Legislative Round-Up- September 15, 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. Members of Congress’ Most Excellent Recess Adventures in the Middle East – final installment
3. Israel & AIPAC in the 2024 Election Cycle
4. Hearings & Markups
5. Media & Reports
6. Members on the Record

New from FMEP:

  • FMEP Launches New Microsite Tracking Palestine-Related Lawfare [“The Foundation for Middle East Peace is proud to announce the launch of a new FMEP microsite tracking Palestine-related lawfare…FMEP President Lara Friedman has been researching and documenting these lawfare efforts for nearly a decade. FMEP’s new microsite includes her comprehensive & regularly updated research databases–newly streamlined, updated, and expanded, and re-formatted to permit easy filtering/searching of data. It also includes her reports and analyses, along with links to all of FMEP’s other lawfare-related products and programming (webinars, podcasts, etc).
  • FMEP Webinar 9/12/23 – Forcible Transfer is a War Crime: West Bank Pogroms are Working, ft. Kareem Jubran (B’Tselem) & Sarit Michaeli (B’Tselem) in conversation with FMEP fellow Dr. Yara Asi 

1. Bills, Resolutions & letters

(MORE IRAN SANCTIONS & CONDEMNING IRAN HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES) HR 3152, HR 589, H. Res. 492: On 9/12/23, the House voted to suspend the rules and pass three pieces of Iran sanctions legislation:

  • HR 3152, the Fight Crime Act, introduced 5/9/23 by McCaul, R-TX, and having 239 bipartisan cosponsors. This legislation would impose sanctions related to Iran’s missile program). Passed by a vote of 403-8. Floor statements on this bill are here.
  • HR 589, the MAHSA Act, introduced 1/27/23 by Banks, R-IN, and having 128 bipartisan cosponsors. This legislation would require property- and visa-blocking sanctions on certain foreign persons – individuals and entities – affiliated with Iran. Passed by a vote of 410-3. Floor statements on this bill are here.
  • H. Res. 492: Introduced 6/9/23 by Schakowsky (D-IL) and having 58 bipartisan cosponsors, the “Condemning the Government of Iran’s state-sponsored persecution of the Baha’i minority and its continued violation of the International Covenants on Human Rights.” Passed H. Res. 492 by a vote of 413-2. Floor statements are here.

Also see:

(BAR IRANIAN LEADERS COMING TO THE UN) HR 5417 & S. 2774: Introduced 9/12/23 in the House by Tenney (R-NY) and Salazar (R-FL) and in the Senate by Cruz (R-TX) and 9 Republican cosponsors, the “Strengthening Entry Visa Enforcement and Restrictions Act” aka, the “SEVER Act.” Referred to the Committee on the Judiciary in both chambers. The purpose of this bill is to block entry into the U.S. of Iranian officials, including for UN-related purposes. For more see Tenney’s press release [excerpt: “As we approach the opening session of the United Nations General Assembly, it is imperative we stop Raisi and his associates from setting foot on American soil.“] Tenney and Cruz both introduced this same bill in 2022 (S. 4856 & HR 8869), drawing 5 and 6 cosponsors, respectively, and going nowehere.  NOTE: This legislation directly contradicts (and would require the U.S. to once again violate) U.S. explicit obligations under the Headquarters Agreement that governs the U.S. as host to the UN’s headquarters.

(NO US AID FOR COUNTRIES THAT USE FOREIGN SPYWARE AGAINST THE US) HR 5440: Introduced 9/13/23 by Himes (D-CT) and 3 bipartisan cosponsors, “To amend the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to prohibit assistance to foreign governments that engage in the use of foreign commercial spyware to target United States persons, and for other purposes.” Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

(FY24 NDAA) HR 2670/S. 2226: As noted previously in the Round-Up, this year – for the first time in memory – the Round-Up is NOT tracking the path of the annual NDAA bill or reporting in exhausting detail on Middle East-related elements in these key pieces of legislation. Why? Because this year’s legislative process is so totally f***ked up, and the legislation and amendments are collectively such a total dumpster fire of extreme partisan/ideological grandstanding, that it simply doesn’t make sense to spend hours and hours tracking what is going on, when odds are still strongly in favor of none of this passing into law. For the detail obsessed, on 9/11/23 JINSA has helpfully published its own detailed explainer: 9/11/23: Key Middle East Provisions Under Consideration in the FY2024 National Defense Authorization Act – enjoy.


