OMAHA, NEB. – This morning, U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) released the following statement regarding recent reports of the Obama administration transferring funds to Iran:
“This week, media reports brought to light that the Obama administration has transferred $1.7 billion to Iran as part of its dangerous deal. Notably, $400 million in cash was physically transferred to Iran as American hostages were released in January. These payments, which have been reallocated to Iran's military, came directly from the U.S. Treasury Department’s Judgment Fund. Given the shroud of secrecy cloaking these payments, it took good journalistic work to unearth the details. This is not fair to American taxpayers, who are now stuck funding Iran’s military expansion.
“I am working to bolster congressional oversight of the Judgment Fund and hold this administration accountable. Recently, I introduced a bill with Senator Lankford that would enhance transparency and track taxpayer-funded payments to foreign nations. If this administration wants to deliver another payment to a regime that sponsors terror, it should first make its case to the American people.”
In January 2016, the U.S. Treasury transferred $1.7 billion from the Judgment Fund to Iran’s Central Bank. Subsequently, in May of this year, Iran’s Guardian Council approved the government’s 2017 budget, which included instructions for Iran’s Central Bank to transfer the $1.7 billion it received from the Judgement Fund to the Iranian military. The Judgment Fund is administered by the U.S. Treasury Department and is used to pay for certain court judgments and settlements against the federal government. Between 2013 and 2015, the federal government paid more than $10 billion in Judgment Fund awards with scant transparency or oversight.
In an effort to cast light on these financial transactions, Senator Fischer and Senator Lankford (R-Okla.) introduced legislation, known as the Judgment Fund Transparency and Terrorism Financing Prevention Act, that aims to track taxpayer-funded payments to foreign nations and prevent harmful settlements from happening in the future. This legislation would provide hardworking taxpayers and members of Congress the ability to see exactly how tax dollars are being spent.