Legislative Round-Up- January 27, 2023

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

1.Bills, Resolutions & Letters
2. Media & Reports
3. Members on the Record (Palestine/Palestinians)
4. Members on the Record (Israel)
5. Members on the Record (Iran)
6. Members on the Record (other Mideast countries)

FMEP events

  • Join us 1/30/23 for “Who can speak on Palestine?” – part 1 of the four-part series, Learning and Unlearning Palestine, co-organized by the al-Shabaka and the Foundation for Middle East Peace, ft: Nour Joudah (UC Berkeley), Dina Matar (SOAS, University of London), in conversation with Maha Nassar (University of Arizona).
  • Join us 2/8/23 for “Limited Paradigms” – part 2 of the four-part series, Learning and Unlearning Palestine, co-organized by the al-Shabaka and the Foundation for Middle East Peace, ft:Dr. Muhannad Ayyash and Dr. Lana Tatour in conversation with Al Shabaka Senior Analyst Dr. Yara Hawari

1. Bills, Resolutions & letters

(TARGETING UNRWA) HR 552 (pdf): Introduced 1/26/23 by Gooden (R-TX) and 13 cosponsors (all Republicans), “To prohibit United States contributions to the United Nations International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), and for other purposes,” aka the “‘No Tax Dollars for the United Nation’s Immigration Invasion Act.’’ The bill states: “Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Federal Government may not make a contribution to the United Nations International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), or the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).” It also requires a report on all US funding to the three organizations in 2021 and 2022, that should also “assess and specify the amount of funds IOM, UNHCR, and UNRWA should repay to the United States Government.” Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Gooden introduced this same measure in 2019 (HR 6155). NOTE: Gooden’s press release states that this bill “prevents taxpayer funds from being used to facilitate mass migration into the United States.” Given that UNRWA has NOTHING to do with migration (mass or otherwise) in the US, it seems clear that inclusion of UNRWA in this anti-immigration bill is intended as a hook to either bring in votes from anti-Palestinian Democrats (possible but not likely to succeed), or more likely to be able to frame opposition to this bill as anti-Israel.

(IRAN PROTESTS) H. Con. Res. 7: Introduced 1/9/23 by Tenney (R-NY) and having 64 cosponsors (bipartisan), Commending the bravery, courage, and resolve of the women and men of Iran demonstrating in more than 133 cities and risking their safety to speak out against the Iranian regime’s human rights abuses.” Passed by the House 1/25/23 under suspension of the rules by a vote of 420-1. Only “no” vote came from Massie (R-KY).

(IRAN PROTESTS) S. Con. Res. 2 (text/text): Introduced 1/26/23 by Menendez (D-NJ) and 32 bipartisan cosponsors, “A concurrent resolution commending the bravery, courage, and resolve of the women and men of Iran demonstrating in more than 133 cities and risking their safety to speak out against the Iranian regime’s human rights abuses.” Referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations. Also see Menendez (D-NJ) twitter thread & press release; more tweets – Risch (R-ID), Rubio (R-FL).

(WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG?) HR XXXX: On 1/26/23, Rep. Auchincloss (D-MA) announced on the House floor, in what is a PR stunt being touted as the first AI-generated floor statement in history: “I stand here today because I am planning to reintroduce the United States-Israel Artificial Intelligence Center Act, a bipartisan piece of legislation that will cement a mutually beneficial partnership between the United States and  Israel on artificial intelligence research. This is a critical step forward in an era where AI and its implications are taking center stage in public discourse. We must collaborate with international partners like the Israeli Government to ensure that the United States maintains a leadership role in AI research and development and responsibly explores the many possibilities evolving technologies provide. The United States-Israel Artificial Intelligence Center Act will allow us to tap into the expertise of both countries and draw upon each other’s resources to explore and develop cutting-edge AI advancements.” This same legislation was introduced in 2021 – and met with virtually zero enthusiasm, given the failure both to move or to attract cosponsors — in the House by Auchincloss, HR 5418 (drawing a grand total of 7 bipartisan cosponsors); and in the Senate by Rubio (R-FL), S. 2120 (drawing a grand total of 8 bipartisan cosponsors).

