Hagerty Calls out Biden Admin for Reversing Trump’s Houthi Terrorist Designation, Funding Houthi Terror Attacks

February 27, 2024

The Biden Administration refuses to redesignate the Houthis as a Foreign Terrorist Organization after dozens of attacks on American military and cannot guarantee that American taxpayer dollars are not funding Houthi terrorism

WASHINGTON—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia, and Counterterrorism, today called out the Biden Administration for emboldening the Houthis by removing them from the Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) in a hearing. Hagerty also highlighted the Administration’s repeated failure to guarantee that American taxpayer dollars are not inadvertently funding terrorism in the Middle East that threatens American lives and contributes to inflation at home.

“Shortly after the Biden Administration took office, they delisted the Houthis as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. We saw what’s happened in the time in between. There have been attacks on our allies at [United Arab Emirates], attacks on our allies at the Saudis, we’ve seen attacks on U.S. personnel, and our facilities in the Middle East, we’ve seen a tremendous amount of unrest since that time,” Hagerty said.

“Was the Trump Administration wrong in designating the Houthis as a Foreign Terrorist Organization?” Hagerty asked Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking.

Lenderking tried to justify removing the Houthis from the FTO list claiming “that effort has borne fruit in terms of the peace process.”

Hagerty pressed Lenderking by asking, “What do the Houthis have to do to be declared a Foreign Terrorist Organization? Do they have to kill Americans?”

Lenderking claimed that the Biden Administration was doing enough by “[cutting] off financial networks, their ability to fundraise. It will put some hurt [on the Houthis].”

Hagerty asked if Lenderking could guarantee that American taxpayer dollars have not aided the Houthis, directly or indirectly, in carrying out the recent terrorist attacks that are disrupting supply chains and raising prices for U.S. taxpayers. Lenderking could not guarantee it.

“Secretary [of State Antony] Blinken could not answer me either when I asked him about the foreign aid that’s going into Gaza and that’s being diverted by Hamas. Please, please address this,” Hagerty concluded.

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