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Rubio Introduces Legislation to Prohibit Ransom, Stop Obama Administration’s Payments to Iran

Sep 6, 2016 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. – Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today introduced the No Ransom Payments Act, which would prohibit the federal government from paying ransom, and stop payments to Iran from the U.S. Treasury Department’s Judgment Fund until Iran returns the ransom money it received and pays the American victims of Iranian terrorism what they are owed.
“President Obama’s disastrous nuclear deal with Iran was sweetened with an illicit ransom payment and billions of dollars for the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism,” said Rubio. “The U.S. government should not be in the business of negotiating with terrorists and paying ransom money in exchange for the release of American hostages. Doing so puts more Americans in danger, as President Obama himself admitted. Even now, the Iranians continue to take Americans hostage, and refuse to help us find Floridian Robert Levinson. Iran should not receive a penny, period.
“That’s why I introduced legislation today that would stop the Obama Administration from making any further payments to Iran from the Judgment Fund until Iran returns the ransom money it received and pays the American victims of Iranian terrorism what they are owed. President Obama may have attempted to appease our enemy with pallets of cash secretly delivered on an unmarked cargo plane, but Iran continues to cheat on the nuclear deal, harass our military, hold Americans hostage, and fund terrorism around the world. Iran should be held accountable, and the Obama Administration’s misguided policies must be stopped.”
Rubio’s No Ransom Payments Act is co-sponsored by Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), John Barrasso (R-WY), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Tim Scott (R-SC), Richard Burr (R-NC), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Tom Cotton (R-AR), David Perdue (R-GA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), James E. Risch (R-ID), and Dean Heller (R-NV). It was also introduced today in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Mike Pompeo (KS-04).
“Congress is taking a clear stand—demanding Iran return the more than $1 billion the Obama Administration wrongly gave them and putting a stop to any and all future money this administration, or any administration might want to give to state sponsors of terrorism like Iran,” said Pompeo. “The American people know this is an unacceptable use of their taxpayer dollars and we wholeheartedly agree. It is unprecedented and dangerous for President Obama to be doling out millions to the Islamic Republic of Iran—in the dead of night, under wraps, and in cash. Kansans expect and demand better from their government.”
Also today, Rubio introduced the Keeping Aircraft Away From Terrorists Act, which would bar the U.S. government from issuing a license or other guidance to a U.S. person or depository institution, or foreign financial institution, for conducting a transaction for the negotiation of or entry into a contract for the export or re-export of aircraft or related parts or services to Iran.