Congress is back in session, and Senate Republicans aren’t wasting a minute of their precious time. Florida Senator Marco Rubio introduced a piece of legislation on Tuesday that would block the Obama administration from delivering any more funds to Iran. The bill also calls on Tehran to return the $1.7 billion they’ve already received – a portion of which has been rightfully described as “ransom” by the administration’s critics.
“President Obama’s disastrous nuclear deal with Iran was sweetened with an illicit ransom payment and billions of dollars for the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism,” Rubio said in a statement. “The U.S. government should not be in the business of negotiating with terrorists and paying ransom money in exchange for the release of American hostages.”
Well…when you put it that way…
But, unless you’re a shill for Obama, there’s no other way to put it. Whether or not that money was “owed” to the Iranians is completely immaterial. We managed to sit on that debt for nearly thirty years and we could have easily continued to sit on it for thirty more. But then, we might not have gotten our prisoners back. And maybe the whole nuclear deal would have toppled like so many dominoes. No, no, Obama wasn’t going to let that happen.
So he pulled one of the craziest dead-of-night stunts in modern memory and assumed that his fiction-writing press team could write him out of a jam. They did their best, and the mainstream media has rallied around the official White House story with little hesitation, just like always. Even though, in this instance, the official story is patently absurd.
Rubio’s bill is ambitious. It’s not just concerned about the $1.7 billion; in the legislation, Rubio calls on Iran to pay $53 billion in reparations to the American victims of terrorist attacks funded by Tehran.
Clearly, any fool can see that this bill is never going to land on the president’s desk. And even if it did, Obama would veto it without a second thought.
But that doesn’t necessarily turn the bill into an act of grandstanding. If anything, it should concern Americans that a piece of legislation this sensible can be so easily dismissed. What Obama did in January was dangerous and wrong, and it will have bloody consequences for years to come. It may be too late to prevent it, but we can’t criticize Republicans for trying their best.