Sen. Marco Rubio will introduce a new bill that would block the Obama administration from awarding Iran billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
The No Ransom Payments Act would block the administration from all further payments to Iran, require Iran to return the funds that it has already received from the U.S, and make Iran pay American terror victims $53 billion in reparations for past attacks.
Rubio's bill refers to the Obama administration paying $400 million to Iran in what the Wall Street Journal called a "tightly scripted exchange."
"President Obama's disastrous nuclear deal with Iran was sweetened with an illicit ransom payment and billions of dollars for the world's foremost state sponsor of terrorism," Rubio said in a statement to the Beacon. "The U.S. government should not be in the business of negotiating with terrorists and paying ransom money in exchange for the release of American hostages. Doing so puts more Americans in danger, as President Obama himself has admitted."
The bill is co-sponsored by Republican Sens. John Cornyn of Texas, Mark Kirk of Illinois, John Barrasso of Wyoming, and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia.
Rubio also filed a separate bill to stop the Obama administration from permitting U.S. corporations and banks from selling aircraft and mechanical parts to Iran. Meanwhile, Kansas Republican Rep. Mike Pompeo is introducing a version of the Florida senator's bill in the House of Representatives.
"The American people know this is an unacceptable use of their taxpayer dollars and we wholeheartedly agree," Pompeo told the Free Beacon. "It is unprecedented and dangerous for President Obama to be doling out millions to the Islamic Republic of Iran — in the dead of night, under wraps, and in cash."
State Department spokesman John Kirby said on "Morning Joe" that the money paid to Iran was money they were owed. As for using the money to get back American hostages, Kirby said, "I think we did use it for leverage, and we make no apologies about that because we got our American citizens back safely."
In an Aug. 23 New York Times editorial, The Times called the payment to Iran "pragmatic diplomacy, not capitulation."
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