On Wednesday The White House promised to veto new legislation that would keep the administration from making “future ransom payments to Iran.” This stamen has caused outrage from many members of Congress who have been investigating how U.S. officials were able to deliver almost $2 billion in cash to Iranian officials.
Rep. Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.), a member of the House Intelligence Committee said, “President Obama’s veto threat on our ransom legislation puts the lives of U.S. citizens around the world at risk.”
“Instead of admitting wrongdoing, this administration is sticking to talking points. But selective noun use cannot explain away criminality, nor does it excuse eight months of lying to the American people,” Pompeo said. “It is unprecedented and reckless for the U.S. to be doling out billions to the Islamic Republic of Iran—under wraps and in cash—which is why our bill is necessary.”
Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.), said he would continue to push the legislation, despite the veto threat by the administration.
“This effort by the President to defend his ransom payments to Iran at all costs amounts to doubling down on a policy that has made Americans less safe,” Rubio said. “Democrats may be swayed by this threat, but I will continue to fight to prevent the U.S. government from sending taxpayer dollars to the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism.”
Sen. Mark Kirk (R., Ill.) told the Washington Free Beacon Wednesday evening that the Obama administration is betraying U.S. victims of Iranian terrorism.
“Under U.S. court judgments, Iran owes $55.6 billion to American victims of Iranian terrorism,” Kirk told the Free Beacon. “The Administration should stop finding ways to send more cash to Iran, and start working to bring a measure of justice to American families whose loved ones were killed or injured due to Iran-backed terrorists.”
The Obama administration claims the legislation is “ill-advised” and would “undermine U.S. obligations” to Iran.
The bill is “an ill-advised attempt to respond to a problem—so-called ‘ransom’ payments to Iran—that does not exist, in a way that would undermine U.S. obligations and ultimately benefit Iran at the expense of the United States,” the White House said in a statement.
The administration said it plans to award Iran with more money in the future, but they would not be able to do so under the new ransom legislation.
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