Legislative Round-Up- August 31, 2022

 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. Iran Negotiations vs. AIPAC/Congress
3. On the Record

NOTE: I really had planned for a Round-Up hiatus during summer recess, but events conspired against that, so here we are with one final Round-Up of August. There will NOT be a Round-Up on Friday (I NEED A LONG WEEKEND!!!) — look for the next edition next Friday. And early happy Labor Day!


1. Bills, Resolutions & Letters



[None – except for Gottheimer (D-NJ) letter on Iran, discussed in Part 2 of this Round-Up]

2. Iran Negotiations vs. AIPAC/Congress

With the media abuzz with news/rumors/speculation about an imminent nuclear agreement with Iran, the issue of Iran has come back with a roar on the Hill (even during recess). Most notably:

  • This week AIPAC circulated a memo to members of Congress entitled laying out its the “issues at the heart of the talks” and AIPAC’s “concerns.” For more, see Ben Samuels’ report in Haaretz 8/31/22, AIPAC Failed to Stop Obama’s Iran Deal in 2015. Will It Try Again This Time?
  • J St responded to AIPAC’s memo with a widely-circulated rebuttal entitled, Iran Nuclear Update: Deconstructing Aipac’s Talking Points On Restoring The Iran Deal
  • This week Rep. Gottheimer (D-NJ) led a letter (text: page 1, page 2) asking the Biden to “provide Congress with the full text of any proposal to rejoin the Iran nuclear agreement…including any side agreements, and consult with Congress prior to reentering that agreement.” The letter goes on to object to multiple reported elements of the pending agreement. While the final list of signers has not yet been released (the letter reportedly closes today), reports earlier in the week suggested a relatively low number of signers. This is consistent with a report today from Jewish Insider that the has “more than 40 signatories, a majority of them Democrats” (suggesting that the total is in the low 40s – or they would have rounded up — and a fair number of signers are Republicans). What that means is that, to the extent that Gottheimer’s goal is to send a message to the White House that there is sufficient opposition in the House to override a presidential veto of legislation intended to obstruct re-entering the JCPOA, this letter is essentially symbolic and potentially counterproductive (for Gottheimer and friends).
  • See “On the Record” (Section 3 of this Round-Up) for members’ statements/tweets about the Iran nuclear talks and possible re-entry into an agreement.

3. On the Record

Media & Members – Elections


The Forward 8/29/22: AIPAC accused George Soros of undermining American politics. Is that antisemitic? [“‘George Soros has a long history of backing anti-Israel groups,’ the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, tweeted on Aug. 24. ‘Now he’s giving $1 million to help @jstreetdotorg support anti-Israel candidates and attack pro-Israel Democrats. AIPAC works to strengthen pro-Israel mainstream Democrats. J Street & Soros work to undermine them.’”]

New York

Jewish Insider 8/31/22: Jamaal Bowman, the incumbent [It was ‘clear that this was not a race in which’ DMFI was ‘going to make a difference,’ said a pro-Israel strategist familiar with the group’s thinking who spoke with Jewish Insider on the condition of anonymity to discuss private deliberations. ‘Obviously, other people disagreed with that assessment.”]

The New Arab 8/31/22: NY progressive who narrowly lost primary considers third party run

Jewish Insider 8/30/22: Yuh-Line Niou adds Israel policy to website, mulls possible third-party run

City & State New York 8/29/22: 10th District campaigns dogged by what-ifs after Goldman victory [“Dan Goldman spent his way to a win in the open seat in Congress, and the left is pointing fingers. But would candidates dropping out have stopped the first-time candidate?”]


Jewish Insider 8/29/22: Frost primary victory draws ire from anti-Israel activists

Middle East Eye 8/29/22: How Florida progressive Maxwell Frost courted Palestinians, then abandoned them [“Frost was backed by Palestinian organisers from day one of his campaign, but they say he broke many of the promises he made to them”]

Media/Report – General

Common Dreams 8/19/22: Tlaib Says Biden Must ‘Hold Israel Accountable’ for Raid on Palestinian Rights Groups

Middle East Eye 8/19/22: Congresswoman [McCollum] calls on White House to condemn Israeli closures of Palestinian NGOs


Members on the Record

Israel – Palestine

Cohen (D-TN-9) 08/30/2022: Tweet – “@sophstod @ewilsonstudios @VICE @RaytheonTech @LockheedMartin Yeah I bought Raytheon about 30 years ago because they had patriot missiles that were protecting Israel from attacking missiles intended to destroy Israel. BTW: I generally( nearly always) vote against Defense budget because too much $ .

