Rep. Banks Introduces Maximum Pressure Act

Today, Rep. Jim Banks introduced the Maximum Pressure Act with 85 original cosponsors, legislation that would codify the Trump administration’s successful maximum pressure campaign on Iran into law. This legislation is being co-led by Republican Study Committee (RSC) Chairman Kevin Hern (R-OK-1) and RSC National Security Task Force Chairman Joe Wilson (R-SC-02). You can find the bill text here.

Rep. Banks previously introduced this bill alongside former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the beginning of the 117th Congress.

This bill represents the toughest Iran sanctions package ever proposed by Congress. Sanctions in the legislation would gut Iran’s ability to fund terrorism throughout the region, sanction the Supreme Leader of Iran, and force the President to enforce sanctions on Iran’s oil sales. Further provisions restrict the ability of the President to abuse waiver and license authorities to lift sanctions on Iran by placing sunsets on such authorities and empowering Congress to prevent the Biden administration from providing more money to Iran and from ever reentering the failed Obama-era nuclear deal.

“The October 7th attack on Israel, just weeks after the Biden administration released $6 billion to the Iranian regime, was a tragic reminder that weakness begets war. This administration’s failed strategy of appeasement has left the world a much more dangerous place than it was before Joe Biden took office. We must restore the policies of the Trump administration, which forged peace through strength, and this legislation is a major step in the right direction,” said Rep. Jim Banks.

“Trump’s Maximum Pressure campaign was effective. It held the Iranian regime and their proxies in check. Biden abandoned that campaign and we are seeing the results of that decision today with the attacks from Iran-backed Hamas on Israel and from Iranian militias in Syria and Iraq on US forces. The Maximum Pressure campaign is one of RSC’s flagship foreign policy bills and would build on President Trump’s policy by codifying it into law and strengthening it significantly. The bill has support both in Congress and in the broader conservative movement, and there is a strong consensus on Iran policy within the Republican conference. As RSC Chairman I look forward to strongly advocating that the bill be marked up immediately and passed on the floor,” said Rep. Kevin Hern.

“The threat emanating from the Iranian regime has never been more dire as we have witnessed mass murder in Israel, including of Americans, by Iran’s terrorist puppet Hamas and attacks on U.S. forces by other Iran terrorist proxies. This administration has utterly failed to enforce sanctions and this is the consequence. I am grateful for the leadership of the Republican Study Committee to apply maximum pressure on the murderous regime that seeks death and destruction around the world,” said Rep. Joe Wilson.

The Maximum Pressure Act includes the following provisions in response to Hamas’s October 7th terrorist attack, Iranian aggression since Biden took office, and Iranian malign influence within the Biden administration:  

  • Declares that Iran is responsible for the October 7 terrorist attacks against Israel and that the only suitable punishment for these attacks is a return to maximum pressure on Iran.
  • Transfers Iran’s $6B ransom payment to the U.S. Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund.
  • Removes the limits on bounties for the capture of terrorist perpetrators of the October 7 massacre.
  • Expands sanctions on Iran’s ballistic missile program and sales to also include Iranian drones.
  • Requires Treasury to blacklist all new banks in Iran not already sanctioned under E.O. 13902.
  • Requires a report on Iranian intelligence and influence activities in the U.S., like the Iran Experts Initiative, and whether Iranian agents have been employed with the U.S. government.
  • Requires a report on whether Iran sanctions relief has freed up resources for Iranian-backed terrorist groups and describing how much those groups have benefited from sanctions relief.


Outside Group Support:

The Maximum Pressure Act is supported by FDD Action, Alliance Advancing Freedom (AAF), United Against a Nuclear Iran (UANI), Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC), Christians United For Israel (CUFI), Heritage Action, and Faith and Freedom Coalition.

The Islamic Republic of Iran has reaped billions of dollars in windfalls from unenforced oil sanctions and the use of waivers and licenses to provide Teheran access to previously frozen funds. Iran-backed atrocities domestically and abroad must be met with resolve. With the massacre of over 1400 Israelis on October 7th, it has become evident that a policy of appeasement towards Iran and its proxy Hamas has failed.  The Maximum Pressure Act lays out the appropriate policy response toward Iran that comprehensively targets all aspects of the regime’s economy, and that of its terrorist partners Hamas and Hizballah.  FDD Action supports this important bill,” said Foundation for Defense of Democracies Action.

