Legislative Round-Up: October 27, 2017

Produced by the Foundation for Middle East Peace in cooperation with Americans for Peace Now, where the Legislative Round-Up was conceived

  1. Bills, Resolutions & Letters
  2. Hearings
  3. On the Record

1. Bills, Resolutions & Letters

(FY18 BUDGET RESOLUTION) H. Con. Res. 71: Introduced 7/21 by Black (R-TN), “Establishing the congressional budget for the United States Government for fiscal year 2018 and setting forth the appropriate budgetary levels for fiscal years 2019 through 2027.” Amendments offered to this measure during floor consideration included:

  • Amdt.1363 to S.Amdt.1116: Offered by Rubio (R-FL), Deficit-neutral reserve fund relating to imposing new sanctions-in-waiting to require Iran to allow the international atomic energy agency to immediately inspect Iranian military sites suspected of having nuclear weapons-related activities.” NOT CONSIDERED.
  • Amdt.1364 to S.Amdt.1116: Offered by Rubio (R-FL), Deficit-neutral reserve fund relating to imposing new sanctions-in-waiting to deter Iran from acquiring uranium enrichment capabilities that give it nuclear breakout capability of less than one year.” NOT CONSIDERED.
  • Amdt.1365 to S.Amdt.1116: Offered by Rubio (R-FL), Deficit-neutral reserve fund relating to imposing new sanctions-in-waiting to deter Iran from testing, manufacturing, or deploying an intercontinental ballistic missile or any other new ballistic or cruise missile capabilities that can threaten the United States or Israel.” NOT CONSIDERED.
  • Amdt.1366 to S.Amdt.1116: Offered by Rubio (R-FL), “Deficit-neutral reserve fund relating to imposing new sanctions-in-waiting to deter any nuclear weapons-related cooperation between Iran and North Korea.” NOT CONSIDERED.

(JERUSALEM BELONGS TO ISRAEL/UNESCO IS BAD) S. Res. 291: Introduced 10/16 by Cruz (R-TX) and 3 GOP cosponsors, “A resolution affirming the historical connection of the Jewish people to the ancient and sacred city of Jerusalem and condemning efforts at the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to deny Judaism's millennia-old historical, religious, and cultural ties to Jerusalem.” Referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations. Cruz press release is here.

(JERUSALEM BELONGS TO ISRAEL/UNESCO IS BAD) H. Res. 570: Introduced 10/12 by Gaetz (R-FL) and 2 GOP cosponsors, “Affirming the historical connection of the Jewish people to the ancient and sacred city of Jerusalem and condemning efforts at the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to deny Judaism's millennia-old historical, religious, and cultural ties to Jerusalem.” Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.  Gaetz floor statement is here (including calling on members to “to support the President's removal of the United States from UNESCO, and to support this resolution I have proposed”). Gaetz press release is here.

(NEW IRAN SANCTIONS – BALLISTIC MISSILES) HR 1698: Introduced 3/23 by Royce (R-CA) and Engel (D-NY) and 3 bipartisan cosponsors, “The Iran Ballistic Missiles and International Sanctions Enforcement Act.” On 10/12, the measure was amended (with substitute text) by voice vote and reported out of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. On 10/25, the measure was brought to the floor under suspension of the rules (floor consideration is here).  On 10/26, the measure was passed by a vote of 423-2. Royce press release 10/26: House Sanctions Iran’s ICBM Program (a somewhat odd headline, since the bill still must be passed by the House and signed by the President before anything is actually sanctioned).

(IRAN – LET OUR PEOPLE GO) S. Res. 245: Introduced 8/3 by Cruz (R-TX) and Leahy (D-VT) and currently having 9 cosponsors total, “A resolution calling on the Government of Iran to release unjustly detained United States citizens and legal permanent resident aliens, and for other purposes.” Reported out of the Foreign Relations Committee 10/16 and placed on the Calendar.

