Wagner’s bipartisan bill forces reconsideration of U.S.-Qatar ally status

Strict guidelines would require the administration to review and consider terminating the designation of the State of Qatar as a major non-NATO ally under a bipartisan bill sponsored on April 30 by U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO).

“It’s simple: if Qatar can’t pressure Hamas to make a deal with Israel, they must expel these terrorists so they can be brought to justice and punished for their horrific crimes against humanity,” Rep. Wagner said on May 1. “If they won’t do either, then the United States should seriously examine whether Qatar still deserves the privileges of its status as a major non-NATO ally.”

The Reviewing Qatar’s Major Non-NATO Ally Status Act of 2024, H.R. 8190, which is cosponsored by U.S. Rep. Jared Golden (D-ME), is the companion bill to the same-named S. 4093, introduced on April 10 by U.S. Sens. Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Ted Budd (R-NC) in the Senate.

“I have been to Qatar and spoken directly with the Qatari Prime Minister to deliver the message [that] they must stop protecting the architects of the brutal Oct. 7, [2023] terror attack on Israel,” said Rep. Wagner. “For too long Qatar has sheltered Hamas terrorists, while Hamas leadership has repeatedly rebuffed Israel’s good faith attempts to reach a deal and secure the release of hostages.”

If enacted, the measure would require the U.S. Secretary of State to conduct a review of the U.S.-Qatar bilateral relationship. The U.S. State Department would be required to terminate Qatar’s ally status, unless it can certify that: Qatar’s designation remains in the national interest of the United States; Qatar has exerted any and all leverage it has over Hamas to secure the release of U.S. hostages from Gaza; Qatar does not support international terrorism or foreign terrorist organizations, including Hamas, directly or indirectly, financially or otherwise; and Qatar has expelled or agreed to extradite to the U.S. anyone deemed a member of Hamas or any other individuals bearing responsibility for the Oct. 7, 2023 terror attack, according to a bill summary provided by the congresswoman’s staff.

“No nation that provides aid or comfort to Hamas — a terrorist organization that has murdered and kidnapped American citizens and is dedicated to the destruction of Israel — should receive any privileged status from the United States government,” said Rep. Golden.