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Presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio is pushing the Obama administration to take a tougher stance in going after Hezbollah’s financial network and supporters.

The Florida Republican and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), both members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, have introduced legislation that aims to block the Lebanon-based group’s access to money and logistical support.

{mosads}The legislation would give the administration the ability to crack down on foreign banks that knowingly work with Hezbollah or supporters of the group.

It would also requires the administration to identify any Internet and telecommunications companies that knowingly contract with al-Manar, a Hezbollah-affiliated TV station. The administration would have to provide a list to Congress of which companies have been sanctioned, which have not, and the reasoning behind not using sanctions.

Rubio suggested that the legislation “shines a light on the criminal activities Hezballah engages in to finance its operations.”

“[It] ensures that the United States is doing everything in our power to cut off Hizballah’s financial, media and logistical resources wherever they exist,” he added.

The bill would also require Obama to give a report to Congress with 90 days on which countries the group has support networks in, what steps foreign governments are taking to disrupt those networks, and what the administration is doing to “spur” other countries to take further action.  

It would also require the president within approximately four months to determine if Hezbollah meets the requirement to be designated or if can be classified under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act as a drug trafficker, or, separately, as a transnational criminal group.

Tags Jeanne Shaheen Marco Rubio

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