(US UNIVERSITIES MUST SELF-CENSOR CURRICULA/SPEAKERS TO ELIMINATE CRITICISM/CRITICS OF ISRAEL) Gottheimer letters to UPenn & Princeton: On 9/13/23, Rep. Gottheimer (D-NJ) sent letters to the presidents of University of Pennsylvania and Princeton University, calling on them (per Gottheimer’s press release) to “to take action in response to their universities’ inclusion of antisemitic, anti-Israel, and hate-filled classroom curriculum and upcoming guest speakers.” Specifically Gottheimer calls on  UPenn to dis-invite Roger Waters and Marc Lamont Hill — whom he describes as “well-known antisemitic and anti-Israel speakers” — from appearing on campus. He also demands that Princeton strike from the curriculum of one of its courses a book that included, in Gottheimer’s view, antisemitic “blood libel” for asserting that “the Israel Defense Forces, in efforts to oppress and control Palestinians, deliberately creates injury, keeping Palestinian populations debilitated” [no doubt Gottheimer would similarly reject: ’42 Knees in One Day’: Israeli Snipers Open Up About Shooting Gaza Protesters (Haaretz); Blasted limbs, broken dreams (Washington Post);  Amputating the Body, Fragmenting the Nation: Palestinian Amputees in Gaza (Health & Human Rights); Israel: ‘Deliberate attempts’ by military to kill and maim Gaza protesters continues (Amnesty International);‘Shoot to maim’: How Israel created a generation on crutches in Gaza (Middle East Eye); Israeli Troops Shot a Palestinian Boy in the Eye, and Didn’t Even Try to Save It (Haaretz); ‘Blinding the truth’: Israeli snipers target Gaza protesters in the eyes (The New Arab); etc, etc.] Gottheimer is explicit in his conflation of criticism of Israel with antisemitism, and his demand for censoring both, and he goes so far to assert that such censorship is REQUIRED BY LAW in his state: “Princeton University must protect all students, including Jewish students made to feel unsafe by curricula that incites violence and signals tolerance for Jewish hate and anti-Israel rhetoric. Given New Jersey’s strict anti-BDS laws and Princeton’s own anti-discrimination policies, the University is not only reminded, but obligated, to safeguard its students.

Also see:

  • Gottheimer X-post
  • Letter responding to Gotteheimer from the president of Princeton University [“…This University is fully committed to ensuring that Jewish students thrive here. For me, that commitment is deeply personal: I am Princeton’s second Jewish president and its first Jewish undergraduate alumnus to serve in that role…Like Princeton’s commitment to free speech, the principle of academic freedom sweeps broadly, encompassing even books that may be deemed ‘offensive, unwise, immoral, or wrong‑headed’ by students, faculty, the University administration, or others, including elected office holders.  Those who disagree with a book, or a syllabus, are free to criticize it but not to censor it.  Such arguments are the lifeblood of a great university, where controversies must be addressed through deliberation and debate, not administrative fiat. Your letter concludes by asserting that colleges ‘must protect all students, including Jewish students’ from being ‘made to feel unsafe by curricula.’  That assertion misunderstands the role of a university, where students inevitably encounter controversial and sometimes disturbing ideas.  As I said earlier, Princeton will work vigorously to ensure that all students can thrive here, but not by censoring our curriculum. Your assertion also underestimates the strength and resilience of Princeton students.  Indeed, many of our students, both Jewish and non-Jewish, have spoken up for the importance of academic freedom and defended the right of Professor Larson to assign Dr. Puar’s book. I have no doubt that they have the intelligence and independence to interrogate, challenge, and learn from texts with which they disagree.  This University will continue to foster those discussions inside and outside the classroom, and we will adhere steadfastly to the principles of free speech and academic freedom that are essential to our mission.”]
  • University of Pennsylvania 9/12/23: Statement on Palestine Writes Literature Festival signed by the U Penn’s President, Provost, and the Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences [“The Palestine Writes Literature Festival, a multi-day event featuring Palestinian writers, filmmakers, and artists, will take place on the University of Pennsylvania’s campus later this month. This public event is not organized by the University. As is routine in universities, individual faculty, departments and centers, and student organizations are engaged as sponsors, speakers and volunteers at this conference intended to highlight the importance and cultural impact of Palestinian writers and artists. While the Festival will feature more than 100 speakers, many have raised deep concerns about several speakers who have a documented and troubling history of engaging in antisemitism by speaking and acting in ways that denigrate Jewish people. We unequivocally — and emphatically — condemn antisemitism as antithetical to our institutional values. As a university, we also fiercely support the free exchange of ideas as central to our educational mission. This includes the expression of views that are controversial and even those that are incompatible with our institutional values.”]
  • PEN American 8/22/23: PEN America: Calls to Remove a Book from Princeton U Syllabus Are “Highly Misguided”
  • Jewish News Syndicate 9/14/23: Penn leaders cite academic freedom, allowing event to proceed despite some speakers’ antisemitic history

