Press releases

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) penned this op-ed in Newsweek urging Congress to work together to prevent Iran and other state sponsors of terrorism from receiving billions of dollars in special drawing rights from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) without congressional approval.

Kennedy has introduced the No Dollars for Dictators Act to require congressional authorization before the IMF can issue any special drawing rights to state sponsors of terrorism or genocide.

Key excerpts of the op-ed are below:

“Under certain circumstances, the IMF can make general allocations to each member nation called Special Drawing Rights (SDRs). . . . The president of the United States has to approve these allocations, but Congress only votes on distributions above a certain amount—a threshold the IMF and the Biden administration apparently love to dodge.

“In 2021, President Biden approved the largest IMF allocation of SDRs in history, conveniently valued at $650 billion to narrowly avoid congressional scrutiny. This was designed ostensibly to help countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, but money is fungible. It played out just how you’d imagine.

“Russia received $16.2 billion from the IMF and invaded Ukraine six months later. China received $38.3 billion for pandemic response but refused to allow the world to investigate the COVID-19 origins. Iran received $4.5 billion while promoting terrorism throughout the world and brutalizing protesters who sought equality for women.”

. . .

“Days before Hamas attacked Israel, several of my colleagues in the Senate and dozens more in the House wrote a letter to President Biden asking him to approve another IMF distribution of SDRs worth $650 billion.

“If he approves this allocation, Iran could receive as much as $4.9 billion to fund terrorism, China could receive another $41.6 billion to menace Taiwan, and Russia could receive $17.6 billion to fund its war on Ukraine. President Biden has made the mistake of approving IMF allocations once. Congress cannot stand by and let him do it again.”  

. . .

“It’s difficult to imagine why the United States wouldn’t stop Iran from taking billions of American dollars to use against the safety and security of the American people. Iranian leaders saw the killing and kidnapping of innocent people in Israel, including dozens of Americans, and cheered. It was nauseating, but not surprising. Iran hates America and our allies. Yet the Biden administration—from the 2021 IMF allocation to the $6 billion prisoner swap—continues to try to placate this vicious regime by bankrolling it.

“Congress needs to have the authority to step in before the White House can rubber stamp the allocation of billions of dollars to America’s most enthusiastic, violent enemies. My colleagues should join me in ensuring that Congress has a say before terrorists and dictators get another dollar from the IMF.”

The full op-ed is available here.

Text of the No Dollars for Dictators Act is here.