(CONCERN OVER BIDEN SYRIA POLICY) McCaul (R-TX) letter to SecState: On 1/25/23, House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman McCaul (R-TX) sent a letter to SecState Blinken “to express serious concern over the Biden administration’s Syria policy and urge you to take immediate action to ensure assistance is delivered in a manner that is consistent with U.S. strategic objectives.”  Also see: McCaul press release; McCaul tweet


(REMOVE UN RAPPORTEUR WHO CRITICIZED ISRAEL) Sherman et al letter to UN SYG & UN HIGH COMMISSIONER: On 1/23/23, Rep. Sherman (D-CA) led a letter, co-signed by a grand total of 10 fellow House members [Titus (D-NV), Gottheimer (D-NJ), Peters (D-MI), Golden (D-ME), Norcross (D-NJ), Salazar (R-FL), Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Torres (D-NY), Mast (R-FL), and Costa (D-CA)], calling on the UN Secretary General Guterres and High Commissioner Volker Turk attacking Francesca Albanese, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 for alleged antisemitism [explicitly citing the IHRA definition of antisemitism as the standard against which she must be judged]. The letter goes on to attack the UN for antisemitism and closes: “We urge to demonstrate that the UN is capable of genuinely addressing antisemitism by by removing Ms. Albanese from her post.” Also see:


2. Media & Reports

Israel & Palestine in The New Congress

Jewish Insider 12/27/23: Democratic freshmen receive committee assignments [Summarizing all of their views/promises regarding Israel – a very useful article that, of published by a non-pro-Israel outlet would almost certainly be labeled antisemitism]

Jewish Insider 1/27/23: Moskowitz addresses concerns about new Israeli government after HFAC appointment

Times of Israel 1/26/23: Nadler joins list of Jewish, pro-Israel Democrats to raise alarm over new government

Haaretz 1/26/23: As the Most Senior Jewish Member of Congress, I Now Fear Deeply for the U.S.-Israel Relationship [by Rep. Nadler, D-NY — notably, doesn’t mention the word “Palestinian” and is framed on the idea that the status quo that existed before this new govt came into power was one that embodied shared US-Israel values]

Jewish News Syndicate 1/26/23: Tlaib erects Palestinian flag in Capitol Hill office, accuses Israel of ‘apartheid’

Jerusalem Post 1/26/23: Rashida Tlaib flies Palestinian flag in office in protest of Israeli ban

The New Arab 1/25/23: Progressive Congressman Ritchie Torres voices support for new US embassy building in Jerusalem

Haaretz 1/23/23: Something Is Brewing in Congress, and It Should Alarm Israel

Targeting Rep. Omar

Jewish Insider 1/26/23: House vote on Ilhan Omar’s Foreign Affairs seat appears increasingly uncertain [“Pro-Israel Jewish Democrats, including some who have been critical of Omar’s past comments on Israel, have yet to say if they will support her removal.”]

The Forward 1/25/23: Omar pushes back against McCarthy as opposition to remove her from key House panel grows

Axios 1/23/23: Democrats tee up showdown with McCarthy on committee seats


Jewish Insider 1/25/23: Rosen highlights potential for air- and missile-defense, water projects through Abraham Accords]

Times of Israel 1/24/23: Democratic senator says Abraham Accords can expand even if settlements do too – “In ToI interview fresh off trip to the region, Kirsten Gillibrand also proposes offering F-35s to Abraham Accords countries that invest in aid for the Palestinians”

Times of Israel 1/24/23: US Democrat: Congress would back selling Riyadh weapons for Israel normalization

Jewish Telegraphic Agency 1/24/23: Senators describe ‘optimism’ after Middle East tour, leaving questions on Israel’s extremist leaders unanswered

Middle East Eye 1/24/23: Expansion of Abraham Accords should not be tied to illegal settlements, US senator says – “Democratic lawmaker suggests ‘desperate’ Gulf states could be enticed to normalise ties with Israel for US arms”

Jewish Insider 1/24/23: ‘I’ve never been more optimistic’ about the Middle East, Gillibrand says after Abraham Accords trip

Other Issues

Jewish Insider  12/27/23: Mark Kelly goes back to Bahrain, but with a different mission

Jewish Insider 1/25/23: Chuy García’s record on Israel comes under scrutiny in Chicago mayoral race

Politico 1/24/23: Biden’s human rights pick withdraws [“Margon faced opposition from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s ranking Republican, Jim Risch of Idaho. Risch, citing past tweets of hers, accused Margon of supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which targets Israel due to its policies toward the Palestinians.” Also see reporting in: Fox News, Free Beacon, JTA, Haaretz, Times of Israel, National Review

Jewish Insider 1/24/23: Ruben Gallego enters Arizona Senate race [“The congressman has also described his appreciation for the story of Israel as a ‘natural’ consequence of his family’s immigrant background. ‘Israel has a better appreciation, I think, for immigrants and what they bring to the country,’ Gallego said in an interview with Tablet magazine when he first ran for Congress in 2014, ‘and we’re starting to lose that here in the United States, especially in Arizona, and we need to start changing Arizonans more to the Israeli mindset of immigrants as an asset.’ ‘To the best of my knowledge, he’s been a very reliable vote for Israel,’ said Zeichick, who sits on the board of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Phoenix.”]


