STRENGTHENING OVERSIGHT OF IRAN'S ACCESS TO FINANCE ACT
(House of Representatives - December 13, 2017)

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[Congressional Record Volume 163, Number 203 (Wednesday, December 13, 2017)]
[Pages H9880-H9891]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




        STRENGTHENING OVERSIGHT OF IRAN'S ACCESS TO FINANCE ACT

  Mr. HENSARLING. Mr. Speaker, pursuant to House Resolution 658, I call 
up the bill (H.R. 4324) to require the Secretary of the Treasury to 
make certifications with respect to United States and foreign financial 
institutions' aircraft-related transactions involving Iran, and for 
other purposes, and ask for its immediate consideration in the House.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 658, in lieu of 
the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by the 
Committee on Financial Services printed in the bill, an amendment in 
the nature of a substitute consisting of the text of Rules Committee 
Print 115-48 is adopted and the bill, as amended, is considered read.
  The text of the bill, as amended, is as follows:

                               H.R. 4324

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

       This Act may be cited as the ``Strengthening Oversight of 
     Iran's Access to Finance Act''.

     SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

       The Congress finds the following:
       (1) Under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), 
     informally known as the Iran nuclear deal, the Obama 
     administration agreed to license the sale of commercial 
     passenger aircraft to Iran, the world's foremost state 
     sponsor of terrorism and a jurisdiction of primary money 
     laundering concern.
       (2) In April 2015, prior to the adoption of the JCPOA, 
     Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew, in publicly advocating 
     for its provisions, stated: ``Make no mistake: deal or no 
     deal, we will continue to use all our available tools, 
     including sanctions, to counter Iran's menacing behavior. 
     Iran knows that our host of sanctions focused on its support 
     for terrorism and its violations of human rights are not, and 
     have never been, up for discussion.''.
       (3) In March 2016 remarks to the Carnegie Endowment for 
     International Peace, Secretary Lew, in reference to U.S. 
     commitments under the JCPOA, stated: ``While we have lifted 
     the nuclear sanctions, we continue to enforce sanctions 
     directed at support for terrorism and regional 
     destabilization, and missile and human rights violations.''.
       (4) In an April 2016 forum at the Council on Foreign 
     Relations, Secretary Lew stated that, under the JCPOA, the 
     U.S. committed to lifting its nuclear sanctions, ``but the 
     U.S. financial system is not open to Iran, and that is not 
     something that is going to change''.
       (5) In September 2016, the Department of the Treasury's 
     Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued licenses 
     permitting the export of up to 97 aircraft for use by Iran 
     Air, the Islamic Republic of Iran's flagship state-owned 
     carrier. These licenses included authorization for U.S. 
     financial institutions ``to engage in all transactions 
     necessary to provide financing or other financial services'' 
     in order to effectuate the sales. In November 2016, OFAC 
     licensed an additional 106 aircraft for purchase by Iran Air, 
     which are also eligible for financing authorized by OFAC.
       (6) The Department of the Treasury had sanctioned Iran Air 
     in 2011 for its use of commercial passenger aircraft to 
     transport rockets, missiles, and other military cargo on 
     behalf of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and 
     Iran's Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics, both 
     of which had been designated under Executive Order 13382 for 
     weapons proliferation-related activities. In October 2017, 
     the IRGC went on to be designated under Executive Order 13224 
     for its support of the IRGC-Qods

[[Page H9881]]

     Force, which has provided support to terrorist groups such as 
     Hizballah, Hamas, and the Taliban.
       (7) Among Iran Air's sanctionable activities, the airline 
     delivered missile or rocket components to the Assad 
     government in Syria, which like Iran is classified as a state 
     sponsor of terrorism.
       (8) The Assad regime is responsible for a civil conflict 
     that has claimed an estimated 400,000 lives, including 
     through the government's deployment of chemical weapons and 
     barrel bombs against unarmed civilians and children.
       (9) Despite being delisted in 2016, Iran Air has continued 
     to fly known weapons resupply routes to government-controlled 
     areas of Syria. According to research by the Foundation for 
     Defense of Democracies, between Implementation Day of the 
     JCPOA on January 16, 2016, and May 4, 2017, Iran Air operated 
     at least 134 flights to Syria, which included stops in 
     Abadan, Iran, a suspected IRGC logistical hub for airlifts to 
     the Assad regime.
       (10) In November 2016 correspondence to the Chairman of the 
     House Committee on Financial Services, the Department of the 
     Treasury noted that the commitment to delist Iran Air under 
     the JCPOA ``does not affect our ability to designate, or re-
     designate, any Iranian airline that engages in sanctionable 
     activity. The United States retains the ability to designate 
     any individual or entity that engages in sanctionable 
     activities under our authorities targeting conduct outside 
     the scope of the JCPOA, including Iran's support for 
     terrorism, human rights abuses, ballistic missile program, 
     and other destabilizing activities in the region.''.
       (11) In April 2017, Iran announced a deal for Aseman 
     Airlines to purchase up to 60 commercial aircraft, a 
     transaction that would require authorization by OFAC. Aseman 
     Airlines' chief executive officer, Hossein Alaei, has for 
     decades served as a senior member of the IRGC.

     SEC. 3. CERTIFICATIONS FOR AIRCRAFT-RELATED TRANSACTIONS BY 
                   UNITED STATES AND FOREIGN FINANCIAL 
                   INSTITUTIONS.

       (a) In General.--Not later than 30 days after authorizing a 
     transaction by a United States or foreign financial 
     institution in connection with the export or re-export of a 
     commercial passenger aircraft to Iran (or, for an 
     authorization made after January 16, 2016, but before the 
     date of the enactment of this Act, not later than 60 days 
     after such date of enactment), and every 180 days thereafter 
     for the duration of the authorization, the Secretary of the 
     Treasury shall submit the report described under subsection 
     (b) to the appropriate congressional committees.
       (b) Report With Respect to Financial Institutions' Iran-
     related Transactions and Due Diligence.--With respect to a 
     financial institution and a transaction described under 
     subsection (a), a report is described under this subsection 
     if it contains--
       (1) a list of financial institutions that, since January 
     16, 2016, have conducted transactions authorized by the 
     Secretary in connection with the export or re-export of 
     commercial passenger aircraft to Iran;
       (2) either--
       (A) a certification that--
       (i) the transaction does not pose a significant money 
     laundering or terrorism financing risk to the United States 
     financial system;
       (ii) the transaction will not benefit an Iranian person 
     that, since the date that is one year preceding the date of 
     the certification--

       (I) has knowingly transported items used for the 
     proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, including 
     systems designed in whole or in part for the delivery of such 
     weapons; or
       (II) has knowingly provided transportation services or 
     material support for, or on behalf of, any person designated 
     under Executive Orders 13224, 13382, or 13572; and

       (iii) any financial institution described under subsection 
     (b)(1) has had since the date such authorization was made, 
     or, if the authorization is no longer in effect, had for the 
     duration of such authorization, appropriate policies, 
     procedures, and processes in place to avoid engaging in 
     sanctionable activities that may result from the financial 
     institutions' exposure to Iran; or
       (B) a statement that the Secretary is unable to make the 
     certification described under subparagraph (A) and a notice 
     that the Secretary will, not later than 60 days after the 
     date the determination is submitted to the appropriate 
     congressional committees, issue a report on non-certification 
     described under subsection (c) to the appropriate 
     congressional committees.
       (c) Report on Non-certification.--With respect to a 
     financial institution and a transaction described under 
     subsection (a), a report on non-certification is described 
     under this subsection if it contains--
       (1) a detailed explanation for why the Secretary is unable 
     to make the certification described under subsection (b)(2);
       (2) a notification of whether the Secretary will--
       (A) not amend the authorization of the transaction with 
     respect to a financial institution, notwithstanding such non-
     certification;
       (B) suspend the authorization until the Secretary is able 
     to make such certification;
       (C) revoke the authorization; or
       (D) otherwise amend the authorization; and
       (3) an explanation of the reasons for any action to be 
     taken described under paragraph (2).
       (d) Waiver.--The President may waive, on a case-by-case 
     basis, the provisions of this Act for up to one year at a 
     time upon certifying to the appropriate congressional 
     committees that--
       (1) the Government of Iran has--
       (A) made substantial progress towards combating money 
     laundering and terrorism financing risk emanating from Iran; 
     or
       (B) has significantly reduced Iran's--
       (i) destabilizing activities in the region; or
       (ii) material support for terrorist groups; or
       (2) such waiver is important to the national security 
     interests of the United States, with an explanation of the 
     reasons therefor.
       (e) Termination.--This section shall cease to be effective 
     on the date that is 30 days after the date on which the 
     President certifies to the appropriate congressional 
     committees that--
       (1)(A) the Secretary does not find, under section 5318A of 
     title 31, United States Code, that reasonable grounds exist 
     for concluding that Iran is a jurisdiction of primary money 
     laundering concern; and
       (B) Iran has ceased providing support for acts of 
     international terrorism; or
       (2) terminating the provisions of this section is vital to 
     the national security interests of the United States, with an 
     explanation of the reasons therefor.
       (f) Definitions.--For purposes of this section:
       (1) Appropriate congressional committees.--The term 
     ``appropriate congressional committees'' means the committees 
     on Financial Services and Foreign Affairs of the House of 
     Representatives and the committees on Banking, Housing, and 
     Urban Affairs and Foreign Relations of the Senate.
       (2) Financial institution.--The term ``financial 
     institution'' means a United States financial institution or 
     a foreign financial institution.
       (3) Foreign financial institution.--The term ``foreign 
     financial institution'' has the meaning given that term under 
     section 561.308 of title 31, Code of Federal Regulations.
       (4) Knowingly.--The term ``knowingly'', with respect to 
     conduct, a circumstance, or a result, means that a person has 
     actual knowledge, or should have known, of the conduct, the 
     circumstance, or the result.
       (5) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary 
     of the Treasury.
       (6) United states financial institution.--The term ``United 
     States financial institution'' has the meaning given the term 
     ``U.S. financial institution'' under section 561.309 of title 
     31, Code of Federal Regulations.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The bill, as amended, shall be debatable for 
1 hour equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority 
member of the Committee on Financial Services.
  After 1 hour of debate, it shall be in order to consider the further 
amendment printed in part B of House Report 115-463, if offered by the 
Member designated in the report, which shall be considered read, shall 
be separately debatable for the time specified in the report equally 
divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent, and shall not 
be subject to a demand for a division of the question.
  The gentleman from Texas (Mr. Hensarling) and the gentlewoman from 
California (Ms. Maxine Waters) each will control 30 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Texas.

