Congressman Brad Sherman introduced the Libyan Assets Taxpayer Reimbursement Act, a bill that will require that funds of the Gaddafi family and regime frozen by the United States be used to defray the cost of U.S. military actions and humanitarian aid benefiting the Libyan people. Congressman Dan Burton (R-IN) joined Sherman in introducing the bill.
According to the Treasury Department, the U.S. has frozen roughly $37 billion in assets in the U.S. owned by the late Gaddafi and his now-deposed regime. Since April, Congressman Sherman has repeatedly urged that these frozen funds be used to defray the cost of U.S. military actions benefiting the Libyan people.
Under the bill, a small portion of these frozen funds would be used to compensate the American taxpayer for the full cost of our military operations and recent humanitarian efforts on behalf of the Libyan people. Additionally, the assets could be used to provide for the full compensation of American victims of Gaddafi terrorism.
"American taxpayers should not be liable for the bill when about $37 billion of Gaddafi assets is available to pay for the NATO operation and humanitarian assistance," said Sherman.
Libya is an oil rich country: in 2010, Libya had one of the world's highest per capita oil export revenues. According to the Energy Information Administration, Libya has the largest proven oil reserves in Africa. Around the world, over $150 billion of Gaddafi assets are frozen, and the vast bulk of this amount will be paid to the new Libyan government.
The Administration puts the cost of our military and humanitarian efforts for the Libyan people at just under $3 billion. Thus, under this bill, the vast bulk of the $37 billion frozen in the U.S. would still be turned over to the new government of Libya.
In May of 2011, Congressman Sherman met with Dr. Mahmoud Jibril, now interim Prime Minister of Libya, in Washington D.C. and urged him to formally adopt a resolution in the Transitional National Council ensuring that funds of the Gaddafi family would be used to pay for American military actions.
Sherman also urged Dr. Jibril to identify all persons who have supported al-Qaeda or the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) and fought American troops in Afghanistan or Iraq, and bar those terrorists from service in the military or civilian operations of the Transitional National Council of Libya