3. Members on the Record (Palestine/Palestinians)

Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY-14) 01/26/2023: Retweet of @RepRashida – “Palestinians may be banned from flying their flag under an apartheid government, but we can still proudly do it at my office. I’m proud to be a Palestinian American and I want the Palestinian people to know that not all Americans support apartheid. No one can erase our existence. Link to image

Omar (D-MN-5) 01/26/2023: Tweet – “It would be odd to me that members would not support [the removal resolution] based upon her comments against Israel,” McCarthy said Tuesday night. No, but it would be odd to remove members from their committee because they spoke out against Israel. McCarthy might have a math problem in blocking Omar from panel… | thehill.com

Gimenez (R-FL-28) 01/25/2023: Tweet – “I congratulate @SpeakerMcCarthy for planning to hold vote on removing Anti-Semite @Ilhan Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee where she has repeatedly abused her position to ostracize the Jewish community. Anti-Semitism has absolutely no place on the Foreign Affairs Committee

Tlaib (D-MI-12) 01/25/2023: Tweet – “Palestinians may be banned from flying their flag under an apartheid government, but we can still proudly do it at my office. I’m proud to be a Palestinian American and I want the Palestinian people to know that not all Americans support apartheid. No one can erase our existence. Link to image

Sherman (D-CA) 1/23/2023: Press release – Sherman Condemns anti-Semitic chants at University of Michigan [asserting that students marching for Palestinian rights was antisemitic]


4. Members on the Record (Israel)

Israeli Government on the Hill

Israeli Ambassador to the US Michael Herzog (with pix of him with each member mentioned) 1/26/23: Twitter thread — “I had a series of productive, bipartisan meetings on Capitol Hill this week, where I engaged several members from both sides of the aisle on a variety of issues important for Israel, the region and Israel-U.S. relations. Thank you all for your leadership and support of Israel! I had a constructive meeting with @RepKClark. I congratulated her on her new leadership role and thanked her for being an important voice against antisemitism. We discussed a range of topics surrounding Israel–U.S. relations. I look forward to our continued engagement. I met with @SenatorRisch, Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. We discussed potential areas to increase cooperation between our countries as we pursue efforts to push back against malign Iranian activity. Thank you, Senator, for your sincere friendship. I had a valuable meeting with @SenatorMenendez, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. We discussed important topics such as Iran, regional security and expanding the circle of peace through the Abraham Accords. I look forward to our continued policy discussions. I met with @SenFeinstein and thanked her for her many years of friendship and support of Israel. She has spearheaded numerous critical issues throughout her time in the Senate and it was great to discuss ways to enhance Israel – U.S. relations with her. I had an excellent meeting with Senator @MarkWarner, a longtime friend of Israel. We reviewed and discussed several bilateral and regional issues, including Lebanon and other matters concerning the Middle East. Thank you, Senator, for your continued support! I met with Rep. @KenCalvert to discuss important regional security issues in general and Israel’s missile defense in particular. I am grateful for Rep. Calvert’s leadership on these topics and for his friendship. I had a warm & productive meeting with @RepKatiePorter. We focused on ways to enhance Israel’s outreach to the progressive community in the U.S. & new avenues for cooperation. Thank you, Rep. Porter, & I hope to welcome you to Israel this year as we celebrate our 75th anniversary.”


Moskowitz (D-FL-23) 01/27/2023: Tweet – “As a member of the @HouseForeign Affairs Committee, I will work to strengthen our deep relationship with Israel, combat antisemitism, support Ukraine in their war against Russia, and stand up to China’s military rise, competitiveness, and currency manipulation.

Britt (R-AL) 01/27/2023: Retweet of @ScottButtram – “I stand with Israel. Proud to have a U.S. Senator that does the same. Thank you, @SenKatieBritt Link to quoted tweet

Auchincloss (D-MA-4) 01/26/2023: Retweet of @nowthisnews – “Rep. Jake Auchincloss (D-MA) read a speech entirely written by ChatGPT on the House floor on January 25, when discussing legislation that would establish a joint U.S.-Israeli AI research facility. Link to video

Risch (R-ID) 01/25/2023: Tweet – “I had a great meeting w/ @AmbHerzog to discuss our constant efforts to further strengthen US-Israel relations. From the #Iran threat, to expanding the Abraham Accords, #Israel has many challenges & opportunities. The US is proud to always show up for our long-time friend & ally.