                              {time}  1730


                             General Leave

  Mr. HENSARLING. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members 
may have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks 
and submit extraneous material on the bill under consideration.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Texas?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. HENSARLING. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to support H.R. 4324, which is a 
commonsense piece of legislation sponsored by my good friend and fellow 
Texan, Mr. Williams. His work as a member of the Financial Services 
Committee and as vice chairman of the Monetary Policy and Trade 
Subcommittee has been invaluable.
  Mr. Speaker, as our colleagues know, under the Iran nuclear bill, 
also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, the 
Obama administration committed the U.S. to license the sale of aircraft 
to Iran.
  In addition to authorizing the sales, these licenses have authorized 
banks to engage in financing, even though Iran remains classified by 
the Treasury Department as a jurisdiction of primary money laundering 
concern. On top of that, the State Department continues to label Iran 
as the world's foremost state sponsor of terrorism.
  The recipient of these aircraft would be Iran Air, the state-owned 
airline that was sanctioned as recently as 2011 for supporting the 
Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which itself has been designated by 
the Trump administration as a terrorist organization. So, Mr. Speaker, 
so far, so bad.
  And yet, while I and many of my colleagues from both sides of the 
aisle find these aircraft sales and their financing deeply disturbing, 
Mr. Williams' bill is about something far, far simpler. All

[[Page H9882]]

his bill would do is bring about the implications of the aircraft 
finance for Iran out into the sunlight. In other words, Mr. Speaker, it 
is a reporting requirement--nothing more, nothing less.
  It would simply require Treasury to help Congress understand who is 
involved in these transactions. If it is an airline, has that airline 
stopped supporting terrorists or other sanctioned persons. If it is a 
bank, does that bank have the due diligence in place to guard against 
the immense illicit finance risk endemic to Iran.
  All this legislation does is have Treasury certify this information 
for Congress. And, if Treasury can't make those certifications, it 
simply has to notify us what plans it has in response, even if it has 
no plans in response.
  So, when we hear today from the other side of the aisle how this bill 
may impose new conditions on Iran or somehow stand in the way of 
commitments under the JCPOA, I suggest, again, everyone read the bill. 
It is simple. It is common sense. In fact, we should be considering 
this under the expedited process of the suspension calendar.
  This legislation provides, again, for a simple reporting requirement, 
Mr. Speaker; that is it, a reporting requirement.
  If my friends who oppose this bill don't care enough to even request 
the information from the executive branch, especially information that 
may reveal the use of their constituents' bank deposits for the benefit 
of enablers of terrorism, well, Mr. Speaker, that is a sad, sad day for 
congressional oversight and a sad day for the United States Congress.
  But there are people who have read the bill, if everybody in this 
institution hasn't, people, for example, associated with the Foundation 
for Defense of Democracies, who wrote recently in a November 22 policy 
brief for the Foundation's Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance: 
``The proposed bill supports Treasury's robust licensing approval 
process by codifying steps that are likely already central to the 
Department's evaluation process.''
  They go on to write, Mr. Speaker: ``While not imposing any new 
standards for the approval of sales to Iran, codifying the existing 
standards in law through this bill makes the licensing process more 
transparent and gives the American people--through their elected 
representatives--a clear picture of a significant component of the 
sanctions relief provided to Iran under the nuclear agreement.''
  Mr. Speaker, I include this report in the Record.

    [From the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Nov. 22, 2017]

   Congress Supports Financial Transparency for Iranian Transactions

                   (By Annie Fixler, Tyler Stapleton)

       The House Financial Services Committee approved last week 
     the Strengthening Oversight of Iran's Access to Finance Act, 
     which codifies in law a set of conditions that the U.S. 
     Treasury must use to evaluate licenses for the sale of 
     commercial aircraft to Iran.
       The bill requires the secretary of the Treasury to report 
     within 30 days whether transactions related to the export and 
     re-export of aircraft to Iran pose a ``significant money 
     laundering or terrorism financing risk to the United States 
     financial system.'' The secretary must also determine whether 
     the transactions benefit any Iranian person that has 
     knowingly transported or otherwise supported the 
     proliferation of weapons of mass destruction or provided 
     material support to persons included on Treasury's sanctions 
     lists. If the secretary cannot certify that the transaction 
     meets these conditions, he must explain whether the licenses 
     authorizing the transaction will be revoked, modified, or 
     remain valid despite the potential for illicit transactions 
     or benefits going to sanctioned persons.
       Under the July 2015 nuclear agreement known as the Joint 
     Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, the United States 
     committed to allowing the sale of commercial aircraft to Iran 
     provided the planes are used ``exclusively for commercial 
     passenger aviation.'' The JCPOA specifically states that if 
     aircraft are either used for a prohibited purpose or 
     transferred or re-sold to individuals or entities on 
     Washington's sanctions lists, the U.S. would view this as 
     grounds to cease its approval of aircraft sales--but, by 
     implication, not abrogate the nuclear deal in full.
       Upon the implementation of the JCPOA in January 2016, 
     Treasury issued a Statement of Licensing Policy (SLP) and 
     additional guidance reiterating and expanding on the relevant 
     language from the nuclear deal. The SLP and related guidance 
     indicate that Treasury would view license applications 
     favorably but would review applications on a case-by-case 
     basis and ``include appropriate conditions to ensure'' that 
     no sanctioned persons were involved in the transaction.
       The SLP and related guidance are clearly consistent with 
     the JCPOA, which does not require the United States to issue 
     licenses for aircraft sales without conditions. Accordingly, 
     the SLP does not guarantee that all applications will be 
     approved. If Washington determines that certain criteria are 
     necessary in order to ensure that commercial aircraft are 
     used appropriately, it is permitted to reject an application 
     that does not meet those criteria.
       The proposed bill supports Treasury's robust licensing 
     approval process by codifying steps that are likely already 
     central to the department's evaluation process. First, for 
     more than two decades, Treasury has been at the forefront of 
     efforts to implement global anti-money laundering and 
     counter-terrorism financing standards. The bill emphasizes 
     that these standards should be a critical component in the 
     evaluation of licenses vis-a-vis Iranian aircraft 
     transactions. Second, the bill's requirement that no persons 
     knowingly supporting proliferation benefit from the deal 
     mirrors Treasury's statement that no persons on sanctions 
     lists be involved in the transactions.
       While not imposing any new standards for the approval of 
     sales to Iran, codifying the existing standards in law 
     through this bill makes the licensing process more 
     transparent and gives the American people--through their 
     elected representatives--a clearer picture of a significant 
     component of the sanctions relief provided to Iran under the 
     nuclear agreement.
       The most novel component of the bill is that it requires 
     the secretary of the Treasury to issue a report listing all 
     U.S. or foreign financial institutions that have conducted 
     authorized transactions in connection with the export or re-
     export of commercial aircraft to Iran. While not classified, 
     this information is not currently part of the public record. 
     Objections to the publication of a list of companies and 
     banks involved in aircraft sales revolve around exposing 
     businesses to reputational risks for transacting with Iran. 
     Yet it is unavoidable for there to be reputational risk for 
     doing business--even legal business--with the world's leading 
     state sponsor of terrorism.

  Mr. HENSARLING. In closing, Mr. Speaker, the gentleman, my fellow 
Texan, has given all Members an opportunity, no matter what their views 
on the JCPOA, the Iran nuclear deal, to simply support transparency and 
Congress' right to basic information. I hope that my colleagues will 
seize that opportunity.
  And, again, I thank Mr. Williams from Texas for his leadership and 
his excellent work.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. MAXINE WATERS of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to 
the gentleman from Connecticut (Mr. Himes), a senior member of the 
Financial Services Committee and the Intelligence Committee.
  Mr. HIMES. Mr. Speaker, I thank the ranking member for yielding me 
time.
  Mr. Speaker, I respectfully disagree with the chairman of the 
Financial Services Committee. This is not simply the gathering of 
information. This is not simply oversight.
  Under H.R. 4324, a condition would be imposed on the sale of 
commercial aircraft to Iran. The Iran nuclear deal was very clear. It 
is broadly committed to ``allow for the sale of commercial passenger 
aircraft and related parts and services to Iran.'' The only condition 
on the U.S. commitment is that ``licensed items and services be used 
exclusively for commercial passenger aviation.''
  H.R. 4324 would impose a new condition, a new condition which would 
require certification by the Secretary of State and all of the process 
that would ensue.
  It is not a stretch--in fact, it is fairly clear--that if H.R. 4324 
were to pass, the Iranians and others could credibly claim that we have 
violated our obligations under the JCPOA. Now, nobody should be 
surprised by that.
  Despite the advice of his National Security Advisor, despite the 
advice of the Secretary of Defense, despite the advice of pretty much 
everyone around him, President Trump chose not to recertify Iranian 
compliance with the Iran nuclear deal.
  We have seen bill after bill, including the bill just voted on, 
attempting to reverse the Iran nuclear deal, and we have heard this 
since this deal first came to the floor.
  Let's reflect for one second on what the implications are:
  This bill puts the Iran nuclear deal at risk. It arguably takes 
American aircraft manufacturers out of competition for lucrative 
contracts. My colleague from Washington will address this shortly.

