Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed terrorist group, poses a direct threat to American and Israeli security. The group dominates the Lebanese government, fights for the Assad regime, and possesses an arsenal of more than 100,000 rockets. Hezbollah has killed more Americans than any terrorist group other than al-Qaeda and has carried out dozens of attacks in recent years.
The Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Act of 2015 (H.R. 2297 and S.1617) aims to sanction international financial institutions that knowingly facilitate Hezbollah’s activities, including the provision of significant financial services. The legislation is authored by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) in the Senate and Reps. Ed Royce (R-CA) and Eliot Engel (D-NY) in the House of Representatives.
The important measure will force foreign financial institutions to choose between doing business with Hezbollah or the United States. Additionally, the legislation targets satellite and Internet providers that provide material support to the Hezbollah television station al-Manar.
It was passed in the House on Dec. 16 by a vote of 425-0. The Senate passed the bill by unanimous consent on Nov. 17. On Dec. 18, President Barack Obama signed the legislation into law.