monday, 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.
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.
After the House backed his proposal on Monday, Yoho offered his take on why his bill was needed.
“Today, Congress sent a message to supporters of terrorism, if you engage in terrorist activity or 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 and Cuba. My bill will protect against such egregious actions.
“My bill will establish a uniform process through which Congress can disapprove of the president’s decision to remove a country from the state sponsor of terrorism list,” Yoho added. “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. While I am pleased to see my bill pass the House, it was equally rewarding to see my colleagues, Democrats and Republicans, come together and do what is right for America.”
Even while there is currently no related bill over in the U.S. Senate, Yoho sounded an optimistic note about his proposal’s chances in the upper chamber.
“This bill will now head to the Senate,” Yoho said. “It is my hope they pass this bipartisan legislation quickly and send it to the president for his signature.”
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.