Gabbard's Stop Arming Terrorists Act Introduced in Senate
Washington, DC—Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s Stop Arming Terrorists Act has been introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senator Rand Paul. The bipartisan legislation (H.R.608 and S.532) would prohibit any Federal agency from using taxpayer dollars to provide weapons, cash, intelligence, or any support to al-Qaeda, ISIS and other terrorist groups, and it will prohibit the government from funneling money and weapons through other countries who are directly or indirectly supporting terrorists.
The legislation is currently cosponsored by Reps. John Conyers (D-MI), Scott Perry (R-PA), Peter Welch (D-VT), Tom Garrett (R-VA), Thomas Massie (R-KY), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Walter Jones (R-NC), Ted Yoho (R-FL), and Paul Gosar (R-AZ), and endorsed by Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), Veterans for Peace, and the U.S. Peace Council.
“For years, the U.S. government has been supporting armed militant groups working directly with and often under the command of terrorist groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda in their fight to overthrow the Syrian government. Rather than spending trillions of dollars on regime change wars in the Middle East, we should be focused on defeating terrorist groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda, and using our resources to invest in rebuilding our communities here at home,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. “The fact that American taxpayer dollars are being used to strengthen the very terrorist groups we should be focused on defeating should alarm every Member of Congress and every American. We call on our colleagues and the Administration to join us in passing this legislation.”
“One of the unintended consequences of nation-building and open-ended intervention is American funds and weapons benefiting those who hate us,” said Dr. Rand Paul. “This legislation will strengthen our foreign policy, enhance our national security, and safeguard our resources.”
Background: The Stop Arming Terrorists Act prohibits U.S. government funds from being used to support al-Qaeda, ISIS or other terrorist groups. In the same way that Congress passed the Boland Amendment to prohibit the funding and support to CIA backed-Nicaraguan Contras during the 1980’s, this bill would stop CIA or other Federal government activities in places like Syria by ensuring U.S. funds are not used to support al-Qaeda, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, ISIS, or other terrorist groups working with them. It would also prohibit the Federal government from funding assistance to countries that are directly or indirectly supporting those terrorist groups. The bill achieves this by:
- Making it illegal for any U.S. Federal government funds to be used to provide assistance covered in this bill to terrorists. The assistance covered includes weapons, munitions, weapons platforms, intelligence, logistics, training, and cash.
- Making it illegal for the U.S. government to provide assistance covered in the bill to any nation that has given or continues to give such assistance to terrorists.
- Requiring the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to determine the individual and groups that should be considered terrorists, for the purposes of this bill, by determining: (a) the individuals and groups that are associated with, affiliated with, adherents to or cooperating with al-Qaeda, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, or ISIS; (b) the countries that are providing assistance covered in this bill to those individuals or groups.
- Requiring the DNI to review and update the list of countries and groups to which assistance is prohibited every six months, in consultation with the House Foreign Affairs and Armed Services Committees, as well as the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
- Requiring the DNI to brief Congress on the determinations.