Produced by the Foundation for Middle East Peace in cooperation with Americans for Peace Now, where the Legislative Round-Up was conceived.
New from FMEP:
- 12/29/22: New episode of FMEP’s Occupied Thoughts podcast, Explained: What Israel’s New Government Means for Settlements, Outposts, & Area C, ft. FMEP Non-resident Fellow Peter Beinart, joined by Ziv Stahl (Yesh Din) to sketch out what the new Israeli government has said – and in some cases already started to implement – its policy on settlements, outposts, and Palestinian life in Area C will be. In addition, Ziv discusses the deepening challenges facing human rights organizations and their employees.
- 12/23/22: New episode of FMEP’s Occupied Thoughts podcast, Palestinian Views on Antisemitism from the 19th Century to the Present Day, ft. FMEP Fellow Peter Beinart speaking with FMEP Fellow Jehad Abusalim about Palestinian views on antisemitism, from 19th century Palestinian intellectuals to 20th century responses to the Holocaust and Zionism, from the first Hamas charter to today’s rising accusations of antisemitism to delegitimize Palestinian rights.
- 12/19/22: New episode of FMEP’s Occupied Thoughts podcast, “Philanthropy & Funding Palestinian Freedom”, ft. FMEP’s Sarah Anne Minkin speaking with Rebecca Vilkomerson, author of the recent report Funding Freedom: Philanthropy and the Palestinian Freedom Movement.
1. Bills, Resolutions & Letters
(THE MIDEAST IN THE FY23 OMNIBUS APPROPS BILL) HR 2617: Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 – signed by the President 12/29/22. Details in Section 2, below.
(IRAN HOSTAGES) S.2607: Introduced 8/4/21 by Padilla (D-CA) and having 69 cosponsors, the “Iran Hostages Congressional Gold Medal Act.” Signed by the President 12/27/22.
(VICTIMS OF LIBYAN TERROR) S. 5357: Introduced 12/22/22 by Collins (R-ME), “A bill to provide compensation for United States victims of Libyan state-sponsored terrorism, and for other purposes.” Passed/agreed 12/22/22 in the Senate by Unanimous Consent.
Note: The legislation listed below died with the end of the 117th Congress – watch for it to be reintroduced in the 118th Congress (which as of this writing is still in limbo, with Republicans as-yet unable to elect a Speaker).
(TARGETING IRAN) HR 9606: Introduced 12/15/22 by Wilson (R-SC), cosponsored by Gottheimer (D-NJ), Renney (R-NY) and Gonzalez (D-TX), “Revoking Entry Granted to Iranian Mullahs and Elites Act of 2022,” aka, the “REGIME Act of 2022.” Referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.
(PROTECTING JOURNALISTS) HR 9691: Introduced 12/23/22 by Carson (D-IN), “To require an investigation into all non-natural deaths of journalists in a foreign nation, who are United States citizens or working on behalf of a United States-based news media entity, and for other purposes.” Referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and the Committee on the Judiciary.
(NO US $$ FOR SAUDI MILITARY ACTION IN YEMEN) HR 9697: Introduced 12/27/22 by Khanna (D-CA) “To prohibit the use of funds to provide United States military support for the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen, and for other purposes.” Referred to the House Committee on Armed Services.
(CIVILIANS VS COMBATANTS) HR 9626: Introduced 12/20/22 by Khanna (D-CA) and 3 cosponsors, “To require an independent report on Department of Defense practices for distinguishing between combatants and civilians in United States military operations, and for other purposes.” Referred to the House Committee on Armed Services.
(INFO ON USG USING ISRAELI SPYWARE AGAINST AMERICANS) In late December, Rep. Schiff (D-CA), chair of the House Intelligence Committee, and Sen. Wyden (D-OR), member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, sent letters to the DEA and FBI, respectively, raising concerns about the agencies’ use of Israeli-produced spyware. Notably, both letters conspicuously omit mention of the fact that the companies producing the spyware are Israeli. Details on both letters are below. Media reports on the two letters (combined) include: Lawmakers Signal Inquiries Into U.S. Government’s Use of Foreign Spyware (New York Times 12/28/22); US lawmakers press government for answers over use of Israeli spyware (Middle East Eye 12/28/22); US lawmakers demand info from DEA, FBI on use of Israeli spyware (Times of Israel 12/31/22); U.S. Democrat lawmakers probe use of Israeli spyware by DEA, FBI (YNet 12/29/22)
Schiff letter to DEA Administrator: On 12/22/22, Rep. Schiff (D-CA) sent a letter to Drug Enforcement Administration Administrator Anne Milgram, requesting detailed information about the DEA’s use of foreign commercial spyware products in its operations. The focus of the letter is a “spyware product, Graphite, sold by the company Paragon” (the letter conspicuously omits mention of the fact that Paragon is an Israeli company). The letter notes, “Such use could have potential implications for U.S. national security, as well as run contrary to efforts to deter the broad proliferation of powerful surveillance capabilities to autocratic regimes and others who may misuse them.”
Wyden letter to FBI Director: On 12/20/22, Sen. Wyden (D-OR) sent a letter to FBI Director Wray requesting transparency about the frequency of government hacking and legal justifications for use of hacking methods, including the possible use of foreign malware. Also see:press release, Wyden tweet. The letter devotes an entire paragraph to the NSO Group (conspicuously omitting mention of the fact that it is an Israeli company) —
“Most recently, the public learned that the FBI purchased hacking software from the NSO Group,a controversial [Israeli] surveillance company whose software has been used by authoritarian governments to hack human rights activists, political dissidents, and journalists. At an open hearing of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on March 8, 2022, you confirmed that the FBI purchased a license for the NSO Group’s software, but testified that it had purchased a ‘limited license for testing and evaluation; so not used in any investigation of anyone.’ It was not until June 6, 2022, that you informed the public, in an unclassified letter to me, that one of the purposes of the license was to ‘explore potential future legal use of the NSO product.’ And it was not until November 2022, when the New York Times published internal FBI emails it obtained through a FOIA lawsuit, that the public learned that the FBI only abandoned its efforts to use NSO Group tools in July 2021. FBI officials even developed draft guidelines for federal prosecutors, outlining how information about the use of this tool would need to be disclosed during criminal cases. It remains unclear what triggered the decision by the FBI leadership to forgo operation use of the tool.”
The letter goes on to request answers to a list of 10 questions, five of which are specifically focused on NSO:
“2. After acquiring software from the NSO Group, did the FBI submit to the Vulnerabilities Equities Process the specific software exploits used by the NSO Group’s software? If not, please explain why.
3. According to media reports, the NSO Group’s software was discovered on devices used by State Department employees working overseas. Has the FBI ever alerted other U.S. government agencies about the specific vulnerabilities that the NSO Group’s software exploits or provided those agencies with malware signatures for the NSO Group’s software, so those agencies could defend their personnel from foreign government hacking? If not, please explain why.
4. Why did the FBI decide not to use the NSO Group’s software to support its investigations?
5. Was a legal determination made that would preclude the FBI’s future use of NSO or similar tools?
6. If the FBI determined that the NSO Group’s software posed a national security threat, please explain how the FBI will assess other surveillance technology vendors to determine if they pose the same threat.”
(HOLDING LEBANESE ELITE ACCOUNTABLE) Risch-Menendez letter to Blinken & Yellen: On 12/16/22, Sens. Risch (R-ID) and Menendez (D-NJ) sent a letter to SecState Blinken and Treasury Secretary Yellen summarized in their press release as “calling for accountability for those undermining institutions and the rule of law in Lebanon, including the imposition of sanctions. The senators urged the Biden Administration to signal strong support for Lebanese sovereignty, trans-sectarian institutions, and the rule of law and to act in lockstep with European allies that have built a Lebanon sanctions framework.” Also see Risch tweet.
2. The Middle East in the FY23 Ominbus Appropriations Bill
(THE MIDEAST IN THE FY23 OMNIBUS APPROPS BILL) HR 2617 (pdf): On 12/29/22, the President signed into law the “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023” – passed by the Senate on 12/22/22 (68-29).and by the House on 12/23/22 (225-201, with 1 voting present). Full details of Middle East-related provisions in this 1653-page bill and its accompanying Joint Explanatory Statement (in effect joint report language laying out details of Congressional intent) are below.
Israel Cooperative Programs: Sec. 8073 provides $500 million for Israel Cooperative Programs, with specific earmarks for:
- $80 million for Iron Dome;
- $127 million for the Short Range Ballistic Missile Defense (SRBMD);
- $40 million for co-production activities of SRBMD systems in the United States and in Israel;
- $80 million for co-production activities of Arrow 3 Upper Tier systems in the United States and in Israel; and $173 million for the Arrow System Improvement Program.
Middle East Border Security: Sec. 8113 provides $410 million “to reimburse Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia, and Oman under section 1226 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 (22 U.S.C. 2151 note), for enhanced border security, of which not less than $150,000,000 shall be for Jordan.” [NOTE: Republicans seized on this line item – in a bill funding a total of $1.7 TRILLION in programs – to ecstatically score points against the Biden Administration and Democrats – for examples see Section 3 of this Round-Up). They did so notwithstanding the fact that similar funding has been provided under past Defense Appropriations laws, passed when Republicans were in charge (for example, see details in FY18 law, or see text of FY17 law, under “Counter-ISIL Train and Equip Fund”.]
Limitations on use of funds, Syria/Iraq:
- Sec. 8131 bars funds being used “with respect to Iraq in contravention of the War Powers Resolution (50 U.S.C. 1541 et seq.), including for the introduction of United States Armed Forces into hostilities in Iraq, into situations in Iraq where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, or into Iraqi territory, airspace, or waters while equipped for combat, in contravention of the congressional consultation and reporting requirements of sections 3 and 4 of such Resolution (50 U.S.C. 1542 and 1543.”
- Sec. 8132 stipulates that “None of the funds made available by this Act may be used with respect to Syria in contravention of the War Powers Resolution (50 U.S.C. 1541 et seq.), including for the introduction of United States armed or military forces into hostilities in Syria, into situations in Syria where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, or into Syrian territory”.
- Sec. 8133 clarifies that “Nothing in this Act may be construed as authorizing the use of force against Iran or the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.”
- Sec. 8134 stipulates that “None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this or any other Act shall be obligated or expended by the United States Government for a purpose as follows: (1) To establish any military installation or base for th purpose of providing for the permanent stationing of United States Armed Forces in Iraq. (2) To exercise United States control over any oil resource of Iraq or Syria.”
- Sec. 8135 bars funds under the headings “Counter-ISIS Train and Equip Fund” and “Operation and Maintenance, Defense-Wide” from being used “to procure or transfer man-portable air defense systems.”
Assistance to Jordan: Sec. 8136 earmarks up to $500 million “to provide assistance to the Government of Jordan to support the armed forces of Jordan and to enhance security along its borders.”
TITLE I – DEPARTMENT OF STATE AND RELATED AGENCY
United States Agency for Global Media (USAGM) [formerly Broadcasting Board of Governors], international broadcasting operations: Perennial language providing $875,000,000 “For necessary expenses to enable the United States Agency for Global Media (USAGM), as authorized, to carry out international communication activities, and to make and supervise grants for radio, Internet, and television broadcasting to the Middle East.”
Center for Middle Eastern-Western Dialogue Trust Fund: Perennial provision stating: “For necessary expenses of the Center for Middle Eastern-Western Dialogue Trust Fund, as authorized by section 633 of the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2004 (22 U.S.C. 2078), the total amount of the interest and earnings accruing to such Fund on or before September 30, 2023, to remain available until expended.”
Israeli Arab Scholarship Program: Perennial provision stating: “For necessary expenses of the Israeli Arab Scholarship Program, as authorized by section 214 of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1992 and 1993 (22 U.S.C. 2452 note), all interest and earnings accruing to the Israeli Arab Scholarship Fund on or before September 30, 2023, to remain available until expended.”
TITLE III – BILATERAL ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE
Migration and refugee assistance (MRA): Provides $2,912,188,000, “of which $5,000,000 shall be made available for refugees resettling in Israel.” [Reminder: This is a perennial earmark that started out years ago – as a much larger number – when large numbers of Jews were coming to Israel from the former Soviet Union. In recent years it has leveled out at $5 million per year].
TITLE IV – INTERNATIONAL SECURITY ASSISTANCE
Non-proliferation, Anti-terrorism, Demining and Related Programs (NADR): This section includes a perennial stipulation that “…funds appropriated under this heading may be made available for the IAEA unless the Secretary of State determines that Israel is being denied its right to participate in the activities of that Agency.”
