No Ransom Payments Act of 2016

September 6, 2016
September 15, 2016
Referred to House (sub)committee

This bill would prohibit the president from paying final judgments, awards, or any other legal remunerations to Iran until: Tehran returned any money the U.S. transferred to it after 1/1/16; satisfied all outstanding judgments against it in U.S. courts; and compensated the hostages seized at the U.S. Embassy on 11/4/1979. Once these conditions were satisfied, the bill would require the president to certify to Congress that any payments to Iran would not be used for supporting acts of terror; and require the director of national intelligence to submit to Congress a report on funds paid to Iran after 1/1/16. Furthermore, the president would be directed to impose sanctions on any Iranian person involved in the kidnapping of a U.S. citizen on or after 3/9/07, and prohibited from paying ransom for any U.S. citizens kidnapped in Iran or by any other state sponsor of international terrorism.

The Obama administration transferred $400 m. to Iran on 1/16/16, the same day Iran released 4 U.S. prisoners. Congressional Republicans defined the payment as a “ransom,” and this bill was part of their yearlong effort to censure the president.

9 cosponsors (9R).

See also: identical bill S. 3285 of 9/6/16.

Last major action: 9/15/16 referred to House Subcomm. on Immigration and Border Security.

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