(NEED FULL TRANSPARENCY OF SAUDI INVOLVEMENT IN 9/11) Blumenthal/Johnson letter to Garland & Wray: On 9/10/23, Sens. Blumenthal (D-CT) and Johnson (R-WI) – the chair and ranking member of the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations – sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray noting: “We wrote to you on July 18, 2023 [letter not released to public as of this writing], asking that the U.S. government finally provide full transparency into what it knows about the attacks, particularly as it relates to Saudi Arabia’s involvement. In that letter, we requested access to the complete, unredacted records of Saudi Arabia’s role (including the records in Appendix A) and asked that you explain any ongoing need for classification of any portions of these records.  In an August 8, 2023 meeting, our staff told Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) officials to prioritize producing an unredacted copy of the 11-page document contained in Appendix A.  Over one month since that call and nearly two months since our initial letter request, we have not received a single document or obtained an explanation for any of the hundreds of redactions that remain, despite the government’s recent declassification review. Your failure to respond to our letter only adds to our concerns about the U.S. government’s longstanding refusal to provide full transparency to the American public, and particularly for the families of 9/11 victims, about Saudi Arabia’s role in the 9/11 attacks. We therefore write to reiterate our July 18, 2023 request...” The letter closes: “Should DOJ and the FBI fail to provide the briefing and continue to fail to provide the requested unredacted documents by this deadline, the Subcommittee will be forced to consider the use of the other tools at its disposal to ensure compliance.

Also see:

(DON’T LET IRANIAN LEADER COME TO UNGA) Mace-Moskowitz letter to POTUS: Reps. Moskowitz (D-FL) and Mace (R-SC) sent a letter (text not available as of this writing) to President Biden urging him to refuse to grant a visa for Iranian president Raisi to attend the upcoming meeting of the UN General Assembly.

Also see:

  • Mace (R-SC) 9/15/23: X-post – “Murderers shouldn’t get US visas. This administration is opening the door for Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi into the U.S. while he assassinates dissidents and ignores basic human rights. We joined @RepMoskowitz and @BretBaier to call on the Biden Admin to block his visa.” [with Fox News video clip]
  • Moskowitz (D-FL) 9/14/23: X-post – “Iran kidnaps Americans, threatens to wipe out Israel, and sponsors terrorism around the globe. Why would we give them a platform at the United Nations? @RepNancyMace and I are urging the administration to deny President Raisi’s visa to attend next week’s General Assembly.
  • Media: Fox News interview with Moskowitz and Mace about the letter and about Iran policy (and also about…UFOs and “are the aliens out there…” – yes, Moskowitz joins in on this with respect to secret weapons programs “coming out of Area 51”); CNN interview with Mace mentioning the effort


