Rep. Lynch Introduces Bipartisan Countering Terrorist Financing Act of 2017

May 24, 2017 Issues: Anti-Terrorist Financing

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Stephen F. Lynch (D-Boston) introduced H.R. 2622, the Countering Terrorist Financing Act of 2017, which expands the ability of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network to collect information under Geographic Targeting Orders (GTOs) in order to prevent money laundering. Congressman Peter King (R-New York) joined Congressman Lynch as an original cosponsor of H.R. 2622.

H.R. 2622 extends the anti-money laundering efforts of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and will help the FinCEN achieve its mission to “safeguard the financial system from illicit use and combat money laundering and promote national security.” The legislation authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to include all funds when issuing certain GTOs, including funds involved in an electronic fund transfer. GTOs impose additional reporting requirements on one or more domestic financial institutions or nonfinancial businesses in a geographic area to ensure compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act.

“By widening the scope of information FinCEN can collect under geographic targeting orders, we are increasing transparency in financial transactions. FinCEN will more readily be able to identify assets being hidden in high-risk transactions, particularly illicit funds in the real estate market being transferred by bad actors, whether it is a terrorist organization or a drug cartel. As terrorist organizations become more sophisticated at money laundering, it is critical that our government agencies are able to use a variety of tools to effectively respond to these national security threats and disrupt terrorist financiers,” said Congressman Lynch

In the 114th Congress, H.R. 5602, similar legislation introduced by Congressman Lynch, passed the House by a vote of 356-47 on June 11, 2016.

Congressman Lynch and Congressman King are both members of the Financial Services Committee and are co-chairs of the Task Force on Anti-Terrorism & Proliferation Financing.

The text of H.R. 2622, the Countering Terrorist Financing Act of 2017, is available here