Forthcoming legislation would enhance Hezbollah sanctions

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) joined a group of legislators who announced plans on Thursday to introduce legislation that would strengthen economic sanctions against Hezbollah.

The bipartisan Hezbollah International Financial Prevention Act would impose new sanctions on Hezbollah’s fundraising channels and curb its ability to use existing funds to support global terrorism.

“Prior to Sept. 11, 2001, Hezbollah was responsible for more American deaths than any other terrorist organization.” Royce said. “Since that time their capabilities have grown, enabling them to attack the U.S. and our allies around the world – from the Philippines, to Bulgaria and in even on our doorstep in South America. We cannot afford to ignore this threat. This vital legislation empowers the administration to strike at Hezbollah’s fundraising and international financing.”

House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) said Hezbollah’s threat has grown substantially as the Middle East has become unstable.

“Hezbollah’s actions in Syria – directed by their patrons in Iran- have helped keep the Assad regime in power,” Engel said. “They must be held responsible for their destructive actions in Syria and the threat that they continue to pose to our ally, Israel. I support the Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Act because I believe it will give the administration the tools they need to break any lifeline to Hezbollah and will work to seek its passage in Congress.”

Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.) said Hezbollah uses its global financial connections to launder money and help fund terrorist activities.

“This bill will help stifle that financial network and give the United States more tools to crack down on Hezbollah’s global terrorist activities,” Schneider said.