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H.R. 3662, the Iran Terror Finance Transparency Act



On Wednesday, January 13, 2016 the House considered H.R. 3662, the Iran Terror Finance Transparency Act. The real intent of this legislation is to block the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the Iran nuclear agreement. It prevents the United States from fulfilling some of its commitments under the JCPOA, effectively impeding its implementation. H.R. 3662 prohibits the administration from lifting sanctions on some 400 financial institutions and individuals, without first certifying that they were never involved in any prohibited activities. Many of the entities in question will continue to be monitored, but the lifting of these sanctions is a requirement of JCPOA. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is expected to soon verify that Iran is meeting its obligations under the JCPOA. The Administration has stated that H.R. 3662 will be vetoed, explaining that “By preventing the United States from fulfilling its JCPOA commitments, H.R. 3662 could result in the collapse of a comprehensive diplomatic arrangement that peacefully and verifiably prevents Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.”

In an unusual move, Speaker Ryan closed the vote on H.R. 3662 after 15 minutes, which is the minimum time allotted under the rule for Members to cast their votes. Such votes are usually kept open for 20-30 minutes so Members have time to stop whatever they are doing when the vote is called, walk over to the Capitol and vote. The Speaker recently expressed concern that votes were being kept open long after the allotted time to accommodate a handful of Members who are consistently tardy. Because the vote closed after 15 minutes, well over 100 Members did not vote. Since so many missed the vote and because this strict adherence to the time allotment is a new approach, both parties agreed to vacate the vote and re-vote the matter at the end of January.

Even though the vote was vacated, I include the tally so you can see how it is likely to develop. When the vote closed, the tally was 191 in favor and 106 against. I will vote NO on the re-vote, as I did Wednesday.

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