Republican Senator Wants To Strip Qatar Of Non-NATO Ally Status

( — An effort by North Carolina Republican Senator Ted Budd to strip Qatar of its non-NATO ally status through the unanimous consent of the Senate failed last Wednesday when Democrat Senator Chris Murphy blocked the measure, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

Budd introduced the bill last Tuesday, calling for the Senate to “review and consider terminating” Qatar’s non-NATO ally designation over its material support for Hamas.

The bill, co-sponsored by Republican Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Rick Scott (R-FL), would force the Secretary of State to certify that Qatar is using its leverage over Hamas to secure the release of Americans held hostage in Gaza; that it has stopped supporting international terrorism or foreign terrorist groups, including Hamas; and that it has expelled the Hamas leaders currently in Qatar.

If the State Department was unable to certify these conditions, the President would have to terminate Qatar’s non-NATO ally status.

President Biden designated Qatar as a major Non-NATO ally in late January 2022.

In an April 9 press release announcing the legislation, Senator Budd said the measure was a “reflection” of the repeated warnings US lawmakers have given to Qatar “about the liability of continuing to host Hamas.”

Budd said he had “engaged privately and publicly with Qatar” since the October 7 terrorist attacks in Israel. He said that while he thanked them for assisting in the release of some of the hostages held by Hamas, he also made his expectations clear about Qatar’s ongoing relationship with the terrorist group.

Budd sought to get the measure approved through unanimous consent, the legislative process that allows one lawmaker to request the unanimous approval of a bill by the whole Senate.

It only takes one senator to block unanimous consent by voicing an objection. This would require further debate before the bill could be considered for a floor vote.

Connecticut Democrat Senator Chris Murphy voiced an objection, blocking Budd’s measure from moving forward.

The North Carolina Republican said on the Senate floor that he would continue to work to ensure the legislation is passed.

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