[[Page H9883]]

  I don't understand how putting American jobs at risk and taking 
American manufacturers out of contention in favor of companies like 
Airbus is about keeping America great again. I don't understand why, 
when we focus on jobs, this should be an action we should take.
  However, I will say something, and I speak as a member of the 
Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Prior to the passage of the 
Iran nuclear deal, it is not an exaggeration to say I didn't worry 
every night in a way that we worry today about North Korea. I went to 
bed every night thinking about Iranian centrifuges spinning, about 
military technology being created that could ultimately deliver a 
nuclear weapon to Israel or to Europe or to the United States, and our 
intelligence community believed that we were 2 to 3 months away from an 
Iranian nuclear weapon, kind of where we are today on North Korea.
  I suspect everybody in this Chamber doesn't want to be where we are 
on North Korea with another state, with Iran.
  I understand the skepticism on Iran, and I agree with everything that 
the chairman said with respect to Iran being a state sponsor of 
terrorism, with Iran being a location of money laundering, and I could 
go on, with Iran being an absolutely appalling regime.
  But I speak as a member of the Intelligence Committee for a lot of 
people in this room when I say that, for the first time in a long time 
subsequent to the passage of the Iran deal, whatever you think of 
Iran--and not many of us think much of Iran--we don't go to bed every 
single night worrying about the possibility of waking up to a nuclear-
weaponized Iran.
  Why would we put that at risk?
  I agree with the chairman that transparency is important, and I agree 
with everybody that Iran needs to be watched very, very skeptically. 
But why would we want to be with Iran exactly where we are today with 
North Korea?
  Is this effort, which, in my opinion, is simply a continuation of the 
efforts to end the Iran deal, to reverse President Obama's legacy, is 
it worth going to bed at night not just worried about North Korea, but 
worried about Iran? I would suggest that it is not.
  I don't want to go back to the pre-Iran deal era when I became an 
expert on centrifuges, on Uranium-235, on hardened bunkers and the 
weaponry that we produced to penetrate hardened bunkers and to the 
realization that, if we had to go to war against Iran to prevent a 
nuclear Iran, the consequences would be as awful as if we went to war 
with North Korea to prevent a North Korea nuclear-weaponized state.
  Why would we do this? Why would we put at risk a deal that has given 
comfort to a lot of us for some period of time?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Ms. MAXINE WATERS of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield an additional 1 
minute to the gentleman from Connecticut.
  Mr. HIMES. Mr. Speaker, this deal is not a perfect deal. I don't know 
that there are perfect deals in this realm. But I do know that, for the 
next 7, 8, or 9 years, we are not going to have the worry that so many 
of us had before the Iran deal.
  Let's engage on that. Let's figure out what comes behind the Iran 
deal. Let's figure out other ways to address the behavior of Iran with 
respect to terrorism and the money laundering. Let's remember that this 
deal was about removing the existential threat, not making Iran a 
perfect regime, but removing the existentia threat to the United States 
of America, and let's not put that deal at risk.

  Mr. Speaker, I thank the ranking member, and I urge a strong ``no'' 
vote against this legislation.
  Mr. HENSARLING. Mr. Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. Williams), my friend, the sponsor of this legislation, and a 
great member of the Financial Services Committee.
  Mr. WILLIAMS. Mr. Speaker, it is truly a privilege to speak in 
support of my bill, H.R. 4324, the Strengthening Oversight of Iran's 
Access to Finance Act.
  Mr. Speaker, H.R. 4324 will improve congressional oversight of any 
financing that Treasury authorizes for aircraft sales to Iran.
  Every 6 months, Treasury would need to certify to us that finance 
authorizations would not benefit an Iranian person who is transporting 
items for the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction nor 
providing transportation for sanctioned entities. Treasury would also 
have to certify to us that those authorizations don't pose a 
significant money laundering or terrorism finance risk to the U.S. 
financial system, and that any banks engaging in this business have 
appropriate due diligence procedures in place. If the Treasury 
Department cannot make this certification, the Department must tell us 
why, and it must explain to Congress the course of action it intends to 
take.
  I note that my bill was reported out of the Financial Services 
Committee last month by a vote of 38-21, with five of my Democratic 
colleagues voting in its favor.

                              {time}  1745

  Many of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle will label this 
bill as a simple attempt to dismantle the Obama administration's Iran 
nuclear deal. We have already heard it.
  Mr. Speaker, this debate is not about U.S. commitments under the 
Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA. It is not about 
reimposing nuclear sanctions. It is not about prohibiting these 
aircraft sales or the financing of these sales.
  What this legislation is about is providing Congress with information 
on the implications of these deals so that we can better understand 
their impact on the integrity of our financial system.
  I would like to take a step back and discuss how we got to this point 
and why this legislation is necessary. As most of you know, under the 
JCPOA, the Obama administration committed the United States to license 
the sale of commercial aircraft to Iran. In addition to providing 
licenses for aircraft sales, the licenses also allowed for banks to 
engage in the financing of these aircraft.
  All of this was permitted, despite the fact that Iran remained 
classified as a jurisdiction to primary money laundering concern by the 
Treasury Department and as the world's foremost state sponsor of terror 
by the State Department.
  Let us be abundantly clear on the facts. It was the Obama Treasury 
Department that highlighted the role that Iran and Iranian aircraft 
played in the destabilizing activity across the Middle East and in 
supporting the atrocities committed by the rogue Assad regime in Syria.
  On September 9, 2012, David S. Cohen, the Treasury Undersecretary for 
Terrorism and Financial Intelligence under President Obama, released 
the following statement:
  ``The identification of Iranian aircraft also further highlights 
Iran's ongoing effort to support the Assad regime's weapons of mass 
destruction programs and crackdown against the Syrian people.''
  This quote followed the Treasury Department's announcement to impose 
sanctions against entities that support the Assad regime in Syria.
  So quoting from the same September 9, 2012, Treasury statement: ``As 
a result of the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act, 
foreign financial institutions that knowingly engage in significant 
transactions with . . . Iran Air, Mahan Air, or Yas Air, including any 
of 117 aircraft operated by these airlines, risk losing access to the 
U.S. banking system.''
  Mr. Speaker, this week I received a memo from the National Iranian 
American Council urging members to oppose my bill. This is the same 
council that opposes President Trump's travel ban, which was recently 
upheld by a Supreme Court decision of 7-2, and the same organization 
that took concern with new sanctions imposed on Iran's support for 
Hezbollah.
  This memo and the pro-Iran principles that it represents could not be 
a better endorsement for the Strengthening Oversight of Iran's Access 
to Finance Act.
  I would ask this to my colleagues on both sides: At what point did we 
relegate ourselves to negotiating with those who wish us harm? At what 
point did we prioritize the interest of a rogue government that paints 
their bombs with sayings like ``Death to Israel'' and ``Death to 
America''? When did that happen?

[[Page H9884]]

  There are simply two sides to this issue. You can either protect the 
interests of the United States, her citizens, and the U.S. financial 
institutions, or you can make important the wishes of the Ayatollah and 
his revolutionary guard.
  Which side do you choose to be on? That is the question.
  I represent the red, white, and blue.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. HENSARLING. Mr. Speaker, I yield an additional 30 seconds to the 
gentleman from Texas.
  Mr. WILLIAMS. My commitment to the safety and well-being of these 
United States is unwavering.
  I urge my colleagues to do the same: support the red, white, and 
blue, and support H.R. 4324.
  Ms. MAXINE WATERS of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such 
time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, H.R. 4324, the Strengthening Oversight of Iran's Access 
to Finance Act, would impose a new and unilateral certification 
requirement on the administration in order to meet current U.S. 
obligations under the Iran nuclear deal known as the Joint 
Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, with respect to the sale and 
financing of commercial passenger aircraft to Iran.
  This certification requirement would call for the Treasury Secretary 
to consider factors that fall well outside the scope of the nuclear 
deal and beyond the specific conditions that the U.S. is allowed to 
place on the license of commercial aircraft to Iran under the nuclear 
accord.
  By moving the goal posts on our commitments under the deal, H.R. 4324 
clearly aims to force the United States into a violation of the 
agreement. Under the Iran nuclear deal, the United States is broadly 
committed to allow for the sale of commercial passenger aircraft and 
related parts and services to Iran. This involves licensing the sale of 
aircraft and related parts and services to Iran, including the 
financing for such sales.
  Under the JCPOA Annex II, the only condition on the U.S. commitment 
is that licensed items and services must be used exclusively for 
commercial passenger aviation. Moreover, the only allowable conditions 
the U.S. can place on authorizations for the sale of commercial 
passenger aircraft to Iran apply to the licensed aircraft themselves 
and the use of such licensed aircraft, not on activities or services 
provided that have no relationship to the licensed aircraft or related 
goods or services.
  Yet, H.R. 4324 would impose new conditions on the licensed sale of 
aircraft to Iran, including, notably, the condition that the recipient 
airline has not used nonlicensed aircraft for purposes other than 
commercial passenger aviation. That is, under this bill, the 
administration would have to certify that Iran is not engaged in 
certain activity unrelated to Iran's nuclear conduct but also unrelated 
to the use of the aircraft itself. If the Treasury Secretary is unable 
to make such a difficult certification, the Secretary must then report 
to Congress as to whether the Secretary intends to suspend, revoke, 
amend, or approve, notwithstanding such noncertification, any license 
facilitating the sale of commercial aircraft to Iran.