Peacekeeping Operations (PKO): Perennial SFOPS stipulation that, “of the funds appropriated under this heading, not less than $25,000,000 shall be made available for a United States contribution to the Multinational Force and Observers mission in the Sinai…”
TITLE VII – GENERAL PROVISIONS
Section 7007: Prohibition against direct funding for certain countries – This is a perennial povision banning aid to Cuba, North Korea, Iran, and Syria — extending to loans, credits, insurance, and guarantees of the Export-Import Bank or its agents.
Section 7008: Coups d’etat – Perennial provision prohibiting funds (under title II-VI of this Act) being “obligated or expended to finance directly any assistance to the government of any country whose duly elected head of government is deposed by military coup d’etat or decree or, after the date of enactment of this Act, a coup d’etat or decree in which the military plays a decisive role.” Permits resumption of funding post-coup d’etat if “a democratically elected government has taken office,” and stipulates that the prohibition “shall not apply to assistance to promote democratic elections or public participation in democratic processes, or to support a democratic transition.” Also, including a waiver if the Secretary of State “certifies and reports to the Committees on Appropriations that such waiver is in the national security interest of the United States…” The Joint Explanatory Statement accompanying the Act notes: “The agreement provides a new program-by-program national security interest waiver of the prohibition on funds for the government of a country whose duly elected head of government is deposed by a coup d’etat. Such waiver is intended to be used to improve consistency and transparency in the application of this section.”
Section 7013: Prohibition on taxation of United States assistance – This is a perennial provision barring taxation of U.S. assistance. While this provision appears generic, the only recipient explicitly identified is the West Bank and Gaza. This singling out of the Palestinians reflects the genesis of the provision: long-past allegations that the Palestinian Authority (PA) was taxing U.S. assistance provided to NGOs (recall that under existing law direct aid to the PA is prohibited), and thereby indirectly benefiting from US assistance designed specifically to bypass the PA.
***NOTE: This previously non-controversial provision may become important soon, given the announced intention of the new Israeli government to impose taxes on foreign government funding to Israeli NGOs (a policy explicitly aimed at undermining/destroying NGOs whose work challenges or seeks accountability for Israeli government actions/policies). Given that the US government today funds some Israeli NGOs via the Lowey Fund – including $50 million in this Act — this could put the Israeli government on something of a collision course with both the Biden Administration and supporters of the Lowey Fund in Congress. In the event that Israel does go ahead with such taxes, it should face penalties under Section 7013, to the tune of 200% of the amount of taxes assessed, to be withheld from FY24 assistance to Israel. That is, unless the Biden Administration opted to make some other special arrangement with Israel, under the wiggle room provided in this section (which appears to have been drafted for just this kind of situation), according to which “The provisions of this section shall not apply to any foreign government or entity that assesses such taxes if the Secretary of State reports to the Committees on Appropriations that — A) such foreign government or entity has an effective arrangement that is providing substantial reimbursement of such taxes; or (B) the foreign policy interests of the United States outweigh the purpose of this section to ensure that United States assistance is not subject to taxation.” Should Congress and the Biden Administration opt for this “solution,” it would in effect give a US kosher stamp to the Israeli government killing Israel’s human rights/civil society sector and demonstrate (once again) what it means, as a matter of formal policy, to hold Israel to a different, lower standard than other countries of the world.***
Section 7015: Notification requirements — Part (f) of this provision states that no funds appropriated under titles III through VI of this Act (pretty much all funds in the bill) may be obligated or expended for assistance to a laundry list of countries, “except as provided through regular notification procedures of the Committees on Appropriations.” From the Middle East, the list includes (this year): Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, Tunisia, and Yemen.
Section. 7021: Prohibition on assistance to governments supporting international terrorism – Perennial provision prohibiting funding to any country “which provides lethal military equipment to a country the government of which the Secretary of State has determined supports international terrorism…” and prohibits bilateral assistance to any country that supports international terrorism, gives sanctuary to terrorist, or is controlled by a terrorist organization. The section includes national security waivers for both restrictions.
Section 7033: international religious freedom – Part (c) notes: “Funds appropriated by this Act and prior Acts making appropriations for the Department of State, foreign operations, and related programs under the heading ‘’Economic Support Fund’’ may be made available notwithstanding any other provision of law for assistance for ethnic and religious minorities in Iraq and Syria.”
Section 7034: Special Provision –
- Extension of loan guarantees to Israel: extends the loan guarantee program provided for Israel under Chapter 5 of title I of the Emergency Wartime Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2003 (Public Law 108-11; 117 Stat. 576) – which was due to expire on 9/30/23 – to remain in place until 9/30/28.
- Costs of loan guarantees: includes a provision stipulating that “Funds appropriated under the headings ‘Economic Support Fund’ and ‘Assistance for Europe, Eurasia and Central Asia’ by this Act and prior Acts making appropriations for the Department of State, foreign operations, and related programs may be made available for the costs, as defined in section 502 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, of loan guarantees for Egypt, Jordan, Small Island Developing States, Tunisia, and Ukraine, which are authorized to be provided…”
Section 7035: Law enforcement and security –
- Part (b)(3) of this section is a perennial provision providing for financing of commercial leasing of defense articles to Israel, Egypt, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and major non-NATO allies.
- Part (c)(2) lays out limitations related to landmines and cluster munitions.
- Part (c)(3) states: “If the Secretary of State has information that a unit of a foreign security force uses excessive force to repress peaceful expression or assembly concerning corruption, harm to the environment or human health, or the fairness of electoral processes, or in countries that are undemocratic or undergoing democratic transition, the Secretary shall promptly determine if such information is credible: Provided, That if the information is determined to be credible, funds appropriated by this Act should not be used for tear gas, small arms, light weapons, ammunition, or other items for crowd control purposes for such unit, unless the Secretary of State determines that the foreign government is taking effective measures to bring the responsible members of such unit to justice.”
Section 7037: Palestinian statehood — Perennial provision barring (with extensive language) assistance to a Palestinian state that does not meet a series of conditions (includes perennial Presidential waiver authority).
Section 7038: Prohibition on Assistance to the Palestinian Broadcasting Corp — Perennial language (dating back many many years) barring any U.S. assistance to the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation.
Section 7039: Assistance for the West Bank and Gaza — Perennial section laying out far-reaching restrictions and conditions, as well as vetting, oversight and audit requirements, for U.S. assistance programs (carried out through non-governmental organizations) in the West Bank and Gaza. The section provides up to $1.3 million to be spent on audits, investigations “and other activities in furtherance of the requirements of this subsection”.
Section 7040: Limitation on Assistance for the Palestinian Authority — Perennial section banning U.S. assistance to the Palestinian Authority, while granting the President authority to waive that ban if doing so is “important to the national security interest of the United States”subject to various limits (unrelated to U.S. national security interest) and reporting and certification requirements. The section also includes a perennial subsection (f) entitled “Prohibition to Hamas and the Palestine Liberation Organization” (lumping together a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization with the internationally recognized representative of the Palestinian people that is NOT a U.S.-designated FTO). This subsection bars funding to the PLO and for salaries of PA personnel in Gaza or for Hamas or any entity “effectively controlled by Hamas, any power-sharing government of which Hamas is a member, or that results from an agreement with Hamas and over which Hamas exercises undue influence.” This formulation is designed to make it difficult for the U.S. engage any kind of Palestinian power-sharing government that could result from Fatah-Hamas reconciliation or from some other arrangements that might lead to a national unity government or a mutually-agreed technocratic government (the text has evolved over the years in response to Palestinian efforts to achieve such governments). This subsection also notes that the prohibition does not apply if the President “certifies and reports to the Committees on Appropriations that such government, including all of its ministers or such equivalent, has publicly accepted and is complying with the principles contained in section 620K(b)(1) (A) and (B) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended.” It also includes the proviso that, “the President may exercise the authority in section 620K(e) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as added by the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-446) with respect to this subsection.”
As a reminder: Section 620K(b)(1)(A) and (B) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended, reads as follows:
(b) Certification.–A certification described in subsection (a) is a certification transmitted by the President to Congress that contains a determination of the President that– (1) no ministry, agency, or instrumentality of the Palestinian Authority is effectively controlled by Hamas, unless the Hamas-controlled Palestinian Authority has– (A) publicly acknowledged the Jewish state of Israel’s right to exist; and (B) committed itself and is adhering to all previous agreements and understandings with the United States Government, with the Government of Israel, and with the international community, including agreements and understandings pursuant to the Performance-Based Roadmap to a Permanent Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (commonly referred to as the `Roadmap’).
And 620K(e) reads as follows:
(e) National Security Waiver.– (1) In general.–Subject to paragraph (2), the President may waive subsection (a) with respect to- (A) the administrative and personal security costs of the Office of the President of the Palestinian Authority; (B) the activities of the President of the Palestinian Authority to fulfill his or her duties as President, including to maintain control of the management and security of border crossings, to foster the Middle East peace process, and to promote democracy and the rule of law; and (C) assistance for the judiciary branch of the Palestinian Authority and other entities. (2) Certification.–The President may only exercise the waiver authority under paragraph (1) after–(A) consulting with, and submitting a written policy justification to, the appropriate congressional committees; and (B) certifying to the appropriate congressional committees that– (i) it is in the national security interest of the United States to provide assistance otherwise prohibited under subsection (a); and (ii) the individual or entity for which assistance is proposed to be provided is not a member of, or effectively controlled by (as the case may be), Hamas or any other foreign terrorist organization. (3) Report.—Not later than 10 days after exercising the waiver authority under paragraph (1), the President shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report describing how the funds provided pursuant to such waiver will be spent and detailing the accounting procedures that are in place to ensure proper oversight and accountability. (4) Treatment of certification as notification of program change.–For purposes of this subsection, the certification required under paragraph (2)(B) shall be deemed to be a notification under section 634A and shall be considered in accordance with the procedures applicable to notifications submitted pursuant to that section.
Section 7041: Middle East and North Africa – This section lays out funding/conditions on Middle East countries, as follows:
Certification and report: This subsection of the law stipulates that funds appropriated by this Act that are available for assistance for Egypt “may be made available notwithstanding any other provision of law restricting assistance for Egypt, except for section 620M of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 and may only be made available for assistance for the Government of Egypt if the Secretary of State certifies and reports to the Committees on Appropriations that such government is– (A) sustaining the strategic relationship with the United States; and (B) meeting its obligations under the 1979 Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty.”
Reminder: Section 620M of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 states that “No assistance shall be furnished under this Act or the Arms Export Control Act to any unit of the security forces of a foreign country if the Secretary of State has credible information that such unit has committed a gross violation of human rights.” It adds that this prohibition “shall not apply if the Secretary determines and reports to the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate, the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives, and the Committees on Appropriations that the government of such country is taking effective steps to bring the responsible members of the security forces unit to justice.”
ESF: This subsection earmarks for Egypt not less than $125 million in ESF, of which up to $40 million “should be made available for higher education programs,” including not less than $15 million for scholarships; provided that such funds “shall be made available for democracy programs, and for development programs in the Sinai”.
FMF: The subsection earmarks up to $1.3 billion in FMF for Egypt, to remain available until September 30, 2024, and stipulates that these funds may be transferred to the interest-bearing account (a benefit granted to Egypt years ago by Congress to try to create some symmetry with Israel’s early disbursal provision). The bill stipulates that $225 million of such funds “shall be withheld from obligation until the Secretary of State certifies and reports to the Committees on Appropriations that the Government of Egypt is taking sustained and effective steps to: (i) strengthen the rule of law, democratic institutions, and human rights in Egypt, including to protect religious minorities and the rights of women, which are in addition to steps taken during the previous calendar year for such purposes;(ii) implement reforms that protect freedoms of expression, association, and peaceful assembly, including the ability of civil society organizations, human rights defenders, and the media to function without interference; (iii) hold Egyptian security forces accountable, including officers credibly alleged to have violated human rights; (iv) investigate and prosecute cases of extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances; (v) provide regular access for United States officials to monitor such assistance in areas where the assistance is used; and (vi) comply with the requirement under this section in the explanatory statement described in section 4 (in the matter preceding division A of this consolidated Act).”
WAIVER: This subsection provides the Secretary of State authority to waive the aforementioned certification requirement if he determines and reports to Congress that “such funds are necessary for counterterrorism, border security, or nonproliferation programs or that it is otherwise important to the national security interest of the United States to do so.”
NON-WAIVABLE WITHHOLDING: This subsection imposes an additional withholding requirement: $95 million in FMF shall be withheld from obligation until the Secretary of State determines and reports to Congress that “the Government of Egypt is making clear and consistent progress in releasing political prisoners, providing detainees with due process of law, and preventing the intimidation and harassment of American citizens.” There is no waiver provided for this withholding.