McCaul (R-TX-10) 01/25/2023: Tweet – “CHM @RepMcCaul: “I am pleased to see the U.S. and Israel undertake this significant military exercise. The United States has an enduring commitment to security in the Middle East. The U.S. and Israel are both safer when we can work together to accomplish shared goals.” Link to quoted tweet

Sullivan (R-AK) 01/25/2023: Retweet of @ben_dietd – “.@SenDanSullivan says Israeli PM @netanyahu wants to improve ties with Saudi Arabia, but Biden’s energy policies are undermining that possibility. “We shouldn’t have gone over there [Saudi Arabia] as a country in a position of weakness.” Link to video

Wilson (D-FL-24) 01/23/2023: Tweet – “What an amazing evening with the Consul General of Israel Maor Elbaz-Starinsky, Mayor and former Mayor of @CityOfAventura Howard Weinberg and @EnidWeisman, Commissioner Paul Krause, and Vice Mayor of @NoMiNews @VMEstimeIrvin at the 2023 Gospel Shabbat in Aventura. Link to image

Wilson (D-FL-24) 01/23/2023: Retweet of @IsraelinMiami – “A very special night celebrating the friendship between #Jews and #Christians Gospel style. United by #love and Shabbat we enjoyed a #evening full of #blessings at the Beth Torah Benny Rok Campus. Congresswoman Frederica Wilson Beth Torah Benny Rok Campus Link to image

New Israeli Govt

Nadler (D-NY-12) 01/25/2023: Tweet – “As we have painfully learned in the United States, democracy is not something to be taken for granted. It is the responsibility of all of us, everywhere, to fight for it. As Congress’ most senior Jewish member, I now fear deeply for the U.S.-Israel relationship… | haaretz.com

Nadler (D-NY-12) 01/25/2023: Retweet of @jstreetdotorg – “@RepJerryNadler Thank you @RepJerryNadler for verbalizing the fears and concerns felt by pro-Israel, pro-peace, pro-democracy Americans. As Congress’ most senior Jewish member, I now fear deeply for the U.S.-Israel relationship… | haaretz.com

Castro (D-TX-20) 01/23/2023: Retweet of @Bsamuels0 – “If friends like Brad Sherman, Jacky Rosen, Bob Menendez and Lindsey Graham warn that Netanyahu’s coalition could adversely impact U.S.-Israel ties, then Israel should understand that it’s a matter of when — not if — criticism from DC begins to coalesce Something is brewing in Congress, and it should alarm Israel… | haaretz.com

Risch (R-ID) 01/23/2023: Tweet – “I applaud #Israel’s integration into @CENTCOM’s Exercise Juniper Oak. This exercise, and others tailored against #Iran, is necessary to restore deterrence against the regime and underscores our joint response to aggression in the region.

Castro (D-TX-20) 01/23/2023: Retweet of @Bsamuels0 – “In the most extensive comments to date from a U.S. lawmaker, Rep. Brad Sherman (perhaps Israel’s oldest and strongest friend in Congress) tells me that Netanyahu’s coalition could erode U.S. support for Israel Top pro-Israel Democrat warns Netanyahu government ‘mistakes’ could erode U.S. support… | haaretz.com


Rosen (D-NV) 01/25/2023: Tweet – “I’m grateful for @N7_Initiative’s contributions to the Negev Forum and their work to strengthen the Abraham Accords, led by my friend @DanielBShapiro. I appreciate their support for our bipartisan delegation last week & their partnership with our Abraham Accords Caucus. Link to quoted tweet

Bennet (D-CO) 01/24/2023: Tweet – “It was a privilege to visit Israel, UAE, Bahrain & Morocco with bipartisan colleagues to show support for the Abraham Accords. In my 14 years in the Senate, this is the most progress I’ve seen in the region – and it’s my hope that the Accords lead to long-term peace & stability. Link to image

Budd (R-NC) 01/24/2023: Twitter thread – “I just returned from a historic bipartisan CODEL to the Abraham Accords nations. The Abraham Accords provide a solid framework for peace and economic cooperation in the Middle East. Senator Ted Budd Returns from CODEL to Abraham Accords Nations – Senator Budd Our trip showed that American weakness has caused our allies to lose confidence in us. So my message to the Biden administration is this: Now is the time to project America’s strength and determination to join our allies in standing up to Iran and their terrorist proxies. Link to video

