The U.S. House of Representatives just voted 254-162 in favor of the No Ransom Payments Act I.
The act would make it U.S. policy not to pay any ransom Iran in order to secure the release of Americans being held hostage.
This bill declares that it shall be the policy of the U.S. government not to pay ransom or release prisoners for the purpose of securing the release of U.S. citizens taken hostage abroad.
The U.S. government is prohibited from providing promissory notes (including currency) issued by the U.S. government or by a foreign government to the government of Iran.
The conduct of a transaction or payment in connection with a claim settlement agreement brought before the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal (established on January 19, 1981) may be made only: (1) on a case-by-case basis pursuant to a specific license by the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, and (2) in a manner that does not contradict such promissory note prohibition. The President must publish a list of such transactions or payments.
Such promissory note prohibition and licensing requirement shall remain in effect until the President certifies that: (1) a preliminary or final rule providing for Iran’s designation as a jurisdiction of primary money laundering concern has been rescinded, and (2) the Department of State has removed Iran from the list of countries that have repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism.-House Roll Call
Of the 162 Democrats who voted against this bill, it is no surprise to many that Rep. Patrick Murphy is one of them.
Murphy is running for the U.S. Senate in Florida against foreign policy hawk, Senator Marco Rubio, and needs all of President Obama’s support.
Murphy is not about to disagree, or push back against Obama, who recently endorsed is senatorial campaign.
Rubio has been campaigning against Murphy for his past support of the Iran Nuclear deal, and for his support of President Obama’s move to pay a ransom to Iran for American hostages.
With his anti-ransom bill vote this week, Murphy just fueled Rubio’s ongoing efforts to paint him as weak on foreign affairs.
Rubio quickly pounced on Murphy’s ‘Nay’ vote.
“I am pleased the House voted to stop the Obama Administration from making more ransom payments to Iran. The legislation passed by the House includes elements of the No Ransom Payments Act I introduced at the start of this month. It’s shameful that 162 Democrats voted in support of sending more ransom money to the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism, and that they continue to defend President Obama’s disastrous nuclear deal with Iran.”-Sen. Marco Rubio
“Patrick Murphy’s unwillingness to stop ransom payments to Iran, the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism, further proves his loyalty to President Obama’s dangerous nuclear deal with Iran. Earlier this month, Marco introduced legislation to stop these ransom payments because he knows that they are a direct threat to our national security and that of our allies like Israel. Patrick Murphy’s liberal foreign policy views show he can’t be trusted to keep Florida’s families safe.” – Michael Ahrens, Rubio spokesman
Rubio ally Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R):
“This necessary legislation prohibits President Obama – or any future president – from paying ransom for hostages. President Obama’s capitulations to the mullahs in Iran, including $1.7 billion in cash, have emboldened the terrorist state. The United States has a longstanding history of never paying for the release of hostages, and of not providing material support to terrorists. Yet President Obama has yielded on both and endangered Americans in doing so.
“President Obama has rewarded one of the world’s most dangerous terrorist states with cash and legitimacy, and treated it as an equal rather than the pariah that it is. I commend Speaker Ryan and Chairman Royce for their leadership on this issue to ensure that the United States never pays cash to the regime in Iran in exchange for hostages.”-Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R)