U.S. Senator Katie Britt, Colleagues Move to Redesignate Iran-Backed Houthis as Foreign Terrorist Organization

November 6, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 6, 2023 – U.S. Senator Katie Britt (R-Ala.) is urging the Biden Administration to redesignate Ansarallah, more commonly known as the Houthis, as a foreign terrorist organization (FTO) given their longstanding acts of terrorism, actions to destabilize the region, the security threat they pose to the United States, and, most recently, their involvement in the ongoing conflict in Israel, including attacks on Israel last week.

The Trump Administration in January 2021 designated the Houthis as an FTO, which the Biden Administration reversed the following month.  Following years of Iranian support, the Houthis have one of the most sophisticated arsenals of ballistic missiles and drones among Iran’s allies and proxies, which they have used to target U.S. partners and interests.

“An ongoing posture of appeasement by the Biden Administration only emboldens the Iranian regime to continue its barbaric proxy attacks on innocent children, women, and men, and this is evidenced in the Houthi’s recent terrorist attacks that have been intercepted by defensive actions by the United States and Saudi Arabia,” said Senator Britt. It is imperative that America sends a message of complete condemnation of Iran and its proxies’ violence, as well as unwavering support toward our allies in the region. The Houthis are a terrorist organization, and this Administration should treat them as such while reimposing a comprehensive, maximum pressure sanctions campaign on all Iranian terror proxies. In order to achieve peace, now is the time for strength.”

Senator Britt last week joined Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and 12 of their Senate colleagues in introducing the Standing Against Houthi Aggression Act. This legislation would redesignate the Houthis as a foreign terrorist organization and impose certain sanctions on the group.

Cosponsors of the Standing Against Houthi Aggression Act, in addition to Senators Britt and Daines, include Senators Roger Marshall (R-Kans.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Pete Ricketts (R-Nebr.), and John Kennedy (R-La.).

The text of the bill can be found here.

Additionally, Senator Britt recently joined Senator Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) and 13 of their Senate colleagues in sending a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken calling on the Administration to redesignate the Houthis as an FTO.

Co-signers of the letter, in addition to Senators Britt and Hagerty, include Senators John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Roger Marshall (R-Kans.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), and Roger Wicker (R-Miss).

The full letter can be found here.