Lankford (R-OK) 01/24/2023: Tweet – “.@SenJackyRosen & I wrapped up a productive visit to the Middle East.   We’re bringing leaders to the table to advance the Abraham Accords & peace in the region. Link to video

Lankford (R-OK) 01/25/2023: Tweet – “Decades from now, it’s our hope that our children and grandchildren will learn about the historic work to establish lasting peace in the Middle East through the Abraham Accords. Link to video

Rosen (D-NV) 1/24/2023: Press release – Rosen, Lankford Lead Colleagues in Historic Bipartisan Delegation Visit to Abraham Accords Countries

Rosen (D-NV) 01/24/2023: Tweet – “It was an honor to lead my colleagues in a bipartisan trip to the Abraham Accords member countries of Israel, UAE, Bahrain, and Morocco. Our conversations were fruitful and productive. More on our trip. Link to video

Rosen (D-NV) 01/25/2023: Tweet – “The Abraham Accords have transformed the Middle East, promoting peace throughout the region. As co-founders of the bipartisan Senate Abraham Accords Caucus, @SenatorLankford & I led a historic bipartisan group of our colleagues to visit these countries. More on our trip Link to video

Bennet (D-CO) 01/24/2023: Tweet – “HAPPENING NOW: I’m joining @SenJackyRosen and colleagues to discuss our recent bipartisan Congressional Delegation to the Abraham Accords member countries of Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Morocco. Michael Bennet… | twitter.com

Kelly (D-AZ) 01/23/2023: Tweet – “This weekend, I came back home after a great week visiting our partners in the Middle East. During our stop in Israel, we met with a wide range of leaders to discuss opportunities to deepen and expand on the Abraham Accords while also sustaining the strong U.S.-Israeli bond.

Kelly (D-AZ) 01/24/2023: Tweet – “During our trip to the Middle East last week, my colleagues and I saw how the Abraham Accords have increased regional integration and security cooperation. Today, I will be joining them in a press conference where we will discuss our trip. Tune in here: Senator Jacky Rosen (@SenJackyRosen) / Twitter… | twitter.com

Rosen (D-NV) 01/23/2023: Tweet – “Wonderful to meet with Israeli organizations and government officials to discuss how the Abraham Accords can advance regional water and energy security. The Middle East faces dire water scarcity, and this critical work can transform lives. Link to image

Rosen (D-NV) 01/23/2023: Tweet – “Wonderful to have the opportunity to thank Israeli President @Isaac_Herzog in-person for his leadership on the Abraham Accords. We also discussed how the United States and Israel can collaborate to combat rising antisemitism around the world. Link to image

Rosen (D-NV) 01/24/2023: Tweet – “Last week, @SenatorLankford & I led a bipartisan delegation to the Abraham Accords member countries of Israel, UAE, Bahrain, & Morocco. TUNE IN NOW to hear more about our historic trip Senator Jacky Rosen… | twitter.com” Retweeted by Budd (R-NC), Lankford (R-OK)

Sullivan (R-AK) 01/24/2023: Tweet – “LIVE: @SenJackyRosen, @SenatorLankford, @SenGillibrand, @SenatorBennet, @SenMarkKelly, @SenTedBuddNC and I are hosting a press conference on our recent visit to Abraham Accords countries. Watch live (11:30am ET/ 7:30am AKT) Link to quoted tweet

Rosen (D-NV) 01/23/2023: Tweet – “While in Israel our delegation met with Minister of Defense @yoavgallant. We discussed the importance of working together to address threats from Iran and its terrorist proxies, as well as opportunities for regional security cooperation under the Abraham Accords. Link to image


5. Members on the Record (Iran)

Cruz (R-TX) 01/26/2023: Tweet – “Our enemies and rivals across the globe are watching what happens in Ukraine. Iran is committed to doing everything they can to ensure Putin’s victory. Meanwhile, the Biden administration continues to be obsessed with a new nuclear deal with Iran. Link to video

Cruz (R-TX) 01/26/2023: Tweet – “The Biden administration is subordinating the need to counter the Russian-Iranian alliance to its own partisan political preferences and its obsession with entering a new nuclear deal with the Ayatollah. Link to video

Cruz (R-TX) 01/27/2023: Tweet – “The Biden Administration has avoided going after the Iranian banks allowing the Ayatollah to supply Russia. As a result, Iran has been able to dramatically boost Putin’s war in Ukraine. Link to video

