U.S. Senators Katie Britt, Tim Scott, Colleagues Lead Bill to Freeze $6 Billion to Iran, Probe Additional Iranian Assets

October 20, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 20, 2023 – U.S. Senator Katie Britt (R-Ala.) has joined Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and 22 additional colleagues in introducing the Revoke Iranian Funding Act to rescind the general licenses that enabled the release of $6 billion to Iran and prevent the Iranian regime from accessing and using the funds held in Qatar to finance terrorist attacks against Israel, America, or any other nation.

In addition, the bill directs the Treasury Secretary to study all high-value Iranian assets around the world that are currently blocked by U.S. sanctions and provide that information to Congress, ensuring Congress has the information necessary to enact further targeted legislation, as necessary.

“We cannot allow Iran to continue enriching themselves and then using that money to fund Hamas, Hezbollah, and other terrorists who wish to inflict barbaric brutality on innocent civilians – including American citizens. As we’ve seen in its response to the terrorist attacks in Israel, the regime in Tehran does not care how many men are killed, how many women are raped, and how many children are kidnapped. We need to immediately cut off all possible sources of funding going to Iran and impose bone-crushing international sanctions to ensure maximum consequences. This will send a loud, needed message to the world – if you do business with the Iranian regime, the United States will view you as complicit in these atrocities, and we will treat you accordingly,” said Senator Katie Britt.

“The Biden administration’s decision to release $6 billion to Iran – the world’s leading state sponsor of terror – was a grave mistake that created a market for American hostages, emboldened our adversaries, and put a credit on the balance sheets of one of Hamas’s biggest backers. In the wake of Hamas’s horrific attacks on Israel, it has only become clearer that this rogue regime cannot be trusted as long they continue to support terrorist organizations. My bill is a comprehensive approach to wielding our economic sanctions tools against Iran by freezing the $6 billion and ensuring Congress has the information necessary to prevent Iran from accessing funds in the future. We must be unequivocal that the United States will not back down and waive sanctions on frozen Iranian funds held by other nations,” Ranking Member Scott said.

In addition to Senator Britt and Ranking Member Scott, cosponsors of the bill include Senators Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), John Hoeven (R-N.Dak.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Deb Fischer (R-Nebr.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Mike Rounds (R-S.Dak.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.Dak.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), JD Vance (R-Ohio), and Pete Ricketts (R-Nebr.).

The full text of the bill can be found here.

Last week, Senator Britt, Senator Rubio and 13 of their colleagues sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken requesting an update on U.S. action to hold Iran accountable for multiple violations of nuclear program restrictions.

In a letter sent to President Biden last week, Senator Britt joined Senator Blackburn in calling on the Biden Administration to re-freeze the $6 billion.

Senator Britt also joined Senator Rick Scott (R-Fla.) and eight of her Senate colleagues in calling on President Biden to immediately convene the G7 nations and take coordinated action to further isolate Iran with severe sanctions that strike directly at the wealth that the Iranian regime uses to finance terrorism.

Additionally, Senator Britt recently joined Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and 28 of her Senate colleagues in sending a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin demanding a full accounting of actions taken by a senior Pentagon official who has close links to the Iranian government.

In September, Senator Britt condemned the Biden Administration’s decision to allow Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi to enter the United States. That followed Senator Britt joining a group of Republican colleagues in sending a letter reproaching President Raisi’s visit to the home of Asadollah Assadi, a convicted known terrorist. The letter expressed concern over President Raisi’s record of publicly tolerating terrorism and continued threats against American officials, and urged the Biden Administration to deny visas to President Raisi and his staff.

Senator Britt has been an outspoken critic of President Biden’s $6 billion ransom payment to the Iranian regime. Senator Britt, when the Administration formally notified Congress of the deal on September 11thwarned, “This irresponsible, weak appeasement sends a terrible message across the globe and only incentivizes further hostage taking in the future.” Today, countless Israeli hostages have been taken into Gaza by Iranian proxies.

Earlier this year, Senator Britt personally visited Israel during her first official overseas trip as a member of the United States Senate, meeting with some of the nation’s top political and military leaders and seeing firsthand the threat posed by Iranian-backed terrorists.