  Supporters of the bill will likely note that the bill will not 
require the Secretary of the Treasury to suspend or revoke an 
authorization in the event that the Secretary is unable to make the 
necessary certification, but the obvious political conclusion is that 
the Secretary will be forced to revoke such license if the Secretary is 
unwilling to make the certification.
  As we have now seen, the President detests the fact that his 
administration has to take affirmative steps to keep the deal in place, 
and he refused to do so. In the case of the last recurring 90-day 
congressional certification requirement, proponents of this bill 
undoubtedly hope Trump will react the same way to these additional 
certifications and block the sale of commercial aircraft, which is a 
key element of the deal.
  In a break from reason and logic, this legislation plays directly 
into the hands of the President, who is desperate to find any pretext 
to say that Iran is in violation of the deal or to force Iran to walk 
away, and thereby, avoid having to take the blame for pulling the plug 
on the deal.
  But let me be clear. By seeking to render impermissible that which is 
expressly permitted by the JCPOA, the legislation is clearly intended 
to undermine the nuclear agreement.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. HENSARLING. Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the gentleman from 
Kentucky (Mr. Barr), the chairman of the Financial Services 
Subcommittee on Monetary Policy and Trade.
  Mr. BARR. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of the Strengthening 
Oversight of Iran's Access to Finance Act introduced by my good friend, 
the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Williams).
  Since the seizure of the U.S. Embassy and the taking of 66 American 
hostages during the 1979 revolution, Iran has taken a long view on its 
global ambition, supporting terrorist proxies like Hamas, Hezbollah, 
and the Houthis in Yemen.
  From 1983, when Iran-supported Hezbollah bombed a U.S. Marines 
barracks in Lebanon, killing 243 servicemembers, to the killing of over 
500 soldiers in Iraq by the elite Quds Force leader, Qasem Soleimani, 
Iran has earned its reputation as the world's leading state sponsor of 
terrorism.
  Most recently, Iran Air, an Iranian state-owned airline, was 
sanctioned by the Treasury Department in 2011 for using its commercial 
passenger aircraft to transport weapons to terrorists helping the Assad 
regime in Syria and for transporting military cargo to the Islamic 
Revolutionary Guard Corps. This is in addition to what the world 
already well knows, that the Iranian regime has covered up and lied 
about its nuclear program for decades, deceiving international 
inspectors, agreeing to intrusive inspections, and then allowing those 
inspections to be implemented only provisionally and selectively.
  Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, regularly chants ``Death 
to America'' and ultimately calls for the annihilation of the Jewish 
people.
  In 2015, the Obama administration made a historic mistake by agreeing 
to the ill-conceived Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or as it is 
also called, the Iran nuclear agreement or JCPOA. The agreement removed 
financial sanctions on Iran, enabling greater financial resources for 
Iranian-funded terrorism.
  Adding insult to injury, later, in 2016, due to the agreement, the 
Obama Treasury Department authorized the sale of more than 200 planes 
to Iran, the same Iranian airline that was sanctioned in 2011, and the 
Department also authorized U.S. banks to finance these transactions. 
But there is evidence that the carrier has continued its illicit 
behavior.
  According to an April 2017 hearing in our subcommittee, Dr. Emanuele 
Ottolenghi, a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of 
Democracies, testified that Iran Air operated at least 114 flights to 
Syria between January 16, 2016, which was Implementation Day of the 
JCPOA, and March 30, 2017. These flights are known as weapons resupply 
routes and stopovers in Iran with a suspected IRGC logistical hub that 
supports airlifts to the Assad regime.
  In communications with the committee, Dr. Ottolenghi later confirmed 
that Iran Air had run at least 134 such flights between Implementation 
Day and May 4, 2017, which means the Iran nuclear agreement facilitated 
Iran helping the brutal murderous regime of Assad.
  In exchange, what did the United States get out of this?
  Only managed access to suspect nuclear sites in which international 
inspectors must appeal to Iran, Russia, and China in a bureaucratic 
process that takes at least 24 days, during which Iran can remove 
anything covert and in violation of the agreement.
  International inspectors have also been denied access to military 
sites, the most likely places in Iran where illicit nuclear activity is 
occurring. But even if the JCPOA was delivering on its core promise of 
a denuclearized Iran, the agreement was sold with specific assurance 
that the JCPOA would not limit the United States' ability to stop 
Iran's nonnuclear activities and their support of terror activities.
  Then Secretary of State John Kerry, in defense of the agreement, 
selling the

[[Page H9885]]

agreement to Democrats and Republicans in the Congress, testified that: 
``If we catch them funding terrorism, they are going to have a problem 
with the U.S. Congress.''
  Mr. Speaker, apparently not, because Members of Congress don't have a 
problem with this evidence that Iran is funding terrorist proxies and 
the Assad regime.
  For these reasons, it is imperative that Congress pass the 
Strengthening Oversight of Iran's Access to Finance Act, which would 
require the Treasury to provide a report to Congress describing these 
connections. This is a reporting bill. Even if you support the JCPOA, 
you should support congressional oversight.

  Ms. MAXINE WATERS of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to 
the gentleman from Washington (Mr. Heck), a member of the Financial 
Services Committee, so he can clear up some of the information that we 
just heard.
  Mr. HECK. Mr. Speaker, I thank the ranking member for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, I want to start with a question.
  Why is this bill so long?
  Last year, we had a bill, H.R. 5729, to block the sale of Boeing 
aircraft to Iran. It was short and clear. It was only 2 pages long. I 
didn't like it and I didn't support it; but the truth is, I always 
respect people putting forth their honest beliefs.
  H.R. 5729, last year, blocked the licenses to sell U.S. planes--
straightforward. Torpedoing the plane sales endangered the JCPOA 
because, as we have indicated, it is an affirmative requirement and an 
obligation on the U.S. to approve plane sales if a sales agreement is 
reached. That was part of the deal: You won't build or continue to 
develop nuclear weapons, we will do certain things, including sell you 
planes.
  Everyone knew what the bill would do and they could decide if they 
thought that was a good idea or a bad idea. It was very 
straightforward. It was effectively a proxy on the JCPOA.
  This year, we have another bill to block the sale of aircraft to 
Iran. It is neither short nor clear. In fact, it is six times as long 
as last year's bill.

                              {time}  1800

  It subjects the licenses to an ongoing and complex certification 
requirement. It literally names and shames U.S. banks providing 
financing. And, again, it does this purposefully so that it might deter 
the sale of airplanes so that it might undermine the JCPOA.
  Frankly, what I interpret, what I have heard this evening, is 
tantamount to that. This is, yet again, a proxy on the JCPOA. If you 
are against the JCPOA, vote ``yes.'' If you are for it, vote ``no.''
  This bill, however, obscures its end purpose, that objective of 
undermining the JCPOA behind process and ambiguity. Why?
  If you oppose the sale of aircraft, oppose it. Have the courage of 
your convictions. Don't just engage in this fearmongering. No matter 
how many times you say that people in Iran chant ``Death to Israel, 
Death to America,'' and whatever other form of fearmongering you engage 
in, at least have the courage of your own convictions. You did last 
year.
  Stand up for what you believe in. If you want Iran to buy Airbus 
aircraft instead of Boeing aircraft, then say that. Stand up for 
yourself. Stand up for what you believe.
  But let's be clear. That is what this bill will do. Don't dance 
around.
  For my part, I think blocking the sale of American planes is a big 
mistake on so many levels. Let's be clear. It doesn't deny Iran the use 
of aircraft; it just will deny them American-made aircraft. It will 
deny American machinists jobs to work on them.
  And need I remind anybody here what it means to be an engineer or a 
machinist at an aircraft company in this country? It means the kind of 
jobs that we all aspire to for our constituents. You know the kind; the 
kind that pay enough that you can buy a home, have decent healthcare, 
save enough money to send your kid to college if you want to, have 
regular vacations, and have a secure retirement. Those are the kinds of 
jobs we are taking away if we pass this bill.
  It doesn't just prevent Iran from misusing aircraft, as has been 
suggested. It just prevents Americans from having maintenance and 
service agreements that keep eyes on the aircraft because, you see, if 
Airbus sells them these planes, we have no idea. If they are American-
made planes, they come with after-sale maintenance and service 
agreements. We will have eyes on the planes.
  It doesn't force Iran back to the bargaining table. It just 
jeopardizes and cuts the legs out from under the gains we have made in 
the JCPOA that I thought my colleague and friend from Connecticut spoke 
about so eloquently. We don't go to sleep at night worried that Iran is 
getting closer to a bomb, as we would have, as North Korea has.
  So my friends, in summary, passage of this legislation will do three 
things:
  Number one, it will cost America jobs, and good-paying jobs;
  Number two, it will make us less safe because it will undermine the 
JCPOA and, in so doing, not allow us to ensure that these planes are 
not being used for a nefarious purpose;
  And number three, it will actually make us less safe as well, in the 
sense that if it does, in fact, defeat the purpose of JCPOA-- The 
SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Walberg). The time of the gentleman has 
expired.
  Ms. MAXINE WATERS of California. I yield an additional 1 minute to 
the gentleman from Washington.
  Mr. HECK. If it does cut the legs out from JCPOA, as is its purpose, 
as is clear, then, of course, we are back on the track of Iran 
developing nuclear weapons as North Korea has. Fewer jobs and less 
safe; not sure what it is about that proposition that would be 
appealing to anyone.
  So, my friends, I urge you, in the strongest terms possible, be for 
American jobs. Be for America being safer. Be for us living up to our 
commitments, and vote ``no'' on this legislation.
  Mr. HENSARLING. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
New York (Mr. Zeldin), a member of the Financial Services Committee.
  Mr. ZELDIN. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 4324, which I 
cosponsor, the Strengthening Oversight of Iran's Access to Finance Act, 
introduced by Congressman Roger Williams.
  I stand with the courage of my convictions while I listen to others 
stand with the courage, apparently, of a conviction to coddle the 
world's largest state sponsor of terrorism.
  I have a problem, and I am not going to apologize for it, and my 
colleagues aren't going to apologize for it; when we have an adversary 
of our Nation overthrowing foreign governments, financing terror, 
developing intercontinental ballistic missiles in violation of U.N. 
Security Council resolutions, calling Israel the Little Satan and 
America the Great Satan, pledging to wipe Israel off the map, chanting 
``Death to America.''
  Just a few weeks ago, the CIA dropped 470,000 documents collected in 
May of 2011, in the raid of Osama bin Laden's compound. In those 
documents, it shows a strong relationship between Iran and al-Qaida, 
and Iran offering finance and arms for carrying out attacks against 
America.
  I signed up to run for the United States Congress and take an oath to 
protect this country, and, right now, while we are here this holiday 
season--tonight is the second night of Hanukkah. We are about to have 
Christmas, New Year's--we have people who are overseas, sometimes on 
their 8th, 9th, 10th deployment, willing to risk everything in defense 
of our freedoms and liberties, putting themselves in harm's way.
  So when 10 Navy sailors end up getting held hostage and embarrassed 
with photography and videography, being shamed by the Iranians, and 
then we say, as a matter of response, thank you? That was our response 
when they released our 10 detained Navy sailors.
  And you want to question the conviction of Congressman Williams 
introducing legislation that is incredibly important for protecting the 
United States and our servicemembers and our allies; and you want to 
mock us for having a problem with them chanting ``Death to America?'' 
Whose side are you on?

