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October 01, 2021 | In The News

Marco Rubio, Scott Franklin Work to Designate the Taliban as a Terrorist Organization

Earlier this month, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who sits on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, introduced a proposal “which would direct the U.S. Secretary of State to designate the illegitimate Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan as a state sponsor of terrorism and the Taliban as a terrorist organization” and now he has a sponsor on the other side of Capitol Hill from Florida.

Rubio brought out the “Preventing Recognition of Terrorist States Act” earlier this month. U.S. Sens. Shelley Moore Capito, R-WV, Cynthia Lummis, R-Wy., Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, Thom Tillis, R-NC, and Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., are co-sponsoring the proposal.

The bill would also “impose sanctions against foreign individuals who knowingly provide assistance to the Taliban and require a report, within six months, from the U.S. Department of State that determines whether the Taliban should be designated as a significant foreign narcotics trafficker under the Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act” and “would require the U.S. government to ensure that taxpayer dollars do not go to foreign terrorist organizations in Afghanistan.”

“There is no doubt that a Taliban-controlled Afghanistan poses a direct threat to our national security interests and that of our allies and partners both in the Middle East and in Central Asia,” Rubio said. “Following the Biden administration‘s disastrous military withdrawal from Afghanistan, the country is already becoming a safe haven for terrorists who hate America. Unfortunately, there is no reason to think President Biden will treat the Taliban like the terrorists they are. Congress must take action to deal with this new reality and keep Americans safe.”

Rubio’s bill was sent to the Foreign Relations Committee.

Last week, U.S. Rep. Scott Franklin, R-Fla., introduced the companion measure in the U.S. House. One of the co-sponsors of the bill is U.S. Rep. Greg Steube, R-Fla.

“The Taliban is a ruthless and cowardly terrorist organization, and should be treated as such. The U.S. government has no business legitimizing a group that spent the last two decades killing and maiming Americans, our allies, and innocent civilians,” said Franklin. “My bill will officially designate the Taliban as a terrorist organization. I’m pleased to partner with Senator Marco Rubio, who sponsored this legislation in the Senate. While we feel this should be an issue on which all sides can agree, sadly our Democrat colleagues have not chosen to join this effort.”

Franklin’s bill has an uphill battle in the House with stops assigned to the U.S. House Foreign Affairs; Armed Services; Judiciary; Ways and Means; Financial Services; and the Oversight and Reform Committees.