December 05, 2016


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Sens. Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) – chair and ranking member of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee – announced Senate passage of their bill to improve the U.S.’s ability to prevent, detect, and stop illicit finance by expanding the ability of the Treasury Department to target money laundering. In addition to cracking down on money laundering, the bill would also direct the President to oversee the creation of a comprehensive national strategy for combating the financing of terrorism and other illicit activity.

“Today the Senate took a critical step to halt terrorists and international criminals from abusing our financial system,” said Chairman Shelby. “For the first time in more than a decade, this bill will ensure that there is a unified, coordinated strategy to attack the illicit uses of money that finance international crime and terrorism.”

“Gaps in our intelligence coordination and our ability to investigate illicit financial activity continue to allow individuals and organizations to launder money and fund terrorism, threatening our country’s safety,” said Ranking Member Brown. “We need an updated, comprehensive national strategy that brings together local, state, and federal authorities to stem the flow of illicit funds through the U.S. financial system.”  

If enacted, the bill will require the Secretary of Treasury, the Attorney General, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of National Intelligence, and the appropriate Federal banking agencies to work together to submit a plan to Congress that does the following:

  1. Evaluates current anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing efforts;
  2. Establishes goals, objectives, and priorities for disrupting illicit finance activity;
  3. Identifies the most significant illicit finance threats within the United States’ financial system;
  4. Reviews and proposes changes to the United States’ legal, regulatory, and enforcement efforts to combat illicit finance;
  5. Outlines efforts to improve detection and prosecution of illicit finance;
  6. Identifies mechanisms to enhance public-private partnerships, including engaging the private financial sector, to prevent illicit finance;
  7. Outlines options for enhancing intergovernmental cooperation and helping foreign partners develop their intelligence analytic capabilities to better identify and track illicit financial activity.
  8. Analyzes emerging illicit finance threats including cryptocurrencies and cyber crime;
  9. Offers a detailed budget plan that will provide the resources needed to successfully execute the initiatives proposed in the strategy.
  10. Analyzes how the government can leverage technology to improve the effectiveness of its efforts to stop the financing of terrorism and other forms of illicit finance.

 The bill now goes to the House of Representatives.