  For anyone who has the courage of conviction to coddle the world's 
largest state sponsor of terror.
  Since the U.S. entered the JCPOA, Iran's state-owned airline, Iran 
Air,

[[Page H9886]]

has used its access to the U.S. aviation industry to purchase planes 
that aided the Assad regime in carrying out its war crimes in Syria 
against its own citizens, innocent women and children.
  Courage of convictions to stand with the United States, with our 
allies, and on behalf of the women and children being targeted by the 
Assad regime in Syria. We have a problem with that, and we want to do 
something about it.
  Don't try to shame us into being apologetic and unwilling and afraid 
to stand up for all of those right principles. That is the courage and 
conviction that I stand up with today, with Congressman Williams, with 
Chairman Hensarling, and all the others who are encouraging a strong 
``yes'' vote for more accountability, for a stronger national defense, 
for a better future.
  Ms. MAXINE WATERS of California. Mr. Speaker, I would like everybody 
to know we are not trying to shame anybody. If we were going to shame 
someone, we would shame them and that party about connection to Russia.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to the gentleman from North Carolina 
(Mr. Price), an ardent supporter of the Iran nuclear agreement.
  Mr. PRICE of North Carolina. Mr. Speaker, I stand in opposition to 
this bill. The Iran nuclear agreement stands as a major diplomatic 
achievement that has destroyed Iran's capacity to develop a nuclear 
weapon.
  Detractors point to Iran's bad behavior in other realms--ballistic 
missiles, support for Hezbollah, violations of human rights. We 
acknowledge these problems. Nobody is talking about coddling Iran or 
apologizing for Iran. I resent that implication by the last speaker.
  The fact is, we take these problems and these challenges very, very 
seriously; but we also note that there is not a one of them that 
wouldn't be much more serious if we were dealing with a nuclear-capable 
state. So we have got to protect this agreement. We have got to be wary 
of any proposals that would directly or indirectly threaten it.
  And that brings us to the bill before us, H.R. 4324, the so-called 
Strengthening Oversight of Iran's Access to Finance Act, which would 
make it much more difficult for Iran to purchase commercial aircraft 
from firms that do business with the United States.
  Now, as we all know, Iran's ability to replenish its aging civil 
aviation fleet, which was depleted by decades of sanctions, was a key 
incentive for Tehran to sign on to the JCPOA.
  Kenneth Katzman of the Congressional Research Service said: ``Iran 
would view the bill's enactment into law as a breach of the JCPOA. The 
agreement contains a clear U.S. commitment to undertake such sales to 
Iran.''
  But this bill imposes reporting and certification requirements that 
could well prompt the Treasury Department to cease issuing licenses 
allowing for such sales if this certification were to be contingent on 
non-nuclear factors, factors outside the deal.
  Richard Nephew, the lead sanctions expert for the U.S. negotiating 
team, put it this way. He said: ``My take on this bill is that, if 
implemented the way I expect, it probably would violate the JCPOA.''
  Now, I suppose we have to entertain the possibility that that 
actually is what the authors of this bill have in mind. Maybe that is 
the idea, to give the Trump administration and the Iranian hardliners a 
way of sabotaging the agreement.
  Already, President Trump has tried to undermine the JCPOA by refusing 
to certify Iran's compliance with the deal when, by all accounts, Iran 
is, in fact, complying.
  Now, by directly blocking a specific provision of the agreement, 
namely, the permissible sale of commercial passenger aircraft, this 
legislation would send a clear message to Iran that the United States 
does not negotiate in good faith. It would imply that we expect to have 
it both ways, with Iran dismantling its nuclear facilities and getting 
nothing in return.
  The bill before us today would also break faith with our P5+1 
negotiating partners in a reckless and dangerous way.
  Because of this agreement, Mr. Speaker, the breakout time for Iran to 
develop enough weapons-grade material for a nuclear weapon went from 2 
or 3 months to more than a year.
  Because of this agreement, the international community has 24/7 
access to Iran's nuclear sites, an unprecedented degree of access, 
intrusive inspections.
  And because of this agreement, we possess an enforcement mechanism to 
ensure Iran's compliance. Why on Earth would we give up these 
capabilities by failing to uphold our end of the bargain?
  That is the way agreements work. We uphold our end of the bargain. We 
don't sabotage agreement by deceptive legislation like that bill before 
us.
  So, in light of renewed tensions on the Korean Peninsula, now is 
especially not the time for the United States to go back on its word to 
our allies and to the international community.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to vote ``no'' on H.R. 4324.
  Mr. HENSARLING. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Arkansas (Mr. Hill), an outstanding member of the Financial Services 
Committee.
  Mr. HILL. Mr. Speaker, I thank my friend, Mr. Williams, for 
introducing H.R. 4324, the Strengthening Oversight of Iran's Access to 
Finance Act. This act is needed.
  Tonight, we are not here to rehash the failings of the JCPOA, but we 
are really here to honor Secretary Kerry's commitment of oversight of 
Iran outside that agreement. He made it quite clear to Congress in his 
briefings that we would monitor the world's largest exporter of terror 
around the world; that we would do everything outside the agreement to 
enforce sanctions; that we would not stop reviewing their behavior.
  This piece of legislation comes at an important time, as the Trump 
administration is taking significant steps to protect our homeland by 
reviewing actions around rogue regimes and sponsors of terror around 
the world, including Iran.
  Now, my friend from Washington brought up the subject of the American 
worker, and, of course, we all are blessed by the brilliance and 
success of Boeing. We couldn't come to our jobs without them.
  But there are 5,000 airlines in the world, Mr. Speaker. There are 
10,000 Boeing aircraft in service, and there are 5,700 airplanes on 
order from the Boeing corporation to help make up that $41 billion of 
annual revenue.
  The question here is not about selling airplanes, the question here 
is about protecting the homeland and interests of our country around 
the world.
  Unfortunately, civil aviation is commingled with military Quds Force 
action; not just in what has been said tonight about transporting 
military action to Syria, supporting a war that has killed some 500,000 
people, but what about Boeing transport from Damascus to Caracas?