Targeting Hizballah: This week the House passed three measures targeting Hizballah. HFAC press release is here. The measures are:

  • (SANCTIONS ON HIZBALLAH) HR 3329: Introduced 7/20 in the House by Royce (R-CA) and Engel (D-NY), and currently having 114 cosponsors, “To amend the Hizballah International Financing Prevention Act of 2015 to impose additional sanctions with respect to Hizballah, and for other purposes.” On 10/24, the bill was reported out of the House Foreign Affairs Committee with a report. That same day it was discharged (without any action taken) by the other two committees of jurisdiction – Judiciary and Financial Services. On 10/25, the measure was brought to the House floor under suspension of the rules and passed by voice vote. On 10/26, it was received in the Senate and referred to the Foreign Relations Committee. (Note: The Senate version of the bill, 1595, was passed by the Senate on 10/5; on 10/12 it was referred to the House Foreign Affairs Committee.) Also see: Boyle (D-PA): House Passes Boyle Amendment to Sanction Russian Support of Hezbollah
  • (SANCTIONS RELATED TO HIZBALLAH) HR 3342: Introduced 7/20 by Gallagher (R-WI) and currently having 26 bipartisan cosponsors, “To impose sanctions on foreign persons that are responsible for gross violations of internationally recognized human rights by reason of the use by Hizballah of civilians as human shields, and for other purposes.” On 10/24, HR 3342 was reported out of the Committee on Foreign Relations with a report. That same day, it was discharged by the other committee of jurisdiction, Judiciary, without any action taken. On 10/25, the measure was brought to the House floor under suspension of the rules and passed by voice vote (consideration is here). On 10/26, it was received in the Senate and referred to the Foreign Relations Committee. Also see Suozzi (D-NY) press release: Suozzi, Gallagher Legislation Sanctioning Hizballah Passes with Overwhelming Bipartisan Support; Gallagher press release: Rep. Gallagher’s Third Bill Passes House
  • (EU SHOULD GET TOUGHER ON HIZBALLAH) Res. 359: Introduced 5/25 by Deutch (D-FL) and having 58 cosponsors, “Urging the European Union to designate Hizballah in its entirety as a terrorist organization and increase pressure on it and its members.” On 10/25, the measure was brought to the House floor under suspension of the rules (consideration is here) and passed by voice vote.

(PUNISHING USG FOR PAYING IRAN $$) HR 469: Introduced 1/12 by Collins (R-GA) and having 21 GOP cosponsors, the “Sunshine for Regulations and Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act of 2017.” The measure, which is designed in part to punish the Executive for paying out a court-ordered award to Iran and prevent anything like that happening in the future, was reported out of committee on 10/16 with a report. On 10/25 it was passed by the House by a party-line vote of 234-187. Floor discussion (including about the Iran background to the bill) is here and here.

Letters

(MAKE THE PLO/PA PAY!) Rice et al letter: On 10/26, Rice (D-NY) led a letter signed by 67 House colleagues (bipartisan) to the U.S. Solicitor General, urging him to respond to the Supreme Court’s request for a brief regarding group of U.S. citizens’ lawsuit against the PLO. The lawsuit seeks to hold the PLO and PA responsible for a terror attack in Jerusalem in 2002. Text of the letter is here.

 

2. Hearings

10/25: The House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa held a hearing entitled. “The President’s Iran Decision: Next Steps.” Witnesses were: Olli Heinonen, FDD - Foundation for Defense of Democracies [statement]; Mark Wallace, UANI - United Against Nuclear Iran [statement]; and (the token non-regime-change-advocate) Philip Gordon, Council on Foreign Relations [statement]. Video of the hearing is here. Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) opening statement is here.

 

3. On the Record

Weighing in on Iran/JCPOA

NOTE: Many, many members of both the House and Senate weighed in on President Trump’s decision not to certify the JCPOA. Included here is a non-exhaustive selection of these statements. To check up on specific members, check their websites.

