The GOP nominee for Missouri Treasurer says the Iran nuclear deal could impact whether states can invest money with companies that do business with Iran.
State Sen. Eric Schmitt (R-Glendale) says President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran contains a provision allowing the federal government to take action against states that prevent investing state dollars with companies that do business with state sponsors of terror like Iran.
“There’s a provision, paragraph 25 of that deal, that seeks to undermine policies that states have that would prevent tax dollars going to state sponsors of terror. We’re going to bolster that, we’re going to update that policy, we’re going to advocate with local governments to make sure that they’re aware of this provision,” Schmitt says.
Schmitt says the State Treasurer’s current policy must be updated to keep Missouri taxpayer dollars out of the hands of countries like Iran. He notes Iran is one of three countries listed by the State Department as “state sponsors of terrorism”.
“It means that Iran sends money and arms to terrorists, including Hezbollah, who seek to kill Americans. That seek to kill our soldiers,” Schmitt says.
Schmitt’s opponent in the November election is former State Rep. Judy Baker (D-Columbia). She says Schmitt’s “Defund Iran” plan is politicizing the issue. Baker says the next State Treasurer should follow the investment policy already in place.
“But I honestly think that we should not take the State Treasurer’s office in the state of Missouri and politicize it this way. I think the State Treasurer’s office should be above politics,” Baker says.
Baker says the State Treasurer should be a good manager and a “fiscal watchdog”.
One thing the two candidates agree on is that the Treasurer’s office already has a policy in place. While Schmitt wants it updated, Baker says the office shouldn’t be politicized.
“I have a hard time believing that this isn’t just being used for political purposes to win an office, and I don’t want to use our office that way,” Baker says.
During a Tuesday Columbia news conference, Schmitt told reporters that the Legislature should consider repealing tax credits for airplane manufacturer Boeing, if the company’s plan to sell passenger jets to Iran is approved.
“I don’t think any tax dollars should go to any company that does business with Iran,” Schmitt says. “That would be a natural consequence of opposing the Iran deal.”
Schmitt notes that sale is not final, and that it’s been criticized in Congress. Boeing employs thousands in the St. Louis region. The “St. Louis Post-Dispatch” reported in 2015 that Boeing had a deal with Missouri for $229 million in tax credits.
The November winner will replace Clint Zweifel (D), who’s term-limited.