Search Form
First, enter a politician or zip code
Now, choose a category

Public Statements

Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, 2017

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. ROSKAM. Mr. Chair, we have an opportunity to do a good thing, and the good thing is this: to prohibit the Iranian regime from getting a product that is fungible militarily. One begins to ask oneself: What can that be, and how could the Congress be involved in that? It is very simple.

There is a large American company, which is the Boeing Company, that is now seeking to do a deal, and the deal that they are seeking to do is to sell billions of dollars' worth of planes to the Iranians.

Now, the Iranian regime--let's stipulate that everybody agrees--is the world's largest state sponsor of terrorism. When I say ``everybody,'' I mean everybody. Capitol Hill agrees; the administration agrees; the President says that is true; the Secretary of State says that is true. Yet they are on the verge of getting something that can be used for a military purpose. What is that? That is a Boeing plane.

This is a tweet from May of this year when the Boeing Company tweeted this: ``These airplanes don't retire. They're getting another 20 years of life. See how. #freighters.''

That is exactly it. Boeing, in a moment of candor, overdisclosed one of the interesting things--and they are really attractive things--about their products. Why? Their products can be used as freighters. Their products can be used to transfer things on behalf of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, whom everybody acknowledges has been complicit in terror.

This amendment is very simple, and it is very clear. It says that the Treasury Department cannot use money that is appropriated to license this deal.

I urge its passage.


Mr. ROSKAM. Mr. Chair, the gentleman has conflated a number of issues, so let me explain and try to bring some clarity to this.

There is, really, a false notion and a false narrative, which is to collapse the JCPOA--that is the nuclear deal--and the activity around Iran and the ability to sell. So what am I saying? The Iranians, under the JCPOA, are entitled to civilian aircraft, but it is to use for civilian purposes.

Boeing, by their own admission, Mr. Chair, says this: ``Building on success: Boeing's commercial jetliners make an ideal platform for a variety of military derivative aircraft.'' Mr. Chair, this is Boeing's language from their own promotional materials.

How about this? This is according to Boeing: ``Good news. Modifications can take 3 months to 2 years. It all depends on how much militarization they want to do.''

Don't you see the point, Mr. Chair? Don't you see the point? To give these types of planes to the Iranian regime, which is still the world's largest state sponsor of terror, is to give them a product that can be used for a military purpose. We are not talking about baby formula. We are not talking about licorice. We are not talking about sandals, for crying out loud. We are talking about aircraft that can be used.

What can fit in a Boeing 747? This can fit in. It can fit 100 Shahab ballistic missiles or 15,000 rocket-propelled grenades or 25,000 AK-47 assault rifles.

Let's not do this. Adopt this amendment.


Mr. ROSKAM. Mr. Chair, may I inquire as to the time remaining.


Mr. ROSKAM. Mr. Chair, let me point out one other piece of literature. Again, this comes from the Boeing Company. This is from their Frontiers Magazine: ``Military derivatives front and center.'' This is a continuing problem.

Look, this is in stark contrast, Mr. Chair, for a company like Lockheed Martin. Lockheed Martin has said they are not going to do business with the Iranians. God bless Lockheed Martin. They could be assembling helicopters--they could be doing all kinds of things--but they recognize that they ought not to be complicit in this adventure.

It is also interesting to me to say that, a couple of minutes ago, my friend, the gentleman from New York, was echoing a criticism from the U.S. Chamber. The U.S. Chamber said this: ``Congress should avoid intervening in commercial contract agreements in instances such as these where national security matters are not involved.''

Okay. It is wrong on two counts. Number one, it is an assertion that this is a commercial deal. I am asserting that it is military, and that is true by definition. It is true by Boeing's own admission. Secondly, when do we defer to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for military and national security advice?

This is a good amendment. It is targeted. It is thoughtful. I urge its passage.


Mr. ROSKAM. I thank the gentleman for acknowledging that we are not nitpicking.

Mr. Chair, let me just say this. Look, let's set aside every other country in the world. Let's come together, and let's agree on one thing. As for the world's largest state sponsor of terror that has been involved and complicit in killing thousands of Americans--the number one of the hit parade of evil regimes that are projecting terror and malevolence--let's agree not to give them more capacity.

I urge the passage of this amendment.

Mr. Chair, I yield back the balance of my time.

Mr. ROSKAM. Mr. Chairman, similar theme, this is a limitation amendment that would prohibit the administration from being involved in expediting the financing for the Boeing sale to Iran.

I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from California (Mr. Sherman).

Mr. ROSKAM. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Quickly, there is the nuclear deal over here. There is Iran, the terrorism regime, over here. What we are focusing on is the latter, the terrorism regime.

This is a map. This is a map that was put together by the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. It shows flights.

A few weeks ago, an Airbus A300 aircraft belonging to Iran Air, which historically has been on the terrorist watch list by the way, took off from an airfield in southwestern Iran. The commercial jet left Abadan, a logistical hub for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and left for Syria. This is not a regularly scheduled flight. There is nobody with a straight face that can say these were tourists, this was commercial travel. Complete nonsense. This is illicit behavior.

Let me show you one other slide. This is from yesterday, Mr. Chair. Iran's air force flew a Boeing 747 from Tehran to Damascus yesterday, and this is the documentation of it. Iran systemically uses commercial aircraft to spread death, destruction, and mayhem; and we can do something about it.

So divorce in your mind, Mr. Chairman, the notion of the nuclear deal that the gentleman from New York was speaking about. It is completely separate. This is our ability to stop an iconic American company that has basically said: ``Well, look, somebody else is doing it.''

Let me ask you one question in closing, Mr. Chairman. When does history ever treat well the entity that said: ``I did this terrible thing because somebody else did it too''?

I urge the adoption of this amendment.

I yield back the balance of my time.


Skip to top

Help us stay free for all your Fellow Americans

Just $5 from everyone reading this would do it.

Thank You!

You are about to be redirected to a secure checkout page.

Please note:

The total order amount will read $0.01. This is a card processor fee. Please know that a recurring donation of the amount and frequency that you selected will be processed and initiated tomorrow. You may see a one-time charge of $0.01 on your statement.

Continue to secure page »

Back to top