“UANI Action supports the Maximum Pressure Act. Informal ‘understandings’ with Iran and tens of billions of dollars in sanctions relief through non-enforcement have only emboldened the Iranian regime. U.S. policy on Iran must revert to crippling sanctions and their full enforcement to deprive Tehran of funding for its conduct of terrorism; nuclear, drone, and missile programs; and human rights abuses,” said United Against a Nuclear Iran Action.

“The United States must return to maximum sanctions on the Iranian regime that were implemented during the Trump-Pence administration. President Biden’s appeasement will not work with Iran, the maximum amount of pressure must be applied,” said AAF Executive Director Paul Teller.

“On October 7th, we witnessed the latest and most gruesome consequence of Washington’s feckless foreign policy towards Iran. In the wake of that horrific massacre, and following years of failed attempts to bring Iran into the community of nations, we must return to the one policy that worked: maximum pressure. This legislation is as timely as it is vital, and we look forward to the House taking it up without delay because if consensus cannot be reached for our friends during times like these, than we are not only feckless, but hopeless,” said CUFI Action Fund Chairwoman Sandra Parker.


Original Cosponsors: Rep. Aderholt (AL-04), Rep. Alford (MS-04), Rep. Arrington (TX-19), Rep. Allen (GA-12),  (Rep. Bacon (NE-02), Rep. Baird (IN-04), Rep. Barr (KY-06), Rep. Bost (IL-12), Rep. Buck (CO-04),  Rep. Cammack (FL-03), Rep. Collins (GA-10), Rep. Crenshaw (TX-02), Rep. Ciscomani (AZ-06), Rep. Crenshaw (TX-02), Rep. Ellzey (TX-06), Rep. Estes (KS-04), Rep. Fallon (TX-04), Rep. Feenstra (IA-04), Rep. Finstad (MN-01), Rep. Ferguson (GA-03), Rep. Fitzgerald (WI-05), Rep. Fleischmann (TN-03), Rep. Franklin (FL-18), Rep. Garcia (CA-27), Rep. Gallagher (WI-08), Rep. Gimenez (FL-28), Rep. Gonzales (TX-23), Rep. Good (VA-05),  Rep. Gooden (TX-05), Rep. Guest (MS-03), Rep. Green (TN-07), Rep. Hern (OK-01), Rep. Higgins (LA-03), Rep. Hill (AR-02), Rep. Houchin (IN-09), Rep. Hudson (NC-09), Rep. Huizenga (MI-04), Rep. Jackson (TX-13), Rep. Joyce (OH-14), Rep. Kean (NJ-07),  Rep. LaLota (NY-01), Rep. LaTurner (KS-02), Rep. Langworthy (NY-23), Rep. Lamborn (CO-05), Rep. Loudermilk (GA-11), Rep. Luttrell (TX-08), Rep. Malliotakis (NY-11), Rep. Mann (KS-01), Rep. McClain (MI-09), Rep. Miller (OH-07), Rep. Miller-Meeks (IA-01), Rep. Mills (FL-07), Rep. Moolenaar (MI-02), Rep. Mooney (WV-02), Rep. Moore (UT-01), Rep. Nehls (TX-22), Rep. Newhouse ( WA-04) Rep. Norman (SC-05), Rep. Obernolte (CA-23), Rep. Owens (UT-04), Rep. Pence (IN-06), Rep. Pfluger (TX-11), Rep. Reschenthaler (PA-14), Rep. Rose (TN-06), Rep. Rutherford (FL-05), Rep. Salazar (FL-27), Rep. Self (TX-03), Rep. Sessions (TX-17), Rep. Stefanik (NY-21), Rep. Steil (WI-01), Rep. Steube (FL-17), Rep. Strong (AL-05), Rep. Tiffany (WI-07), Rep. Van Drew (NJ-02), Rep. Van Duyne (TX-24), Rep. Wagner (MO-02), Rep. Walberg (MI-05), Rep. Waltz (FL-06), Rep. Weber (TX-14), Rep. Williams, Roger (TX-25), Rep. Wilson (SC-02), Rep. Wittman (VA-01), Rep. Zinke (MT-01).



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