Wicker Joins Efforts to Re-Designate Houthis as Foreign Terrorist Organization

November 7, 2023

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., last week joined his colleagues in legislation to re-designate the Iran-backed military organization called Ansarallah, more commonly known as the Houthis, as a foreign terrorist organization (FTO). Led by U.S. Senator Steve Daines, R-Mont., the “Standing Against Houthi Aggression Act,” would impose that designation. Wicker also joined a letter led by U.S. Senator Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn., to Secretary of State Antony Blinken urging the administration re-designate the Houthis as an FTO.

“We have all seen the brutal devastation of Iran-backed terrorism in Israel. It is time to send a clear signal that we will not tolerate further aggression from the Ayatollah’s proxies,” Wicker said. “In increasingly hostile conditions, the world must know that the U.S. will not negotiate with terrorists.”

The Trump administration designated the Houthis as an FTO in January 2021, which the Biden administration reversed only a month after assuming office, citing humanitarian concerns. 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. On October 19, 2023, the Navy destroyer U.S.S Carney was forced to intercept both cruise missiles and UAVs launched from Yemen by the Houthis.

In addition to Wicker and Daines, co-sponsors of the Standing Against Houthi Aggression Act include U.S. Senators John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Katie Britt, R-Ala., Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., Bill Cassidy, R-La., Susan Collins, R-Maine, Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn., John Kennedy, R-La., Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., Roger Marshall, R-Kan., Pete Ricketts, R-Neb., and Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

The full text of the legislation can be found here.

In addition to Wicker and Hagerty, the letter was signed by U.S. Senators John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., Mike Braun, R-Ind., Katie Britt, R-Ala., 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-Kan., Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Thom Tillis, R-N.C.

The full text of the letter can be found here.