Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, Congressman Tom Emmer (MN-06) participated in, and Co-Chaired, a Terrorism and Illicit Finance (TIF) Subcommittee hearing entitled “Managing Terrorism Financing Risk in Remittances and Money Transfers.”
“Every year, hundreds of billions of dollars in remittances and other value-transfer payments are sent around the world and play a crucial role in the lives and livelihood for millions of families,” said Emmer. “While much of the over $600 billion remittances sent in 2016 were used to support relatives across the globe, these transfers do remain vulnerable to exploitation by criminal and terror organizations. Minnesota’s Sixth Congressional District in particular is home to one of the largest populations of Somali-Americans in the country, a population that relies heavily on the use of Money Service Businesses (MSBs) and other ways to send money to family members abroad, so it’s important we keep these lines of transfer open while ensuring the dollars sent are used for good, not evil.”
“I am encouraged to see this subcommittee undertake the important challenge of reviewing our nation’s Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Terrorist Financing (CTF) laws to ensure our regulatory framework allows for the continued flow of money to friends and family members abroad while eliminating the use of remittances as a means to conduct acts of terror both overseas and here at home,” said Emmer. “Destroying funding streams to terrorists and keeping families connected do not have to be mutually exclusive, and I have no doubt that we can improve our regulatory system as it relates to remittances to accomplish both of these goals.”
During the hearing, Emmer’s questions focused on the current regulatory environment for Money Services Businesses and the impact it has on the practice of “de-risking.” Emmer heard testimony from expert witnesses on the negative effects of de-risking and solicited feedback on how best to prevent it from occurring. This is the first of a series of efforts by Congressman Emmer and the TIF Subcommittee to stem the current tide of de-risking and ultimately eliminate the use remittances as a means for financing acts of terror and other illicit activities.
Congressman Emmer serves on the House Financial Services Committee. Emmer sits on the Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises, the Subcommittee Monetary Policy and Trade, and the Subcommittee Hearing on Terror and Illicit Finance.