Omar (D-MN-5) 08/30/2022: Tweet – “Incredible testimony from Daniel Levy. Link to quoted tweet

Cruz (R-TX) 08/29/2022: Tweet – “More and more leftists are explicit & unabashed about their anti-Semitic hatred for Israel. Nine left-wing groups pledge not to invite invite any speakers who support Zionism or “the apartheid state of Israel.” Bravo to Dean Chemerinsky for condemning. California, Berkeley university law school student orgs pledge to boycott Zionist, pro-Israel speakers… | foxnews.com

Gottheimer (D-NJ-5) 08/28/2022: Retweet of @JasonKoppel – “Packed community event hearing @RepJoshG reflect on the recent trip to Israel he led with @AIPAC foundation #AIEF. Thank you, Congressman for being a champion of a strong US-Israel relationship. Rep. Gottheimer Holds Q&A Following Trip to Israel… | google.com

Weber (R-TX-14) 08/29/2022: Retweet of @IDF – “IDF and Israel security forces conducted counterterrorism activities in Judea and Samaria overnight and this morning. During the activities, a suspected terrorist fired at soldiers while barricaded in a residential building, eventually surrendering. 1/2

Weber (R-TX-14) 08/29/2022: Tweet – “R.I.P. – Freedom of Speech in Berkeley, CA. Link to quoted tweet” [linked to Fox News tweet/article – ​​California, Berkeley university law school student orgs pledge to boycott Zionist, pro-Israel speakers]

Banks (R-IN-3) 08/26/2022: Retweet of @Kredo0 – “JUST IN: Republican Leaders Vow to Investigate U.S. Colleges for Pro-Iran Bias After Prof. Claims Israel Behind Rushdie Attack — Univ of Denver facing GOP fire after professor claims Mossad could have behind Rushdie stabbing Republicans Eye Pro-Iran Propaganda In US Colleges After Prof Claims Israel Behind Rushdie Attack… | freebeacon.com


McGovern (D-MA-2) 08/30/2022: Tweet – “Today I stand with the victims and survivors of #EnforcedDisappearance as they demand justice for their missing loved ones. We won’t give up #UntilWeFindThem. #Syria #Mexico #Colombia #SriLanka #Egypt #ElSalvador #Bangladesh #Guatemala #Philippines #China International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances | United Nations

Hagerty (R-TN) 08/29/2022: Twitter thread – “Iran-backed militias shooting Iraqi protesters just down the street from U.S. Embassy Baghdad today—days after Iran attacked U.S. troops in Syria—shows the folly of Biden’s policy of appeasing Iran’s terrorist regime. Live Fire Reported In Baghdad Green Zone As Backers Of Sadr, Pro-Iran Groups Battle… | rferl.org Everywhere the Iranian regime touches, it foments warfare & chaos. Biden’s focus should have been on deterring Iran-backed terrorist aggression, not on reviving the disastrous Iran nuclear deal & giving the mullahs tens of billions.

Jacobs (D-CA-53) 08/29/2022: Tweet – “I’m leading the Protection of Civilians in Conflict Caucus w/ @RepJasonCrow, @RepRoKhanna, @RepAndyKimNJ & @RepMalinowski to make sure DoD can fulfill its promises and successfully implement its plan to prevent civilian harm and make amends for past harms. What are we still doing in Syria?… | politico.com” Re-tweeted by Khanna (D-CA-17)

Jacobs (D-CA-53) 08/27/2022: Tweet – “Couldn’t have said it better myself. We need to have a national reckoning about an effective strategy in Syria that’s in line with our Constitution. Link to quoted tweet

Murphy (D-CT) 08/27/2022: Retweet of @DanDePetris – ““It is past time for a rethink about the wisdom of having so many Americans so thinly spread across the region,” Sen. @ChrisMurphyCT (D-Conn.) said in a statement Thursday…” Fighting between U.S. troops and militias draws scrutiny to Syria role… | washingtonpost.com


Banks (R-IN-3) 08/30/2022: Tweet – “Iran just sold drones to Russia to use in Ukraine but Biden & Dems are still hellbent on doing new Iran Deal to reward them for their bad behavior … insane!!

