H.R. 5461, Iranian Leadership Asset Transparency Act

H.R. 5461

Iranian Leadership Asset Transparency Act

Date
September 21, 2016 (114th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Jason Grassie

Floor Situation

On­­­­ Wednesday, September 21, 2016, the House will begin consideration of H.R. 5461, the Iranian Leadership Transparency Act, under a structured rule. H.R. 5461 was introduced on June 13, 2016, by Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R-ME) and was referred to the Committee on Financial Services, and in addition, to the Committee on Foreign Affairs. The Committee on Financial Services ordered the bill reported on June 16, 2016 by a vote of 39-20.

Bill Summary

H.R. 5461 requires the Treasury Secretary to develop and post online a list estimating the “funds and assets” held by senior Iranian political and military leaders, along with a description of how they acquired the assets and how those assets are employed. This report would be posted on the Treasury Department’s website in English but also translated into the three main languages used inside Iran, and would be available in any of those forms in a way that is easy to download and share.

Background

According to information provided in House Report 114-746:

“Iran is characterized by high levels of official and institutional corruption, and substantial involvement by Iran’s security forces, particularly the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), in the economy. Many members of Iran’s senior political and military leadership have acquired significant personal and institutional wealth by using their positions to secure control of major portions of the Iranian national economy.

Sanctions relief provided through the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) has resulted in the removal of many Iranian entities that are tied to government corruption from the list of entities sanctioned by the United States.” [1]

Corruption within the Iranian business community severely restricts opportunities for foreign and domestic investment. In particular, the involvement of the Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in large sectors of the economy provides the Iranian government with vast opportunities to launder funds which support nefarious activities. These sectors are largely controlled by top political and military leaders and, accordingly, operate with little oversight and accountability.[2]

This bill would require the Treasury to list the known assets of those senior Iranian officials in a manner that is easily understandable to individuals in the financial or business sectors who might be concerned about inadvertently doing business with an Iranian entity.[3]

According to the bill sponsor, “this bill will allow the world to see how the top Leadership in Iran facilitates human rights abuse through funding pilfered from the Iranian people.  It will allow financial institutions to see in public form the type of assets associated with these individuals and hopefully better focus anti-money laundering efforts.”[4]

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[1] See House Report 114-746, 1-2
[2] Id. at 2.
[3] Id.
[4] See Rep. Poliquin’s Press Release June 17, 2016

Cost

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates compiling the reports required by H.R. 5461 from information currently available would cost less than $500,000 in each of 2017 and 2018. Such spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds.

Enacting the legislation would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply. CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 5461 would not increase net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2027.

Amendments

  • Bruce Poliquin (R-ME) – This amendment is a manager’s amendment that adds the Committee on Foreign Affairs to the reporting requirements.
  • Todd Young (R-IN) – This amendment adds three additional provisions to the bill’s required report on Iranian leadership financial assets.
  • Leonard Lance (R-NJ) – This amendment adds the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran to the list of Iranian leaders.

Additional Information

For questions or further information please contact Jason Grassie with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 5-3021.