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H.R. 5931, the Prohibiting Future Ransom Payments to Iran Act

RECENT VOTES

Iran

On Thursday, September 22, 2016 the House considered H.R. 5931, the Prohibiting Future Ransom Payments to Iran Act. It was reported in August that the United States gave $400 million to Iran. Immediately, many Republicans attacked this as a ransom payment for 4 American hostages. This characterization of the payments is just one more attempt to try and weaken the Iran Nuclear Agreement. The $400 million payment dates back to 1979 when Iran paid the United States that sum in exchange for fighter jets. Due to fall of the Shah, the jets were not delivered. For decades, this has been an ongoing legal dispute between the two countries. The President announced in January that the matter had been resolved through a legal settlement. The Administration has stated that this legislation will be vetoed. I voted NO. H.R. 5931 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

238

1

0

6

DEMOCRAT

16

162

0

8

TOTAL

254

163

0

14

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

9

0

0

On Wednesday, September 21, 2016, the House considered H.R. 5461, the Iranian Leadership Asset Transparency Act. This legislation requires the Treasury Department to document the assets that senior Iranian officials hold, including information detailing how the assets were obtained and how they are being used. Treasury must update this research and regularly submit reports on it to Congress. The Treasury Departmentís Office of Foreign Asset Control and Office of Intelligence and Analysis would be responsible for preparing these reports.

One of the problems with this is that these offices are also responsible for overseeing the sanctions program. Without additional resources to conduct this extensive research, Treasury staff will have less time to investigate financial crimes, including terrorist financing. H.R. 5461 represents another legislative effort to weaken the Iran Nuclear Agreement. The stated intent of this bill was to help financial entities comply with the sanctions law. However, since the most important parts of the reports will be classified, it wonít really help them at all. The legislation could also create confusion for financial entities as they comply with U.S. sanctions. The Administration has stated that H.R. 5461 will be vetoed. I voted NO. H.R. 5461 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

240

2

0

3

DEMOCRAT

42

141

0

3

TOTAL

282

243

0

6

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

1

8

0

0



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