Just days before Tuesday’s massive explosion in Beirut, Democrats in the House refused to remove funding for Hezbollah from a House bill. After this was reported, the Iranian-backed terrorist group waged a terrorist attack on Israel.
The Washington Free Beacon published yesterday before the massive explosion in Lebanon, the following:
Just days before the Iranian-funded terror group Hezbollah waged a terrorist attack on Israel’s northern border, congressional Democrats gutted legislation that would have halted U.S. funding to the Lebanese military, which is almost entirely controlled by the terror group.
Congress has been working on legislation that would slash millions in American taxpayer funding to the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), which has long been under Hezbollah’s thumb. Republican lawmakers in both the House and Senate have been pushing to cut this funding for some time, arguing that U.S. aid should not be sent to an institution known to conduct attacks against Israel on Iran’s behalf.
“It is a catastrophe, I’ve never seen something like that.”
Lebanon is in a state of emergency following a massive explosion in Beirut that killed at least 100 people and injured thousands.
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) August 5, 2020
Al-Arabiya reported that the blast was an ammunition warehouse belonging to Hezbollah.
— Michael Dickson (@michaeldickson) August 4, 2020
Outgoing representative Eliot Engel (D., N.Y.) sponsored an amendment to the bill striking all language that would have cut the LAF’s aid dollars. The final version now requires the State Department to issue a report detailing ways in which the United States can stop Hezbollah’s smuggling of arms along its border with Israel.
The article continued:
While the original bill had bipartisan support in both chambers, House Democrats recently attached an amendment to their version of the legislation that nixed the funding cut. Other GOP amendments that would have strengthened the legislation and pushed the LAF to isolate Hezbollah from its forces were also struck down by the Democrat-led House.
The House last week passed a watered-down version of the bill that leaves the LAF funding fully intact. The wrangling over the legislation came just days before Hezbollah launched a foiled attack on Israel from southern Lebanon, where the LAF and international forces have been tasked with stopping such terror strikes. Republican congressional sources who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon accused House Democrats of standing in the way of a major reform effort that could have forced the LAF to eradicate Hezbollah from its ranks or face a cutoff in U.S. aid dollars.
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R., N.Y.), a main sponsor of the legislation, told the Free Beacon that tweaks were made to the original language in order to ensure its passage through the Democrat-led House committee.
“It’s not the same draft as it was,” Zeldin said. “We would love to see that draft as it is passed over in the Senate,” where Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) is spearheading a companion version of the bill that includes cuts to the LAF’s funding.
A senior Republican congressional source familiar with the backroom dealings over the legislation told the Free Beacon that Engel and his staff “bear personal responsibility for emboldening Hezbollah, just as it escalated attacks against Israel and sought to murder Israeli Jews. They chose this exact moment to signal that Democrats will keep money flowing no matter what happens.”
It was later reported that the explosion occurred in an ammunition warehouse belonging to Hezbollah terrorists.