The Cable

Congress looking for new ways to stop U.S. government funds going to Tehran

Adding to Congress’s threats to move Iran sanctions legislation regardless of what happens at the United Nations, a House appropriator will move to keep all U.S. government money out of the hands of companies that do business there. "During the House Appropriations Committee’s consideration of the Fiscal Year 2011 appropriations bills, I will offer an ...

Adding to Congress’s threats to move Iran sanctions legislation regardless of what happens at the United Nations, a House appropriator will move to keep all U.S. government money out of the hands of companies that do business there.

"During the House Appropriations Committee’s consideration of the Fiscal Year 2011 appropriations bills, I will offer an amendment to each of the twelve appropriations bills to ensure that no federal funds go to companies doing business with Iran," Rep. Steve Rothman, D-N.J, will say in a statement to be released Thursday but obtained in advance by The Cable.

Rothman is responding, in part, to a March 7 New York Times article reported that $107 billion worth of U.S. taxpayer money has gone to companies doing business in Iran, $15 billion going to firms that directly violating existing U.S. sanctions by aiding Iran’s oil industry.

If the committee votes to adopt Rothman’s language when they takes up the spending bills, it would become the law of the land that no U.S. Government funds would go to such companies, no matter what other sanctions might be in place.

Rothman isn’t the only lawmaker trying to close the path of funds from Washington to Tehran. The House version of the Iran sanctions bill currently awaiting conference has a provision to stop U.S. government funds from going to companies involved in Iran’s oil sector, written by Rep. Ron Klein, D-FL.

The Senate version of the bill has a similar provision that covers technology exports to Iran, but not oil industry involvement. Inside the conference, several lawmakers are expected to push for language that covers both sectors and perhaps more.

Congress is expected to start working on the spending bills in May.

 Twitter: @joshrogin

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