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Public Statements

Entrepreneur Access to Capital Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. HOLT. Mr. Speaker, at the outset, I want to make one thing clear, which is that the passage of this amendment will not prevent the passage of the underlying bill. If this amendment were to be adopted, it would be incorporated into the bill, and the bill would be immediately voted upon.

As written, Mr. Speaker, the underlying bill would not prevent potential beneficiaries of this act from doing business with the Government of Iran, whose rogue actions threaten our interests and, through their terrorist intermediaries, the interests of our ally Israel. It's a gaping loophole that this final amendment would close.

The U.S. has a comprehensive embargo against the Government of Iran. Recent events have reminded us exactly how clever the agents of the Government of Iran can be in circumventing U.S. and international law in an effort to keep funds flowing to the Iranian clerical dictatorship. We saw that in the debate last week over a mining bill, during which a link between an American company and an Iran foreign investment company was discussed at length.

Last week, our colleague from Florida (Mr. Deutch) offered the Republican majority an opportunity to close the loopholes in the mining bill that could benefit Iranian entities. Regrettably, that amendment was defeated on a party-line vote.

I come to offer the majority another chance.

The bill on the floor today would leave the door open to similar abuses. This final amendment would close any loopholes in the embargo by targeting intermediaries--those who run Web sites or act as broker-dealers--who are seeking to provide help to unaffiliated issuers to do business around the globe.

This final amendment mandates that those who want to benefit from the provisions of this bill must not have any interest in doing business with the Government of Iran. Furthermore, they cannot be affiliated with any person who is doing business directly or indirectly with the Government of Iran.

Yes, Mr. Speaker, this is a serious amendment.

This final amendment is really a commonsense safeguard measure. We all know that money is fungible, including securities. We all know that Iran's dictatorial regime is feeling the pinch from the sanctions the United States has already imposed. The radical clerics that control Iran's government are constantly searching to get the money and goods they need to stay in power and to threaten our interests and, through their terrorist intermediaries, threaten the interests of our allies in Israel. Without this final amendment, this bill would provide them with a possible opening to do so. This final amendment to the bill will help slam shut the door for that option.

I urge all of us to support this final amendment to the bill, and I yield back the balance of my time.


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