Expected Legislation Backed by Other GOP Senators
Unique: Republican Sen. Marco Rubio is calling on Congress and the Biden administration to designate the Taliban as a foreign terrorist organization and his new government as a state sponsor of terrorism.
The Florida senator is expected to enact legislation Wednesday that would ban federal departments and agencies from taking any action that recognizes the Taliban’s claim of sovereignty over Afghanistan.
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West Virginia’s GOP Sens. Shelley Moore is supported by Dan Sullivan of Capito, Alaska, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Tommy Tuberville of Alabama and Cynthia Loomis of Wyoming.
Rubio is also proposing an assessment and annual report from the State Department on whether countries have “diplomatic ties” with the Taliban, and whether a foreign person “deliberately” provided aid to the Taliban. The law would require the US Treasury Department to impose sanctions on individuals providing aid to the Taliban.
As for humanitarian aid, Rubio’s law would require USAID to ensure that any humanitarian aid in Afghanistan – or any other state that has FTO territory or “substantial power” – does not go to those terrorists. . The bill would also prevent appropriated money from going to any government whose duly elected head of government has been ousted by a “coupe d’état”.
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The bill would also require an annual report from the State Department on whether Pakistan is providing safe haven to designated foreign terrorist organizations; whether the Taliban should be designated as a “significant foreign drug trafficker”; And whether Taliban-controlled Afghanistan should be considered a “high-risk jurisdiction”.
The bill would also require U.S. Customs and Border Protection to assess whether imports of rare earth materials from Afghanistan violate sanctions on goods made from forced labor, and sections of the Iran Freedom and Counter-Proliferation Act of 2012. which provides exceptions to sanctions in Iran for facilities and areas necessary for the reconstruction of Afghanistan.
Rubio’s proposal comes a week after the Taliban announced the formation of their new government after the group took over Afghanistan last month amid a US military withdrawal.
The government will be headed by Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund, with Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar as deputy. Other appointments include Mullah Yacoub as acting defense minister, Mullah Abdul Salam Hanafi as second deputy and the head of the designated terrorist organization Haqqani Network and Sirajuddin Haqqani, one of the FBI’s most wanted terrorist operatives, as acting interior minister.
Pentagon: ‘No question’ Afghanistan withdrawal makes identification of terrorism threat more difficult
Amid the now-diplomatic mission of the United States to evacuate the remaining Americans and Afghan allies from Afghanistan following the full withdrawal of US troops on August 31, the Biden administration described its talks with the Taliban as “cooperative,” “professional and professional”. Despite being described as . , said it was “in no hurry” to recognize the group as the legitimate government of Afghanistan.
“There is no rush for recognition, and it will depend on what action the Taliban takes,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said last week. “The world will be watching whether they allow US citizens, whether they allow individuals to leave who want, and how they treat women and girls across the country.”
Psaki said he did not have a “timeline” on whether and when the Biden administration would recognize the Taliban.
The White House, however, plans to continue providing humanitarian aid to the people of Afghanistan, but has not specified how it will ensure that these funds remain out of the hands of the Taliban.
White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said earlier this month that humanitarian aid is an “important dimension” that should “go directly to the people of Afghanistan.”
“We go through non-governmental organizations that are still working on the ground in Afghanistan,” Sullivan said earlier this month. “It won’t flow through [the Taliban.]”