Last night, the House of Representatives easily passed two amendments authored by U.S. Representative Peter J. Roskam to block the controversial sales of both Boeing and Airbus aircraft to the Islamic Republic of Iran. The amendments to the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act passed by voice vote, indicating overwhelming, bipartisan support.
Amendment #45 prohibits the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) from using funds to authorize a license necessary to allow aircraft to be sold to Iran.
Amendment #46 ensures Iran will not receive loans from U.S. financial institutions to purchase militarily-fungible aircraft by prohibiting OFAC from using funds to authorize the financing of such transactions.
As reported by The Hill, House Democrats did not mount any significant opposition and, in many cases, joined efforts to block the sale.
In April, Rep. Roskam wrote an Op-Ed in The Wall Street Journal urging Western companies not to do business in Iran. "If you wouldn't do business with Islamic State, you shouldn't do business with the Islamic Republic," he wrote. Rep. Roskam spoke with French and European media outlets to warn Airbus not to sell planes to the Iranians.
In May, he joined fellow Illinois Reps. Robert Dold and Randy Hultgren in sending a letter to Boeing's CEO urging the Chicago-based company not to empower the terror-sponsoring regime. Senior members of the Congressional delegation from Washington state, where Boeing is the largest private employer, crafted another letter of inquiry.
In June, Iranian regime officials announced their intention to buy and lease 109 new Boeing aircraft in a deal worth up to $25 billion, pending approval from the U.S. government. Rep. Roskam and Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling wrote to Boeing once again, asking specific questions to help them assess the national security implications of such a deal. Rep. Roskam wrote an Op-Ed in USA Today detailing his opposition to the misguided, dangerous proposal.
Earlier yesterday, the Financial Services Committee held a hearing on the implications of aircraft sales to Iran. Both Republicans and Democrats spoke out in support of legislation to block or impede the transfer of these militarily-fungible goods to the world's leading state sponsor or terror.