                              {time}  1815

  What about the Boeing aircraft operated by the Iranian regime back 
and forth between Russia and Iran, back and forth between Tehran and 
Damascus, between Damascus and Venezuela?
  It is not just the civilian aircraft, Mr. Speaker, and that is why we 
want to be alert, and our American citizens need to know if their bank 
deposits are being used to extend credit to a regime that seeks 
pleasure in murdering innocent people, murdering our men and women in 
uniform and even innocent civilians in their own country.
  We may differ on our views on the JCPOA, but we can all agree that 
nothing in the nuclear deal prevents the sharing of information between 
an administration and this Congress about financing aircraft for the 
world's largest state supporter of terrorism. That is what this piece 
of legislation is trying to achieve. That is what Mr. Williams' point 
is in bringing it to the floor, and I appreciate his thoughtful work to 
implement this much-needed policy and to help keep the citizens in my 
district safe from Iran's global terror advance.
  Ms. MAXINE WATERS of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such 
time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I am going to read a letter addressed to the Members of 
Congress from a highly respected organization that is pro-Israel and 
pro-peace advocacy. I am a member, and I look to the recommendations, 
the advice, and

[[Page H9887]]

the assistance of this organization on all issues related to the Middle 
East and related to Iran and related to Israel. It is known as J 
Street, and I am a proud member and a proud participant.
  J Street urges Members:

       Oppose the so-called Strengthening Oversight of Iran's 
     Access to Finance Act, that is H.R. 4324, which is clearly 
     intended to lead to a U.S. violation of the JCPOA.
       This bill would impose additional certification 
     requirements on the administration in order to carry out 
     current U.S. obligations related to commercial aircraft sales 
     under the JCPOA.
       These new obligations require the administration to certify 
     that Iran is not engaged in certain nonnuclear activity or 
     issue a national security waiver saying they will allow the 
     planes to be sold anyway. In other words, it imposes new 
     unilateral terms for a continuation of the JCPOA that are 
     unrelated to Iran's nuclear conduct.
       It has been widely reported in connection with the 
     President's recent refusal to make the necessary 
     certification to Congress under the Iran Nuclear Agreement 
     Review Act that the President resents having to undertake 
     official actions to keep the United States in compliance with 
     the JCPOA.
       Proponents of this legislation clearly hope to make use of 
     the President's apparent resistance to taking such steps by 
     adding a new certification requirement that they hope he will 
     also fail to meet, thereby blocking the sale of commercial 
     aircraft and forcing a U.S. violation of the agreement.
       Anyone doubting that this is the point of the bill need 
     look no further than the first finding, which makes clear 
     that this bill is a gratuitously anti-Obama, anti-JCPOA 
     vehicle and not a serious attempt to legislate on a 
     bipartisan basis on threats emanating from Iran.
       No one who wants to see the JCPOA continue to be 
     implemented should support this bill.

  Finally, Mr. Speaker, Dylan Williams, the vice president of 
government affairs who signed this bill, said:

       Congress just gave the administration powerful tools to 
     conquer other countries, support of the Assad regime when it 
     passed new sanctions on Iran, Russia, and North Korea a few 
     months ago that the President signed into law. Implementation 
     and assessment of the impact of that law should occur before 
     consideration of any new sanctions legislation.

  Again, in addition to the supporters of this body who have worked 
very hard to try and convince the Members of this body to be on the 
side of peace, to try and get the Members to understand the seriousness 
of undermining the JCPOA, the Members of this body who work very hard 
for peace and who join with groups like J Street and advocate for peace 
are trying to make sure that the United States stands up to its 
agreements, understanding how this undermines our leadership in the 
world.
  If we sit down and we negotiate with other countries, as we have done 
on the JCPOA, and they expect us to live up to the agreements and then 
they hear that we have various Members of Congress with ideas of their 
own putting together legislation that is supported by the opposite side 
of the aisle, coming in not with one piece of legislation, not with two 
pieces of legislation, but we don't know how many will continue if they 
are successful in passing the legislation that they are putting before 
us, if this continues, then I am certain that our allies will not trust 
us. They will not want to negotiate with us on other deals that are 
important to peace in this world. I would simply ask the Members on the 
opposite side of the aisle to pay attention to highly respected, 
credible organizations like J Street and take their advice about how to 
give support to the JCPOA.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. HENSARLING. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
North Carolina (Mr. Budd), a hardworking member of the Financial 
Services Committee.
  Mr. BUDD. Mr. Speaker, I thank the chairman for yielding me time.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of Mr. Williams' legislation, 
H.R. 4324. I want to thank him for his leadership on this front.
  Mr. Speaker, it is no secret that much of the terror funding and the 
civil unrest that we see in the Middle East can be traced directly back 
to Iran.
  Since we have lifted sanctions on that regime--and, in particular, 
against state-owned entities like Iran Air--we have opened up ourselves 
to potentially financing Iran's destabilizing activity in the region.
  Congress has a right to know if banks are linked to financing or 
doing business with Iran, again, the world's largest state sponsor of 
terror.
  This bill is significant, considering what we have recently seen with 
Iran Air. As recently as 2011, Iran Air was transporting weapons and 
missiles on behalf of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps; and even 
this year--not 2011, but this year--we have seen Iran Air continue to 
fly well-known weapons resupply routes to pro-Assad-controlled areas of 
Syria.

  Iran will always continue to find new and creative ways to bypass 
sanctions and to fund their worldwide terror network. We have to be on 
constant alert. Mr. Williams' legislation gives us the tools to do 
exactly that.
  His bill gives the people's House, this House, more oversight on 
business that the Treasury Department authorizes with Iran. This is 
important because it conveys the importance of staying alert about our 
financial institutions when they get involved financially with Iran.
  Mr. Speaker, once again, I thank my colleague and my friend, Mr. 
Williams, for his leadership on this issue, and I urge adoption of this 
bill.
  Ms. MAXINE WATERS of California. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance 
of my time.
  Mr. HENSARLING. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman 
from Florida (Ms. Ros-Lehtinen), the chairman emeritus of the House 
Foreign Affairs Committee and chairman of its Subcommittee on the 
Middle East and North Africa.
  Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I thank our esteemed leader for this 
time, and I rise in strong support of H.R. 4324, the Strengthening 
Oversight of Iran's Access to Finance Act, authored by our good friend 
Mr. Williams of Texas, who is swinging for the fences.
  When the Obama administration signed this terrible Iran nuclear deal, 
in addition to the lifting of sanctions and sending billions of dollars 
to this hideous regime, it also authorized licenses for the export of 
commercial passenger planes to Iran.
  After selling the world a bill of goods, the administration then 
turned around and agreed to allow the sale of planes to the world's 
biggest exporter of terror. Not only that, but U.S. financial 
institutions would be needed to finalize these sales, meaning American 
taxpayers' dollars could be used to finance these sales.
  The results were predictable, Mr. Speaker. Iran has been using its 
commercial planes to transport fighters, to transport weapons, to 
transport material to Hezbollah in Syria, just to mention one. The list 
could go on and on, many illicit activities.
  This is not something that Americans would be supporting, let alone 
underwriting. That is why Mr. Williams' bill is so important, and I 
thank Mr. Hensarling for bringing it to the floor. It protects the U.S. 
financial system, and it protects the taxpayers by giving us in 
Congress greater oversight. That is what this bill is about: oversight 
over business that the Treasury authorizes with Iran.
  As we have heard speaker after speaker, Iran is the number one 
leading state sponsor of terror. It is responsible for the deaths of 
countless brave American men and women fighting overseas. It is the 
destabilizing force in Syria, to name just one of the countries.
  The Supreme Leader calls for the destruction of our most trusted 
ally, the democratic Jewish State of Israel; and the calls for ``death 
to America,'' Mr. Speaker, they go on and on, and it is written on 
walls.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentlewoman has expired.
  Mr. HENSARLING. Mr. Speaker, I yield an additional 1 minute to the 
gentlewoman from Florida.
  Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, the JCPOA was flawed. We all know 
that. It was weak and it was dangerous.
  Let's ask our constituents, our taxpayers, if they want their dollars 
to fund the purchase of planes for the number one state sponsor of 
terror. I think that the answer would be ``no.''
  We are actually being asked to supposedly support American jobs by 
helping Iran, the number one terror state, to buy planes so this horrid 
human-rights abuser of a country, this killer of Americans can use 
these very planes to continue exporting its terror activities 
throughout the world.

[[Page H9888]]

  This is preposterous. It is a false choice.
  Mr. Speaker, this bill protects the American consumer; it protects 
our constituents; it protects the taxpayer; and it gives us in Congress 
the proper oversight. Let's pass what this is: a commonsense bill.
  Ms. MAXINE WATERS of California. Mr. Speaker, may I inquire as to how 
much time I have left.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentlewoman from California has 4 
minutes remaining. The gentleman from Texas has 5\1/2\ minutes 
remaining.
  Ms. MAXINE WATERS of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the 
balance of my time.
  On October 13, 2017, the Director General of the International Atomic 
Energy Agency--that is, the IAEA, the U.N. nuclear watchdog that, since 
January 2016, has been monitoring and verifying Iran's implementation 
of its nuclear-related commitments--released a statement noting that, 
``At present, Iran is subject to the world's most robust nuclear 
verification regime,'' confirming that Iran remains in compliance with 
its JCPOA commitments.
  The same day, President Trump announced that he had refused to 
certify the national security value of the Iran nuclear deal, which 
gave Congress 60 days to fatally undermine the agreement by re-
introducing some or all of the suspended sanctions; although, Congress 
did not do so.
  Despite the fact that the President did not withdraw from the nuclear 
accord, his disdain for the agreement has always been clear. In a 
highly confrontational speech, President Trump forcefully denounced the 
Islamic republic and attacked the deal for failing to curb Iran's 
destabilizing regional activities, despite the fact the accord was 
never meant to address every aspect of Iran's maligned activities. It 
was always intended to focus on Iran's nuclear program.
  As an arms control agreement, the deal has, so far, been successful.

