Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), the top Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, announced the following Democratic-led and bipartisan bills that passed during this week’s full committee markup. Next, these bills will await passage on the House floor.
H.R. 6365, the “Stopping Illicit Oil Shipments Act of 2023” led by Ranking Member Maxine Waters (D-CA). This bill would enable state insurance regulators to cancel maritime insurance contracts more easily when they have evidence that oil tankers and other types of marine vessels that have changed their flags during transit dock at port and use the port’s services to unload their cargo. It also requires Treasury to publish a report of those contracts that were canceled using data from the state insurance commissioners. This bill also directs the Treasury to report to Congress about how to set up a whistleblower program to support OFAC’s investigations into identifying these “ghost ships,” which leave port under one flag only to change their flag in transit to a port to hide their country of origin, and the firms that service them. This bill passed by a vote of 50-0.
H.R. 6370, the “OFAC Licensure for Investigators Act” led by Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (D-OH) and Congressman Zach Nunn (R-IA). This bill requires the Treasury to develop a pilot program, administered by OFAC, that partners with private-sector firms such as blockchain analytics firms and financial intelligence units within banks. Together, they would conduct very limited financial transactions with and through sanctioned entities, enabling OFAC to investigate leads that would otherwise be prohibited under US sanctions laws. This bill would help enable Treasury to find terrorists, Russian oligarchs, and corrupt government officials wherever they are hiding around the globe. This bill passed by a vote of 50-0.
H.R. 6367, “Armed Conflict Migration Act of 2023” led by Congressman Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO). This bill would direct the Secretary of the Treasury to instruct the United States Executive Director at each international financial institution (IFI) to use the voice, vote, and influence of the United States to support the provision of financial assistance to countries that receive an influx of civilian, non-combatant displaced persons stemming from the armed conflict that has resulted from Hamas’s October 2023 terrorism in Israel, to be used for humanitarian aid for the displaced persons. This bill passed by a voice vote.
H.R. 5923, the "Iran-China Energy Sanctions Act of 2023” led by Congressman Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) and Congressman Mike Lawler (R-NY). This bill would expand secondary sanctions involving Iran to also cover Chinese banks that finance the purchase of Iran’s oil, helping curtail the purchase of Iranian oil by so-called “teapot” or small, often family-run refineries in China. This bill provides additional tools to the Biden Administration to further restrict Iran’s access to resources. This bill passed by a vote of 47-0.
H.R. 6245, “Holding Iranian Leaders Accountable Act” led by Congressman Juan Vargas (D-CA) and Congressman French Hill (R-AK). This bill would require the President to report on the assets of certain Iranian government officials and terrorist leaders and requires the publication of those assets in a report. This bill passed by a vote of 49-0.
H.R. 6015, the “Iran Sanctions Accountability Act of 2023” led by Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO). This bill would require the President to ensure that humanitarian exemptions involving US sanctions on Iran do not facilitate acts of international terrorism, transactions with sanctioned persons, or the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. This bill, unlike the Nunn and Meuser bills, does not prevent humanitarian waivers, but instead only requires the President to establish clear rules for how such waivers will be applied. This bill passed by a vote of 50-0.