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Prohibiting the Secretary of the Treasury From Authorizing Certain Transactions Relating to Commercial Passenger Aircraft to Iran

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. ROSKAM. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Huizenga) and also Chairman Hensarling for their consistent and persistent work on this issue.

My friend from California mentioned a minute ago her disappointment.

Well, if you want to talk about disappointment and destabilizing of the deal, just look at what the Iranians have done since the JCPOA passed.

By the way, a majority of the House of Representatives and a majority of the United States Senate, not on a partisan basis either, Mr. Speaker, voted against the JCPOA. So let's put that in context. But the President insisted, he moved along, and here we are. So let's see what we can do about it.

Before we fix it, let's look at what the Iranians have done. They are the destabilizers. There have been Iranian-supplied rockets launched at a U.S. Naval ship. Iran has fired rockets within 1,500 feet in December of last year on U.S. ships numerous times. The IRGC patrol boats have aggressively harassed U.S. ships in the Strait of Hormuz. Iran has launched numerous ballistic missile tests in violation of the U.N.

Security Council resolutions. They violated the JCPOA by producing excess heavy water. They continue to kidnap Americans and hold them for ransom.

So let's put it where it lies. The destabilizing impact doesn't belong with the United States. It doesn't belong with any statement by an American policyholder. The destabilizing nature belongs, Mr. Speaker, to the Iranian regime, the mullahs themselves.

So the gentlewoman from California said she is disappointed. Well, look, I mean, disappointment, get used to it. It is the nature of things. The nature of the disappointment is that we now have American companies that are saying: You know what? Let's go in and let's do business with a terrorist regime.

How is that?

Let's just go make a buck. That is the scandal of this. The scandal is that there are American companies, there are international companies--Boeing, Airbus--that are now making their own names inextricably linked with terror forever more. That is the scandal.

So what are we trying to do?

The gentlewoman said that the Ex-Im elements of this--I think she said--was a red herring. If not, it was words to that effect.

No, it is not so. Because if you look carefully at what the Ex-Im prohibition actually prohibits, Mr. Speaker, it prohibits the direct financing to the Iranian regime. Fine, if that is all this did, well and good. There is no reason to oppose it, then.

Of course, that is not where the Ex-Im is actually limited. Because here is what can happen: under current law, the Ex-Im Bank can do a deal with the Europeans, for example.

What can happen, then?

That can be leased under current law to the Iranians. This amendment, Mr. Huizenga's language, would prohibit that. That is what we are trying to do.

Look, think about the irony of this. You have got an administration that currently is telling Americans it is a dangerous thing to go to Iran; that you are at risk of being kidnapped if you go to Iran. At the same time--picture this, Mr. Speaker--that that is being articulated, they are also saying: We are going to help you do some business over there.

That is ridiculous. It is absurd, it is contradictory, and it is indefensible.

So here is the good news: The good news is we can do something about it. The other good news is this Iran deal has a very short shelf life because the President-elect has said he doesn't like it.

President Obama didn't do the hard work of developing a national consensus on it. If he had, it would have been a treaty and a treaty that would have bound the United States in permanency; but he didn't do that. Why? Because it was a bad idea and he couldn't sell it to Congress. So he went the easy way, did it basically by executive order.

And what goes around comes around.

So we can do some good work here today. We can move this out. Is President Obama going to sign it?
Obviously not, but that is not to say that it is not what we should do. We know what we need to do. We need to make sure that the American financial system is not complicit in this deal. We need to make sure that American taxpayers are not subsidizing this deal.

I urge the bill's passage.


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