House votes to restrict delisting state sponsors of terrorism
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The House passed legislation on Monday to make it harder for a country to be removed from the government’s list of state sponsors of terrorism.


Rep. Ted YohoTheodore (Ted) Scott YohoThe Hill's Morning Report — Impeachment face-off; Dems go after Buttigieg in debate The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - An unusual day: Impeachment plus a trade deal GOP's Yoho announces retirement from Congress MORE’s (R-Fla.) bill, which passed by voice vote, would increase the amount of time a country has refrained from endorsing terrorism before the president can eliminate the designation from six months to two years.

The measure would also give Congress twice as much time — from the current 45 days to 90 days — to review administration proposals to take countries off the list.

Lawmakers pointed to past decisions to rescind terrorism designations from the governments of North Korea and Cuba in the last decade.

President George W. Bush’s administration delisted North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism in 2008 following commitments it made to curtail its nuclear weapons program. The move came as a nuclear deal with North Korea appeared to be fraying.

North Korea has reversed course since then, most recently with its fifth nuclear test last week.

And last year, the Obama administration took Cuba off the list of state sponsors of terrorism as part of its push to normalize relations. 

“This legislation will assert congressional scrutiny and oversight and hopefully come to an end politically motivated de-listings,” Yoho said during House floor debate.

Including a country on the U.S. government’s list of state sponsors of terrorism primarily serves to ostracize it from the international community. The designation forces foreign aid restrictions, a ban on weapons exports and financial sanctions to go in to effect. 

Three countries currently remain on the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism: Iran, Sudan and Syria.