Congress Blocks Boeing Iran Financing

Nov 17, 2016
Press Release

Washington, D.C. — Today, the House of Representatives voted 243-174 to pass H.R. 5711, which blocks the Treasury Department from issuing licenses to finance aircraft sales to the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The Islamic Republic has a history of using commercial aircraft to transport weapons, missiles, troops, and cash to the Assad Regime in Syria and its other terror proxies around the world. The rogue state recently signed memoranda of understanding with both Airbus and Boeing to buy over 200 new planes, even as it continues its ballistic missile program and support for international terrorism.

U.S. Representative Peter J. Roskam has led the charge to keep the Iranian Regime from acquiring military technology and capabilities. Watch Rep. Roskam debate H.R. 5711 on the House floor here.

The bill applies equally to both Airbus and Boeing, and includes Rep. Roskam’s No Ex-Im Assistance for Terrorism Act, which bars the Export-Import Bank of the United States from facilitating such deals, directly or indirectly.

Background

In April, Rep. Roskam wrote an Op-Ed in The Wall Street Journal urging Western companies not to do business in Iran. “If you wouldn’t do business with Islamic State, you shouldn’t do business with the Islamic Republic,” he wrote. Rep. Roskam spoke with French and European media outlets to warn Airbus not to sell planes to the Iranians.

In May, he joined fellow Illinois Reps. Robert Dold and Randy Hultgren in sending a letter to Boeing’s CEO urging the Chicago-based company not to empower the terror-sponsoring regime. Senior members of the Congressional delegation from Washington state, where Boeing is the largest private employer, crafted another letter of inquiry.

In June, Iranian regime officials announced their intention to buy and lease 109 new Boeing aircraft in a deal worth up to $25 billion, pending approval from the U.S. government. Rep. Roskam and Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling wrote to Boeing once again, asking specific questions to help them assess the national security implications of such a deal. Rep. Roskam wrote an Op-Ed in USA Today detailing his opposition to the misguided, dangerous proposal.

In July, the Financial Services Committee held a hearing on the implications of aircraft sales to Iran. Both Republicans and Democrats spoke out in support of legislation to block or impede the transfer of these militarily-fungible goods to the world’s leading state sponsor or terror.

The House easily passed two amendments authored by Rep. Roskam to block the controversial sales of both Boeing and Airbus aircraft to the Islamic Republic of Iran. The amendments to the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act passed by voice vote, indicating overwhelming, bipartisan support.