May 4, 2006

NIAC Alert: Senate Passes H.R. 4939, Amendments to the Bill Affect Iranian American Community

Washington, DC – The Senate passed the supplemental appropriations bill H.R. 4939 earlier today. Several amendments affecting the Iranian-American community were considered.

Senator Santorum's effort to attach the Iran Freedom Support Act as an amendment to the supplemental failed, forcing him to have it go through the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

However, the $75 million allocated towards pro-democracy activities did pass, though a critical amendment was added that significantly increases the Congress' oversight on how the money is spent.

The amendment forces the State Department to consult with Congress whenever it wishes to spend any of the money. The State Department must describe in detail how it wishes to use the money, including disclosing to Congress what groups it seeks to fund.

This significantly raises the bar for groups to be eligible to receive US funding, making it more difficult for organizations using violence and terrorist methods to be considered.

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