CRAMER: Iran, Ukraine Bills Bring Transparency, Accountability
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer supported three bills passed by the House of Representatives this week bringing greater transparency and accountability to dealings between the U.S. and the countries of Iran and the Ukraine. They now advance to the Senate for consideration.
H.R. 5461 , the Iranian Leadership Asset Transparency Act, requires the Treasury Secretary to develop and post online a list estimating the “funds and assets” held by senior Iranian political and military leaders, along with a description of how they acquired the assets and how those assets are employed.
“This bill brings transparency for the people of Iran, who suffer from the corruption of its political and military leaders,” said Cramer. “It helps bring to light the transactions of these officials and helps financial institutions see the assets associated with them.”
H.R. 5931, the Prohibiting Future Ransom Payments to Iran Act, prohibits the United States government from making any cash payments to the Government of Iran until the President certifies Iran is not a primary money laundering concern or a state sponsor of terrorism. The bill states that the policy of the United States Government not to pay ransom or release prisoners for the purpose of securing the release of United States citizens taken hostage abroad. It also increases transparency and reporting requirements related to settlements and judgments under the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal.
“The cash ransom the Obama Administration recently admitted it paid to Iran for American hostages threatens American security and encourages Iran and other terrorist countries to take more hostages,” said Cramer. “In fact, just recently Iran has taken three more hostages. There is no provision under current law that prohibits the U.S. government from making payments in exchange for certain actions or to fulfill certain settlement agreements. This bill makes sure that no longer happens.”
H.R. 5094, the Stability and Democracy for Ukraine Act, puts into law existing sanctions intended to deter aggression against the Ukraine and requires them to stay in effect until the President certifies to Congress that Ukraine’s sovereignty over Crimea has been restored. It also requires the Department of State to develop a strategy to counter Russian dis-information and propaganda, and encourages NATO adoption of a policy that opposes the transfer of defense articles and services to Russia while Russia continues to occupy Crimea.
“This bill ensures that sanctions against Russia remain in place as long as the Russian occupation of the Ukraine continues,” said Cramer. “It also drives new private-sector investment to Ukraine and pushes back against Russian propaganda.”