Washington, D.C. – Tonight the House of Representatives passed Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce’s (R-CA) bipartisan bill – H.R. 6297 – to provide a long-term extension of the Iran Sanctions Act.

On the House floor prior to the vote, Chairman Royce delivered the following remarks (as prepared for delivery):

“I rise in support of H.R. 6297, to extend the Iran Sanctions Act.  I want to thank Ranking Member Engel for his assistance in bringing this legislation to the floor.

Time is of the essence, as this critical law expires on December 31st – unless Congress acts – as we are doing today.  The other body should quickly take up this bill and send it to the President’s desk, keeping a critical tool in place for the next Administration while it reevaluates the dangerous track that U.S. policy toward Iran has been on.

And should the next Administration decide – as I suspect it will – to press back on Iran’s growing missile program, support for terrorism and even Iranian violations of the nuclear agreement, I know that Ranking Member Engel and I look forward to working with it in charting this new course.

Mr. Speaker – Twenty years ago, a bipartisan majority in Congress passed the Iran Sanctions Act—then known as the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act.

The goal was to stop significant foreign investment in Iran’s energy sector – denying the Iranian regime the ability to financially support international terrorism, nuclear proliferation, and missile proliferation.  Since then, this legislation has been reauthorized and expanded on several occasions.

After years of bipartisan work in the Congress, the Iran Sanctions Act has served as the statutory foundation of the Iran sanctions regime. Of course, President Obama’s dangerous nuclear deal with Iran dismantles it.  Indeed, just last week we heard that a major European energy firm is close to investing $6 billion in Iran to develop its natural gas, which will in turn enrich the regime.

But what if – and I would assert when – Iran is found moving towards a bomb – how will we respond?  The Obama Administration has long said that sanctions on Iran would “snap back” if this were to happen. But if this law expires, as the Iran Sanctions Act is set to do next month – what is there to snap back to?  The Obama Administration has struggled to answer that question.

Here’s the bottom line: if we let the clock run out on the Iran Sanctions Act, Congress will take away an important tool to keep Tehran in check.  And that, in turn, will only further jeopardize America’s national security.”