WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) today co-sponsored the No Ransom Payments Act, which would prohibit the federal government from paying ransom. This bill would also stop the Obama Administration from making payments to Iran from the U.S. Treasury Department’s Judgment Fund until Iran returns the ransom money it received from the United States for the release of American hostages, and until it pays American victims of Iranian terrorism what they are owed.
“The Obama Administration’s latest capitulation to the world’s largest state sponsor of terror is extremely dangerous. Paying $1.7 billion for the release of American hostages, including $400 million in cash, sends a signal that the U.S. government is willing to negotiate with terrorists and pay ransom, putting even more Americans at risk. I oppose this reckless action, just as I opposed the president’s bad nuclear deal with Iran. The No Ransom Payments Act prevents future payments to Iran and demands the return of money Iran wrongly received,” said Senator Capito.
The Obama Administration paid Iran a $1.7 billion ransom payment for the release of American hostages, including a $400 million cash payment secretly delivered on an unmarked cargo plane within hours of the hostages being released. The No Ransom Payments Act would require Iran to return the $1.7 billion, prohibit the U.S. government from paying ransom and mandate sanctions against Iranians who hold or detain U.S. citizens. It would also forbid any future claims until Iran pays the more than $55 billion awarded by U.S. courts to American victims of Iranian-backed terror and to the Americans held hostage by Iran in 1979, and require certification that any funds provided to Iran will not be used for terrorism.
The No Ransom Payments Act was introduced today by Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and is co-sponsored by Senators Capito, John Cornyn (R-TX), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and John Barrasso (R-WY). A companion bill was also introduced today in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Mike Pompeo (KS-04).