Mural of Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini in Tehran, Iran. Photo credit: David Holt
Mural of the late Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini in Tehran, Iran.
Photo credit: David Holt

Confirmed reports of the American government shipping $400 million in cash as payment to the Iranian government has left many folks across the country outraged or scratching their heads. Over a year has passed since the Administration agreed upon a flawed and dangerous deal with a nuclear Iran, and this payment coinciding with the exchange of American prisoners is another reason our nation should be alarmed. The State Department admitted to paying what looks like ransom with taxpayer dollars to a state sponsor of terrorism.

As you may recall, support amongst the American public steadily eroded for the Iran nuclear agreement – with shrinking public approval among Republicans, Democrats, and Independents alike. In a Pew Research Center poll conducted late last year, Americans reported being opposed to the deal by an overwhelming 2 to 1 margin.

More so, Iowans often tell me about their concerns with a government lacking transparency and not being as forthcoming as they deserve. I share and understand their concerns, especially when it comes to our national security and the potential misuse of taxpayer dollars.

I am working on legislation to increase accountability and transparency in federal spending, and to improve the transparency of our government in matters of national security and terrorism. Under my legislation, the head of any executive agency intending to transfer funds to a state sponsor of terrorism must provide written notice to Congress and a transfer cannot occur until 60 days after Congress receives the proposal. Alternatively, a transfer cannot occur if Congress issues a joint resolution disapproving the transfer and it becomes law. It would become law by veto override, assuming the President vetoes the joint resolution of disapproval after original House and Senate passage. The only exception to the legislation I’m working on is in the instance of humanitarian aid.

This legislation is critical because Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism and cannot be trusted. The country has a history of deceit, broken agreements, and outward hatred towards our country and our values, which simply cannot be overlooked. Iran sympathizes with and has supported terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah, and Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called for the destruction of our strategic partner Israel. It is reckless to provide for Iran’s enrichment of its nuclear program through any means, which is why I am working on this bill and why I opposed the Iran agreement. In light of the deal’s activation, we must continue fighting to address problems where we can to keep the American people safe.

Ultimately, the legislation I’m working on addresses issues such as the $400 million payment to Iran and ensures the American people have a voice in any process like this going forward. I am continuing to secure support for this legislation in both the House and the Senate and I’m hoping to introduce a finalized, meaningful solution when Congress reconvenes next month.

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