2. Members of Congress’ Most Excellent Recess Adventures in the Middle East- final installment

  • Williams (D-GA) 9/14/23: X-thread – “As the co-chair of the Black-Jewish Relations Caucus, I understood the profound significance of my visit to the @yadvashem Holocaust Remembrance Center during my time in Israel. I gained a deeper understanding of the Holocaust’s importance in Israeli society. (1/2) I also had the honor of meeting Judge Frankel, a Holocaust survivor whose story serves as a testament to the resilience of the human spirit. (2/2)”
  • Agahozo-Shalom (Rwanda) 9/11/23: X-post – “We were honored to welcome U.S. Congressmembers from the Congressional Black Caucus and their families to the Village! Thank you @AIPAC (The American Israel Public Affairs Committee) for organizing their visit and helping foster deeper connections between countries and cultures.
  • President of Rwanda 9/11/23: X-post – “President Kagame welcomed the US Congressional Black Caucus as part of a visit to Israel and Rwanda hosted by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee @AIPAC and their educational arm, Art in Embassies Program (AIEP). The meeting discussed issues of global significance and future areas of collaboration.
  • Foreign Ministry of Rwanda 9/11/23: X-post – “Min. @Vbiruta received a US Congressional delegation from @TheBlackCaucus, who participated in a visit to Israel and #Rwanda hosted by @AIPAC and their educational arm, Art in Embassies Program (AIEP). The delegation led by @RepLucyMcBath exchanged on issues of common interest.”
  • AIPAC 9/11/23: X-post – Thank you @PaulKagame @UrugwiroVillage for welcoming this delegation of @TheBlackCaucus to learn more about the trilateral bonds between the United States, Israel and Rwanda.”

3. Israel & AIPAC  in the 2024 Election Cycle


4. Hearings & Markups

Sept. 14, 2023: The House Committee on Foreign Affairs’ Subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia held a hearing entitled, “Iran’s Escalating Threats: Assessing U.S. Policy Toward Iran’s Malign Activities. Witnesses were: Norman Roule, Former National Intelligence Manager for Iran (statement); Behnam Ben Taleblu, FDD (statement); Masih Alinejad, Author and Activist (statement); and Suzanne Maloney, Brookings (statement).

Also see:

  • hearing video.
  • McCaul (R-TX) 9/14/23: X-post (with video) – “As the admin pursues a $6B hostage deal & a potential nuclear “understanding” w/ Iran, the Middle East subcommittee held a hearing on Iran’s hostage taking, sponsorship of terrorism proxies, & nuclear escalation. Watch CHM @RepMcCaul‘s remarks
  • Sherman (D-CA) 9/14/23: X-post (with video) – “The #Iranian regime remains a major threat to the security, not only of the United States and our allies, but also to the Iranian people. However, the U.S. strategy to counter the regime needs to be based in reality. Americans don’t want to see another war in the Middle East.
  • Lawler (R-NY) 9/14/23: X-post (with video) – “I just asked the witnesses at today’s @HouseForeignGOP subcommittee hearing about the President’s $6 billion prisoner exchange deal, the funds of which he claims will only be used for humanitarian aid. That assertion has now been refuted by the Iranian President himself.
  • Lawler (R-NY) 9/14/23: X-thread (with videos) – “I asked the panel at today’s @HouseForeignGOP subcommittee hearing on Iran about whether the SHIP Act will help bring Iran to heel. The answer was yes. This legislation, which I introduced with @RepMoskowitz, now has over 175 cosponsors. I will continue working with my colleagues to get the SHIP Act passed and ensure we are doing everything we can to contain Iran’s aggression. Not giving Iran $6 billion would be a good start.
  • Schneider (D-IL) 9/14/23: X-post (with video) – “We need to block and ultimately close Iran’s pathways to a nuclear bomb. The US is committed to making sure Iran never has a nuclear weapon through a combination of smart diplomacy, ratcheting sanctions, and maintaining a military option. @HouseForeign examined this challenge.
  • Burchett (R-TN) 9/14/23: X-post (with video) – “‘Quantitatively, qualitatively, (the Iranian nuclear program) has grown under President Biden’s watch.’ A nuclear armed Iran cannot happen, yet this administration is doing little to stop it.”
  • Jewish Insider 9/15/23: Despite divisions, lawmakers say they seek bipartisan path forward on Iran

