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January 20, 2017 / 22 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘House Foreign Affairs Committee’

NY’s Senator Schumer and Cong. Engel Will Vote Against the Iran Nuclear Deal

Friday, August 7th, 2015

If there was one member of Congress upon whom all eyes came to rest to see which way he would vote on the Nuclear Iran Deal, it was New York’s senior senator Chuck Schumer.

Schumer, a Democrat who all understand is in line for a leadership role in the Senate, was watched closely for many reasons: He is Jewish, he represents New York State, he is a senior senator, and being pro-Israel has always been a badge he proudly wore.

Still, many of those watching Schumer have been seeing him through jaundiced eyes. No matter which way he decided, he would greatly disappoint supporters who have enormous control over his political future. Would he risk angering the leadership of his party and the man at the top of his ticket? Or would he vote to support the Nuclear Iran agreement and anger many of his constituents?

Those with practiced eyes concluded that Schumer would split his decision, first voting against the agreement in the initial round, but then either not voting to override the veto if the vote was close, or voting to override, but only if the count was such that the veto could not be overridden, not matter how he voted.

But the reasoning Schumer provided in his statement announcing his decision may lock him into voting for the same outcome, both times.

Schumer broke the agreement down into three different categories: the restrictions on Iran in the first ten years of the agreement; the restrictions on Iran after ten years; and the non-nuclear components and consequences of the deal. As his guide for which way to vote, he asked himself whether we are better off with this agreement or better off without it.

The senator explained that he sees various weaknesses during the ten year lifespan of the agreement, such as insufficient inspections access, including the need to obtain a majority of the other parties to agree to an inspection, and a cumbersome snapback mechanism. Schumer said that while there were problems with this portion of the agreement, it was possible to decide either way.

During the period following the sunset clause of the agreement, however, Iran would be stronger financially and “better able to advance a robust nuclear program.” Even more importantly, at the end of the agreement and with Iran as a threshold nuclear state, it would also enjoy the blessing of the world community. In other words, its leap into nuclear weapons capability would be sanctioned by the leadership of the world’s leading nations.

Schumer concluded that we would definitely be better off without the deal than with it, given the scenario at the conclusion of the JCPOA.

Finally, the non-nuclear aspects of the deal gave Schumer the most pause. In his opinion, the infusion of billions of dollars into Iran in the wake of sanctions relief could lead to catastrophic consequences. Unless one believes that Iran will moderate and cease its support for terror across the region, the lack of restrictions on how the money will be used was a fatal flaw.

if one feels that Iranian leaders will not moderate and their unstated but very real goal is to get relief from the onerous sanctions, while still retaining their nuclear ambitions and their ability to increase belligerent activities in the Middle East and elsewhere, then one should conclude that it would be better not to approve this agreement.

Schumer does not believe that Iran is about to moderate or that it will become more moderate during the course of the agreement.

Therefore, I will vote to disapprove the agreement, not because I believe war is a viable or desirable option, nor to challenge the path of diplomacy. It is because I believe Iran will not change, and under this agreement it will be able to achieve its dual goals of eliminating sanctions while ultimately retaining its nuclear and non-nuclear power. Better to keep U.S. sanctions in place, strengthen them, enforce secondary sanctions on other nations, and pursue the hard-trodden path of diplomacy once more, difficult as it may be.

Schumer’s decision became public just hours after the junior senator from New York, Kirsten E. Gillibrand, also a Democrat, announced that she will support the agreement.

New York Congressman Eliot Engel (NY-D-16) also announced on Thursday evening that he would oppose the JCPOA.  The reasons he gave were similar to Senator Schumer’s: the limitations on inspections capability, the influx of massive amounts of money in the wake of sanctions relief and the lifting of bans on intercontinental ballistic missiles and advanced conventional weapons.

Engel is the senior Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

In-Your-Face-Obama Bill Upgrading Israel Status Above Entire World

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

My favorite Congresswoman, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL 27), along with Rep Ted Deutch (D-Fla. 21), who are the top two members on the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Middle East subcommittee, have introduced a bill on Wednesday naming Israel a “major strategic partner” of the United States, a title enjoyed by no one else on the planet, and encouraging enhanced cooperation on water, energy, homeland security, and missile development.

The bill also waives visa requirements for Israelis who visit the U.S., adding Israel to the list of countries whose citizens can visit the United States for up to 90 days without a visa, provided they registered electronically before boarding a flight.

Some other provisions: the bill expands authority for forward-deployed U.S. weapons stockpiles in Israel, providing important military equipment for either to use in a crisis. It also encourages the president to transfer essential military equipment to Israel to meet current and projected strategic threats.

Daisy Cutters, Bunker Busters, come to poppa…

The committee approved it unanimously.

“I’m pleased that this bipartisan bill to strengthen the U.S. bond with Israel passed unanimously today out of the Foreign Affairs Committee,” Congressperson Ileana said in a statement. “During this volatile time across the Middle East, this bill signals that the U.S. Congress continues to support the people of Israel and reaffirms our commitment to seek new paths to improve our bilateral relationship.”

According to an AP story from last year, the administration and some lawmakers are concerned the legislation doesn’t do enough to eliminate Israeli discrimination against Palestinians and Arab-Americans seeking to enter its borders. They also say Israel still fails to meet other legal requirements for the program.

So this has to be an in-your-face to both the White House and the State Dept. In the middle of their arm-twisting campaign to degrade Israeli security, heaping on the threats should Israel decline the offer to capitulate, our sweetheart from the Florida 27th declares:

“This important legislation, with 351 current cosponsors, declares that Israel is a major strategic partner, ensures that Israel maintains its qualitative military edge, and reaffirms our support to enhance Israel’s military systems to that it can defend herself.”

Now it’s up to the leaders of the House to let the measure go for a vote, which should actually happen, what with the 351 sponsors. We’ll see what happens in the Senate afterwards, will Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid even let the measure that has been pushed by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) last year—The United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2013 (S. 462)—come to a full Senate vote.

Currently, the Senate bill has 45 sponsors.

Last May, when Boxer and Blunt proposed the Senate version, the organization U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation and other anti-Israel groups were working overtime to block the bill. Their main argument was that Section nine of S.462 would include Israel in the Visa Waiver Program without requiring Israel to extend reciprocal privileges to U.S. citizens.

The bill allows Israel to deny entrance to U.S. citizens for national security reasons.

“Israel has a history of discriminating against Palestinian-, Arab-, and Muslim-Americans travelers and denying them entry,” the CEO complained. Naturally, they would like to see free access for American jihadists into Israel, but it might not happen.

Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Ca) rejected the anti-Israel allegations: “Israel does not discriminate against Arab-Americans. There has been this effort by anti-Israel extremists to accuse Israel of that. We have a no-fly list, they have a no-enter list, and those associated with Islamic extremism tend to find their name on both.”

Sherman added: “My hope is that in conference this bill will be amended to help Israel achieve full participation in the visa waiver program…When they want to see Mickey Mouse, they should see the real one.”

Yes, that’s what we need, more Israelis in Los Angeles…

Yori Yanover

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/in-your-faces-obama-bill-upgrading-israel-status-above-entire-world/2014/01/30/

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