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October 6, 2015 / 23 Tishri, 5776
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Posts Tagged ‘Maryland’

Maryland’s Sen. Mikulski Gives Obama Magic Number for Iran Deal

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

Maryland Democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski announced Wednesday afternoon she will support the nuclear deal with Iran, giving President Barack Obama enough support to stop Congress from overriding a presidential veto of a Congressional rejection of the agreement.

The Maryland Democrat caved in even though she is retiring at the end of her current term.

She stated:

No deal is perfect, especially one negotiated with the Iranian regime. I have concluded that this Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is the best option available to block Iran from having a nuclear bomb.”

Sen. Mikulski is retiring at the end of her current term and therefore would not pay a heavy political price if she had joined the majority on Congress who oppose the agreement

She is the 34th Democrat to side with President Obama, who still faces the embarrassment of having to veto a Congressional rejection of the nuclear deal.

He reportedly favors what he considers a less embarrassing alternative – a Democratic filibuster.

With enough votes locked up to allow a veto to stand, it remains to be seen if other Democratic senators will fall in line with the president. They can rationalize that opposing the agreement won’t help override a veto .

Congress will vote on the agreement by Sept, 17. The American obligations under the deal cannot take effect until Congress approves or President Obama vetoes a rejection.

All eyes are on Maryland’s other senator, Ben Cardin, who is the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
He said yesterday he will announce “shortly” his position. He could face political punishment in the Senate if he votes against the agreement.

Cardin is a member of Baltimore’s largest modern Orthodox congregation, Beth Tfiloh, where more than 1,000 people rallied Tuesday against the agreement.

‘Undecided’ Sen. Cardin Predicts Congress Will Back Obama on Iran Deal

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

Maryland Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin said Tuesday he remains undecided on how to vote on the nuclear deal but that he is sure President Barack Obama will win the needed support in the Senate to prevent a veto-proof majority against the agreement.

Speaking to students at Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins University, Sen. Cardin did not name which Democratic senators will fall in line but said thematic number of 34 will be reached by the end of the week.

The Associated Press said that Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware is scheduled to talk about the deal later today and probably will support President Obama.

Cardin is facing intense pressure from Jewish voters in Maryland to vote against the agreement. He is a member of Baltimore’s largest modern Orthodox synagogue that generally is very supportive of Israel.

31st Democratic Senator Backs Iran Deal

Sunday, August 30th, 2015

President Barack Obama on Sunday won the support of the 31st Democratic senator out of the 34 he needs to prevent a veto-proof majority against the nuclear agreement,

The latest to fall in line is Oregon’s Sen. Jeff Merkley, who announced:

Because of these shortcomings [in the deal], many have argued that the United States, instead of implementing the agreement, should withdraw from it, persuade our partners to set the agreement aside and work together to negotiate a better deal.

However, the prospects for this are slim. All of our partners … believe that the current deal — in regard to its central goal of blocking Iran’s pathways to a nuclear bomb — is sound. They have committed the good faith of their governments behind the agreement and intend to honor the deal as long as Iran does likewise, with or without the United States.

The momentum in President Obama’s favor may make the numbers game even worse for the opponents of the agreement. Key undecided senators, such as Maryland’s Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski, will have a harder time opposing the agreement, which would mean paying a heavy political price, if they know that there is no chance of defeating it.

Billboards Go Up in Baltimore Urging Cardin, Mikulski to Vote ‘No’ on Iran

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

On Wednesday, Aug. 25, the non-partisan, non-profit organization United Against a Nuclear Iran Action, placed seven billboards across Baltimore urging Maryland Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski to vote against the Nuclear Iran Deal.

The seven billboards read: “Ask Senators Mikulski and Cardin to Stand Strong and Oppose the Iran Nuclear Deal.”

Senator Cardin is the Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and Senator Mikulski is the Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Appropriations.

UANI is an advocacy group that seeks to prevent Iran from fulfilling its ambition to obtain nuclear weapons. UANI was founded in 2008 by Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, the late Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, former CIA Director Jim Woolsey and Middle East expert Dennis Ross.

UANI’s private sanctions campaigns and state and Federal legislative initiatives focus on ending the economic and financial support of the Iranian regime because of its nuclear weapons program, support for terrorism and gross human rights violations.

Iran’s “timeline of terrorism” can be found on the UANI website.

Key Democratic Senators Cardin and Mikulski Still on the Fence on Iran

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015

Two Democratic U.S. senators from Maryland – Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski – remain undecided about the agreement. Cardin is the top-ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Congress is in the midst of a 60-day period to review the Obama administration-brokered Iran nuclear deal.

While it is expected that virtually all 54 Republicans in the Senate will vote against the Iran deal, 67 anti-deal votes are needed to override President Barack Obama’s veto of a possible Congressional rejection of the pact. The only two Senate Democrats who have publicly come out against the agreement so far are Sens. Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) and Robert Menendez (N.J.).

Asked where Cardin stands on the nuclear deal, and whether or not his decision will be affected by the recent report that the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog made a side agreement with Iran that allows the Islamic Republic to carry out its own inspections at the Parchin nuclear site, Cardin spokesperson Sue Walitsky said the senator told JNS:

[He] continues to review all aspects of the agreement to determine what decision he’ll make.