Sept. 13, 2023: The House Committee on Oversight’s Subcommittee on National Security, the Border, and Foreign Affairs held a hearing [as in, an officially-organized occasion for political grandstanding] entitled, “A Dangerous Strategy: Examining the Biden Administration’s Failures on Iran.” Majority witnesses were a who’s who of ardent opponents of the Biden Administration’s Iran policy (and of the Obama Administration’s Iran policy that came before it): Richard Goldberg, FDD (statement), Michael Makovsky, JINSA (statement), and Victoria Coates, Heritage Foundation (statement); plus one minority witness – Barbara Slavin, Stimson Center (statement).

Also see:

Sept. 13, 2023: The Senate Committee on Homeland Security’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations held a hearing entitled, “The PGA Tour-LIV Deal: Examining the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund’s Investments in the United States.” Witnesses were: Benjamin Freeman, Quincy Institute (statement); Brian Murphy, Logically AI Inc. (statement); and Joey Shea, Human Rights Watch (statement).

Also see:


5. Media & Reports

Visa Waiver Program


Saudi Arabia & Normalization

Targeting Palestinians & Anything Related to Them

Other stuff

  • Jerusalem Post 9/15/23: 25 ViZionaries: Ritchie Torres – No. 4 [“He currently represents NY-15 in Congress, gaining a reputation as an outspoken progressive supporter of Israel, combating BDS, and leading delegations to the Jewish state. He has become a powerful voice in Washington for strengthening US-Israel relations and continues to advocate for the Jewish people everywhere.“]
  • Jewish News Syndicate 9/14/23: In divisive times, Jewish leaders mostly optimistic as High Holidays approach [“To Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), Rosh Hashanah is ‘the start of a new season and a clean slate.’…‘My hope is that Congress will continue our bipartisan work to protect America’s economy and national security, including strengthening the historic U.S.-Israel relationship into the New Year,’ he said. ‘Despite hyper-partisan rhetoric and extremism, the security of America and Israel is an overwhelmingly bipartisan priority that the vast majority of my colleagues and I remain committed to each year.’ The ‘ironclad’ U.S.-Israel relationship is more important than ever given the growing ‘Iranian threat based in the West Bank’ and as Hezbollah increases its destabilizing activities in Lebanon, the Congressman said. ‘In the coming year, I look forward to working across the aisle to lead ongoing efforts to expand the Abraham Accords,’ he said. ‘I am excited for the potential to broaden Israel’s normalization agreements with its Arab neighbors, especially through the newly appointed U.S. Senior Adviser for Regional Integration Dan Shapiro.’…The congressman is also concerned about extremism on both sides of Congress that ‘try to hold the country and Congress’ work hostage, including turning the U.S.-Israel relationship into a partisan issue,’ he said…Votes against the boycott Israel (BDS) movement and to invest in military support for Israel or Iron Dome are ‘massively bipartisan,’ Gottheimer said….’In the year ahead, Congress must continue to loudly and clearly speak on its commitment to combating antisemitism, protecting Jewish Americans, fighting the BDS movement, and protecting America and Israel’s security from shared threats, including Iran…’”]
  • Mondoweiss 9/12/23: Will GOP oppose Biden’s pick for Israel ambassador over his involvement in Iran deal?
  • Washington Report on Middle East Affairs 9/12/23: Congress Attempts to Repair Relations with the Usual Tactics
  • Jewish Insider 9/11/23: Haim Saban lambasts Israeli coalition officials following Biden meeting [“Saban told Yediot that Biden and congressional leadership – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY)  – are still solidly pro-Israel, and there are only about a dozen members who are anti-Israel. He called Sen. Bernie Sanders ‘a self-hating Jew, an Israel-hater, and you can quote me on that.’ Saban also defended his backing of AIPAC’s Super PAC, which courted controversy by contributing to a few campaigns of candidates who denied that Biden won the 2020 election. ‘The only goal of this organization is to prevent people who are against US-Israel relations from advancing and to support those who support relations between Jerusalem and Washington… Many Democrats called me and said ‘are you stupid? you’re a Democrat who supports [2020 election deniers]?’ I always say the same thing: It’s a specific, defined issue, and that is the US-Israel relationship. In that sense, I’m not interested in anything else.’”] [see full interview in Hebrew]
  • Mondoweiss 9/11/23: Democratic megadonor Haim Saban calls Bernie Sanders a ‘self-hating Jew’ over criticisms of Israel
  • Times of Israel 9/10/23: Pro-Israel Democrat Torres: Ben Gvir a ‘despicable disgusting dangerous demagogue’
  • Mondoweiss 9/9/23: How Democrats learned to defend Israel’s ethnocracy
  • Mediaite 9/8/23: NY Democrat Drops Scathing Rebuttal On ‘Holier-Than-Thou’ Peter Beinart In Brutal Debate on Israel and Hamas


