Will the Blue Dogs keep Iran from getting American cash?

posted at 2:45 pm on June 15, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Erick Erickson has kept Red State readers abreast of the battle over a $100 billion proposal to bail out the IMF.  The vote on this package got pushed into this week, and the unrest in Iran has given the debate a lot more relevance than just an economic policy.  Erick points out that the IMF and World Bank loans money to Tehran, and a bailout would effectively send American money into the pockets of the mullahs and the Revolutionary Guard:

On March 31, 2009, Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade sent Barack Obama a letter regarding their conversation on “the need to prevent funding from the G-20 package from going to Iran.”

According to Sherman’s letter, “the World Bank has been providing assistance to Iran throughout this decade, and continues to do so as we speak. From 2000-2005, some $1.35 billion was approved for Iran in nine separate loan packages.” Further, Sherman insisted, “Iran should not receive any benefits from any of the institutions – World Bank, IMF or any other multilateral institution – that will be utilized by the G-20 to assist with the global recovery while Tehran insists on violating United Nations Security Council Resolutions concerning its nuclear program.”

You can read Brad Sherman’s letter here (PDF).

Despite the Blue Dogs uniting in 2007 to try to defund Iran and despite the Blue Dogs, via Brad Sherman (one of their own) [see update below — Ed], expressing concerns over the IMF funding Iran as recently as March 31, 2009, some of them are even still considering voting for H.R. 2346, the 2009 Supplemental Appropriations Act.

With the Iranian regime apparently shooting protesters in the street, approving funding that will wind up in the regime’s pockets is exactly the wrong action to take — even if it made sense otherwise, which it doesn’t.  For this reason, as well as common sense in a period in which we are running up huge deficits and borrowing trillions, we need to stop the IMF bailout.

Erick has a list of contacts for the vote.  Be sure to let your Representative (and Senators) know how you feel — in fact, call them all, Republican or Democrat.

Update: Brad Sherman’s office e-mails us to let us know that Rep. Sherman is not a Blue Dog.  The listing of Blue Dogs can be found here.


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