Walorski Votes to Prohibit Future Iran Ransom Payments
House Action Follows Administration’s $1.7 Billion Cash Payments to World’s No. 1 State Sponsor of Terrorism
WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (IN-02) today released the following statement after voting to prohibit future cash payments to Iran as long as the regime continues to support terrorism:
“We don’t negotiate with terrorists because it endangers American lives. Paying ransom to the world’s biggest state sponsor of terrorism is no different. The administration already sent Iran $1.7 billion in cash, and we know at least some of that will be used to fund terrorism. This bill protects Americans by ensuring nothing like that ever happens again.”
The Prohibiting Future Ransom Payments to Iran Act (H.R. 5931) would prohibit the U.S. from making any cash payments to Iran unless the president certifies Iran is not a primary money laundering concern or a state sponsor of terrorism. The bill passed the House on Thursday by a vote of 254 to 163.
In January, the Obama administration paid the government of Iran $1.7 billion in three separate cash payments over the course of three weeks. The administration last month admitted the initial cash payment of $400 million, delivered by plane, was contingent on the release of five Americans who were being unjustly detained in Iran. The apparent exchange of cash for hostages coincided with the implementation of the agreement over Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
The Prohibiting Future Ransom Payments to Iran Act would block similar ransom payments or other cash transfers to Iran as long as the regime continues to support terrorism. Secretary of State John Kerry has acknowledged payments and sanctions relief Iran will receive under the nuclear agreement will likely be used to fund terrorism.
Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, House Armed Services Committee and House Committee on Agriculture.