WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congressman Bryan Steil introduced several amendments to the nation’s annual defense funding bill, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to strengthen the legislation and hold our adversaries accountable.
“Our top priority must be to protect American citizens at home and abroad. We must ensure that our nation’s defense bill includes provisions to hold Iran, the Taliban, and other rouge actors accountable. I will continue working with my colleagues to counter terrorists and the regimes that support them and ensure Americans are safe here at home,” said Congressman Bryan Steil.
Steil introduced 5 amendments to the NDAA to hold our adversaries accountable and cosponsored an amendment to combat human trafficking. Summaries of each amendment can be found below.
This amendment would prevent those trying to avoid U.S. sanctions against the Iranian regime by using a loophole known as INSTEX. This would give the Secretary of the Treasury the explicit authority to sanction a financial institution operating outside the United States that knowingly conducts a significant sanctionable transaction related to the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX). INSTEX facilitates transactions between businesses in Europe and Iran while avoiding direct exchange between participating firms. European businesses transact with INSTEX, which in turn engages with its Iranian counterpart. INSTEX tracks shipments between Europe and Iran and ensures that exporters and importers in Europe are compensated for their transactions. Steil introduced the Stop Evasion of Iran Sanctions Act earlier this year. Read more HERE.
This amendment would requires the U.S. Treasury Department to regularly report to Congress any sanctions waivers provided to allow transactions between financial institutions and targeted individuals. Steil introduced the Banking Transparency for Sanctioned Persons Act earlier this year. Read more HERE.
This amendment would require the Department of Defense to report to Congress on the long-term threats posed by the U.S. backing the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) and other Iranian-backed militias in the war on ISIS.
This amendment would require the Treasury Department to issue a report to Congress on the current status of U.S. and UN sanctions on the Taliban. The report will describe the gaps in current sanctions authorities to block the Taliban’s sources of finance with the current situation in Afghanistan and the Taliban’s takeover, the ways current sanctions can be enhanced to block the Talban’s profit from the drug trade, and the trade of rare earth minerals as well as economic relations between the Taliban and China. In addition to the list of current waivers and licenses granted under Afghanistan sanctions, the reasons behind them, and how such waivers and licenses affect the Taliban’s financing.
This amendment would require the Executive Branch to issue a report to Congress that describes the hard currency and other financial benefits that the Assad regime in Syria will obtain through transit fees for allowing the export of gas into Lebanon through the Arab Gas Pipeline in case the President issues a waiver under the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2019.
Steil cosponsored Rep. Madeline Dean’s amendment which would designate an office within the Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence to coordinate efforts to combat the illicit financing of human trafficking.