Congress Votes to Ban Further ‘Ransom Payments’ to Iran
An overwhelming number of lawmakers voted Thursday evening in favor of legislation that would legally bar the Obama administration from making further cash payments to Iran amid a congressional investigation into how the White House secretly sent nearly $2 billion in U.S. taxpayer dollars to Tehran in what many have described as a ransom payment.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) praised the bill’s passage, telling the Washington Free Beacon on Friday that Congress will not permit the Obama administration to continue providing Tehran with a U.S. taxpayer-funded financial lifeline.
While the Obama administration has threatened to veto the bill, McCarthy said the majority of Congress disagrees with the administration’s decision to pay Iran $1.7 billion prior to the release earlier this year of several U.S. hostages.
“The Obama administration paid a cash ransom to Iran for American hostages,” McCarthy told the Free Beacon. “No matter how the Obama administration chooses to redefine this payment, the message to Iran is crystal clear: You will be rewarded for taking hostages—not punished.”
“There’s no other way to describe sending a planeload of unmarked bills to Iran and holding the plane on the tarmac until hostages were released,” the Republican lawmaker said. “The House voted last night to put a stop to this now by barring all cash payments to Iran, reasserting the principle that President Obama violated that America doesn’t pay for hostages.”