Inhofe (R-OK) 10/25: “During my travel, I had the opportunity to meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. I have to say this about him. I have never seen him so ecstatic…when our President came out and said that he was not going to recertify the Iran deal, that was kind of neat because people don't realize that it takes a recertification every 30 days by the President in order to keep the Iran deal together. He has not done that.  Shortly after that, I happened to be talking to Prime Minister Netanyahu. It was an incredible relief to him that we were going to be looking at this...”

Zeldin (R-NY), Wilson (R-SC), Kustoff (R-TN), Yoho (R-FL), Tenney (R-NY), Barr (R-KY), Rokita (R-IN), 10/25: Floor colloquy, “The President's Correct And Necessary Decertification Of The JCPOA”

Kaine (D-VA) 10/19: Floor speech on the JCPOA (excerpt: “…there is significant evidence that while Iran's nonnuclear behavior is worthy of additional sanctions and pressure, the deal on the nuclear program is working. Our closest European allies, U.S. intelligence services, the IAEA, the P5--when I visit Israel and speak to national security and intelligence leaders, such as Gadi Eisenkot, who is essentially the equivalent of the head of our Joint Chiefs of Staff, they say Iran is complying with the deal, and it is making the world safer in the near and medium term. Secretary Dunford and General Mattis have said the same thing.”

Inhofe (R-OK) 10/17: Inhofe Discusses Iran Deal with Netanyahu

Barletta (R-PA) 10/16: Barletta Supports President Trump’s New Strategy Against Iran

Brownley (D-CA) 10/15: Brownley Statement on Iran Nuclear Deal

Ruppersberger (D-MD) 10/13: Statement on Trump Decision to Decertify Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action

Murphy (D-CT) 10/13: “Ripping Up The Iran Deal Would Be A Catastrophic Self-Inflicted Wound For America”

Johnson (D-GA) 10/13: Statement on Trump Decertifying the Iran Nuclear Deal

Scalise (R-LA) 10/13: Scalise Statement On Iran

Lance (R-NJ) 10/13: Statement on Iran Nuclear Agreement Review

Royce (R-CA) 10/13: Statement on the Iran Nuclear Deal

Wagner (R-MO) 10/13: Wagner Statement President Trump’s Reevaluation Of The Iran Deal

Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) 10/13: Wasserman Schultz Statement on Trump’s Iran Deal Announcement

Slaughter (D-NY) 10/13: Slaughter Blasts President Trump’s Decision to Decertify the Iran Nuclear Deal

Merkley (D-OR) 10/13: Merkley Statement on Trump Iran Deal Blunder

Cruz (R-TX) 10/13: Sen. Cruz: Decertifying Iran Compliance Is the Right First Step

Durbin (D-IL) 10/13: Durbin Statement On Trump Decertifying Iran Nuclear Deal

Coffman (R-CO) 10/13: Coffman on President Trump Iran Nuclear Deal Announcement

Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) 10/13: Decertifying Iran Deal, Increasing Leverage to Hold Iran Accountable is Right Decision, Says Ros-Lehtinen

Nadler (D-NY) 10/13: Congressman Nadler NY Daily News Op-Ed on Trump’s Destructive Made-For-TV Move to Decertify Iran Nuclear Agreement

Feinstein (D-CA) 10/13: Feinstein: Trump Iran Nuclear Agreement Decision Reckless, Irresponsible

Frankel (D-FL) 10/13: Rep. Frankel Opposes Trump’s Decision to Decertify Iran Nuclear Deal

Messer (R-IN) 10/13: Messer Applauds President Trump’s Decision to Decertify Iran Deal

Rosen (D-NV) 10/13: Rosen Statement On Trump Administration Decertification Of Iran Nuclear Agreement

Cardin (D-MD) 10/13: Senator Cardin: Trump Non-Certification of Iran JCPOA Is a ‘Reckless, Political Decision’ that ‘Directly Threatens U.S. National Security’

Black (R-TN) 10/13: Rep. Black’s Statement on President Trump’s Iran Strategy

Moulton (D-MA) 10/13: “President Trump’s decision not to re-certify the Iran nuclear deal is dangerous for our national security”