He continues to study the details of this deal, reach out to experts for answers to his many questions, and engage Marylanders to get their thoughts.

There is great intensity on all sides of this issue, but the feedback has been decidedly mixed. He believes that each senator and member of Congress has to make his or her own decision based on what is right for our country—not party, not president, but the national security of the United States of America.

He does not plan to rush his decision based on what others may decide.

When contacted by JNS.org, Mikulski’s office said the senator is currently traveling and unable to return a request for comment.

Corker Tells Kerry: You’ve Been Fleeced

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

If U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry were a sheep, his wool would be in Iran’s hands, according to Republican Sen. Bob Corker.

Kerry appeared at a Senate Foreign relations Committee hearing Thursday, applauded by CodePink members and scolded by committee chairman Corker, who told the Secretary even before he testified:

I’m sorry to say this, but I think you’ve been fleeced.

Kerry knows with whom  he is doing business, and he went to work after the candid introduction, which included an admonishment that the Obama administration has given “a state sponsor of terrorism” the capability to produce nuclear weapons.

Kerry assured himself, if no one else, that ObamaDeal will prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. He says he knows that is so.

Maryland Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin, a ranking member of the committee and one of those White House is “undecided” on the nuclear agreement, asked Kerry, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew to answer doubts he has concerning sanctions and inspections.

Their answers revealed nothing new, and so far, it is doubtful they have swayed anyone, one way or the other.

Idaho Senator Jim Risch ridiculed the agreement for allowing the Parchin nuclear to remain in operation even though it was designed to make a nuclear weapon.

“This is ludicrous,” he said. Money freed from sanctions is going “to be used to kill Americans.”

Kerry answered by quoting leftist Israelis, including a former Mossad director who also backs the “peace process,” praised ObamaDeal.

That was Kerry’s initial answer, followed by assurances that “we have 15 years” to be sure that Iran cannot get its hands on a nuclear weapon. Kerry said that any nuclear development will be for “peace.” How does he know? Because the agreement says so.

Sen. Barbara Boxer, in favor of ObamaDeal, said no one knows better than she that Iran is “dangerous” and that is exactly why the agreement is necessary.

She ridiculed colleagues who said Kerry was “fleeced” and another who said he was “bamboozled,” but that means “everybody was fleeced.” She spoon-fed Kerry questions, asking if Germany, Australia, Span and a host of other countries supported the deal.

Kerry said, “Yes,” so Boxer concluded that it is ridiculous to say that the whole world was “bamboozled.”


Even more astonishing is her remark, directed to Iran that it better be careful if it violates the agreement because it signed it.

Does she know how many Palestinian Authority terrorists have signed agreements not to return to terror.

At least 130 Israelis do not know that, because they are dead having been killed by the same terrorists.

Meet the 16 Democratic Senators Who Can Scuttle ObamaDeal

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

Opponents to the agreement with Iran are lacking approximately nine Democratic senators to override a Presidential veto of its rejection, but the truth that is an opposition victory might have limited meaning.

Congress cannot strike down the agreement, which was made along with five other Western powers. All it can do is block President Obama’s agreement to lift U.S. sanctions.

Doing so would be very significant, both politically for President Obama and the Democratic party as well as for American’s relations with the other P5+1 countries and Iran.

There are seven undecided Democratic senators, according to a tally by the Washington Post’s Amber Phillips.

If all of them turn against President Obama, it will be easier to convince a couple of others whose positions are not yet known.

The seven undecided Democrats, acceding to Phillips, are:

Michael Bennet of Colorado;

Ben Cardin of Maryland;

Bob Casey of Pennsylvania;

Joe Donnelly of Indiana;

Tim Kaine of Virginia;

Bill Nelson of Pennsylvania;

and Mark Warner of Virginia.

Cardin is one of the most important of the undecided. He attends Baltimore’s largest and wealthiest modern Orthodox Beth Tfiloh Congregation, which is highly pro-Israel.

He told NPR this week:

Israel’s security issues are of major concern. We don’t want to see an arms race in the Middle East, so it is a factor. And it’s a factor that I’m sure we will carefully consider.

Earlier in the week, Cardin told Bloomberg:

There is no trust when it comes to Iran. In our deliberations we need to ensure the negotiations resulted in a comprehensive, long-lasting, and verifiable outcome that also provides for snap-back of sanctions should Iran deviate from its commitments.

The nine Democratic Senators whose positions are not known are:

Cory Booker of New Jersey;

Maria Cantwell of Washington;

Claire McCaskill of Missouri;

Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota’

Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota;

Barbara Mikulski of Maryland;

Sen. Patty Murray of Washington;

Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan; and

Sen. Jon Tester of Montana.

One of the most pivotal of the “unknowns” is McCaskill. She stated this week:

Preventing Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon is paramount to our national security, and if this agreement accomplishes that goal, it will make the world a safer place for America and our allies. I plan to spend the coming weeks taking a hard look at the agreement’s details to ensure that it will result in a verifiable way to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran.”

Phillip’s tally shows 43 senators “leaning” to vote against ObamaDeal, including New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, and only 26 are in favor or are leaning in favor.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/meet-the-16-democratic-senators-who-can-scuttle-obamadeal/2015/07/16/

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