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Sens. Cruz, Braun, Hagerty, Schmitt, Rubio, Rick Scott, Daines, and Barrasso Introduce the LIABLE Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), joined by Sens. Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Eric Schmitt (R-Mo.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) today filed legislation to allow American victims of terrorism to sue international organizations that support those terrorists, such as the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which provided resources to Hamas terrorists ahead of the horrific October 7th attack on Israel.

About the bill, Sen. Cruz said, “UNRWA has knowingly provided salaries and materials to Hamas for decades. That support enabled Hamas to arm itself, create its vast underground terrorist infrastructure, and launch its October 7th atrocities on Israel. That attack included the murder and kidnapping of dozens of Americans. The victims and their families deserve the ability to hold UNRWA accountable in court for its support of Hamas and for what happened on October 7th. The LIABLE Act would give them that opportunity.”

Sen. Braun said, “The UNRWA should not be immune from accountability after aiding and abetting Hamas terrorists. The LIABLE Act would make it possible for organizations to be subject to U.S. jurisdiction in cases like this, so that victims have recourse to justice and terrorists cannot act with impunity in and out of U.S. borders.”

Sen. Hagerty said, “No international organization is more responsible for the cultivation of anti-Israel extremism and terrorism among Palestinians than UNRWA, whose schools produced over 100 graduates who participated in the atrocities of October 7th. In addition to the UNRWA employees who directly participated in the terrorist attacks of October 7th that killed dozens of Americans, UNRWA has indisputably provided material support to the terrorist organization Hamas for decades. This necessary legislation makes it possible to hold UNRWA accountable for its complicity in terrorism.”

Sen. Schmitt said, “UNRWA allegedly providing funding and resources to Hamas is despicable. Even further – it enables terrorists to perpetrate atrocities like the October 7 attacks. The victims of those attacks, including some American citizens, deserve the chance to hold the UNRWA accountable, and the LIABLE Act would allow them to do just that. I am proud to support this bill.”

Sen. Rubio said, “There must be accountability for international organizations whose employees partake in criminal behavior. Victims and families deserve justice from those individuals who aid and abet foreign terrorist organizations, such as Hamas.”

Sen. Rick Scott said, “Everyone knows that UNRWA supports terrorism and has spent years propping up Iran-backed Hamas and spreading disgusting antisemitism. Everything UNRWA has done to help Hamas allowed these terrorist monsters to commit the horrific massacre and mass kidnapping of Israelis and American Jews on October 7th. And we now know that UNRWA staff actually participated in the attack – they must be held accountable. I’m proud to join Senator Ted Cruz in fighting to pass the LIABLE Act and make sure that the victims and their families can bring UNRWA to justice.”

Sen. Daines said, “The United States should be leading the world in seeking justice for the victims of Hamas’ October 7 brutal attack and that starts with giving victims and their families the ability to hold the UNRWA accountable for its part in these atrocities. Doing so will also provide incentive for the UN to provide much-needed oversight of its own organization.”

Sen. Barrasso said, “Any international organization aiding terrorist groups must be investigated and held accountable,” said Barrasso. “The United Nations Relief and Works Agency has a lot to answer for after providing resources to Hamas terrorists. The blood of innocent Americans and Israelis who were kidnapped or killed on October 7 is on their hands. I am proud to join Senator Cruz and my colleagues on this important legislation to give victims and their families an opportunity for much-deserved justice.”

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) has received hundreds of millions of dollars from the Biden administration that it then poured into the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. That process would normally constitute material support for terrorism, because the assistance directly and indirectly benefits Hamas—a known terrorist group—but the Biden administration has granted waivers among other legislative measures to circumvent the law and enable UNRWA to support Hamas.

The Limiting Immunity for Assisting Backers of Lethal Extremism (LIABLE) Act would allow American victims of terrorist groups to sue international organizations that provide resources to terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah. These organizations would otherwise be immune from lawsuits pursuant to the International Organization Immunity Act (IOIA), which parallels the immunity provided to foreign states through the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA).

Sen. Cruz has been at the forefront of the fight to preserve the U.S.-Israel relationship and support our ally, Israel.

  • ICYMI: WSJ Op-Ed: “Let Terror Victims Sue UNRWA”
  • Sen. Cruz introduced the Terminating Unlawful Negligence and Nullifying Exemptions and Licenses to Sanctions (TUNNELS) Act of 2024, to rescind the licenses employed by the Biden administration to channel U.S. aid through international and non-governmental organizations to Gaza, and prevent these licenses from being reissued.
  • Sen. Cruz and colleagues wrote to AG Garland urging the U.S. Department of Justice to open a criminal investigation into UNRWA USA, a U.S.-based non-profit that raises funds for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), for providing material support for terrorism.