Granger (R-TX) 10/13: Statement on Iran Nuclear Deal

McGovern (D-MA) 10/13: McGovern Statement on Trump Decertifying Iran Deal

Hill (R-AR) 10/13: Hill’s Statement on Decertifying the Iran Nuclear Deal

Sherman (D-CA) 10/12: Floor speech defending (kind of) the “Iran Nuclear Control Deal”

Messer (R-IN) 10/12: Floor speech, “The Iran Nuclear Deal Was A Giant Mistake”

Gabbard (D-HI) 10/12: Defending the JCPOA

 

More Iran Sanctions, Hizballah Sanctions

Fitzpatrick (R-PA) 10/26: Fitzpatrick, House Increase Sanctions on Iran Ballistic Missile Program

Hill (R-AR) 10/26: Hill Votes to Increase Pressure on Rogue Regimes

Bucshon (R-IN) 10/26: Dr. Bucshon Stands with President Trump for Increased Accountability for Iran

LaMalfa (R-CA) 10/26: House Passes New Sanctions on Iran
Fleischmann (R-TN) 10/26: Fleischmann on Iran Sanctions

Rosen (D-NV) 10/26: House Passes Four Rosen-Backed Bills To Counter Hezbollah And State Sponsors Of Terrorism

Smith (R-NJ) 10/25: Floor speech in support of HR 1698, HR 3329, HR 1698 and HR 3329.

Engel (D-NY) 10/25: Floor comments on HR 3342 and HR 3329

Roe (R-TN) 10/18: Weekly Column - We Must Hold Iran Accountable

Schneider (D-IL) 10/18: Rep. Schneider Introduces Bipartisan Legislation to Require National Intelligence Estimate on Iranian Proxy Forces (HR 4012, introduced 10/11)

Smith (R-NJ) 10/12: Floor speech applauding HFAC action on Iran- and Hizballah-related bills (including accusing Iran of “desire to impose nuclear blackmail on  the U.S., Israel, and other regional allies”).

 

Trump Quits UNESCO

Newhouse (R-WA) 10/16: Column, “To Support Israel, President Trump Right to Withdraw from UNESCO”

Franks (R-AZ) 10/13: President Trump is Right To Lead Withdrawal from UNESCO

Royce (R-CA) 10/12: Endorsing Trump decision to quit UNESCO

Rubio (R-FL) 10/12: Rubio Commends Trump Administration’s Decision to Withdraw from UNESCO

Cotton (R-AR) 10/12: Cotton Statement on U.S. Withdrawal from UNESCO

 

Other Stuff

Poe (R-TX) 10/25: North Korea Has Won The Title: A State Sponsor Of Terrorism (gives 6 reasons, 4 of which relate to Israel)

Franks (R-AZ) 10/25: Rep. Franks Condemns New Iran-Backed Offensive Against Kurds; Condemns U.S. Inaction, Calls to Fund KRG & NPC Directly

Deutch (D-FL) 10/25: Celebrating 200th Anniversary Of The Birth Of Baha'u'llah

Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) 10/23: Baha'i Bicentenary

Eshoo (D-CA) 10/23: A Tribute To The Baha'i Community Commemorating The Bicentennial Of The Birth Of Baha'u'llah

Alexander (R-TN) 10/19: 200th Anniversary Of The Birth Of Baha'u'llah, The Founder Of The Baha'i Faith

Rohrabacher (R-CA) 10/12: Bizarre, meandering statement ostensibly in support of Kurdish self-determination (including lots of Iran bashing)

Franks (R-AZ) 10/12: Rep. Franks Calls for De-escalation of Iranian-backed Militia’s Mobilization Against the Kurds

Gottheimer (D-NJ) 10/12: Press release - Gottheimer, Mast Introduce the US-Israel Common Defense Authorization Act; Act would deter Iran and protect Israel with "bunker buster" munitions (HR 4107).

Deutch (D-FL) 10/12: Ranking Member Deutch Statement on Hamas/Fatah Reconciliation

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