Further stipuluations: The Joint Explanatory Statement accompanying the Act also stipulates:
- “Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of the Act, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense, shall update the report required under this heading in Senate Report 116-126 on Egypt’s compliance with end-user monitoring agreements for the use of United States military equipment in the Sinai, in the manner described.”
- “Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of the Act, the Secretary of State shall submit a report to the appropriate congressional committees on incidents of harassment, threats, and arbitrary detention against American citizens, and their family members in Egypt and the United States.”
This subsection stipulates that funding in the bill (under Diplomatic Programs, ESF, and NADR) “shall be made available for the programs and activities described under this section in House Report 117-84.” As a reminder, the programs and activities described in House Report 117-84 are: “(1) to support the United States policy to prevent Iran from achieving the capability to produce or otherwise obtain a nuclear weapon; (2) to support an expeditious response to any violation of United Nations Security Council Resolutions or to efforts that advance Iran’s nuclear program; (3) to support the implementation, enforcement, and renewal of sanctions against Iran for its support of nuclear weapons development, terrorism, human rights abuses, and ballistic missile and weapons proliferation; and (4) for democracy programs for Iran, to be administered by the Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs, Department of State, in consultation with the Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, Department of State.”
It also requires the Secretary of State to submit two reports to Congress: (A) the semi-annual report required by section 135(d)(4) of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (42 U.S.C. 2160e(d)(4)), as added by section 2 of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 (Public Law 114–17), and (B) Not later than 180 days after the enactment of this Act, a report on “(i) the status of United States bilateral sanctions on Iran; (ii) the reimposition and renewed enforcement of secondary sanctions; and (iii) the impact such sanctions have had on Iran’s destabilizing activities.”
This subsection stipulates that funds under Titles III and IV of the Act shall be made available for assistance to Iraq for “(A) bilateral economic assistance and international security assistance, including in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq; (B) stabilization assistance, including in Anbar Province;(C) programs to support government transparency and accountability, support judicial independence, protect the right of due process, end the use of torture, and combat corruption;(D) humanitarian assistance, including in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq; (E) programs to protect and assist religious and ethnic minority populations; and (F) programs to increase United States private sector investment.” It also states that: “None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used by the Government of the United States to enter into a permanent basing rights agreement between the United States and Iraq.”
The ESF table in the Joint Explanatory Statement accompanying this Act indicates Congressional intent to provide $150 million for Iraq, of which $10 million is for scholarships, $25 million is for “democracy”, and $2.5 million is for Justice sector assistance. The FMF table in the Joint Explanatory Statement accompanying the Act indicates Congressional intent to provide $250 million for Iraq.
The JES also notes that the agreement includes for Iraq, “not less than” $47.5 million in NADR; $1 million in IMET; and $10 million in ESF “to support American-style higher education institutions in Iraq, including in the Kurdistan region, on an open and competitive basis.” It also requires that “Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of the Act, the Secretary of State shall submit a report to the Committees on Appropriations on steps taken by the governments of the United States and Iraq to maintain the Memorandum of Understanding terms for United States specific rice tender.”
This subsection earmarks “not less than” $3.3 billion for Israel, to be disbursed (as usual) in a lump sum within 30 days of this Act becoming law, and with permission for Israel to use $775,300,000 for procurement in Israel.
Reminder: As always, neither this Act nor the Joint Explanatory Statement accompanying includes any conditions/restrictions/reports/vetting/oversight requirements/comments of any kind with respect to this $3.3 billion in cash aid for Israel.
At the same time, and as highlighted previously in the Round-Up, the little-remarked special stipulations enjoyed by Israel on its aid – early disbursal and permission for almost $800 million of FMF to be spent inside Israel – are unique to Israel’s aid program. Both significantly increase the value of the assistance to Israel and the cost of the assistance to the U.S. In all other cases, FMF is obligated and disbursed by the U.S. on an as-used basis, meaning that the U.S. either keeps the money in the U.S. Treasury until it is needed (where it earns interest) or if the money is not in the U.S. Treasury, the U.S. does not have to borrow it until it is needed (meaning less interest paid). In the case of Israel, the entire amount is handed over in a lump sum within 30 days of the law passing, meaning that Israel can bank the money and earn interest on it (which it can spend however and wherever it likes). In addition, in all other cases, FMF must be spent inside the U.S. (unless a specific exemption is granted). The logic behind this is that FMF is not just a “gift” to a foreign country but is actually a form of investment in the U.S. economy. In Israel’s case, however, almost $800 million of FMF may be used in Israel, rather than for the benefit of U.S. industry (this amount is gradually being phased out, but between now and the time it is phased out completely it still represents billions of dollars).
This subsection states that not less than $1,650,000,000 under Titles III and IV of the bill “shall” be made available for Jordan (a hard earmark), of which not less than $425 million “shall” by FMF.
The Joint Explanatory Statement accompanying the bill notes: “The agreement supports the Government of Jordan in making sustainable economic reforms, including in the water and public sectors, consistent with the terms of the new Memorandum of Understanding between the United States and the Government of Jordan. Within the total amounts designated in the Act for assistance for Jordan, the agreement includes not less than the following: $10,400,000 under Nonproliferation, Anti-terrorism, Demining and Related Programs; and $3,800,000 under International Military Education and Training.”
This subsection states that funds under titles III and IV “shall be made available for assistance to Lebanon.” It also states that ESF may be made available “notwithstanding section 1224 of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2003 (Public Law 107–228; 22 U.S.C. 2346 note).”
The ESF table in the Joint Explanatory Statement accompanying the Act indicates Congressional intent to provide $112.5 million for Lebanon, of which $14 million is intended for scholarships.
The JES text notes that “The agreement includes assistance for Lebanon at levels not less than those requested for fiscal year 2023.” This subsection also stipulates that INCLE and FMF funding for Lebanon “may be made available for programs and equipment for the Lebanese Internal Security Forces (ISF) and the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) to address security and stability requirements in areas affected by conflict in Syria, following consultation with the appropriate congressional committees.” It notes further that FMF funding for Lebanon may only be used to: “(i) professionalize the LAF to mitigate internal and external threats from non-state actors, including Hizballah; (ii) strengthen border security and combat terrorism, including training and equipping the LAF to secure the borders of Lebanon and address security and stability requirements in areas affected by conflict in Syria, interdicting arms shipments, and preventing the use of Lebanon as a safe haven for terrorist groups; and (iii) implement United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701.” And it further stipulates that: prior to obligating funds for the LAF, the Secretary of State must submit to the Committees a spend plan, “including actions to be taken to ensure equipment provided to the LAF is used only for the intended purposes”; and that no funding shall be made available for the ISF or LAF if either is “controlled by a foreign terrorist organization, as designated pursuant to section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1189).”
This subsection states that “Funds appropriated under titles III and IV of this Act shall be made available for stabilization assistance for Libya, including support for a United Nations-facilitated political process and border security: Provided, That the limitation on the uses of funds for certain infrastructure projects in section 7041(f)(2) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2014 (division K of Public Law 113–76) shall apply to such funds.”
This subsection stipulates that funds appropriated under titles III and IV of this Act “shall be made available for assistance for Morocco.”
The Joint Explanatory Statement accompanying the Act notes that the agreement includes “not less than” $10 million in ESF, “not less than” $10 million in DA and $10 million in FMF for assistance for Morocco.
(i) SAUDI ARABIA.
This subsection states that: “None of the funds appropriated by this Act under the heading ‘International Military Education and Training’ may be made available for assistance for the Government of Saudi Arabia.” It also bars funding for the Export-Import Bank to “guarantee, insure, or extend (or participate in the extension of) credit in connection with the export of nuclear technology, equipment, fuel, material, or other nuclear-related goods and services to Saudi Arabia” unless the Government of Saudi Arabia “(A) has in effect a nuclear cooperation agreement pursuant to section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (42 U.S.C. 2153); (B) has committed to renounce uranium enrichment and reprocessing on its territory under that agreement; and (C) has signed and implemented an Additional Protocol to its Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency.”
This subsection states that “Funds appropriated by this Act under titles III and IV may be made available, notwithstanding any other provision of law, for non-lethal stabilization assistance for Syria, including for emergency medical and rescue response and chemical weapons use investigations.” The subsection further stipulates that such funds may not be made available for: “a project or activity that supports or otherwise legitimizes the Government of Iran, foreign terrorist organizations…or a proxy of Iran in Syria;” or “…activities that further the strategic objectives of the Government of the Russian Federation that the Secretary of State determines may threaten or undermine United States national security interests” and “should not be used [a soft prohibition] in areas of Syria controlled by a government led by Bashar al-Assad or associated forces.” This section also lays out monitoring/oversight and consultation/notification requirements.
The Joint Explanatory Statement accompanying the Act indicates Congressional intent to provide $11 million for Syria for democracy programs. It also notes: “Recognizing that the failure to address extremism at al-Hol Camp could further destabilize the region and strengthen the Islamic State, the agreement includes funds under Economic Support Fund for programs to address instability and insecurity in al-Hol Camp, including to mitigate extremism among Camp youth, following consultation with the Committees on Appropriations. Not later than 45 days after the date of enactment of the Act, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the heads of other relevant Federal agencies, shall brief the Committees on Appropriations on plans to work with United States allies to address the growing security threat posed by conditions at the al-Hol displacement camp in Syria and associated ISIS-detention sites being guarded by the Syrian Democratic Forces, where over 70 percent of the population is reportedly under age 18.”
This subsection of the bill states: “Funds appropriated under titles III and IV of this Act shall be made available for assistance for Tunisia for programs to improve economic growth and opportunity, support democratic governance and civil society, protect due process of law, and maintain regional stability and security, following consultation with the Committees on Appropriations.” It also requires a report on Congress from the Secretary of State “on the extent to which— (A) the Government of Tunisia is implementing economic reforms, countering corruption, and taking credible steps to restore constitutional order and democratic governance, including respecting freedoms of expression, association, and the press, and the rights of members of political parties, that are in addition to steps taken in the preceding fiscal year; (B) the Government of Tunisia is maintaining the independence of the judiciary and holding security forces who commit human rights abuses accountable; and (C) the Tunisian military has remained an apolitical and professional institution.”
(l) WEST BANK & GAZA.
Assistance: Part 1 of this subsection states that “Funds appropriated by this Act under the heading ‘Economic Support Fund’ shall be made available for programs in the West Bank and Gaza, which may include water, sanitation, and other infrastructure improvements.”
The ESF table in the Joint Explanatory Statement accompanying the Act indicates Congressional intent to provide $225 million for the West Bank and Gaza.
Report on Assistance: Part 2 of this subsection is a perennial requirement that prior to the obligation of any funds for the West Bank and Gaza, the Secretary of State shall report to Congress that the purpose of such assistance is to: “(A) advance Middle East peace; (B) improve security in the region; (C) continue support for transparent and accountable government institutions; (D) promote a private sector economy; or (E) address urgent humanitarian needs.”
Limitations on Assistance: Part 3 of this subsection lays out further limitations on U.S. funding for the Palestinian Authority, linked to the UN and the ICC.
- Barring Aid to the PA: Part 3(A) is perennial language – introduced during the Obama Era – barring any ESF funding for the PA if after the date this bill becomes law “the Palestinians obtain the same standing as member states or full membership as a state in the United Nations or any specialized agency thereof outside an agreement negotiated between Israel and the Palestinians” or “the Palestinians initiate an International Criminal Court (ICC) judicially authorized investigation, or actively support such an investigation, that subjects Israeli nationals to an investigation for alleged crimes against Palestinians.” This section provides the Secretary of State the authority to waive the ban on assistance to the PA in the case where the Palestinians gain status at the UN if he “certifies to the Committees on Appropriations that to do so is in the national security interest of the United States, and submits a report to such Committees detailing how the waiver and the continuation of assistance would assist in furthering Middle East peace.” As in past years, no waiver is provided in the case of a Palestinian-initiated or Palestinian-backed effort ICC investigation [which, in fact, exists today) — meaning that under this section, the US is barred from granting any ESF for the PA, period (irrespective of whether the Palestinians adopt policy changes to address the demands of the Taylor Force Act).
