Israel war: Comer vows investigation into Biden’s $6 billion Iran ‘ransom payment’
- October 10, 2023
Gabe Kaminsky, Washington Examiner
EXCLUSIVE — House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) is vowing to investigate the Biden administration’s $6 billion “ransom payment to Iran” after Hamas launched a deadly attack against Israel.
Republicans on the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Monday raised concerns over the aid, which the United States government agreed to transfer on Sept. 11 to Iran in exchange for U.S. prisoners. Iran-backed Hamas on Saturday targeted Israel, leaving an estimated 1,000 Israelis dead and 3,400 injured. At least 11 Americans have been killed, and Palestinian authorities say 830 people have been killed in Gaza and the West Bank since Israel’s retaliatory airstrikes, with the combined death toll topping 1,800.
The Biden administration’s Palestinian aid has also come under scrutiny from House Republicans, including Rep. Mike Lawler (R-NY), who on Monday called for it to be halted. The Trump administration cut Gaza funding in the past, and the State Department in 2021 privately expressed concern that giving money to the Palestinian Authority, which controls Gaza, leads to a “high risk” of Hamas deriving “indirect, unintentional benefit,” according to documents obtained by the watchdog Protect the Public’s Trust.
Comer’s comments on oversight come after his panel in September hosted a hearing “examining the Biden administration’s failures on Iran.” The hearing focused on the $6 billion, and the panel said it showed “the Biden administration’s feeble negotiating ability” and gave Iran an incentive to take further hostages.