WASHINGTON, DC – Today, a bill co-introduced by Congressman Scott Fitzgerald (WI-05), the Justice for American Victims of Terror Act, was introduced in the House of Representatives. This legislation would require the Biden Administration to follow the law to ensure $3.5 billion in assets seized from the central bank of Afghanistan benefits all victims of state-sponsored terrorism through the United States Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund.

“American victims of terrorism rightly deserve to receive an equal distribution of benefits from the United States Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund. President Biden’s executive action which deprived them of full compensation, skirting the process established by Congress, and benefitted a former White House lawyer who left days before the executive action, was wrong, said Congressman Fitzgerald. This legislation would correct this injustice and allow all victims to receive their compensation rather than a select few.”

Read the bill here.

BACKGROUND

In February, the Biden Administration announced that the U.S. would be seizing assets from the Da Afghanistan Bank that were sitting within U.S. financial intuitions due to the collapse of the recognized government of Afghanistan. Of the roughly $7 billion in assets, half would be allocated to humanitarian aid in Afghanistan, and the other half would be used to settle claims against the Taliban on behalf of roughly 150 September 11th survivors.

This executive order prevented this money from going to the United States Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund (USVSSTF), bypassing the normal process Congress established in 2015 whereby individuals who are victims of terrorism could get assistance.

Further, President Biden’s former Special Counsel who handled Afghanistan issues left to work for a law firm that will financially benefit from denying the USVSSTF the $3.5 billion in funds. Under President Biden’s executive order, attorneys in a lawsuit could receive more than double the compensation cap established by Justice for American Victims of Terror Act.  Note: If this post has anything to do with Evers, the Evers administration or lame-duck legislation and related lawsuits, please tag it as Evers Administration. Please delete this note before publishing.

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