Rep. Jeff Duncan: The Department of State is Obstructing Congressional Oversight

Sep 13, 2013 Issues: Foreign Affairs, Homeland Security

WASHINGTON, DC - On August 1, 2013, Congressman Duncan sent a letter to Secretary Kerry to express his concern that the State Department failed to fully analyze and assess Iranian involvement in the Western Hemisphere as required by Duncan’s legislation that became Public Law No: 112-220.  This letter was signed by 19 Members of Congress including key House Foreign Affairs Committee chairmen.  While many of these concerns were highlighted in the Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency hearing on July 9, 2013, Duncan requested specific answers to a list of questions within a 30 day time period in this letter.  The State Department sent their response late.

“The State Department has chosen to obstruct Congressional oversight of Iran’s deepening relations with countries in Latin America by sending a letter that did not answer even a single question. The State Department owes the American people answers to these questions on whether they still believe Iran’s influence is 'waning' in the Western Hemisphere.  Recent Congressional hearings on this issue uncovered disturbing evidence of Iran’s ability to recruit over a thousand students from Latin America to travel to Iran for training, obtain fraudulent passport documentation, exploit free trade zones and loose border security measures, and cooperate with drug cartels and criminal networks.  In light of the events in Syria with ramifications for U.S. homeland security, the Administration should prioritize this issue of Iran’s deepening penetration within the Western Hemisphere and stop putting up road blocks to Congressional oversight.”

*Relevant letters can be found below