- Preventing the PLO Office from Re-Opening in the U.S.: Part 3(B) is a perennial provision limiting the President’s ability to waive longstanding (and anachronistic) legislation barring the PLO from having any representation in the United States. Where for decades Congress granted the President a “clean” national security or national interests waiver of that prohibition (contained in section 1003 of Public Law 100-204), starting in the Obama era Congress moved to make such waiver contingent on the President certifying that the Palestinians have not, after the date of enactment of this Act, “obtained in the United Nations or any specialized agency thereof the same standing as member states or full membership as a state outside an agreement negotiated between Israel and the Palestinians” or “initiated or actively supported an ICC investigation against Israeli nationals for alleged crimes against Palestinians.” These conditions on Palestinian diplomatic representation in the US can be waived only if the President certifies that the Palestinians “have taken credible steps to enter into direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel [a condition that is in large part dependent not on the Palestinians but on Israel] and it is important to the national security interests of the United States and the conduct of diplomacy in advancing Middle East peace”. Of course, the PLO office in Washington was shut down by the Trump Administration, ostensibly for its actions at the ICC [ostensibly, because even after determining that the legally required certification for the waiver was impossible, the Trump Administration permitted the PLO office to remain open, in violation of the law, based on an apparent assertion of executive authority – eventually evicting the PLO from Washington for its own reasons. As a reminder, Congress did not object in any way to this violation of the law].
Taylor Force Act: Part 4 of this subsection is a perennial provision noting that “Funds appropriated by this Act under the heading ‘Economic Support Fund’ that are made available for assistance for the West Bank and Gaza shall be made available consistent with section 1004(a) of the Taylor Force Act (title X of division S of Public Law 115–141).”
Security report: Part 5 of this subsection is a perennial provision stating: “The reporting requirements contained in section 1404 of the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2008 (Public Law 110-252) shall apply to funds made available by this Act, including a description of modifications, if any, to the security strategy of the Palestinian Authority.” As a reminder, Section 1404 of PL 110-252 states: “Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act and 180 days thereafter, the Secretary of State shall submit to the Committees on Appropriations a report on assistance provided by the United States for the training of Palestinian security forces, including detailed descriptions of the training, curriculum, and equipment provided; an assessment of the training and the performance of forces after training has been completed; and a description of the assistance that has been pledged and provided to Palestinian security forces by other donors: Provided, That not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State shall report to the Committees on Appropriations, in classified form if necessary, on the security strategy of the Palestinian Authority.”
Incitement report: Part 6 of this subsection is a perennial provision stipulation that, “Not later than 90 days after enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State shall submit a report to the appropriate congressional committees detailing steps taken by the Palestinian Authority to counter incitement of violence against Israelis and to promote peace and coexistence with Israel.”
Other assistance: The Joint Explanatory Statement accompanying the Act indicates Congressional intent to provide $42 million in INCLE for the West Bank and Gaza, “which shall be the joint responsibility of the Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs and the U.S. Security Coordinator for Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Not later than 45 days after the date of enactment of the Act, the Secretary of State shall consult with the Committees on Appropriations on the intended uses of such funds and on efforts to professionalize Palestinian security forces and to build, maintain, and sustain Palestinian security and justice sector institutions.”
Additional Middle East-related stipulations in the Joint Explanatory Statement:
The ESF table in the JES also indicates Congressional intent to provide:
- Middle East Partnership Initiative –$27.2 million, of which $20 million is for scholarships
- Middle East Regional Cooperation – $8 million
- Near East Regional Democracy – $55 million
- Nita M. Lowey Middle East Partnership for Peace Act – $50 million
The JES also indicates intent to provide $15 million in funding for “Democracy Programs” (out of ESF funds) for: Near East Regional Democracy ($15 million) and Yemen ($3 million).
The JES also including the following stipulations:
- Bahrain Report: “Not later than 60 days after the date of enactment of the Act, the Secretary of State shall submit a report to the Committees on Appropriations detailing efforts made on behalf of political prisoners in Bahrain and the Government of Bahrain’s response.”
- Lowey Fund: “The MEPPA consultation required under this section in the House report shall include detail on funds made available specifically for women’s leadership programs that bring together Israeli and Palestinian women who are committed to working in pursuit of Middle East peace.”
- Yemen. “The agreement includes funds under title III of the Act and under Nonproliferation, Anti-terrorism, Demining and Related Programs for health, humanitarian, and stabilization assistance for Yemen, including demining operations.”
Section 7046: Europe and Eurasia — Part (d) of this section of the bill states: “None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to facilitate or support the sale of defense articles or defense services to the Turkish Presidential Protection Directorate (TPPD) under chapter 2 of the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2761 et seq.) unless the Secretary of State determines and reports to the appropriate congressional committees that members of the TPPD who are named in the July 17, 2017, indictment by the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, and against whom there are pending charges, have returned to the United States to stand trial in connection with the offenses contained in such indictment or have otherwise been brought to justice: Provided, That the limitation in this paragraph shall not apply to the use of funds made available by this Act for border security purposes, for North Atlantic Treaty Organization or coalition operations, or to enhance the protection of United States officials and facilities in Turkey.”
Section 7048: United Nations – This section includes perennial provisions targeting the United Nations, including:
- No $$ for agencies headed by bad guys: Part (b)(1) of this subsection prohibits funding expenses for expenses for any US delegation to anything having to do with, or contributions to any agency, body, or commission associated with the UN that is chaired or presided over by a country, the government of which the Secretary of State has determined, according to U.S. law, “supports international terrorism.” Part (b)(2) bars US contributions to any organization, agency, commission, or program within the United Nations system if such organization, agency, commission, or program is chaired or presided over by a country the government of which the Secretary of State has determined “has repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism.” Part (b)(3) gives authority for the Secretary of State to waive these prohibitions if he/she determines and reports to Congress that doing so is important for the national interest of the United States.
- Pressure on UN Human Rights Council (over Israel): This (c) of this section provides that no funding shall be made available for the UNHRC “unless the Secretary of State determines and reports to the Committees on Appropriations that participation in the Council is important to the national interest of the United States and that such Council is taking significant steps to remove Israel as a permanent agenda item and ensure integrity in the election of members to such Council.” The section goes on to stipulate that such report supporting funding for the UNHRC, “shall include a description of the national interest served and the steps taken to remove Israel as a permanent agenda item and ensure integrity in the election of members to such Council.” In addition, this section requires the Secretary to report to Congress by September 30, 2023, “on the resolutions considered in the United Nations Human Rights Council during the previous 12 months, and on steps taken to remove Israel as a permanent agenda item and ensure integrity in the election of members to such council.”
- UNRWA: Part (d) of this section of the bill stipulates that prior to the initial obligation of funds for UNRWA, the Secretary of State “shall” report to Congress, in writing, on whether UNRWA is a long list of benchmarks (benchmarks that have been basically consistent for a number of years and that UNRWA has satisfied). Also, the Joint Explanatory Statement accompanying the Act notes: “The agreement includes funds under this heading, in addition to funds provided under Migration and Refugee Assistance to maintain food assistance to vulnerable Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza in response to rising food and transport costs.”
- Pressure on Other UN Agencies (over Israel): Part (f) requires reporting to Congress on any U.S. contributions to international organizations that are withheld due to any provision of law [for example, U.S. funding to UNESCO, blocked for many years by US law because UNESCO admitted the Palestinians as a full member – but note that this same Act includes a first-time waiver of that block].
Section 7050: Global Internet Freedom – Subsection (1) of this section states, among other things, that funds appropriated by this Act available under this subsection shall be “for programs to implement the May 2011, International Strategy for Cyberspace, the Department of State International Cyberspace Policy Strategy required by section 402 of the Cybersecurity Act of 2015 (division N of Public Law 114-113), and the comprehensive strategy to promote Internet freedom and access to information in Iran, as required by section 414 of the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012 (22 U.S.C. 8754)”. The Joint Explanatory Statement accompanying the Act earmarks $16.75 million in ESF from this account for Near East Regional Democracy.
Section 7060: Sector Allocations – Among other things, this section earmarks not less than $7 million for “scholar rescue programs,” including for scholars from Yemen.
**NEW** Section 7070: WAIVER AUTHORITY [UNESCO]–
This new provision section gives the president conditional (as in, he must certify that specific conditions have been met), temporary (as in, the provision automatically sunsets in 2025) waiver to enable the US to restore relations with UNESCO, after the Palestinians’ admission to the agency forced the US to, in effect, quit (based on 2 US laws designed to blackmail UN agencies to NOT admit the Palestinians). Specifically, the bill states:
“The President may waive section 414 of Public Law 101-246 and section 410 of Public Law 103-236 with respect to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization if the President determines and reports in writing to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, and the appropriate congressional committees that to do so would enable the United States to counter Chinese influence or to promote other national interests of the United States: Provided, That the authority of this section shall cease to have effect if, after enactment of this Act, the Palestinians obtain the same standing as member states or full membership as a state in the United Nations or any specialized agency thereof outside an agreement negotiated between Israel and the Palestinians: Provided further, That the authority of this section shall sunset on September 30, 2025, unless extended in a subsequent Act of Congress.”
TITLE II–MASIH ALINEJAD HUNT ACT OF 2022
Added to this omnibus appropriations bill is a piece of major Iran sanctions legislation – complex legislation with far-reaching implications – that is unrelated to appropriations and was attached as a free-standing title (which means that it is now law in its own right – independent of any future appropriations process.
This legislation is the “Masih Alinejad Harassment and Unlawful Targeting Act of 2022,” aka, the “Masih Alinejad HUNT Act of 2022” — originally introduced on 12/8/21 as S.3347, “A bill to identify and impose sanctions with respect to persons who are responsible for or complicit in abuses toward dissidents on behalf of the Government of Iran.”
This legislation was introduced by Toomey (R-PA), Cardin (D-MD) and Rosen (D-NV) – and after more than a year in play, it attracted only 10 cosponsors. Notably, this legislation was also offered multiple times, all unsuccessfully, as amendments to other major legislation. It was never discussed/marked up in any Senate committee, nor was it ever considered on the Senate floor. Yet, via this move to append it to the FY23 Omnibus, it is now the law of the land (moving at this time no doubt in large part due to the ongoing horrific actions of the Iranian government against Iranian protesters).
3. Members Point-Scoring Against Defense $$ for Middle East
NOTE: The FY23 Omnibus bill (detailed above) includes $410 million “to reimburse Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia, and Oman under section 1226 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 (22 U.S.C. 2151 note), for enhanced border security, of which not less than $150,000,000 shall be for Jordan.” Republicans seized on this line item – in a bill funding a total of $1.7 TRILLION in programs – to ecstatically score points against the Biden Administration and Democrats. They did so notwithstanding the fact that similar funding has been provided under past Defense Appropriations laws, passed when Republicans were in charge (for example, see details in FY18 law, or see text of FY17 law, under “Counter-ISIL Train and Equip Fund”). Examples:
McCaul (R-TX-10) 12/23/2022: Twitter thread – “Last month, Americans voted for a Republican House majority to keep the Biden administration in check. Yet in the final hours of their one-party rule, Democrats rammed through 4,155 pages that will fund their failing agenda for another year. (1/3) While families struggle to afford food and gifts this holiday season, Democrats are spending $1.7 trillion on their own Christmas wish list, which includes a ridiculous $410 million for border security in the Middle East—& zero additional dollars for border security in TX. (2/3) I look forward to working with House Republicans in the new year to stop President Biden’s radical agenda, secure our border, and bring back the economy Americans deserve. (3/3) McCaul Slams Democrats’ Lame-Duck Spending Spree | Congressman Michael McCaul”
Balderson (R-OH-12) 12/23/2022: Twitter thread – “With only days remaining in the 117th Congress, the Democrats are engaged in a last-ditch spendthrift chock-full of policies that are out-of-touch with the priorities of everyday Americans….Among many ironies in this omnibus package is a provision barring @CBP from investing in proven methods to curb the flow of illegal drugs and migrants across our border while simultaneously investing $410M to secure the borders of Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia, and Oman. [7/7]”
Burchett (R-TN-2) 12/23/2022: Tweet – “There is no money in the $1.66 Trillion for securing our border but, we are spending $410 Million to help 5 middle eastern country’s [sic] with there’s [sic].” Retweeted by Hern (R-OK-1)
Harshbarger (R-TN-1) 12/22/2022: Tweet – “If Democrats don’t believe in borders then why are they willing to spend MILLIONS of your money on a border in the Middle East while ours remains wide open? This bill puts America last and charges Americans TRILLIONS in the process. I will be voting NO. Link to image”
Tenney (R-NY-22) 12/22/2022: Tweet – “The Democrats’ socialist spending spree includes $150 million in border security funding for Jordan, but not a dime in new spending to secure our own Southern border.”
Fallon (R-TX-4) 12/22/2022: Tweet – “$410 MILLION for border security in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia, and Oman in this reckless spending package. Why don’t Democrats’ place such an emphasis on securing our own border?”