Blackburn (R-TN) 08/30/2022: Tweet – “Iran just sent its first shipment of combat drones to Russia to help Putin in his war. And in case you forgot, Russia is negotiating the new Iran Nuclear Deal on behalf of the U.S. The New Axis of Evil is up to no good.

Jacobs (D-CA-53) 08/31/2022: Tweet – “No one wants Iran to be a nuclear power. But let’s be clear: Trump’s plan of maximum pressure didn’t work. Iran got closer to a nuclear weapon and increased their bad behavior in the region. The Iran Deal is our best chance to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

Luria (D-VA-2) 08/30/2022: Tweet – “Two things I have been saying for four years: 1) All ships we currently have are useful. PCs are scheduled to decommission. 2) This was bound to happen to an unmanned ship and next time we might not have a ship to respond. The Navy wants to decommission 39 ships next year. Link to quoted tweet

Risch (R-ID) 08/30/2022: Tweet – “As the Biden Administration pursues a nuclear deal that fails to meet U.S. national security interests, #Iran enables #Putin’s assault against #Ukraine. Sanctions relief will only increase Iranian terrorism and further destabilize the region. Iran sends first shipment of drones to Russia for use in Ukraine… | washingtonpost.com

Bacon (R-NE-2) 08/30/2022: Retweet of @AIPAC – “A deal that benefits Russia & Putin is a bad deal. A deal that is shorter & weaker should be unacceptable. A deal that allows Iran to escape accountability for its undisclosed nuclear work & funds Iran’s terrorist activities will not make the world a safer place. #DangerousDeal

Banks (R-IN-3) 08/30/2022: Tweet – “The Biden admin reportedly may “guarantee” companies 2.5 years of business with Iran AFTER a new admin withdraws from the deal. But Biden can’t guarantee anything. The Max Pressure Act would reimpose sanctions immediately with no grace period. U.S. reacts to Iranian comments on draft nuclear deal… | politico.com

Cotton (R-AR) 08/29/2022: Retweet of @KatieBrittforAL – “There is no doubt that giving Iran hundreds of billions of dollars will only encourage Iran to engage in more terrorism. This “deal” would gravely endanger American national security and our allies. #alsen Link to quoted tweet

Cruz (R-TX) 08/30/2022: Tweet – “The next Republican president will rip up whatever ridiculous Biden-Iran deal is struck. Allowing the Ayatollah to have a nuclear weapon is an unacceptably high risk. That weapon would be used to murder millions of Americans! #Verdict Link to video

Gosar (R-AZ-4) 08/29/2022: Tweet – “The Biden regime resorting to the failed Iran Obama policies. Link to quoted tweet

Murphy (D-CT) 08/29/2022: Retweet of @votevets – “Attacks on U.S. Service Members by Iranian proxies rose 400 percent after Trump pulled out of the nuclear deal. Four. Hundred. Percent. Link to quoted tweet

Tenney (R-NY-22) 08/30/2022: Tweet – “Iran is actively trying to kill American citizens on US soil. So why is Joe Biden cutting the mullahs there a sweetheart deal that includes billions in sanctions relief? This deal would be a shameful betrayal of Joe Biden’s sacred duties as Commander in Chief.

Waltz (R-FL-6) 08/30/2022: Tweet – ““While Iran orchestrates attacks against our troops and attempted assassinations against American citizens in our own country, Biden is on the cusp of giving them billions of dollars in return for their horrifying behavior.” EXCLUSIVE – Rep. Mike Waltz Calls Biden Admin ‘Beyond Insane’ for New Iran Deal, Praises Trump’s ‘Maximum Pressure’… | breitbart.com

Cruz (R-TX) 08/28/2022: Tweet – “.@BreitbartNews: Ted Cruz Calls for Sanctions on Iran-Linked Socialist Argentina VP over ‘Brazen’ Corruption Ted Cruz Calls for Sanctions on Iran-Linked Socialist Argentina VP over ‘Brazen’ Corruption… | breitbart.com

Jackson (R-TX-13) 08/28/2022: Tweet – “Biden needs to immediately CEASE nuclear deal discussions with Iran. They are international TERRORISTS who are responsible for the deaths of thousands of Americans. Trump’s plan was simple: maximum pressure and NO WEAKNESS!