                              {time}  1830

  Trump has threatened to upend the nuclear deal unless Congress amends 
it to make its terms more restrictive. The President is looking to find 
any rationale he can to walk away from the deal without having to take 
the blame. This legislation is precisely what he has been looking for.
  But American unilateralism, at this point, would be a disaster and 
would make forging a common front against Iran nearly impossible in the 
future. That is one way of ensuring failure at the outset of a 
diplomatic effort to pursue a new multilateral agreement, would be to 
violate an existing one with the same partners.
  The President's insistence on renegotiating the JCPOA to extend the 
duration of several of its constraints make inspections more intrusive 
and expand its coverage to missiles. It is dangerous and unrealistic, 
given that every other signatory of the agreement has objected to 
changing its terms while Iran remains compliant.
  If Congress passes this bill, it would give the administration the 
path it needs to rip up the nuclear card without the constraints placed 
on Iran by the deal. The administration's hostile attitude towards Iran 
and stark absence of diplomacy will inevitably put the United States on 
a path of escalation with Iraq. There is an obvious link with North 
Korea here as well. Hopefully, at some point, the President may 
determine that diplomacy has a role in managing the North Korean 
nuclear missile challenges.
  But America's ability to offer a credible, diplomatic path will be 
seriously undermined if we cannot be trusted to stand by our agreement 
dealing with Iran to destabilize regional activities. Its ambition to 
remake large swaths of the Middle East in its image entails a broad 
range of challenges. Without the JCPOA, however, those challenges 
become even more daunting.
  I urge my colleagues not to give up on our best chance of containing 
Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons through peaceful means and to join me 
in rejecting this terrible bill.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. HENSARLING. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 1\1/2\ minutes to 
the gentleman from South Carolina (Mr. Norman), a member of the Small 
Business Committee.
  Mr. NORMAN. Mr. Speaker, I thank Chairman Hensarling for yielding. 
This really isn't that complicated. The JCPOA is a failed policy that 
was put up by a President who had no interest in protecting this 
country as it should be. President Trump is finally bringing this back 
to this country.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of H.R. 4324, the 
Strengthening Oversight of Iran's Access to Finance Act. This important 
legislation is critical to hold Iran accountable and ensure the 
integrity of U.S. sanctions against Iran.
  Mr. Speaker, I want to thank Roger Williams for his great work on 
this legislation. The Iran deal allows the United States to license the 
sale of passenger aircraft to Iran to update their civilian commercial 
airliner fleet. Despite the deal, Iran's behavior has not changed, and 
they still remain a principal state sponsor of international terrorism, 
a direct contributor in propping up the Syrian regime, and a major 
facilitator of money laundering.
  However, enabling commercial aircraft sales could only fortify Iran's 
rogue behavior. Many, including the Department of Treasury, are 
concerned that commercial aircraft could be used for noncivilian 
purposes, considering the state-controlled airline, Iran Air, has 
facilitated Iran's destabilization of Syria by transporting missile and 
rocket components to the Syrian regime.
  Justice Louis Brandeis once stated that, ``Sunlight is said to be the 
best of disinfectants,'' and that is what this legislation seeks to do. 
It simply adds a crucial layer of reporting requirements, certifying 
that the sale of passenger aircraft does not pose a money laundering 
risk or violate U.S. sanctions.
  Iranian continues to threaten the stability of the Middle East, and 
it poses a threat to U.S. national interests. Holding Iran accountable 
and preventing them from continuing to destabilize Syria should not be 
controversial at all.
  Mr. Speaker, I respectfully urge all of my colleagues to strongly 
support this legislation.
  Mr. HENSARLING. Mr. Speaker, may I inquire how much time I have 
remaining.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman has 4 minutes remaining.
  Mr. HENSARLING. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.
  Mr. Speaker, from time to time in my Congressional career I come to 
the House floor, and I have a surreal moment. Iran is the world's 
foremost state sponsor of terror, and we have Members on the other side 
of the aisle saying: Well, we shouldn't learn anything about them. We 
shouldn't learn about who is financing their aircraft. We shouldn't 
learn whether or not aircraft will be converted for military purposes.
  Iran is a regime where every day the leadership wakes up shouting: 
``Death to Israel, Death to America.'' Yet I have friends on the other 
side of the aisle who say: Well, we shouldn't have any reporting on 
Iran because it might hurt their feelings.
  This is a surreal moment, Mr. Speaker, an absolute surreal moment. We 
have been told over and over that somehow this stops the JCPOA, the 
nuclear deal with Iran. I wish it did, but it doesn't. I would suggest 
to my friends on the other side of the aisle, if they actually read the 
bill, it is 10 pages long, 6 pages of findings. You can put the 
findings aside and read the 4 pages. It is a reporting bill.
  It has certifications. And guess what the implications are if the 
administration can't give the proper certifications? Nothing. The deal 
continues to go on. It is perhaps the single worst foreign policy 
agreement in the history of America that legitimizes Iran's nuclear 
program and, on its best day, slows up their nuclear weapons by maybe a 
few years, at best, on its best day.

  When the JCPOA was sold to us by the previous administration, we were 
told: This would be for civilian aircraft use only. Don't worry about 
it. This is not going to exacerbate terrorism in any way. But we know 
Boeing itself says their aircraft, which are being sold to Iran, can be 
used for combat purposes, and, in fact, have been. Iran Air was cited 
in 2011. It was sanctioned for supporting the Islamic Revolutionary 
Guard Corps, which has been designated as a terrorist organization.

[[Page H9889]]

  This isn't just theory, Mr. Speaker. It is a fact. Then we had my 
colleague, the gentleman from Washington, say: Well, it is important 
that we sell aircraft to Iran so companies can make profits. Well, 
using his logic, maybe we ought to sell weapons to North Korea if some 
company can make a profit. I think not, Mr. Speaker.
  There are some things that are more important. Our security is even 
more important than the profit of any one particular company. So, 
again, this is a simple reporting requirement.
  I want to thank the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Williams) for his 
leadership here. It is incredibly important that we understand from 
those who sold us this terrible Iranian deal, they need to make good on 
their promises.
  We need to make sure that civilian aircraft are being used for 
civilian purposes. We need to make sure that the banks who are 
financing these deals are not financing terrorism. Yet those on the 
other side of the aisle say: No, let's put our heads in the sand. Let's 
just trust--let's trust the world's foremost state sponsor of 
terrorism. They will do the right thing. Let's just ignore this 
terrorism thing.
  No. No, Mr. Speaker. That is why it is so important that we enact 
H.R. 4324, and I urge all my colleagues to vote for it. It is important 
to America.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 
4324, the Strengthening Oversight of Iran's Access to Finance Act, 
introduced by my friend Roger Williams. This bill is critical to 
Congress' sustained effort to roll back the most egregious concessions 
from the Obama Administration's disastrous nuclear deal with Iran.
  Mr. Speaker, I have spoken many times about how the Iran deal 
endangers our national security, namely by acquiescing to Iran's 
ambition to become a nuclear threshold in less than a decade. As if 
this concession--and the woefully inadequate inspections regime 
President Obama agreed to--were not troubling enough, the deal came 
with dozens of additional sweeteners for Iran that were folded into the 
main text of the agreement and an unknown number of side-deals.
  These inducements were wrong on principle and they are downright 
dangerous in practice. On principle, Iran should not be gently 
incentivized to come clean about its nuclear program--it should be 
strictly compelled to comply with international norms. In practice, 
these numerous U.S. concessions to Iran effectively handed the world's 
largest sponsor of terrorism more resources to advance its campaign for 
regional hegemony. By providing $115 billion in sanctions relief, a 
$1.7 billion ransom payment, and an $8.6 million payment for excess 
heavy water that violated the terms of the deal, the Obama 
Administration's calamitous deal generated a windfall for the Iranian 
regime.
  Mr. Speaker, one especially troubling concession was the Obama 
Administration's agreement in the text of the deal to sell commercial 
passenger aircraft to Iran while at the same time lifting sanctions on 
Iran Air, a national carrier notorious for ferrying Iran's military 
manpower and materiel around the region. Iran Air was sanctioned by the 
United States in July 2011 under Executive Order 13382 for ``for 
providing material support and services to the Islamic Revolutionary 
Guards Corps and Iran's Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces 
Logistics.'' Lest we believe Iran Air has straightened up its act since 
2011, the Washington Free Beacon reported in August on images from this 
summer showing Iranian militiamen flying Iran Air to join the civil war 
in Syria.
  Mr. Speaker, it's also clear that Iran has never had a greater 
incentive than it does today to double down on its hegemonic schemes as 
it expands its footholds in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, and elsewhere 
in the region. We have long known of Iran's genocidal intentions toward 
our critical and democratic ally, Israel. For years Iran has poured 
money and resources into Hizballah and Hamas to develop proxies that 
can threaten Israel on its borders. Today, however, Iran is closer than 
ever to achieving its own toehold near the Israeli-controlled Golan 
Heights from which to menace Israel and terrorize its people.
  Why, in this context, would the United States knowingly furnish Iran 
with aircraft it needs to move its military assets around the region? 
Yet, as we speak, a sale of 80 Boeing aircraft to Iran Air, worth as 
much as $16.6 billion, is on track to proceed unless the Administration 
wisely intervenes or Congress hits the brakes.
  Mr. Speaker, H.R. 4324 is crucial to applying necessary and thorough 
scrutiny to this deal or others like it. This bill will require the 
Department of the Treasury to certify that the beneficiaries of any 
such deal do not include Iranians known to be involved in transporting 
materiel or other resources for designated individuals or groups. Given 
Iran Air's sinister past, it is only logical to demand this sort of 
certification.
  Furthermore, the bill would require the Treasury to certify that any 
such transaction does not pose a ``significant money laundering or 
terrorism financing risk to the U.S. financial system.'' Again, 
considering that Iran remains the world's largest financier of 
terrorism and on the Financial Action Task Force's blacklist of 
countries that pose a high risk of money laundering, it is only 
responsible to establish this sort of standard for major U.S. 
transactions with Iranian companies.
  Mr. Speaker, I also rise today to support H.R. 1638, the Iranian 
Leadership Asset Transparency Act, introduced by my friend Bruce 
Poliquin. This bill requires common sense reporting to Congress on the 
terrorism financing and money laundering threat posed by Iran to help 
us address it more effectively.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support these timely and 
critical measures.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. All time for debate on the bill has expired.


