Owens Co-Sponsors Legislation to Support American Victims of International Terrorism

Jul 21, 2022
Congress
Press

Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Burgess Owens (UT-04) co-sponsored the Justice for American Victims of Terror Act of 2022 to honor and support all American victims of state-sponsored terrorism.

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. The Act will redirect $3.5 billion of frozen Afghan funds into the U.S. Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism (USVSST) Fund so that all U.S. victims of terror, including military and civilian victims and the families of deceased victims, will be equitably compensated for their losses. The legislation amends President Biden’s executive order dictating that funds be distributed to a small subset of U.S. terror victims through the American legal system.

“President Biden’s executive order redirecting $3.5 billion from the United States Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund uses preferential treatment to compensate American vicitims of terror and prioritizes lawyers,” said Rep. Owens. “This is wrong, and I am proud to support the Justice for American Victims of Terror Act of 2022 because it rights the wrongs of this administration’s misugided policies and fairly compensates every American victim of state-sponsored terrorism.” 

Background: 

The USVSST Fund was established with bipartisan Congressional support in 2015 to ensure equitable financial compensation for all American victims of state-sponsored terrorism. The Fund, which is administered by the Department of Justice, equitably distributes money obtained by U.S. government from terrorist organizations among all victims of terror without preference for certain victims over others.

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