Rep. Hill Introduces Bill to Stop Democrats’ Blank Check to Genocidal Regimes and State Sponsors of Terrorism

Legislation Would Require Congressional Approval for a Special Drawing Right (SDR) Allocation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. French Hill (R-AR) announced the introduction of H.R.1568, the Special Drawing Rights Oversight Act. This bill limits the executive branch’s ability to bypass Congress to authorize SDR allocations by limiting the size and frequency of allocations unless Congress authorizes them by law. Under current law, The U.S. Treasury has broad authority to unilaterally approve an SDR allocation. Rep. Hill’s bill ensures a proper check on the executive branch and greater accountability.

“Circumventing Congress to implement bad policies was a hallmark of the Obama administration’s foreign policy and it is alarming that the Biden administration is mirroring that policy. Under President Biden’s plan, China, Russia, Venezuela, Iran, and Syria could receive nearly $70 billion from the IMF,” said Rep. Hill.  “The Special Drawing Rights Oversight Act will help ensure that rogue countries cannot access this funding and that the most vulnerable countries get the assistance they need.”

“International financial institutions need more accountability and should not serve as a slush fund for state sponsors or terrorism, countries complicit in genocide or other malign actors,” said Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY). “Rather than tackle the important issues like reopening schools, ensuring stability for small businesses and vaccinating Americans, congressional Democrats and the Biden administration are prioritizing funding via SDRs to countries like China, Russia and Iran. This bill is essential to ensure appropriate congressional oversight of SDRs and their responsible allocation.”

“By pursuing an SDR allocation, the Biden administration is pushing for the IMF to give away billions of dollars to rogue nations around the globe," said Congressman Bill Huizenga (R-MI).  "The notion that Democrats are considering sending over $41 billion to the Chinese Communist Party, more than $17.5 billion to Vladimir Putin and his cronies, and nearly $5 billion to an Iranian regime that is the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism speaks volumes about their misguided priorities. American taxpayer dollars should not be used to prop up these brutal and adversarial nations. The Special Drawing Rights Oversight Act applies an important check on the executive branch by requiring Congress to approve any SDR allotment requested for a nation that is a state sponsor of terrorism or a nation that has committed genocide. Additionally, this commonsense approach places specific requirements on both the amount as well as the frequency SDRs can be approved unilaterally by the Treasury Department.”

Further Background:

This legislation is needed as, last Congress, Democrats proposed creating nearly $3 trillion in SDRs to help poor countries fight COVID-19. SDRs allow countries to lay claim to dollars, euros, and other major currencies to use as they please, with no strings attached. The IMF can create these SDRs out of thin air if they meet a “long-term global need.” The amount a member IMF country gets from an SDR allocation is largely based on the country’s position in the world economy, meaning most of this money would go to wealthy countries and rogue regimes, not those countries that need it most.

Recently Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen expressed openness to an SDRs allocation in a letter to G20 colleagues which was endorsed by Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters. Chair Waters encouraged Sec. Yellen to circumvent Congressional oversight by issuing up to $650 billion in SDRs. If this were to happen, China would get $41.7 billion, Russia $17.6 billion, Iran $4.9 billion – just to name a few.

Rep. Hill’s legislation provides greater oversight of an SDR allocation by:

  • Limiting unilateral allocations to once every 10 years;
  • Restricting the size of allocations to an amount corresponding to 25 percent of U.S. quota in the IMF, rather than 100 percent under current law;
  • Requiring congressional consultations 180 days prior to consenting to an allocation; and
  • Prohibiting SDR allocations benefitting perpetrators of genocide and state sponsors of terrorism unless Congress authorizes the allocation by law.

For a one pager on the bill, click HERE.

Rep. Hill initially highlighted his concerns in an op-ed in The Hill on September 14, 2020, and again in The Wall Street Journal on February 2, 2021.

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