Murphy (D-CT) 08/28/2022: Tweet – “We tried Republicans’ Iran strategy from 2017-2021. What did we get? – Iran’s breakout time went from a year to 2 weeks – Iran restarted attacks on our Middle East troops – Iran increased support for regional proxy forces EVERYTHING got worse. Why would we listen to them now?

Murphy (D-CT) 08/28/2022: Tweet – “This idea that “Iran is dangerous so we shouldn’t make it harder for them to get a nuclear weapon” doesn’t seem super well thought out. Link to quoted tweet

Waltz (R-FL-6) 08/28/2022: Tweet – “Here’s what the Biden Admin is about to give away to the Iranian regime: Billions of frozen assets, $50M barrels of oil, AND lifted sanctions on the Ayatollah’s inner circle. In exchange we will get the same promises to not enrich uranium that EXPIRE in just a few years. Insane. Link to video

Waltz (R-FL-6) 08/29/2022: Tweet – “So much for the White House’s big trip to get the Saudis to pump more…Saudi Arabia Warns of OPEC+ Cuts to Oil Production in Response to Iran and Economic Dysfunction – The Foreign Desk | by Lisa Daftari

Weber (R-TX-14) 08/29/2022: Retweet of @RepDonaldsPress – “Iran must never get their hands on the ability to create nuclear weapons. The Iran Nuclear Deal is BAD for America, Israel, and the world. Biden and the Democrats are putting America LAST by bending the knee to the Iranian regime. Link to quoted tweet

Tenney (R-NY-22) 08/29/2022: Tweet – “Iran is plotting to kill Americans, holding our citizens hostage, expanding its nuclear program, and actively supporting terrorist groups that are attacking Israel. The answer to this rogue regime is pressure and firm resolve, not appeasement.

Waltz (R-FL-6) 08/28/2022: Tweet – “There will be a nuclear arms race in the Middle East if Iran fully develops a nuclear weapon, putting the U.S., Israel & the entire world in danger. The only way for Biden to stop the Iranian Regime is to show strength, not weakness. Link to video

Bacon (R-NE-2) 08/27/2022: Tweet – “Biden must prohibit Raisi from setting foot on U.S. soil at the UN General Assembly next month while Tehran actively plots to murder Americans on our own soil. @POTUS must also reject any “deal” that gives Tehran more money to spread terrorism & violence. It’s time to make Iran think twice about harming US citizens… | ow.ly

Cruz (R-TX) 08/28/2022: Tweet – “The effect of a Biden Iran deal will be a gift of a nuclear arsenal for the Ayatollah. #Verdict Link to video

Cruz (R-TX) 08/28/2022: Tweet – “Right now, the State Department is paying millions of dollars to protect former Trump administration officials from Iranian assassination attempts. Meanwhile, the Biden administration continues to negotiate with the Iranians for a nuclear deal. It’s indefensible. #Verdict Link to video

Fallon (R-TX-4) 08/27/2022: Tweet – “We CANNOT allow Iran the ability the obtain nuclear weapons — period.

Cornyn (R-TX) 08/28/2022: Tweet – “‘This is not what Biden promised’: Lapid slams EU’s Iran nuclear deal proposal ‘This is not what Biden promised’: Lapid slams EU’s Iran nuclear deal proposal… | haaretz.com

Green (R-TN-7) 08/26/2022: Tweet – “Does President Biden truly believe the billions of dollars from the Iran Nuclear Deal won’t be used for Iran-backed proxy attacks on American servicemembers and Israel?” Retweeted by Fallon (R-TX-4)

Lieu (D-CA-33) 08/26/2022: Tweet – “The MAGA Republican argument is that all U.S. national security documents described in the #Affidavit were magically declassified. That means not only can Trump see them, but also your neighbor. And the Iranians. And the Russians. That’s a traitorous argument being made by @GOP. Link to quoted tweet

Lieu (D-CA-33) 08/26/2022: Tweet – “MAGA Republicans argue that highly classified documents Trump took to Mar-a-Lago about human intelligence sources should be declassified and available to the general public (and as a result also available to adversaries like Iran and Russia). That is cultish, traitorous behavior. Link to quoted tweet

McCaul (R-TX-10) 08/26/2022: Retweet of @foxnewsradio – “GOP Congressman @RepMcCaul joins the #FOXNewsRundown #podcast to discuss the dangerous implications of the revival of the Iran nuclear deal and why he believes the country could develop nuclear weapons in a matter of years. FOX News Rundown… | buff.ly   Link to image” Also here: McCaul (R-TX-10) & McCaul (R-TX-10)

McCaul (R-TX-10) 08/26/2022: Tweet – “LR @RepMcCaul “Deeply troubled by the threats made by the President of #Argentina @alferdez against the prosecutor investigating VP @CFKArgentina’s collusion with #Iran. I call on the Biden administration to immediately condemn this behavior.”

