Mark Udall hailed Senate's passage last night of bipartisan legislation that requires the State Department to report to Congress on whether the Haqqani Network meets the criteria to be designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization and, if not, to provide a detailed justification regarding which criteria have not yet been met. Udall is an original cosponsor of this legislation, S.1959, which passed the Senate in December 2011. The House of Representatives approved similar legislation in late July. The bill now heads to the White House for the president's signature.
"I am encouraged by passage of this legislation, which is long overdue. We heard last fall that the State Department was engaged in a final review regarding designation of the Haqqani Network, yet we have seen no action to date," Udall said. "Let's call a spade a spade: This is a terrorist group that is impeding our efforts in Afghanistan and - most importantly - is targeting U.S. troops. We need to use every tool available to cut off resources to this organization, including designating the Haqqani Network as a terrorist organization."
Earlier this month, Udall, who serves on the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and Senate Armed Services Committee, became an original cosponsor of a separate bipartisan bill to designate the Haqqani Network as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, a move that would freeze any Haqqani Network's assets in U.S. banks, make it illegal to provide the Haqqani Network with any financial or material support, and bar Haqqani Network members from traveling to the United States. Although the administration has placed sanctions on Haqqani Network individuals, it has yet to complete a review determining whether to designate the entire organization.