Cruz (R-TX) 01/26/2023: Retweet of @NewsBecker – “Ted Cruz: Do you believe we should allow the UN arms embargo on Iran to expire & allow Iranian drones to continue to go to Russia to be used in Ukraine? Nuland: Iranian drones are fueling this war Ted Cruz: Have you stopped the drones? Nuland: We haven’t stopped the drones. Link to video

Duncan (R-SC-3) 01/26/2023: Tweet – “It’s important for everyone to remember that the war in Ukraine would have never happened if the Obama/Biden Administration didn’t care more about sending planes full of cash to the Iran, than they did about the Russian invasion of Crimea US sent plane with $400 million in cash to Iran | CNN Politics

Porter (D-CA) 1/26/2023: Floor statement in support of Biden Administration imposing new Iran sanctions

Cruz (R-TX) 01/25/2023: Tweet – “Critics call out Biden administration for not walking away from Iran nuclear deal despite recent rhetoric… | foxnews.com   Link to image

McCaul (R-TX-10) 01/25/2023: Tweet – “CHM @RepMcCaul: “Russia’s noncompliance comes at a uniquely dangerous time when both Russia and China are expanding and modernizing their arsenals, Iran, a state sponsor of terror, continues to expand its nuclear program, and North Korea rattles its nuclear saber.” Link to quoted tweet

Menendez (D-NJ) 01/24/2023: Tweet – “Pleased to see the US, UK, & EU impose these latest sanctions on Iran, including on IRGC officials responsible for brutal violence against protesters. Our message to the regime in Tehran is stronger when we speak with one voice. Link to quoted tweet

Menendez (D-NJ) 01/23/2023: Tweet – “The Iranian people have made clear to the world that those most responsible for their suffering are the regime in Tehran, the IRGC, & its Basiji thugs. Link to quoted tweet

Risch (R-ID) 01/23/2023: Tweet – “As I’ve previously underscored, it’s crucial #Iran once again feels the full weight of int’l economic pressure. The next step the Biden Admin should take is closing sanctions loopholes for #CCP purchases of Iranian oil. Read more in my recent op-ed: Risch in Asharq Al-Awsat: Strategic Political Challenges Facing the US in 2023 | United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations   Link to quoted tweet

Stewart (R-UT-2) 01/24/2023: Tweet – “The work being done on @HouseIntel has never been more important as our adversaries in Moscow, Tehran, and Beijing try to expand their power and spheres of influence. I’m grateful to continue my service on this committee to help ensure America’s national security. Link to quoted tweet


6. Members on the Record (Other Mideast countries)

Qatar/Al Jazeera

Bergman (R-MI-1) 01/24/2023: Tweet – “Americans deserve answers as to why DOJ continues to refuse to enforce the law. –> Link to quoted tweet linked to press release – “Empower Oversight Sues DOJ for Answers on its Failure to Force Al Jazeera to Register as Foreign Agent


Diaz-Balart (R-FL-26) 01/24/2023: Twitter thread – “(1/2) A UN official thanked Hezbollah for sharing “the impact of regional and international developments on the country.” Well, Hezbollah’s “impact” has been murder, maiming, and terror for decades– a malignancy that has extended to our hemisphere. (2/2) As Chairman of SFOPS on Appropriations, I’ll look into what other UN officials have cozy relationships with terrorist organizations. UN envoy thanks Hezbollah terror group, draws rebuke from Israeli officials: ‘is this real?’… | foxnews.com

Meeks (D-NY-5) 01/25/2023: Tweet – “RM @RepGregoryMeeks: I have and will continue to support US security assistance to the Lebanese Armed Forces for the security of Lebanon and the region. I applaud @USEmbassyBeirut’s efforts on this vital initiative. U.S. boosts depleted salaries of Lebanon security forces via U.N…. | reuters.com

Risch (R-ID) 01/24/2023: Tweet – “I welcome today’s much-delayed decision to sanction #Hezbollah’s finance network. Hezbollah continues to serve its own narrow agenda at the expense of the Lebanese people and has driven #Lebanon to the brink of collapse. Lebanon deserves better. Treasury Sanctions Key Hizballah Money Exchanger… | home.treasury.gov

Rubio (R-FL) 01/24/2023: Twitter thread – “Important designation against corrupt individuals & entities linked to Hizballah. Sen. Rubio coauthored the Hizballah Int’l Financing Prevention Act, which was signed into law & expands the scope of economic sanctions against banks & gov’ts that fund Hizballah terrorists in. Treasury Sanctions Key Hizballah Money Exchanger… | home.treasury.gov

