Dem Senate Candidate Votes Against Bill Prohibiting ‘Ransom Payments’ to Iran

Tammy Duckworth
Tammy Duckworth / AP

A Democratic congresswoman running to represent Illinois in the Senate voted against a bill that would prohibit the federal government from sending cash to Iran in an effort to prevent future "ransom payments."

The House overwhelmingly passed the Prohibiting Future Ransom Payments to Iran Act on Thursday evening, as the Obama administration has faced increasing criticism for secretly sending $1.7 billion in U.S. taxpayer dollars to Tehran in what many say amounted to a payment of ransom.

Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D., Ill.), who is running to unseat Republican Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk this November, voted against the bill, which would prohibit the U.S. government from making cash payments to the Iranian government until the president certifies that Iran is not a primary money laundering concern or a state sponsor of terrorism.

The bill was sponsored by Foreign Affairs Committee chair Ed Royce (R., Calif.) and passed the House by a vote of 254-163.

Duckworth also voted against the Iranian Leadership Asset Transparency Act on Wednesday, legislation that would require the Treasury secretary to submit a report to Congress on the estimated assets directly or indirectly controlled by certain senior Iranian leaders and other figures.

The Obama administration has threatened to veto the bill preventing future "ransom payments" to the Iranian government, as well as the legislation that would require the government to report the assets held by top Iranian leaders.

According to an average of polls of the contested Illinois senate race provided by Real Clear Politics, Duckworth leads Kirk by 3.5 percentage points.