Rubio bill aims to withhold UN funding for Afghanistan until assured it doesn’t support terrorism – Fox News

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FIRST ON FOX: Sen. Marco Rubio introduced a bill that targets the United Nations and would withhold U.S. contributions to the body for the aid of Afghanistan until it is verified that the money is not finding its way to the Taliban or funding other terrorist organizations. 

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The bill, titled the Stop Funding Global Terrorists Act of 2024, would bar the U.S. from making “any voluntary or assessed contributions” to the U.N. for Afghanistan’s assistance, and require that the secretary of state determine and certify to the House and Senate Foreign Relations and Appropriations Committees that the money isn’t being funneled to the Taliban before the payments can be resumed. 

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“American taxpayer dollars should not benefit terrorist organizations, like the Taliban. Unfortunately, we are seeing this scenario play out today, in real time. Until we can be sure, we should withhold contributions to the U.N.,” Rubio told Fox News Digital in a statement. 

Sen. Marco Rubio talks to media

Sen. Marco Rubio speaks with members of the media on Feb. 28, 2024, at the Capitol. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

The secretary of state, under the measure, would specifically be tasked with ensuring that U.S. funds are not included in cash shipments to the country and no “specially designated global terrorist organization” is a recipient of these contributions. 

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Reports last year from U.S. government watchdogs montioring aid to Afghanistan following the American military withdrawal revealed that the Taliban has managed to infiltrate many charities and other bodies in order to siphon money for its own profit. According to a report from the U.S. Institute of Peace, which was commissioned by the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Taliban has influenced “most U.N.-managed assistance programming.”

Sen. Marco Rubio

Sen. Marco Rubio speaks to reporters following a briefing on the war in Ukraine, on Capitol Hill on April 19, 2023. (Reuters/Amanda Andrade Rhoades)

Aid to Afghanistan and its implementation have proven to be a bipartisan issue, with both Democratic and Republican lawmakers expressing concerns after the U.S. military withdrawal in 2021. 

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Taliban fighters in truck

Taliban fighters sit on the back of a pickup truck as they stop on a hillside in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sept. 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

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In May 2023, a bipartisan group of lawmakers, including the chairman and ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, penned a letter to the U.N. secretary-general raising concerns over a mandate from the Taliban barring women from working for nongovernmental organizations (NGO) or the U.N. The group rejected the notion of male-only humanitarian aid implementation. 

However, it is unclear what kind of support Rubio’s measure will garner, as it would halt any Afghanistan assistance to the U.N. from the U.S. if the Taliban is benefiting, thereby also preventing civilians from accessing the aid. 

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