McCarthy (R-CA-23) 12/23/2022: Twitter thread – “Remember what Pelosi said about Obamacare: “You have to pass it to find out what’s in it.” This is exactly the same. Democrats waited til the last minute in a lame-duck Congress to dump a 4,000-page, $2 trillion bill into the lap of the American people. Kevin McCarthy… | twitter.com To state the obvious, the omnibus spends too much, increasing the deficit and fueling even more inflation. Our economy is already in dire condition, and jamming through this monstrosity supercharges that disaster. Second – the omnibus spending bill intensifies the crisis at our Southern border. It reduces the number of ICE detention beds and lowers funding for border technology to prevent crossings. Even worse: this bill sets aside $410 million for border security in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia, and Oman. Radical Democrats will fund walls and technology to protect the Middle East but not McAllen, Texas. It’s a disgrace….”
McCaul (R-TX-10) 12/22/2022: Twitter thread – “Amidst raging inflation caused by government spending, Democrats want to take even more of your money—$1.7 trillion, to be exact—to double down on their broken policies. It’s a no from me. Democrats’ latest spending spree includes: — $410 million for border security in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia, and Oman — ZERO additional dollars for border security in Texas You can’t make this up. In August, Democrats gave the IRS $80 billion to hire 87,000 new agents to spy on Americans’ bank accounts. Now, they’re already back for more. Republicans should just say no to any budget that funds 87,000 new IRS agents… | washingtonexaminer.com”
Norman (R-SC-5) 12/21/2022: Twitter thread – “With hundreds of absurd provisions in the #Omnibus, here are the top 5 most outrageous: 1. $1.5 million dollars to encourage people to eat outdoors in Pasadena, CA 2. $2 million to a group that promotes “dirt-bike culture” 3. $3.6 million for a Michelle Obama Trail 4. $410 million in border security for Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, and Oman while simultaneously prohibiting funds to construct border fencing in the U.S. 5. $500,000 for a skate park Suffice to say, I will not be supporting this Omnibus bill”
Cline (R-VA-6) 12/21/2022: Tweet – “Tucked into the $1.7T omnibus is a provision to ban CBP funding from being used to improve our border security. Meanwhile, it gives $410M towards border security for Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia & Oman. A vote for this bill is a vote for America LAST.” Retweeted by Roy (R-TX-21)
Ferguson (R-GA-3) 12/21/2022: Tweet – “The Dem’s massive $1.7 trillion spending package prohibits any funds allocated to @CBP from being used to improve border security. Instead, the radical Left are giving $410 million towards border security in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia, and Oman – completely absurd! Link to quoted tweet”
Loudermilk (R-GA-11) 12/21/2022: Tweet – “Why are Democrats spending millions of American taxpayer’s dollars for Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia, and Oman’s border security, yet prohibiting funds to improve our border security at home? Another reason I’ll be voting NO on the Omnibus. Link to image” Retweeted by Bacon (R-NE-2)
Malliotakis (R-NY-11) 12/21/2022: Retweet of @RepMalliotakis – “While Biden’s open border policies are giving criminals, terrorists, smugglers & illegal immigrants easy access to our nation, Dems are planning to send US tax dollars for border security in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia & Oman. This is the definition of backwards priorities. Link to image”
Marshall (R-KS) 12/21/2022: Twitter thread – “MEGA THREAD In the next few months, Americans will be filing their taxes. Their hard-earned money should be going towards providing for their families during this record inflation caused by Joe Biden. Instead, this is what their elected officials will be spending it on: … $410 million to “remain available” to reimburse Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia and Oman for “enhanced border security.” At least $150 million of that must go to Jordan, according to the bill. …”
Stefanik (R-NY-21) 12/22/2022: Tweet – “Democrats’ nearly 2 trillion omnibus is an egregious abuse of taxpayer funds. It provides $410 million towards border security for Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia, & Oman while neglecting to fund US border security. It is UnAmerican.” Also on GETTR
Whitehouse (D-RI) 12/21/2022: Twitter thread – “Today, I joined a bipartisan group of Senators to honor the families of the 241 Americans – including 9 Rhode Islanders – lost in the 1983 Beirut bombing. Compensation alone cannot pay the debt we owe, but it’s an overdue step in the right direction. Link to image Link to video”
Bishop (R-NC-9) 12/20/2022: Twitter thread – “My team and I are reading through the omnibus bill today – all $1.7 trillion and 4,155 pages of it. Follow along for some of the most egregious provisions in the bill It expressly prohibits CBP funding from being used to improve border security. Link to image …but at the same time, allocates $410 million towards border security for Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia, and Oman. America Last in action. …”
Carey (R-OH-15) 12/21/2022: Twitter thread – “Democrats gave us less than 72 hours to read and fully dissect 4,155 pages of what is an outrageous and extraneous spending bill. Stay tuned… $1.7 trillion in the omnibus and not a penny goes to actually securing the southern border A 4.6% pay raise for military service members that doesn’t even come close to keeping up with inflation $10 million is going towards legal aid for detained ILLEGAL immigrants $410 million to secure the borders of Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia, and Oman, but none for our own U.S. border The bad far outweighs the good in this bill and it is absurd that we’re being forced to vote on it so quickly. The American people deserve better from their government.”
Jordan (R-OH-4) 12/21/2022: Retweet of @JudiciaryGOP – “Democrats will spend $410 million on border security for Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia, and Oman, but completely ignore the crisis at our own southern border. Link to quoted tweet”
Malliotakis (R-NY-11) 12/20/2022: Tweet – “While Biden’s open border policies are giving criminals, terrorists, smugglers & illegal immigrants easy access to our nation, Dems are planning to send US tax dollars for border security in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia & Oman. This is the definition of backwards priorities. Link to image”
Nehls (R-TX-22) 12/21/2022: Tweet – “The Omnibus gives $410M to secure the borders of Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia, and Oman. Secure our own damn borders first. This is ridiculous. Link to quoted tweet Link to image”
Steube (R-FL-17) 12/21/2022: Twitter thread – “This steaming pile of omnibus prohibits DHS from using funding to secure our border. Meanwhile, Democrats (enabled by several Senate Republicans) are sending millions to Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia and Oman for their own “enhanced border security.” America LAST. Five eye-popping spending items in the $1.7 trillion omnibus bill… | foxbusiness.com” Also on GETTR
Donalds (R-FL-19) 12/21/2022: Tweet – “Only under Democratic Party control do we pay more than $400 million for border security in the Middle East and not our borders. McAllen over the Middle East!!! Make it make sense. VOTE NO ON THE OMNIBUS”
Donalds (R-FL-19) 12/21/2022: Tweet – “Senate Republicans, @Sen_JoeManchin, and @SenatorSinema should vote NO on the nearly $2 trillion omnibus spending bill that does more to secure the borders of Middle Eastern nations than our own. More below from @Varneyco. Link to video” Retweeted by Malliotakis (R-NY-11)
Kennedy (R-LA) 12/21/2022: Tweet – “The $1.7 TRILLION omnibus bill gives $400 MILLION to Jordan and other Mid East counties to help secure their borders . . . while Pres. Biden leaves ours wide open. #BorderCrisis Link to video”
4. Media & Reports (general)
Jewish Insider 1/5/23: Stevens ‘strongly considering’ run for Michigan Senate seat [“Stevens won her primary last year with significant support from the Detroit-area Jewish community as well as national pro-Israel groups, including AIPAC and its super PAC, the United Democracy Project. Israel policy became a major focus of the primary, with Stevens supporting a more mainstream line than former Rep. Andy Levin (D-MI), her progressive opponent.”]
Jewish Insider 1/5/23: Lloyd Austin, lawmakers to address AIPAC gathering in D.C. next week
Jewish Insider 1/3/23: Elaine Luria looks back [“Luria’s departure from Congress is set to deprive the House Democratic caucus of one of its most consistent pro-Israel voices, following a year in which former Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), left Congress, and other stalwarts retired. Luria emphasized that the vast majority of the Democratic Party continues to be supportive of Israel, except for ‘a very small number of people who happen to be very loud and who have had contrary voices.’ She added she has been encouraged by her conversations about the issue with incoming Democratic leader Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), emphasizing his ‘very strong support’ for the U.S.-Israel relationship…”
Jerusalem Post 1/2/23: New US Congress to be sworn in – what’s on Jewish orgs’ agenda?
Jerusalem Post 12/25/22: US can rejoin UNESCO despite its Palestinian statehood recognition
[Note: See Part 1 of today’s Round-Up for Bills/Resolutions/letters, for a comprehensive looks at Mideast-related provisions in the FY23 Omnibus, and for media/reports]
Defending Palestine/Palestinians Rights
Pocan (D-WI-2) 01/05/2023: Tweet – “The Israeli government is demolishing homes, schools, farms, water infrastructure, and other basic necessities in Masafer Yatta. This blatant violation of international law is unconscionable, escalating tensions and making peace more difficult. Israel demolishes parts of West Bank hamlet set for eviction… | abcnews.go.com”
Tlaib (D-MI-12) 01/04/2023: Twitter thread – “2022 was one of the deadliest years for Palestinians on record. Israeli forces and settlers killed more than 200 Palestinians, including more than 50 children, injured thousands more and demolished over 800 Palestinian homes. Congress must stop funding apartheid. Link to quoted tweet Not even one week into 2023, the new far-right apartheid government is moving to ethnically cleanse entire communities—which would displace more than 1,000 Palestinian residents, including 500 children. All with American backing, bulldozers, and bullets. #SaveMasaferYatta”
Tlaib (D-MI-12) 01/05/2023: Retweet of @commondreams – ““Not even one week into 2023, the new far-right apartheid government is moving to ethnically cleanse entire communities—which would displace more than 1,000 Palestinian residents,” said @reprashida. “All with American backing, bulldozers, and bullets.” ‘Congress Must Stop Funding Apartheid,’ Tlaib Says as Israel Razes West Bank Homes… | commondreams.org”
Tlaib (D-MI-12) 01/03/2023: Twitter thread – “This girl from Southwest Detroit could never have imagined that I would one day serve and fight for the community that raised me in our nation’s capital. Link to image When I am sworn in today for my third term in Congress, wearing a Palestinian thobe, I will be bringing my ancestors and community with me.”
Tlaib (D-MI-13) 12/29/2022: Tweet – “The fact that our country continues to fund this kind of clear and direct statement to eliminate the existence of a whole people is shameful. Palestinian people deserve to live + thrive. Link to quoted tweet”
Leahy (D-VT) 12/22/2022: Tweet – “American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was killed six months ago and there has still been no credible, independent investigation or accountability. Impartial investigators should examine all the evidence, wherever it leads. Statement On Shireen Abu Akleh | U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont”
Targeting Palestine/Palestinians Rights
Scott (R-FL) 01/03/2023: Tweet – “It’s TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE for the United Nations to repeatedly and unashamedly take an anti-Israel stance, yielding its power to accomplish a pro-Palestine agenda. I’m committed to fighting for #Israel & ensuring Jerusalem rightfully remains the capital. Netanyahu pans ‘despicable’ UN vote, says Jews cannot be occupiers in their own land… | timesofisrael.com”
Targeting Biden Admin Using Palestinian Rights as the tool
Jackson (R-TX-13) 01/05/2023: Retweet of @America1stLegal – “America First Legal filed a landmark lawsuit against President Biden and Secretary Blinken for violating the Taylor Force Act and illegally subsidizing Palestinian terrorism AFL Sues President Biden and Secretary of State Blinken to Enforce the Taylor Force Act and to Stop U.S. Funding of Palestinian Terrorism… | aflegal.org”
Cotton (R-AR) 01/03/2023: Tweet – “If the Biden Administration is concerned about violence in Israel, they should condemn the Palestinian terrorists causing it. Not our Israeli friends. Link to quoted tweet”
Long (R-MO-7) 12/29/2022: Retweet of @mikepompeo – “Not a single taxpayer dollar should go to fund Palestinian terrorism. Victims of Terrorism Sue Biden Admin for Sending Taxpayer Aid to Palestinians – Washington Free Beacon”
Jackson (R-TX-13) 12/26/2022: Retweet of @America1stLegal – “America First Legal is suing President Biden and Secretary Blinken for violating the Taylor Force Act and illegally subsidizing Palestinian terrorism on behalf of Stuart and Robbi Force, Sarri Singer, and @RonnyJacksonTX. Exclusive – Rep. Ronny Jackson Suing Biden Admin for Financing Palestinian Terror: President ‘Has Blood on His Hands’” Also retweeted by Jackson (R-TX-13)
McCaul (R-TX-10) 12/23/2022: Twitter thread – “LR @RepMcCaul on the passage of the Dems’ $1.7 trillion Omnibus bill …LR @RepMcCaul: “The Dem bill guts US law blocking funding to UN entities (like UNESCO) admitting ‘Palestine’ as a member. There’s no US natsec interest in rejoining UNESCO & it costs taxpayers tens of millions a year, which should be spent on REAL action countering the CCP….”
