President Obama is flouting the "clear" will of a recently-passed visa waiver program law in order to satisfy Iranian business interests, according to a House Democrat who helped negotiate the legislation.
"I think it's clear that Congress spoke in as clear a fashion as it could when this language was put into the omnibus," Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson, the top Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee, said Wednesday.
Thompson made the remarks during a hearing about how the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department plan to implement, or not implement, a law that prohibits people who have recently traveled to a country that sponsors terrorism from entering the United States without a visa under the visa waiver program. After Iranian officials complained that would violate the terms of Obama's recent nuclear agreement with Iran, the administration announced an exemption from the law that could allow business travelers to Iran enter the United States without a visa.
"One category specifically identified was individuals who traveled to Iran for legitimate business purposes after July 14, 2015, the same date the Iran deal was completed," the Mississippi Democrat noted. "It will fall to the witnesses today to explain why we should not think that there is a linkage to the Iran deal when it announces this category in a press release distributed across the globe."