WASHINGTON, D.C. – Members of the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee wrote to three federal agencies seeking information on how those agencies will work to identify U.S. charities that may be providing support, encouragement, or potential financial aid to terrorist organizations. This request comes from Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (MO-08), Ways and Means Subcommittee on Tax Ranking Member Mike Thompson (CA-04), and 27bipartisan members of the Committee in letters to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner Daniel Werfel, and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Christopher Wray.
The letters follow a Ways and Means Committee hearing held in the wake of the October 7th terrorist attack on Israel where Committee members heard how U.S.-based tax-exempt organizations have abused the U.S. tax code by sending millions of dollars overseas to terrorist organizations, including Hamas.
“Charities in the U.S. that may be funneling financial support to barbaric terrorists while they simultaneously reap the benefits of the U.S. tax code deserve to be punished – not rewarded. We encourage you to rededicate the efforts of the Treasury Department and IRS to ensure the national security of our financial system and prevent tax-deductible funds from being used to provide material support to terrorist organizations,” wrote Ways and Means Committee members in a letter to Secretary Yellen and Commissioner Werfel.
In a separate letter to FBI Director Wray, Chairman Smith and his colleagues raise potential concerns with the FBI’s focus, saying, “It is alarming that hard-earned American taxpayer dollars are potentially being redirected and funneled to support terrorist organizations like Hamas. There are concerns that law enforcement and intelligence agencies have not focused their efforts on Hamas as a direct threat in recent years given other priorities… We write today to seek information about what the FBI is doing to address these issues and to encourage you to prioritize efforts to address domestic activities that provide support to Hamas and similar entities.”