Bacon (R-NE-2) 12/20/2022: Tweet – “All anti-Semitism is repugnant. I’m glad the growing anti-Semitism we are seeing in some of our universities is being investigated. Our universities must make clear that anti-Semitism is rejected. Department of Education Opens Investigation after Berkeley Law Student Groups Vow Not to Host Pro-Israel Speakers | National Review”
Jackson (R-TX-13) 12/20/2022: Retweet of @Kredo0 – “SCOOP: Biden Admin Sued for Funding Palestinian Terrorism — Landmark lawsuit seeks total halt of taxpayer funds. Suit led by @RonnyJacksonTX, @America1stLegal, & terror victims Victims of Terrorism Sue Biden Admin for Sending Taxpayer Aid to Palestinians – Washington Free Beacon”
Jackson (R-TX-13) 12/20/2022: Retweet of @America1stLegal – “/1BREAKING: America First Legal has filed a lawsuit against President Biden and Secretary of State Blinken for violating the Taylor Force Act and illegally subsidizing terrorism. AFL Sues President Biden and Secretary of State Blinken to Enforce the Taylor Force Act and to Stop U.S. Funding of Palestinian Terrorism… | aflegal.org”
Jackson (R-TX-13) 12/20/2022: Retweet of @America1stLegal – “/2 AFL is proud to represent Stuart and Robbi Force, parents of Taylor Force, Sarri Singer, survivor of a suicide bombing by a teenage terrorist on a Jerusalem bus in 2003 that killed 17, and U.S. Congressman @RonnyJacksonTX.”
Jackson (R-TX-13) 12/20/2022: Tweet – “Today I’m joining @America1stLegal in SUING the Biden Administration for brazenly & ILLEGALLY financing Palestinian terrorism against Israel. He’s DESTABILIZING the region to gain petty political points with the WOKE anti-Israel mob. This needs to END!”
Jackson (R-TX-13) 12/21/2022: Retweet of @America1stLegal – ““Victims of terrorist attacks by Palestinians are suing the Biden administration for allegedly providing taxpayer funds to the Palestinian government.” Read more about our colossal lawsuit against President Biden and Secretary Blinken Terrorism Victims Sue Biden For Sending Money To Palestinian Government… | dailycaller.com”
Fulcher (R-ID-1) 12/22/2022: Twitter thread – “Democrats in Washington, D.C. want to spend nearly $2T of your money with mere hours’ notice. Why? Because if Americans had time to learn what’s in the bill, they would be appalled. So here are a few “highlights” …The omnibus package also includes a $65 million increase in funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, an organization that has used anti-Semitic and pro-terrorist material to educate children….”
Jackson (R-TX-13) 12/21/2022: Retweet of @DailyCaller – “The disrespect for these families is unbelievableTerrorism Victims Sue Biden For Sending Money To Palestinian Government… | dailycaller.com”
Welcoming/Praising New Israeli Govt
Wilson (R-SC-2) 12/30/2022: Tweet – “As co-chair of the House Republican Israel Caucus, I congratulate Benjamin Netanyahu on his swearing in as @IsraeliPM. The United States has no better friend than Israel, and I look forward to working with PM Netanyahu to sustain our close bilateral partnership.”
Hagerty (R-TN) 12/30/2022: Tweet – “Congratulations to @IsraeliPM @netanyahu as he begins his sixth term as Prime Minister. I look forward to working closely with him & his government to further strengthen the U.S.-Israel Alliance. Link to image”
Jordan (R-OH-4) 12/30/2022: Tweet – “Congratulations to Prime Minister Netanyahu! America will always stand with Israel. Netanyahu Returns To Power, Sworn In As Prime Minister Of Israel | The Daily Wire” Retweeted by Hern (R-OK-1)
Scott (R-FL) 12/30/2022: Tweet – “Congrats to my good friend, @netanyahu, on another term as Prime Minister! Looking forward to all our two great countries will accomplish and a continued strong relationship between #Israel and the United States.”
Gimenez (R-FL-26) 12/29/2022: Tweet – “Congratulations to Benjamin @Netanyahu on being sworn-in as the democratic Jewish State of @Israel’s 9th Prime Minister. Looking forward to working with you to continue strengthening the unbreakable US-Israel relationship. Link to quoted tweet”
Cicilline (D-RI) 12/29/22: Cicilline Leads Congressional Delegation to Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean
Cicilline (D-RI) 12/29/22: Congressman Cicilline Statement on New Israeli Government
Rosen (D-NV) 12/29/2022: Tweet – “Thank you to my friend @yairlapid for your service & leadership as Israel’s Prime Minister. I know you’ll continue working to strengthen the U.S.-Israel relationship, promote regional peace & security, defend democracy, combat antisemitism, & fight rising bigotry & intolerance.”
Marshall (R-KS) 12/16/2022: Tweet – “In 2020, President Trump signed the Abraham Accords to normalize relations with Israel and several Arab nations. We must continue to push back on Iranian aggression in the region and stand with Israel and Prime Minister-elect Netanyahu. Benjamin Netanyahu lays out agenda for third term: Stop Iranian aggression and expand peace in the region… | foxnews.com”
Concerns about New Israeli Government
Graham (R-SC) 01/02/2023: Twitter thread – “I’m glad to see Mr. Cohen, the new Israeli foreign minister, is prioritizing the US-Israel strategic relationship and supports continued humanitarian aid to #Ukraine. However, the idea that Israel should speak less about Russia’s criminal invasion of Ukraine is a bit unnerving. I hope Mr. Cohen understands that when he speaks to Russia’s Lavrov, he’s speaking to a representative of a war criminal regime that commits war crimes on an industrial scale every day. In 1st speech, Foreign Minister Cohen hails US, EU ties, vows to ‘talk less’ on Ukraine… | timesofisrael.com To stay quiet about Russia’s criminal behavior will not age well.”
Castro (D-TX-20) 12/31/2022: Retweet of @ShibleyTelhami – “Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak: New Israeli government shows ‘signs of fascism’ and includes ‘racist messianics’; mass ‘non-violent revolt’ may be needed Ehud Barak: Gov’t shows ‘signs of fascism’; mass ‘non-violent revolt’ may be needed… | timesofisrael.com via @timesofisrael”
Huffman (D-CA-2) 12/23/2022: Tweet – “Deeply disturbing. A Rush of Far-Right Initiatives by Israel’s New Government Raises Concerns A Rush of Far-Right Initiatives by Israel’s New Government Raises Concerns… | nyti.ms”
Wins for Israel in the 2023 Defense Auth
Ernst (R-IA) 01/02/2023: Tweet – “The DEFEND Act will take crucial steps to directly combat the malign threat from Iran and its proxies. I’m incredibly proud to have led this important, bipartisan effort and look forward to our continued work to strengthen the historic Abraham Accords. Ernst Leads Proposal to Unite Middle East Partners Against Iranian Aggression | U.S. Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa”
Sherman (D-CA-30) 12/30/2022: Tweet – “Pleased to announce the inclusion of over $21 million in funding for U.S.-#Israel Cooperative Programming in the funding bill @POTUS signed last evening. I am pleased to have led the effort to secure funding for these binational research programs. Congressman Sherman Secures Over $21 million for U.S.-Israel Cooperative Research… | sherman.house.gov”
Lankford (R-OK) 12/23/22: Lankford, Senate Abraham Accords Caucus Celebrate First Caucus-Led Bill Signed into LawRoy (R-TX-21) 12/20/2022: Retweet of @RMConservative – “After this bill, Ukraine spending will probably top $100 billion, more than we even gave to Israel, the largest recipient of foreign aid, during its entire lifetime as a country.”
Bacon (R-NE-2) 12/17/2022: Retweet of @AIPAC – “Congress just passed its annual defense bill with critical pro-Israel provisions, including the DEFEND Act. The DEFEND Act will expand regional cooperation between Israel & its Arab partners in the areas of missile defense & counter-drone tech, helping combat the Iranian threat. Link to image”
Ernst (R-IA) 12/19/2022: Retweet of @AIPAC – “The DEFEND Act is a bipartisan bill that will expand regional defense cooperation between Israel and its Arab partners to help combat the Iranian threat. Thank you @SenJoniErnst @SenJackyRosen @RepJimmyPanetta @RepSchneider @cathymcmorris @RepAnnWagner @RepDavidTrone! Link to image”
Johnson (R-LA-4) 01/02/2023: Twitter thread – “3 yrs ago, Kelly & I joined Jim & Polly Jordan on a trip to the early excavation of this amazing archeological find in Israel. We walked in the actual steps were Jesus walked! Now the whole world will be able to see it! Biblical site where Jesus healed blind man excavated for public view: ‘Affirms Scripture’… | foxnews.com Link to image”
Bacon (R-NE-2) 12/31/2022: Retweet of @AIPAC – “In 2022, Israel’s Iron Dome, made possible by bipartisan support in Congress for Israel’s security, intercepted more than 380 rockets launched by Palestinian terrorists in 3 days. #YearInReview2022 Link to image”
Scott (R-SC) 12/30/2022: Twitter thread – “THREAD: 2022 was a great year! I am proud of all my team and I have accomplished on behalf of South Carolinians…. I will always stand with our Israeli allies and fight against threats to peace and stability in the Middle East. That’s why I introduced the COI Elimination Act. Read more about it here: Link to scott.senate.gov…”
Gottheimer (D-NJ-5) 12/27/2022: Retweet of @jacobkornbluh – “Scoop: I obtained George Santos’ position paper shared with Jewish and pro-Israel leaders during the campaign. In the two-page document, Santos called himself “a proud American Jew.” George Santos called himself an ‘American Jew’ during campaign… | forward.com cc: @nypmetro @ccampy @migold @gr_ashford @KFILE @matthewkassel”
Jackson Lee (D-TX-18) 12/21/2022: Twitter thread – “After arriving from Washington, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee joined Israeli Consul General Livia Link-Raviv for the lighting of the menorah candles. The Congresswoman spoke of values of hope, peace and light and raising our voices against the tide of antisemitism in America. Link to image Exploring the meaning of Hanukkah with Rabbi David Lyon: Link to video”
Luria (D-VA-2) 12/22/2022: Tweet – “Thank you, @LeaderHoyer, for your leadership and commitment to maintaining bipartisanship in strengthening the relationship between the United States and Israel. Link to video”
Barr (R-KY-6) 12/19/2022: Tweet – “Happy Hanukkah to all who celebrate. In this Hakhel Unity Year, I send you wishes of hope and peace during the Festival of Lights. On Hanukkah we commit to light up the darkness. I will continue to fight against antisemitism and in support of Israel and the Jewish People. Link to image”
Risch (R-ID) 12/19/2022: Tweet – “As we mark the beginning of #Hanukkah, Vicki and I extend warm and happy holidays to our Jewish friends celebrating in the U.S., #Israel, and around the world. Link to image”
Torres (D-NY-15) 12/19/2022: Retweet of @AmbAsafZamir – “Thank you @RepRitchie for joining us in our annual Hanukkah candle lighting. You are true embodiment of the values that bring us together – fighting against hate and standing for freedom everywhere from the United States to the Jewish State. Link to image”
Portman (R-OH) 12/18/2022: Tweet – “Jane and I want to wish our friends in the Jewish community in #Ohio and around the world a Happy Hanukkah! We also remember the miracles of this holiday, as we renew our commitment to our friends in #Israel, and to their security and safety. #HappyHanukkah Link to image”
Rosen (D-NV) 12/16/2022: Retweet of @IsraelinUSA – “We were privileged to have Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) as the keynote speaker. She is a leader in the fight against antisemitism and a strong advocate of Israel. Thank you @SenJackyRosen! Link to image”
Cornyn (R-TX) 01/05/2023: Retweet of @lachlan – “An Iranian attack drone downed in Ukraine was found to contain components manufactured by 13 U.S. companies CNN Exclusive: A single Iranian attack drone found to contain parts from more than a dozen US companies | CNN Politics”
Menendez (D-NJ) 01/05/2023: Tweet – “Glad to see #TaranehAlidoosti free on bail but it is not enough. The regime must drop the spurious charges against her & release all those who have been unjustly detained & tried in sham trials. Link to quoted tweet”
Shaheen (D-NH) 01/04/2023: Twitter thread – “I’m glad to see Dr. Gupta re-nominated as Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues despite continued efforts by the GOP to play politics with her nomination. In countries like Iran & Afghanistan, women’s fundamental rights are under attack. The U.S. must firmly commit to protecting & advancing gender equality by overcoming Republican obstructionism & finally confirming Dr. Gupta.”
