Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today introduced the Hizballah International Financing Prevention Amendments Act (S. 1595), bipartisan legislation that would strengthen and expand the scope of economic and financial sanctions imposed by the Hizballah International Financing Prevention Act of 2015 (Public Law 104-102), which Rubio and Shaheen co-authored with U.S. Representatives Ed Royce (R-CA) and Eliot Engel (D-NY).
“Iranian-backed Hizballah terrorists are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans, and continue to pose grave threats to the United States and our allies, including the democratic state of Israel,” said Rubio. “The president and Congress should build on the successes of our 2015 law that targets Hizballah, its proxies and its enablers, and enact this new bill to strengthen international efforts to combat the financing and expansion of Hizballah’s terrorist and missile threats, as well as its narcotics trafficking and other transnational criminal activities.”
“In the time since the Hizballah International Financing Prevention Act was signed into law in 2015, Hizballah has continued to do Iran’s bidding in the region by threatening Israel’s security and fighting in Syria in support of the murderous dictator Bashar al-Assad,” said Shaheen. “The U.S. must continue to do all it can to cut off Hizballah’s sources of financing, and I am glad to join again with Senator Rubio on bipartisan legislation to increase pressure on Hizballah. Lebanon is an important ally of the United States, and I am hopeful that our governments can continue to work together to combat terrorism and bring further stability to their country.”
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) and Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-NY) introduced a companion bill in the House (H.R. 3329).
The Hizballah International Financing Prevention Amendments Act would impose new sanctions against foreign individuals and companies that knowingly assist, sponsor or provide significant financial, material or technological support to entities known to fundraise or recruit on behalf of the Hizballah foreign terrorist organization (FTO), its agents and its affiliates. It would also require the president to report to Congress whether the foreign financial institutions of Iran and other state sponsors of terrorism are facilitating transactions on behalf of Hizballah, and therefore should have additional sanctions imposed against them pursuant to U.S. law.
In addition, the legislation would impose blocking sanctions against Hizballah for conducting narcotics trafficking and other significant transnational criminal activities, and strengthen reporting requirements on both Hizballah’s racketeering activities and efforts by foreign governments to disrupt Hizballah’s global logistics networks and fundraising, financing and money laundering activities. To further expose the foreign terrorist organization’s rampant corruption, it also requires a report on the estimated net worth of senior Hizballah members and any individuals determined by the president to be senior foreign political figures of Hizballah.