11.06.2015 1

Did 63 House Republicans vote to funnel more tax dollars to Iran?

By Dustin HowardEdRoyse

Thomas Sowell, the brilliant economist and writer, once wrote “things that are bipartisan are often twice as bad as things that are partisan.” On Wednesday night at 11:10pm, the House again proved it. U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) noticed a loophole that enables President Barack Obama, under the Foreign Assistance Act to authorize waivers for state sponsors of terrorism to receive aid from the U.S. Export Import Bank. Meaning the American taxpayer could be forced into securing favorable terms for Iranian deals with American companies if Obama wishes it.

Seeing the absurdity of subsidizing hostile states, Rep. Royce, who chairs the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, urged his colleagues to adopt an amendment to H.R. 22 to close the loophole. When push came to shove and the votes were tallied, the amendment failed.  181 Democrats and 63 Republicans opposed this amendment.

It is a sad commentary when Democrats are so beholden to party loyalty that they will let their President enable our enemies; this a reality that no longer shocks the observer. What is shocking however, is that so many Republicans who were elected to restrain such abuses by the President would make his job even easier.

The reason? Rep. Fincher (R-Tenn.) argued that any amendment to H.R. 22 would have put the Ex-Im Bank at risk.

But Rep. Royce explicitly responded, saying, “What this fight is over, what this amendment is over, is my experience in terms of the President using waivers. I will explain to you my worry if we don’t close this loophole, which I frankly think it would be very easy to close because I think the Senate would agree with us.”

Indeed, all the Senate would have had to do was take up the Royce-amended bill, and adopt it.

Royce added, “I think we can all agree, Ex-Im supporters and opponents alike, that Iran should not be entitled to American taxpayer-financed aircraft deals.”

Rick Manning, President of ALG, reacted in a statement, “The 63 Republicans who voted against the Royce amendment are recklessly enabling our enemies, failing in their first responsibility, which is to protect national security. It is one thing to support corporate cronyism, and quite another to use taxpayer backing for state sponsors of terrorism to be the beneficiaries. Unfortunately now, when President Obama allows Iran to buy sophisticated parts and equipment by waiving the prohibitions of the Foreign Assistance Act, he knows that 63 House Republicans will stand by his side.”

The Export Import Bank is a New Deal era program that embodies corporate welfare. That’s bad enough. But that sworn enemies of the U.S. like Iran can eat from the same trough as American corporations is too much to stomach.

Rep. Royce, prior to the vote wrote in a letter to his colleagues said, “Opposition to this amendment sends the wrong message: that the Congress is not serious about addressing the threats posed by state-sponsors of terrorism. At a time when Iran is propping up the murderous Assad regime in Syria and using its terrorist proxies to threaten Israel and others, that’s a dangerous message.”

It is wholly accurate and valid for the Congressman to assert that the Congress is not serious about addressing national security, as their votes could enable Iran to deal with Boeing if Obama grants a waiver, which builds some of the most sophisticated aircraft in the world.

Transfers of technology like this can only serve to harm regional stability, and harm U.S. allies in the region. For this reason, the Republicans who voted against the amendment are in the image below, provided by American Commitment’s Phil Kerpen on Twitter.


This issue comes down to trust. It has been American policy for decades not to trust regimes that employ dishonorable means to harm innocents through terrorism. President Obama has acted outside of the prudence of this precedent with the Iran nuclear deal, and has demonstrated he is capable of using such measures to help Iran.

As such, President Obama cannot be trusted with the authority to waive the Foreign Assistance Act and grant Ex-Im loans to Iran. Unfortunately, even if by default, the “Ex-Im at any cost” Republicans’ trust is misplaced — and they will share responsibility for whatever happens with Ex-Im dollars.

Dustin Howard is the contributing editor of Americans for Limited Government.

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