Cruz (R-TX) 01/03/2023: Sen. Cruz’s Statement on 3rd Anniversary of the Elimination of Qasem Soleimani
Lankford (R-OK) 01/03/2023: Tweet – “Today marks 3 years since the US military killed “shadow commander” Gen. Soleimani – believed to be as dangerous as ISIS. Iran has vowed to avenge his death. Iran isn’t our ally, and we cannot back down to their threats.”
Lankford (R-OK) 01/03/2023: Tweet – “Pray for the people of Iran in their fight for freedom.”
Risch (R-ID) 01/04/2023: Tweet – “#Iran remains one of the US’ most pressing national security challenges, even with much of the world’s attention in 2022 on #Russia’s brutal war against #Ukraine. As the 118th Congress takes its place, we have a chance to chart a new path. More in my recent op-ed. Link to quoted tweet”
Menendez (D-NJ) 01/03/2023: Tweet – “The #IranProtests for fundamental rights include calls for freedom from misogyny, freedom of worship, freedom of assembly, & freedom of speech in #Iran. Voices like Mehdi Bahman’s powerfully remind us that the regime fails on all these fronts – continuing to fail its own people. Link to quoted tweet” Retweeted by Menendez (D-NJ) 01/03/2023
Bacon (R-NE-2) 01/03/2023: Retweet of @Ostrov_A – “#OTD 3 years ago, a great act of justice was performed, with IRGC head Qassem #Soleimani taken out. Soleimani was a mass murderer and terrorists, who headed #Iran’s worldwide terror activities. His demise was a good day for peace and the world. Link to image”
Menendez (D-NJ) 01/02/2023: Tweet – “Crowds continue, week after week, in places like Zahedan, Sistan, & Baluchestan. They are not stopped by the Iranian regime’s internet shutdowns & violent crackdowns that have resulted in hundreds of deaths in these protesters’ hometowns. Link to quoted tweet” Retweeted by Menendez (D-NJ) 01/03/2023
Menendez (D-NJ) 01/01/2023: Tweet – “Sara Khademalsharieh & others like her must choose between standing up for fundamental #humanrights & returning to their country. The Iranian regime offers few choices to those who will not submit to its oppression. Link to quoted tweet”
Menendez (D-NJ) 12/30/2022: Tweet – “Inspiring. Iranians continue to use international competition to amplify #IranProtests on the world stage. Proud to join their efforts to expose the heinous #HumanRightsViolations continuing to occur in #Iran & to ensure they remain the center of the world’s attention. Link to quoted tweet”
Tuberville (R-AL) 12/30/2022: Tweet – “The Biden administration has pleaded with Russia, Iran, and Venezuela to produce more energy while shutting down American energy production. This radical energy stance hurts the U.S. economy, threatens national security, and emboldens enemies of freedom.”
Gottheimer (D-NJ-5) 12/22/2022: Twitter thread – “My colleagues and I (34 Democrats & 16 Republicans) expressed deep concerns to @POTUS about a potential agreement with Iran. We urged the Administration not to return to any deal prior to releasing the full text of the agreement to Congress. WATCH: Democrat Congressman Josh Gottheimer says a nuclear deal with Iran will be a ‘continuation of failure’… | allisrael.com We must not reduce terrorism-related sanctions on the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps or allow Russia to have a role in Iran’s nuclear capabilities. We need to address the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran, stand strong against terrorists, and protect American values and allies.”
Menendez (D-NJ) 12/28/2022: Tweet – “We will never forget the faces and names of those murdered & detained during #IranProtests. Supporters of the Iranian people around the world are ensuring the regime in Tehran does not forget them either. Link to quoted tweet”
Menendez (D-NJ) 12/27/2022: Tweet – “International support for #IranProtests only continues to grow. Proud to join the ranks of those worldwide standing in solidarity & amplifying the calls of Iranian protesters for #WomenLifeFreedom. Link to quoted tweet”
Boyle (D-PA-2) 12/26/2022: Retweet of @drninaansary – “This is for anyone who is still under the illusion diplomacy with the Islamic Republic is a possibility. #MahsaAmini #IranRevolution Link to video”
Menendez (D-NJ) 12/26/2022: Tweet – “We need answers on how US tech components are ending up in Iranian drones. US & intl companies cannot be complicit in facilitating #Iran’s regional aggression or military support for Russia’s war machine in #Ukraine. Exclusive: Biden task force investigating how US tech ends up in Iranian attack drones used against Ukraine | CNN Politics”
Menendez (D-NJ) 12/25/2022: Tweet – “The Iranian regime cannot hide behind censorship tactics & internet blackouts. What the regime fears the most is their own people revealing to the world what is happening inside #Iran. Link to quoted tweet”
Menendez (D-NJ) 12/24/2022: Tweet – “Good to see the Biden administration continue to hold accountable those responsible for indiscriminate violence against #IranProtests. The regime’s increased tempo of prosecutions & executions must be met with a strong response. Treasury Sanctions Iranian Regime Officials Tied to Continued Violence Against Protestors… | home.treasury.gov”
Raskin (D-MD-8) 12/25/2022: Tweet – “The world must work to block this barbaric mass execution of Iranians standing up for freedom and women’s rights. This outlaw regime, drunk with tyranny and violence, must respect the rights of its people. Exclusive: Iranian footballer is among dozens facing execution while the West is distracted by Christmas, supporters fear | CNN”
Cassidy (R-LA) 12/23/2022: Tweet – “The Iranian regime is afraid and cowardly murdering its own people that choose to stand for their freedom. The regime has lost any shred of legitimacy it may have once clung to. #AmirNasrAzadani Exclusive: Iranian footballer is among dozens facing execution while the West is distracted by Christmas, supporters fear | CNN”
Cornyn (R-TX) 12/23/2022: Retweet of @ksadjadpour – “Protests have continued for 14 consecutive weeks in Zahedan (southeast Iran), despite having suffered hundreds of casualties. Their slogans denounced executions and @khamenei_ir and called for the release of political prisoners. Link to video”
Kinzinger (R-IL-16) 12/22/2022: Retweet of @SayedSamiSadat – “#AFG one of the key destabilizers in our region specially Iran, Pakistan & AFG are the Mulas. Today our society deeply oppressed, economy collapsed, freedom is banned in all forms. It’s time we take on the rooted cause of terrorism which are Mulas. Mulas are the enemy! Link to quoted tweet Link to video”
McCaul (R-TX-10) 12/22/2022: Tweet – “LR @RepMcCaul joins CNN discussing Zelensky’s speech: “What we’re seeing right now is a struggle for the global balance of power in the world – that would be Russia, China, Iran, North Korea. You cannot bifurcate these world powers & they’re all against freedom & democracy.” Link to video”
Menendez (D-NJ) 12/23/2022: Tweet – “No parent should ever have to beg for the lives of their children. The cruelty of the Iranian regime truly knows no bounds. #MohammadMehdiKarami #StopExecutionsInIran Link to quoted tweet”
Menendez (D-NJ) 12/22/2022: Tweet – “Deeply disappointed @SenateGOP refused to lift objections to S.Con.Res 47, our resolution in support of protesters in #Iran. Instead of affirming strong, bipartisan solidarity, Congress will close for a month WITHOUT taking action on this critical issue. Menendez Statement on Senate Republicans’ Obstruction of Resolution in Support of Anti-Regime Protests in Iran | United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations”
Cardin (D-MD) 12/21/2022: Twitter thread – “For months, peaceful Iranian protesters have been a beacon of light despite mounting human rights violations by the regime. Tonight is the Winter Solstice – Shab-e Yalda, a traditional Persian celebration of the longest night giving way to light. This usually festive time feels hollow this year due to Iranian authorities’ despicable actions. Still, the brave protesters who have stood up are still bringing that light. I stand with the Iranian people. Even on the longest, darkest night, light overcomes. #IranProtests”
Menendez (D-NJ) 12/20/2022: Tweet – “Awed by the courage of Iranian film icon #TaranehAlidoosti, who was arrested along with other prominent Iranians for using their voices to call out the regime’s murder of #Mohsen_Shekari. This regime must release her immediately, along with all other unjustly detained protesters. Link to quoted tweet”
Menendez (D-NJ) 12/21/2022: Tweet – “Iranian youth have played a leading role in the #IranProtests & now face imprisonment or execution as the regime tries to snuff out the best of Iran’s future. The lives of #HosseinMohammadi & countless others are in imminent danger. #StopExecutionsInIran Link to quoted tweet” Retweeted by Menendez (D-NJ) 12/21/2022
Bacon (R-NE-2) 12/19/2022: Tweet – “This week, the House passed S. 2607, the Iran Hostage Congressional Gold Medal Act, to honor the survivors of the Iran Hostage Crisis. I was a teen and remember the courage of these Americans who served with honor. As an original sponsor of this bill, I am glad to see it pass. Link to image”
Tenney (R-NY-22) 12/19/2022: Tweet – “Iranian Regime family members shouldn’t be allowed to reap the benefits of our country, which they deny to so many in their own. I’m honored to co-sponsor the REGIME Act, which will ensure US visas issued to members & families of the regime are revoked. Congresswoman Tenney Cosponsors the REGIME Act to revoke US visas from Iranian Regime officials and their families… | tenney.house.gov”
Tenney (R-NY-22) 12/20/2022: Tweet – “As Iranian regime officials target and kill innocent Iranian citizens, these same officials send their families to the United States to seek opportunity and freedom abroad. Honored to join with @RepJoeWilson to put a stop to it. US Lawmakers Propose Legislation To Bar Iran Regime Insiders… | iranintl.com”
Wilson (R-SC-2) 12/19/2022: Tweet – “It is wrong that corrupt regime officials and their family members would be awarded U.S. visas to enjoy the very freedoms they deny their citizens. Link to quoted tweet”
Carson (D-IN-7) 12/19/2022: Tweet – “After bravely speaking out against the death of #MahsaAmini, young protestors in Iran are now being publicly executed. We must continue shining a light on the brave men and women fighting for their freedom and demand an end to these horrific human rights abuses.”
Menendez (D-NJ) 12/18/2022: Tweet – “As we mourn the brutal execution of #MajidRezaRahnavard, we must remember that many Iranians are in grave danger of meeting the same fate. The intl community must exercise its powers to respond to the Iranian regime’s ongoing crimes against its own people. #StopExecutionsInIran Link to quoted tweet”
Menendez (D-NJ) 12/19/2022: Tweet – “Appalling. Professional soccer player Amir Nasr-Azadani faces execution in #Iran simply for campaigning for women’s rights & basic freedom. The world must stand against such barbarous punishment of peaceful protesters. #StopExecutionsInIran Link to quoted tweet” Retweeted by Menendez (D-NJ) 12/19/2022
Menendez (D-NJ) 12/17/2022: Tweet – “Applaud my colleague @RepKatiePorter for her powerful words on the House floor. As members of Congress, we must continue to use our public platform to condemn the Iranian regime’s violence & stand in solidarity with Iranian protestors calling for #WomenLifeFreedom. #IranProtests Link to quoted tweet”
Diaz-Balart (R-FL-25) 12/16/2022: Tweet – “The murderous mullahs in #Iran are killing protesters to silence dissent and maintain their illegitimate grip on power. These thugs must be held accountable for their crimes. The Iranian people will be free, and they will remember those who stood with them.”
Markey (D-MA) 12/16/2022: Tweet – “Led by the U.S., the UN just removed Iran from the UN Commission on Women. The world must continue to support the brave protestors in Iran and be clear in our condemnation of Iran’s brutal human rights abuses. Iran Ousted From U.N. Women’s Rights Agency in U.S.-backed Vote… | nytimes.com”
Rubio (R-FL) 12/16/2022: Tweet – “Iranian soccer player Amir Nasr-Azadani was sentenced to death for joining protests after #MahsaAmini’s death The Iranian regime’s cruelty knows no bounds. Sen Rubio condemns this horrific injustice & calls for an immediate end to negotiations w Tehran. #ExpressionNOToppression Link to image”
Cicilline (D-RI-1) 12/29/2022: Tweet – “It was an honor to spend the holidays with our troops in the Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean and learn more about their critical work to advance U.S. priorities abroad and keep us safe here at home. You can read more about our trip here Cicilline Leads Congressional Delegation to Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean | Congressman David Cicilline Link to quoted tweet”
Wilson (R-SC-2) 12/28/2022: Tweet – “Christmas Eve in Bahrain, where my Congressional colleagues @RepCicilline, @RepSusanWild, @RepKatCammack, @RepSaraJacobs, @RepAmata and I are on a bipartisan delegation in the region, including visits with members of the U.S. military. Thank you for your service. Link to image”
Cicilline (D-RI-1) 12/26/2022: Retweet of @RepCicilline – “I’m currently leading a Congressional Delegation overseas, and our first stop was to kickoff Christmas Eve celebrations with brave servicemembers in Bahrain. Their service and sacrifice is especially felt this time of year when they are away from home. Link to image”
Jacobs (D-CA-53) 12/25/2022: Tweet – “Many of our service members are stationed overseas and away from their families during the holidays. So I’m glad I could spend time with some of our service members (including some San Diegans!) stationed in Bahrain and thank them for their service. Link to image”
Radewagen (R-AS-0) 12/25/2022: Tweet – “It’s a special joy and an honor to be with our dedicated Service Members at Christmas, and just say thank you. Amata Visiting U.S. Service Members in Middle East for Christmas | US Representative Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen Link to image”
Beyer (D-VA-8) 12/22/2022: Twitter thread – “Important context on the human rights conditions for military assistance to Egypt in the omnibus funding legislation. I will continue working to fight for human rights in Egypt and elsewhere in the next Congress. Link to quoted tweet For two years I’ve engaged in that effort with my fellow co-founder of the Egypt Human Rights Caucus @Malinowski @RepMalinowski. Very sorry to see him leave, and I wish him and his team all the best in what comes next for them. It has been a pleasure to work with you on this!”
