Washington, D.C.- House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik released the following statement in response to the Biden Administration’s decision to designate Iranian-backed Houthi terrorists as “Specially Designated Global Terrorists” versus relisting them as a “Foreign Terrorist Organization” (FTO) which carries much more significant sanctions and penalties. Joe Biden’s decision to choose a weaker designation is the most recent example of the Biden Administration’s appeasement of Iran.

“Joe Biden weakened our national security when he recklessly repealed President Trump’s strong decision to designate Houthis as a terrorist organization. Since then, I have repeatedly called for Joe Biden to take immediate action and relist the Houthis as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. American service members continue to face sustained attacks by Iranian-backed Houthi militants. Yet, Joe Biden is the weakest U.S. president as he continues to pander to Tehran, refusing to officially relist the Iranian-backed Houthis as a Foreign Terrorist Organization and announcing half-measure sanctions, despite the Houthis carrying out over 20 missile and drone attacks against U.S. commercial and warships. This failure is yet another example of the extreme weakness of Joe Biden and the Biden Administration on the global stage.”

In January 2021, President Trump listed the Houthis as a FTO ensuring that they were cut off from their Iranian sponsors. Immediately after Joe Biden came to office he reversed this decision and delisted the Houthis. Three years after this decision, the Biden Administration designated the Houthis as “Specially Designated Global Terrorists.” This weak designation implements limited sanctions on the terrorists. By refusing to return to a FTO designation, support for the Houthis is not criminalized, it does not force banks to seize Houthi assets, and allows Houthis to still freely travel to the U.S.