Saudi Arabia

Meeks (D-NY-5) 01/26/2023: Tweet – “RM @RepGregoryMeeks: Mike Pompeo’s shameful misrepresentation of Khashoggi dishonors all who work to advance freedom of speech & press around the world. Khashoggi spoke truth to power, knowing the serious risks. Pompeo protected rather than punished the murderer. Link to quoted tweet

Schiff (D-CA-30) 01/26/2023: Tweet – “Let’s be clear: I don’t back down from bullies. And your comments about Jamal Khashoggi — an American resident and journalist butchered by the Saudi government — were shameful and do dishonor to your former office. Link to quoted tweet

Durbin (D-IL) 01/26/2023: Tweet – “Mike Pompeo’s disgraceful disregard for the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi royal backstabbers should be surprising — but it sadly is not. Opinion | Mike Pompeo’s revolting embrace of MBS after the Khashoggi murder

Merkley (D-OR) 01/25/2023: Tweet – “Jamal Khashoggi was brutally murdered for speaking truth to power. He was a hero for risking his life to spotlight oppression and corruption. Those values should be celebrated, not sneered at or degraded. Sucking up to dictators is never pretty and rarely makes America safer. Link to quoted tweet

Beyer (D-VA-8) 01/24/2023: Tweet – “My expectations are low for one of the worst secretaries of State in American history but this defense of torture and murder is contemptible even for him. Link to quoted tweet

Roy (R-TX-21) 01/24/2023: Tweet – “So a golf league almost entirely funded by Saudi Arabia sues the @PGATour in America – and when counter-sued, the Saudi-soaked golf league tries to evade discovery… interesting. (Still waiting for LIV explanation on Foreign Agent Registration). Link to quoted tweet

Sullivan (R-AK) 01/25/2023: Retweet of @ben_dietd – “.@SenDanSullivan says his recent trip to the Middle East made clear “the extent of the damage” of the Biden administration’s energy policies. “Going to other countries like Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, asking them to produce more only makes us weaker.” Link to video

Van Hollen (D-MD) 01/25/2023: Tweet – “Jamal was a journalist & advocate for reform. Attempts to excuse those responsible for his brutal murder & dismemberment are beyond despicable. They confirm just how out of sync Mike Pompeo’s values are with fundamental democratic principles & human rights. A moment of clarity. Link to quoted tweet

Connolly (D-VA-11) 01/24/2023: Tweet – “This is disgusting and totally divorced from reality. Jamal Khashoggi, my constituent, was a journalist and a dissident. His only crime was wanting the best for his home country and its people. He had the kind of courage people like Mike Pompeo can only dream of. Link to quoted tweet” Retweeted by Swalwell (D-CA-14)

Bahrain & United Arab Emirates

Kelly (D-AZ) 01/23/2023: Tweet – “Last week, my colleagues and I met with leaders in Bahrain and visited U.S. Naval Forces Central Command. Bahrain remains a critical partner in hosting our troops and countering shared threats like Iran. I’m looking forward to strengthening our relationship in years to come. Link to image

Kelly (D-AZ) 01/23/2023: Tweet – “Appreciated the opportunity to meet Arizona servicemembers in Bahrain and the UAE and thank them for their service. Link to image

Bennet (D-CO) 01/22/2023: Tweet – “I visited Al Dhafra Air Base in the UAE where I met with @USAFCENT’s 380th Air Expeditionary Wing and Emirati partners. I had the opportunity to discuss regional security and to meet service members from Colorado and thank them for serving our country. Link to image


McCaul (R-TX-10) 01/26/2023: Twitter thread – “CHM @RepMcCaul: “Despite widespread open-source reporting on the Assad regime’s overt role in the production and proliferation of the Captagon drug, the Biden admin continues to disregard Syria’s role in the illicit narcotics trade. Memorandum on Presidential Determination on Major Drug Transit or Major Illicit Drug Producing Countries for Fiscal Year 2023 | The White House “Here is one example: ‘Elements of the Syrian government are key drivers of the Captagon trade, with ministerial-level complicity in production and smuggling, using the trade as a means for political and economic survival amid international sanctions.’ The Captagon Threat: A Profile of Illicit Trade, Consumption, and Regional Realities – New Lines Institute “@SenateForeign and I called on the admin to address the Assad regime’s role in the destabilizing Captagon trade. Biden MUST respond to this problem.” Read the letter here McCaul and Risch Send Letter on Assad Regime’s Role in Drug Trafficking – Committee on Foreign Affairs

Murphy (D-CT) 01/26/2023: Tweet – “Great turnout for our town hall in South Windsor tonight. Got questions/comments on immigration guns Ukraine higher ed cost gas prices school safety gerrymandering medical research Syria Thanks to everyone who turned out! Link to image

