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house Bill H.R. 2297

Putting Sanctions on Hezbollah’s Financial Network

Argument in favor

Sanctioning financial institutions that do business with Hezbollah will cut off their access to the funding they use to carry out terror attacks and acquire weapons.

EricRevell's Opinion
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05/22/2015
There's not a lot of bills that pass the House unanimously these days, so this one ought to become a law.
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Scott's Opinion
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08/07/2015
The argument that sanctions are imperfect is stupid. If we only did things that worked 100% and didn't bother with anything that failed occasionally, we'd still be living in caves., and we wouldn't have laws against murder and rape.
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SpencerBudd's Opinion
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05/19/2015
Iran is a huge threat to peace in our world due to their lawlessness actions and consistent production of nuclear weapons. Iran has sworn to destroy Israel, allies of the United States, and the United States, with no repercussions for their actions. The real threat in this situation is our government due to their lack of force against Iran. The possibility of nuclear war is imminent.
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Argument opposed

Sanctions help, but Hezbollah will always find ways to get the money that it needs to finance its networks. Congress should pursue more effective solutions.

David's Opinion
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12/10/2015
This bill fails to distinguish between what Hezbollah does for locals and what it does to support terrorism. It needs to be redrafted.
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Emilia's Opinion
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02/01/2016
Israel must stop their human rights violations.
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Jo's Opinion
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11/09/2016
Hezbollah runs schools and hospitals and is a democratically elected party. The bill needs to make the distinction between the different facets of a large and complex organization. Hezbollah isn't just one thing.
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What is House Bill H.R. 2297?

This bill aims to curb financial support for Hezbollah, the Shi'a Islamist militant group and Lebanese political party, and it's media affiliate Al-Manar.

The Treasury and State Departments would either prohibit or impose strict conditions on foreign financial institutions that do business with Hezbollah. These sanctions would prevent the banks and their customers from opening accounts in the U.S. Foreign banks could trigger these sanctions by:

  • Knowingly facilitating a significant transaction or transactions for Hezbollah.

  • Transacting business with person who is associated with Hezbollah or acts on the behalf of Hezbollah.

  • Engaging in money laundering or facilitating, assisting, or conspiring to participate in transactions related to either of the above actions.

Exemptions/waivers for these sanctions would be available to the Treasury State Departments if they decide sanctions on these institutions poses a threat to national security. These exemptions would have to be explained to the related congressional committees.

Reports would be compiled on Hezbollah’s narcotics trafficking, its status as an international terrorist organization, and foreign governments’ attempts to disrupt Hezbollah’s financial network. There would also be reports on broadcasters sanctioned that carry Al-Manar TV network.

Rewards would be made available for information about Hezbollah’s fundraising, financing, and money laundering activities.

Impact

Financial institutions that facilitate or plan to facilitate financial transactions for Hezbollah, the Treasury Department, the State Department, and Congress.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 2297

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: The U.S., Israel, Canada, France, the Gulf Cooperation Council, and the Netherlands all designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. Meanwhile — the EU, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand all have sanctioned Hezbollah’s military wing or external security organization as terrorist entities.

Many believe that Hezbollah’s annual fundraising comes to a total in the hundreds of millions of dollars, with Iran being a primary contributor. Some estimates have pegged Iran as accounting for between 70 and 90 percent of Hezbollah’s annual income, estimated between $800 million and $1 billion.

After its predecessor in the 113th Congress passed the House on a vote of 404 to 0 but stalled in the Senate, this bill passed the House by an even greater margin with a 423 to 0 vote.

Sponsoring Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) described the rationale behind his legislation after its passage, saying that:

“To cut Hezbollah’s international reach, and deny it the funds needed for its terrorist activities, we must effectively target its financial networks. This legislation targets the ability of Hezbollah to finance its destructive activities.”

Of Note:

Hezbollah is the group responsible for the bombings of the Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon in 1983, and the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon, in addition to the kidnapping, torture, and murder of a CIA Station Chief named William Buckley.

Hezbollah has also hijacked airliners, and carried out numerous attacks on Israelis and Jews around the world.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user upyernoz)

AKA

Hizballah International Financing Prevention Act of 2015

Official Title

An act to prevent Hizballah and associated entities from gaining access to international financial and other institutions, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • EnactedDecember 18th, 2015
    The President signed this bill into law
  • The senate Passed November 17th, 2015
    Passed by Voice Vote
      senate Committees
      Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
  • The house Passed December 16th, 2015
    Roll Call Vote 425 Yea / 0 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Financial Services
      Committee on Foreign Affairs
    IntroducedMay 13th, 2015

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    There's not a lot of bills that pass the House unanimously these days, so this one ought to become a law.
    Like (23)
    Follow
    Share
    This bill fails to distinguish between what Hezbollah does for locals and what it does to support terrorism. It needs to be redrafted.
    Like (8)
    Follow
    Share
    The argument that sanctions are imperfect is stupid. If we only did things that worked 100% and didn't bother with anything that failed occasionally, we'd still be living in caves., and we wouldn't have laws against murder and rape.
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    Iran is a huge threat to peace in our world due to their lawlessness actions and consistent production of nuclear weapons. Iran has sworn to destroy Israel, allies of the United States, and the United States, with no repercussions for their actions. The real threat in this situation is our government due to their lack of force against Iran. The possibility of nuclear war is imminent.
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    Israel is the biggest ally to the United States while Hezbollah wants to murder Israelis. We must stand with Israel and against terror!
    Like (4)
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    Hezbollah has been declared a terrorist organization long ago. The United States and the United Nations recognize it as one. Why should we be supporting known terrorist organizations?
    Like (4)
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    Hezbollah is a terrorist organization! We need to punish them.
    Like (3)
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    The lifting of finical sanctions that the Obama administration exhibited combined with the laxness plus the cash discovered. The sanctions on any organization contributing to promoting terrorism, is a must to slow the money flow. Every effort needs to be exercised.
    Like (3)
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    Money laundering is crucial to terrorist activity. If you cut off their ability, even a little, it will have an effect on their efforts.
    Like (3)
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    Israel must stop their human rights violations.
    Like (2)
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    Hezbollah fights terrorism and Zionism
    Like (2)
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    Common sense legislation like this doesn't come around too often. The only thing sick organizations like this do (locally or otherwise) is indoctrinate disenfranchised Arab youth to blame Israel and the West for their self-inflicted problems. We must do whatever we can to handcuff radical Islamic outfits like this.
    Like (2)
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    Any bill that deters Hezbollah from gaining funds for their terror network is a good bill. Sanctions on businesses that provides those funds will help that deterrence.
    Like (2)
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    Hezbollah runs schools and hospitals and is a democratically elected party. The bill needs to make the distinction between the different facets of a large and complex organization. Hezbollah isn't just one thing.
    Like (1)
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    Hezbollah is a terrorist organization that wants nothing more than to destroy Israel and the United States. Yes, absolutely they should be sanctioned as well as on Lebanon since this is their home base.
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    We should do everything to stop the funding of terrorism
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    Of course we should have already known and penalized those profiteering nations and corporations to the maximum of our ability. That ability had included the threat of secondary penalties on sovereign allies which had kept them in check. But the Iran "deal" has ended all hope of that, even if rejected by Senate action.
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    We should restrict the ability of a terrorist organization by negatively affecting their future and current funds.
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    We must use every tool at our disposal to destroy terrorist networks.
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    terrorist organization
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