Chairman Rogers today praised House passage of a bill expressing the sense of Congress that the Secretary of State should designated the Haqqani Network as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO). The bill, S. 1959, proposed by Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), was brought to the House Floor under suspension of the rules. An amendment proposed by Chairman Rogers strengthened the underlying bill by unequivocally declaring that Congress believes that the Haqqani Network meets the definition of an FTO and should be designated as such by the State Department.
The bill passed the House of Representatives with a voice vote.
Chairman Rogers has long insisted that the Administration take stronger action against the Haqqani Network, a group responsible for killing and injuring hundreds of U.S. servicemen and women in Afghanistan. On May 11, 2012, Chairman Mike Rogers, Ranking Member C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger and their Senate counterparts, Chairman Dianne Feinstein and Vice Chairman Saxby Chambliss, called on the Obama Administration to designate the Haqqani Network as an FTO. And on June 27th, Chairman Rogers, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, and House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon introduced legislation demanding that the Haqqani Network be designated. Language from the Rogers/Ros-Lehtinen/McKeon bill was included in the bill that passed the House today.
An official FTO designation is a critical step allowing the United States to more aggressively undermine the network's support. Specifically, an FTO designation permits the United States to freeze the Network's assets, keep those affiliated with the group from coming to the United States, and prosecute those individuals aiding or assisting the Network with the crime of providing material support to terrorism.
"The Haqqani Network is engaged in a reign of terror in Afghanistan and is the single largest threat for IED's our soldiers face in that country. They actively plot and kill U.S. and allied soldiers and routinely harm innocent Afghan civilian men, women and children in their path. To better protect the lives of US soldiers, now is the time for action, not simply paperwork and talk. There is no good reason that this group has not yet been designated," Rogers said.
The bill now goes back to the U.S. Senate for consideration.