McCaul (R-TX-10) 08/26/2022: Retweet of @HouseGOP – ““They are not operating in good faith here.” – @RepMcCaul slams Biden’s dangerous new Iran deal. Link to video

Omar (D-MN-5) 08/26/2022: Retweet of @tparsi – “Against all odds, the Iran nuclear deal is on the verge of being revived. But the new JCPOA will be more fragile than its predecessor and born into a geopolitical context that reduces rather than bolsters its longevity. Here’s how to make it stick >> Last Chance For America and Iran… | foreignaffairs.com


McGovern (D-MA-2) 08/30/2022: Tweet – “Today I stand with the victims and survivors of #EnforcedDisappearance as they demand justice for their missing loved ones. We won’t give up #UntilWeFindThem. #Syria #Mexico #Colombia #SriLanka #Egypt #ElSalvador #Bangladesh #Guatemala #Philippines #China International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances | United Nations

Doggett (D-TX-35) 08/28/2022: Tweet – “Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega is just another totalitarian thug. Whether pretending to be left-wing or right wing, like our purported ally el-Sisi in Egypt, those who engage in torture and suppression deserve our uniform condemnation. Nicaragua Silences Its Last Outspoken Critics: Catholic Priests… | nytimes.com

Saudi Arabia

Gallego (D-AZ-7) 08/29/2022: Twitter thread – “All these Trump supporters that suddenly are a bunch of peaceniks had no problem when dear leader armed the Saudi’s in their war in Yemen. They aren’t anti-war, they are Pro Trump and hate Ukraine for not helping him in his shake down. What You Need to Know About Trump’s $8 Billion Saudi Arms Deal… | pbs.org It’s really their only play right now. They tried going for the Putin isn’t such a bad guy route & that didn’t pan out So now they have to say they are antiwar. Even though the US has no military personnel on the ground unlike Yemen Trumped armed the Saudis and sent troops. Link to reply @azbrett Answers. your dear leader did! What You Need to Know About Trump’s $8 Billion Saudi Arms Deal… | pbs.org   Link to reply @TotalDepravity0 Inside the Yemen raid: What went wrong? SEAL’s father demands answers…. | nbcnews.com

Gallego (D-AZ-7) 08/29/2022: Retweet of @RubenGallego – “It’s really their only play right now. They tried going for the Putin isn’t such a bad guy route & that didn’t pan out So now they have to say they are antiwar. Even though the US has no military personnel on the ground unlike Yemen Trumped armed the Saudis and sent troops.

Swalwell (D-CA-15) 08/27/2022: Tweet – “What did Jared promise them for the $2 Billion? Report: Jared Kushner’s $2 Billion Saudi Check Appears Even More Comically Corrupt Than Previously Thought… | vanityfair.com

Swalwell (D-CA-15) 08/26/2022: Tweet – “Posted without comment: Report: Saudi crown prince says Kushner was “in his pocket”… | cbsnews.com


Coons (D-DE) 08/27/2022: Tweet – “Met with President Saied in Tunis last week to raise concerns about efforts to undermine the nation’s democracy and were encouraged by his promise to hold inclusive elections this year and protect freedom of speech and assembly. These commitments are crucial to Tunisia’s future. Link to image


Meeks (D-NY-5) 08/30/2022: Twitter thread – “CM @RepGregoryMeeks: Pleased by today’s news: just as one ship bearing critical grain supplies for Africa arrives in Djibouti, another sets sail from Ukraine to deliver relief to those facing acute hunger in Yemen. Link to quoted tweet This is an encouraging step toward addressing our global food security crisis, and I support continued efforts to provide relief to those suffering as a result of Russia’s unprovoked war in Ukraine.  WFP vessel leaves Ukraine with grain for humanitarian response in Yemen | World Food Programme