Malliotakis (R-NY-11) 12/20/2022: Tweet – “As a member of the Friends of Egypt Caucus, Nicole helped welcome Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi to Washington. During the meeting, they discussed NY-11’s growing Egyptian-American community & ways to strengthen the 100 year old U.S-Egypt strategic partnership. Link to image”
Kaine (D-VA) 01/03/2023: Tweet – “Sen. Kaine is committed to repealing the 1991 & 2002 Authorizations for Use of Military Force in Congress, formally ending the Gulf and Iraq Wars. Editorial: Repeal the AUMFs… | pilotonline.com”
Bacon (R-NE-2) 01/02/2023: Twitter thread – “Analysts think Soleimani killed 609 Americans through the proxy war he orchestrated against Americans and Iraqis. The “EFP” mines were very deadly. Justice was served against this IRGC leader who killed so many Americans. Link to quoted tweet Link to reply @johnjames33w @GOP I refuse to cater to a handful who are holding the rest hostage. They are derailing the House GOP and I won’t play ball. Link to reply @johnjames33w @GOP Na… he has 94% support of conference… teams win. Time to come together. The naysayers are hurting the whole party now.”
Thune (R-SD) 12/21/2022: Tweet – “The @109RSG of the @SD_Guard recently mobilized for a deployment to Iraq and Kuwait for the counter-ISIS mission. I want to thank them and their families for their sacrifices and I wish them a safe and successful mission.”
Jacobs (D-CA-53) 12/26/2022: Tweet – “I was so grateful to serve meals yesterday to our service members stationed in Kuwait. We’re so thankful for your service and sacrifice, especially over the holidays. Link to image”
Cammack (R-FL-3) 12/26/2022: Tweet – “What an honor to spend Christmas with troops in Kuwait, learning about their families back home and their mission during their deployment. They, along with their families, sacrifice so much, so to be able to show our gratitude was an incredible experience. More to come! Link to image”
Cicilline (D-RI-1) 12/26/2022: Twitter thread – “I’m currently leading a Congressional Delegation overseas, and our first stop was to kickoff Christmas Eve celebrations with brave servicemembers in Bahrain. Their service and sacrifice is especially felt this time of year when they are away from home. Link to image Yesterday, I had the privilege of serving and enjoying Christmas dinner with troops at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait. It was great to spend time with Rhode Islanders stationed there and bring them well wishes from home. Thank you, all, for your service and sacrifice. Link to image”
Cicilline (D-RI-1) 12/26/2022: Retweet of @RepCicilline – “Yesterday, I had the privilege of serving and enjoying Christmas dinner with troops at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait. It was great to spend time with Rhode Islanders stationed there and bring them well wishes from home. Thank you, all, for your service and sacrifice. Link to image”
Whitehouse (D-RI) 12/22/2022: Tweet – “Support for the families of the Marines lost in the deadly Beirut Bombing, whose casualties included nine Rhode Islanders, was approved today by the Senate by a strong vote of 93-4. When the House passes it, the President will sign it, and it’s law.”
Cammack (R-FL-3) 12/27/2022: Tweet – “In between briefings with Central Command and our military leadership, we had lunch with the troops in Qatar. Pictured below are some of my Florida folks! One of my constituents from Orange Park, FL even presented with a patch from her new Space Force unit! Link to image”
Castro (D-TX-20) 12/18/2022: Retweet of @SIfill_ – “Please, please read this. #WorldCup2022 As the World Cup in Qatar is Settled, Remember the Story of the Migrant Workers – Sports Illustrated Back Home With the Workers Who Built Messi and Mbappe’s Big Stage… | si.com”
Swalwell (D-CA-15) 12/19/2022: Retweet of @funder – “Don’t forget this about Jared Kushner A Forbes journalist just exposed Jared Kushner’s Qatar business ties. Congress is investigating… | dworkinreport.com”
Gallego (D-AZ-7) 12/29/2022: Tweet – “Arizona’s water belongs to Arizonans. That’s why we introduced legislation to make sure our water doesn’t benefit countries like Saudi Arabia. Rep. Ruben Gallego digs in for fight against foreign companies over Arizona groundwater… | ktar.com”
Murphy (D-CT) 12/20/2022: Retweet of @ErikSperling – “Grateful for the moral clarity of @SenSanders & Sen. @ChrisMurphyCT on Yemen: “It is a nightmare that is unspeakable, what the people in that country are suffering.” -Bernie “I just don’t think the US should play any role in the war any longer” -Sen. Murphy CC @StateDept_NEA Link to quoted tweet”
Beyer (D-VA-8) 12/19/2022: Twitter thread – “Last year Jared Kushner reportedly secured a $2 billion investment from a fund led by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. This was soon after Kushner left his White House position, where he advised Donald Trump to take heavily pro-Saudi stances. 1/2 Before Giving Billions to Jared Kushner, Saudi Investment Fund Had Big Doubts… | nytimes.com This exchange of money and policy looks a lot like a kickback. I just introduced the Jumpstarting Accountability Relating to Ethical Disclosures (JARED) Act to tighten ethical standards for presidential appointees and prevent this from happening again. 2/2 Press Releases | U.S. Representative Don Beyer”
Mace (R-SC-1) 12/16/2022: Retweet of @ggreenwald – “That’s what made @RepNancyMace’s questioning of the “online safety expert” @Esqueer_ so masterful and important: it exposed the rotted intent at the heart of this tactic. Mace will be with us tonight on @SystemUpdate_, starting 7 pm ET. Last night’s show: Equating Rhetoric With Violence, Bernie’s Pathetic Capitulation on Yemen and More | SYSTEM UPDATE — Ep. 3”
Khanna (D-CA-17) 12/16/2022: Tweet – “We must stop supporting the Saudi-led war in Yemen, support a peace settlement, and end our complicity in one of the world’s largest humanitarian crises.”
Stefanik (R-NY-21) 12/16/2022: Tweet – “This is a disturbing example of the consequences of Big Tech’s unchecked power. House Republicans will hold Big Tech accountable. Former Twitter employee sentenced to prison for sharing confidential info with Saudis… | foxbusiness.com” Also on GETTR
Risch (R-ID) 01/05/2022: Tweet – “#UAE’s outreach to the #Assad regime provides little benefit to the Emirates. This carries huge risks to UAE’s reputation, exposes it to #Caesar sanctions, and hurts efforts to seek accountability for Assad’s crimes against the #Syrian people. Link to article”
Risch (R-ID) 01/04/2023: Tweet – “We should carefully watch recent diplomatic overtures between #Ankara & #Damascus. A restoration of bilateral ties does little for #Turkey’s security & threatens int’l efforts to hold #Assad to account for his horrific crimes against the Syrian people. Turkey signals potential rapprochement with Syria’s Assad… | axios.com”
Risch (R-ID) 01/05/2023: Tweet – “#UAE’s outreach to the #Assad regime provides little benefit to the Emirates. This carries huge risks to UAE’s reputation, exposes it to #Caesar sanctions, and hurts efforts to seek accountability for Assad’s crimes against the #Syrian people. UAE foreign minister visits Syria in further sign of warming ties – I24NEWS”
Cicilline (D-RI-1) 12/21/2022: Tweet – “4.1+ million Syrians depend on the humanitarian aid coming through the Bab al-Hawa border crossing. Russia’s efforts to prevent its reauthorization are cruel and despicable. The US and other members of the UN Security Council must act to keep this vital crossing open. Link to quoted tweet”
Risch (R-ID) 12/20/2022: Tweet – “Since the #CaesarAct was signed into law two years ago, Congress has taken strong steps to hold the #Assad regime accountable for its past & cont’d horrific abuses – including #warcrimes against #Syrians. The Biden Admin has been largely silent & must do more.”
Gallego (D-AZ-7) 12/19/2022: Tweet – “If you still need a Christmas present please consider buying this well written book about a unit that fought next to me on the Syrian border. Bastards & Brothers: Marines and the Fight for Al-Qaim, Iraq… | amazon.com”
Cicilline (D-RI-1) 12/19/2022: Tweet – “With less than 9% of registered voters casting ballots in Saturday’s parliamentary elections, Tunisians made clear that they don’t support President Saïed’s power grab. We need to support a democratic, accountable Tunisian govt that includes political opposition & civil society. Link to quoted tweet”
Menendez (D-NJ) 01/06/2023: Tweet – “Erdogan’s continued threats against #Greece are entirely unacceptable behavior for the leader of a @NATO country. These absurd intimidations must stop. Link to quoted tweet”
Menendez (D-NJ) 12/29/2022: Tweet – “Deeply disappointed to see the Turkish government continue to deny its citizens fundamental human rights. Osman Kavala’s justified criticism of President Erdogan should have no bearing on his unjust conviction. Link to quoted tweet”
Malliotakis (R-NY-11) 12/28/2022: Tweet – “This is why no American jets should be provided to Turkey. One NATO member bullying another is unacceptable & should not be rewarded. If the Biden Administration proceeds with a planned sale, Congress must stop it. Turkey Violated Greek Airspace 11,000+ Times In 2022 – Even On Christmas And Other Holidays”
Malliotakis (R-NY-11) 12/28/2022: Retweet of @greekcitytimes – “Turkey violated Greek airspace 11,000+ times in 2022 – Even on Christmas and other holidays Turkey Violated Greek Airspace 11,000+ Times In 2022 – Even On Christmas And Other Holidays #greece #greek #greekcitytimes Link to image”
Pallone (D-NJ-6) 12/26/2022: Tweet – “Our so-called “ally” Turkey continues to moves closer to Russia and away from other NATO allies. Erdogan is providing safe haven for Putin to avoid sanctions and continue his brutal war in Ukraine. Time and time again, he shows that he cannot be trusted. The Ukraine War Is Pushing Turkey Closer to Russia… | wsj.com”
Malliotakis (R-NY-11) 12/20/2022: Retweet of @greekcitytimes – “Bob Menendez: “I will not approve any F-16s for Turkey; threats against Greece are unacceptable” Bob Menendez: “I Will Not Approve Any F-16s For Turkey; Threats Against Greece Are Unacceptable”… | greekcitytimes.com #greece #greek #greekcitytimes Link to image”
Cicilline (D-RI-1) 12/19/2022: Tweet – “For years, Erdogan’s Turkey has moved towards authoritarianism – imperiling regional security & stability. With his recent disturbing threats of missile strikes against Athens, any future F-16 sales to Turkey must be reevaluated. We cant allow one NATO ally to threaten another. Link to quoted tweet”
Menendez (D-NJ) 12/19/2022: Tweet – “Headed to the @DSenFloor to address Erdogan’s threatened missile strike on Athens. Erdogan’s growing ties to Putin, pursuit of repressive & anti-democratic norms, & violations of international law are not only disturbing – they are totally unacceptable. Menendez to Deliver Floor Speech Condemning Erdogan’s Threat to Bomb Athens with Ballistic Missiles… | youtube.com”
Menendez (D-NJ) 12/20/2022: Twitter thread – “Last night I spoke on the @DSenFloor to condemn Erdogan’s recent threat to strike #Athens with missiles. #Turkey’s leadership needs to start acting like a @NATO member instead of coddling authoritarians & threatening to bomb a city of 3 million civilians. Menendez to Deliver Floor Speech Condemning Erdogan’s Threat to Bomb Athens with Ballistic Missiles… | youtube.com It’s time to challenge Erdogan to respect the intl order. It’s time to stop enabling #Turkey’s bad faith actions on the global stage. It’s time to hold Erdogan to account for violating intl law, attacking democratic norms & allowing forces to commit #HumanRights abuses.”