The House of Representatives voted in favor of forcing Joe Biden to freeze the $6 billion fund to Iran after doubts about whether or not the funds had actually been frozen. The bill will now go to the Senate, which previously showed favorable signs of completely freezing the money so that it does not fall into the hands of Ali Khamenei in the middle of the war between Israel and Hamas.
Ninety Democrats joined almost all Republicans in approving the legislation promoted by Michael McCaul (R-TX), chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee.
The final vote ended with 307 votes in favor and 119 against, with Thomas Massie (R-KY) being the only Republican voting with the minority.
🚫 $6 B in Qatar
🚫 $10 B in Iraq electricity waivers
This is the toughest Iran sanctions bill ever passed out of the House!
— RSC (@RepublicanStudy) November 30, 2023
The money generated immediate controversy after the Biden Administration announced it in August, arguing that it was necessary to free the five Americans it considered unjustly detained. While it was claimed that the funds could be used only for humanitarian reasons, The Hill reported that Iran had pledged to "use it however it wants."
Congress almost unanimously asked the White House to freeze the funds again, with Republicans and Democrats writing to plead with the president to not allow Iran to have those funds.
In the letter, conservative legislators rejected the official explanation that this money could only be used for humanitarian aid, arguing that, thanks to the new monies, the Ayatollah Regime could "reallocate other funds to support terrorism." Senator Marsha Blackburn, one of the signatories, stressed that "given Iran's involvement in the Hamas attacks, Biden must immediately freeze the transfer." The former speaker of the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, had previously expressed that the stoppage of the delivery of the money needed to be one of the priority measures to be taken by the U.S.