                  Amendment No. 1 Offered by Mr. Gaetz

  Mr. GAETZ. Mr. Speaker, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Banks of Indiana). The Clerk will 
designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Page 6, line 18, strike ``or''.
       Page 6, after line 18 insert the following (and redesignate 
     the subsequent subclause accordingly):

       (II) has knowingly transported items used to establish in 
     Syria a permanent military presence of either Iranian 
     military forces or Iranian backed militia; or

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 658, the 
gentleman from Florida (Mr. Gaetz) and a Member opposed each will 
control 5 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Florida.
  Mr. GAETZ. Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the gentleman from 
Texas, Chairman Hensarling, for his guidance and leadership in 
assisting me with this amendment. I would also like to thank the 
gentleman from Texas (Mr. Williams) for ensuring this Congress takes 
the strongest possible position as it relates to Iran and ensuring that 
we use every arrow in the proverbial quiver, financially speaking, so 
that U.S. assets and U.S. resources are not used to proliferate terror 
in a way that is consistent with Iran's paradigm and their budding 
hegemony.
  Across the Middle East, we see Iran funding terrorist proxies, 
destabilizing the region, threatening their neighbors, and functioning 
as an eyesore for the world. So I am glad to be here offering an 
amendment to ensure that, as we use the tools at our disposal to limit 
Iran's power to be a destabilizing sponsor of terror, we pay particular 
focus to the activities going on currently in Syria.
  In Syria now, a ceasefire has had an unintended consequence of giving 
Iran space to be able to move in and make attempts to harden long-term 
military assets, installations, so that troops could be housed and 
potentially launch other attacks and fund and equip Iran's terrorist 
proxies throughout the area.
  It is no surprise that the facility that Iran most recently worked on 
would have housed upwards of 5,000 soldiers. It is believed that, 
potentially, Israel took action to ensure that the construction did not 
continue on that particular facility.
  My amendment, Mr. Speaker, conditions the provisions of this bill on 
an attestation that Iran has not set up permanent, present military in 
southern Syria. I think that is critically important.
  In the last conversation I had with Prime Minister Netanyahu, he 
indicated that Israel was most concerned, in all of the world, about 
the risks posed by Iran setting up a permanent military presence in 
southern Syria, and that that would cause potentially kinetic conflict, 
war, and even more dramatic, catastrophic outcomes.
  Again, I thank Chairman Hensarling and Mr. Williams for their strong 
leadership. I offer this amendment to back our ally, Israel, and to 
ensure that Iran does not have the capability to establish a permanent 
military presence in southern Syria.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the previous question

[[Page H9890]]

is ordered on the bill, as amended, and on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Florida (Mr. Gaetz).
  The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from 
Florida (Mr. Gaetz).
  The amendment was agreed to.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the engrossment and third 
reading of the bill.
  The bill was ordered to be engrossed and read a third time, and was 
read the third time.


                           Motion to Recommit

  Mr. SWALWELL of California. Mr. Speaker, I have a motion to recommit 
at the desk.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is the gentleman opposed to the bill?
  Mr. SWALWELL of California. Mr. Speaker, I am opposed.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Clerk will report the motion to 
recommit.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       Mr. Swalwell of California moves to recommit the bill H.R. 
     4324 to the Committee on Financial Services with instructions 
     to report the same back to the House forthwith with the 
     following amendment:
       Page 6, line 23, strike ``and''.
       Page 7, line 7, add ``and'' at the end
       Page 7, after line 7, insert the following:
       (iv) no financial institution participating in such 
     transaction is engaged in business with a foreign entity that 
     has been found by the Secretary, in consultation with the 
     Director of National Intelligence, to have engaged in or 
     authorized cyber-attacks targeting any election held in the 
     United States;

                              {time}  1845

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from 
California is recognized for 5 minutes in support of his motion.
  Mr. SWALWELL of California. Mr. Speaker, this is the final amendment 
to the bill. It will not kill the bill or send it back to committee. If 
adopted, the bill will immediately proceed to a final passage vote, as 
amended.
  My amendment would add an additional certification requirement from 
the Treasury Secretary for financial institutions.
  Mr. Speaker, I agree with my colleagues across the aisle. Iran is a 
threat to our national security, and we should seek to hold them 
accountable, protect Americans, and defend our allies. The first major 
step in the last decade to do so was with the Iran nuclear agreement 
taking a nuclear power off the table. But we should also seek to hold 
accountable Iran's chief enabler and best friend in the world, Russia, 
which my amendment will seek to do.
  My amendment would add a requirement that the Treasury Secretary 
certify that an institution financing the export of commercial aircraft 
to Iran did not engage in business with any foreign entity which 
engaged in or authorized cyber attacks targeting American elections. 
This is a commonsense provision to ensure that companies are aware of 
the effects their financial dealings have on supporting those who 
engage in election interference.
  We should think carefully about letting financial institutions do 
business with countries that choose to conduct this new cyber warfare. 
While it may have been unthinkable before 2016 that a foreign adversary 
would interfere in one of our elections, we know now that the threat is 
all too real.
  Our intelligence community concluded that Russia interfered in our 
2016 elections; and it also concluded that this was ordered by 
President Vladimir Putin, with the goal of helping its preferred 
candidate, Donald Trump. Why this is something that the President and 
some of my colleagues across the aisle still question is beyond 
shocking. It is also a slap in the face of the dedicated men and women 
who serve and toil for our intelligence communities.
  The 2016 election, Mr. Speaker, is behind us. We shouldn't relitigate 
it. We should learn, though, from how a foreign adversary, a friend of 
Iran, sought to influence the American voter. This is not a Democratic 
Party or Republican Party issue. It is about our freedom of choice: who 
gets to choose when we go to the ballot box.
  Iran is not our friend. Guess who else is not our friend? Iran's 
friend Russia. But if you don't believe me, if you are cynical enough, 
as the President is, to dismiss the findings of our intelligence 
community, then believe the Russians. Believe their own declarations.
  In September, a Duma parliament member, Nikonov Vyacheslav, stated 
that the United States intelligence community slept while Russia 
elected a new United States President of the United States.
  Does anyone in this House want to do something about that?
  In this attack, did Russia work with the Trump campaign?
  That is a serious question that remains outstanding. Every day seems 
to bring new revelations about the connections between the Trump 
campaign and Russia. We must do all we can to allow Bob Mueller and his 
team to pursue that evidence unimpeded by Presidential obstruction.
  We also must be able to conduct our investigations on the House 
Intelligence Committee to do all we can to get to the bottom, to tell 
the American people how we were so vulnerable, who in the United States 
was responsible, whether the U.S. Government response was adequate, and 
what we can do to make sure it never happens again.
  I fear, Mr. Speaker, that the President and many of his own enablers 
in Congress are seeking to fire Bob Mueller, which would set us back 
and greatly affect our ability to prevent another attack by Russia. But 
what we can do with this amendment today is not only stand up to Iran, 
but also stand up to their chief enabler, someone who finances them and 
assists the terror that they enact across the globe.
  Vote for this motion to recommit, and, by doing so, Members will show 
their concern not only about Iran, but also about their chief enabler. 
Members will show their concern for our democracy and the interference 
that Iran's best friend, Russia, carried out in our last election.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support this amendment, and I 
yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. HENSARLING. Mr. Speaker, I claim the time in opposition.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Texas is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. HENSARLING. Mr. Speaker, my friends on the other side of the 
aisle seem to be schizophrenic. They can't seem to figure out whether 
they want to coddle Iran or to ``stand up to'' Iran. We were also told 
that H.R. 4324 was designed to ``blame and shame'' financial 
institutions, and now they offer a motion to recommit to blame and 
shame financial institutions.
  So here is what is going on, Mr. Speaker: What we have is a regime 
that wakes up every morning shouting ``Death to America; death to 
Israel,'' and yet we have a motion to recommit trying to relitigate the 
2016 Presidential election.
  We have a regime which has been certified as the world's foremost 
state sponsor of terrorism whom we are trying to hold accountable and 
from whom we are trying to get information, and our friends on the 
other side of the aisle are trying to relitigate the 2016 Presidential 
election.
  We know that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps supports the Assad 
regime in Syria. According to the U.N., the Assad government, with the 
help of Iran, has now carried out 27 chemical weapon attacks since the 
start of the Syrian conflict, including an April 2017 sarin gas attack 
that killed more than 80 people, including scores of women and 
children, and my friends on the other side of the aisle want to 
relitigate the 2016 Presidential election.

  Mr. Speaker, Iran continues to imprison foreign nationals, including 
Americans--including Americans--including 81-year-old Baquer Namazi, 
who has lost his teeth in prison due to malnutrition. We have had 
another American prisoner, a student at Princeton, who has suffered 
health problems, and yet my friends on the other side of the aisle, 
with their motion to recommit, want to relitigate the 2016 Presidential 
election.
  This is a serious moment, Mr. Speaker. H.R. 4324 by the gentleman 
from Texas is an important piece of legislation to ensure that civilian 
aircraft sales to Iran remain civilian aircraft and that our financial 
institutions are not unwittingly helping to finance this rogue 
terrorist regime, and it is no time to relitigate an election that my 
friends on the other side of the aisle lost.

[[Page H9891]]

  We need to reject the motion to recommit, and we need to enact H.R. 
4324.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Without objection, the previous question is 
ordered on the motion to recommit.
  There was no objection.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion to recommit.
  The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that 
the noes appeared to have it.
  Mr. SWALWELL of California. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas 
and nays.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX, further 
proceedings on this question will be postponed.

                          ____________________