Iran hostages quietly granted compensation in year-end funding bill

Iran hostages quietly granted compensation in year-end funding bill
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Americans taken hostage at the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979 will receive compensation under the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill that President Obama signed into law last week.

The New York Times reports that the 53 victims of the hostage crisis or their families will get $4.4 million each under a provision that was quietly included in the legislation.

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The hostages were barred from suing Iran as part of the terms of their release, and multiple attempts by them to attain restitution in the courts or through legislation had fallen short — until now.

The Times reports that the spending bill also allocates funds for victims of other terror attacks, including the 1998 bombings at American embassies in East Africa.

In 1979, 53 Americans were taken hostage after students stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, beginning a 444-day standoff that gripped the nation and contributed to former President Carter’s 1980 election loss.

This year, lawmakers took up the charge on behalf of the victims, putting forth several bills and amendments aimed at winning them compensation.

In April, the issue became a sticking point with lawmakers opposed to the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran. Sen. Johnny IsaksonJohnny IsaksonThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Lankford to be named next Senate Ethics chairman The Hill's 12:30 Report: Job growth soars in November MORE (R-Ga.) filed amendments to Iran legislation aimed at ensuring “that resolving the issue of compensation for hostages is considered" prior to any agreement.

In July, Reps. Sean DuffySean DuffyJuan Williams: Trump has nothing left but smears On The Money: Trump seeks to shift spotlight from impeachment to economy | Appropriators agree to Dec. 20 funding deadline | New study says tariffs threaten 1.5M jobs Ex-Rep. Duffy to join lobbying firm BGR MORE (R-Wis.) and Gerry ConnollyGerald (Gerry) Edward ConnollyTrump abandons plan to dissolve Office of Personnel Management: report Democrats debate scope of impeachment charges House Democrats rebuke State Department for 'reversal' on Israeli settlements MORE (D-Va.) teamed up on a bill that would have directed funds to the victims through fines and penalties collected on foreign companies that have violated U.S. sanctions.