Rubio (R-FL) 01/27/2023: Tweet – “For years, Sen. Rubio has denounced the Kremlin’s ties with Yevgeniy Prigozhin and the Wagner Group, Russian mercenaries responsible for war crimes in #Syria, #Ukraine, & #Africa. Wagner’s designation as a Transnational Criminal Organization is long overdue. Link to quoted tweet

McCaul (R-TX-10) 01/24/2023: Tweet – “CHM ⁦@RepMcCaul⁩: “I applaud France for repatriating it’s citizens – 15 women and 32 children – from Syria. Repatriation is an important effort in the fight against ISIS and other terror groups. Countries must ensure it’s a priority.” France repatriates 15 women, 32 children from Syria jihadist camps… | france24.com

Risch (R-ID) 01/24/2023: Tweet – “I’m glad to see #France repatriate more women & children from #Syria’s Al-Hol camp – a brutal and lawless former ISIS controlled area. It’s crucial other countries follow suit in efforts to diminish this inhumane resource for Islamic State. France: more women, children returned from IS camps in Syria… | apnews.com


Diaz-Balart (R-FL-26) 01/26/2023: Tweet – “I met with brave human rights fighter & defender, @EnesFreedom to discuss Turkey’s grotesque human rights abuses, including the $500,000 bounty on him for speaking out against their oppressive regime. Why hasn’t the Biden Admin or @POTUS met with Enes or spoken out about this? Link to image

Diaz-Balart (R-FL-26) 01/26/2023: Tweet – “I wrote to the Biden Admin expressing concerns on the Erdogan regime’s increased harassment of individuals living in the U.S., including U.S. citizens & requesting that the Admin take the appropriate steps to ensure @EnesFreedom’s safety, as well as all other outspoken Americans. Link to image

Hern (R-OK-1) 01/26/2023: Tweet – “I had the great honor of hosting @EnesFreedom, an American hero, yesterday. Enes, thank you for taking a brave stand for freedom in Turkey. I know it can be lonely sometimes, but I will always proudly stand with you. And I encourage all freedom-loving Americans to do the same. Link to image

Tiffany (R-WI-7) 01/26/2023: Tweet – “I had a great time meeting with @EnesFreedom. Despite having a $500k bounty placed on him, he continues to speak out against human rights abuses in Turkey and Communist China. All freedom-loving Americans stand with him. Why won’t @POTUS? Link to image

Crenshaw (R-TX-2) 01/25/2023: Tweet – “.@EnesFreedom is an inspiration who’s risking everything he has for what’s right. Turkey has placed Enes on their terrorist watch list with a bounty of $500,000 for speaking out on human rights issues in China and Turkey. Pretty insane. His bravery and patriotism is amazing. Link to image

Donalds (R-FL-19) 01/25/2023: Tweet – “The Turkish Government placed a $500K bounty on @EnesFreedom because he dared speak out against Erdogan. Our 1st Amdt is a sacred trust between government & citizen that must never be taken for granted. Enes it was an honor to meet you today. You’re what America is all about. Link to image

Self (R-TX-3) 01/25/2023: Retweet of @RepDonaldsPress – “The Turkish Government placed a $500K bounty on @EnesFreedom because he dared speak out against Erdogan. Our 1st Amdt is a sacred trust between government & citizen that must never be taken for granted. Enes it was an honor to meet you today. You’re what America is all about. Link to image

Banks (R-IN-3) 01/25/2023: Tweet – “I met with @EnesFreedom today to discuss Turkey, China, and the @NBA’s complicity in human rights violations. Why is @POTUS Biden scared to do the same? Link to image

Hern (R-OK-1) 01/25/2023: Tweet – “Turkey has a $500,000 bounty on @EnesFreedom’s head for speaking out against their authoritarian regime. Only silence from Biden. He MUST immediately take concrete action to hold Turkey accountable for putting a bounty on Enes Kanter.

Pallone (D-NJ-6) 01/24/2023: Tweet – “This was a heinous act of Islamophobia by a radical fringe group, and the Swedish government has rightfully condemned it. Erdogan is looking for every possible excuse to block Sweden’s entry into NATO. We should not bow to his absurd demands. Link to quoted tweet

Sessions (R-TX-17) 01/24/2023: Tweet – “The Raindrop Foundation of Central Texas provides easily accessible community services to promote mutual understanding between American and Turkish citizens. I enjoyed their visit to my DC office. Link to image