6. Members on the Record


Abraham Accords/Normalization

  • Phillips (D-MN) 9/15/23: X-post – “This week I met with @bahdiplomatic Foreign Minister Al Zayani about strengthening the Abraham Accords & addressing human rights. We agreed that the new U.S.-Bahrain security agreement presents a great opportunity to strengthen bilateral relations & expand regional integration.”
  • Blackburn (R-TN) 9/15/23: X-post – “Three years ago, President Trump led the international community in drafting and signing the Abraham Accords. Trump’s historic new vision has promoted peace and prosperity throughout the Middle East.
  • Green (R-GA) 9/15/23: X-post –“Three years ago today, President Trump signed the Abraham Accords, a remarkable step in the quest for peace in the Middle East. Today, we are on the verge of WW3 because Joe Biden is choosing escalation of foreign wars over peace. We need a president who seeks peace again!”
  • Ernst (R-IA) 9/15/23: X-post- “Three years ago, the #AbrahamAccords brought historic peace to the Middle East. As President Biden’s appeasement of Iran threatens its progress, I’m working to strengthen the Accords and hold the Biden admin accountable. Read my full op-ed in @FoxNews” (linked to Ernst op-ed)
  • Young (R-IN) 9/15/23: X-post -“Today marks the anniversary of the signing of the historic Abraham Accords.   The Accords strengthened the U.S.-Israel relationship and were a bold step towards greater peace and stability in the Middle East.
  • Boozman (R-AR) 9/15/23: X-post – “Today marks 3 years since the signing of the historic Abraham Accords. This groundbreaking agreement paved the way for greater cooperation in the Middle East between Israel and its Arab neighbors. America must continue to lead efforts to build on its promise in the years to come.
  • Wagner (R-MO) 9/14/23: X-thread – “This week is the 3rd anniversary of the signing of the transformative Abraham Accords. The Accords have led to unprecedented peace and normalization agreements between Israel and Arab states, transforming the region. I spoke at the Atlantic Council’s Abraham Accords Conference to talk about my work as co-chair of the Abraham Accords Caucus & urge my colleagues to build on & strengthen these achievements as we continue to fight anti-Semitism & work towards even greater peace in the area.
  • Wilson (R-SC) 9/13/23: floor statement, “Anniversary of the Abraham Accords”
  • Kean (R-NJ) 9/13/23: X-post – “Today I attended an Abraham Accords Roundtable to hear from a delegation of civil society & private sector leaders from Bahrain, Morocco, UAE, & Israel to hear how the Abraham Accords are positively normalizing relations between these countries & fostering developments in tourism & the environment. As a member of the @HouseForeignGOP& Abraham Accords Caucus, I will continue to support our allies in the Middle East.”
  • Scott (R-FL) 9/11/23: X-post – “Glad to see the U.S. reaffirming our strong partnership to Bahrain, a fellow friend of Israel. I had the privilege of visiting Bahrain earlier this year & am confident that we will stand strong together against evil countries like Iran who want to destroy freedom & democracy.
Israel – Visa Waiver Program
  • Schneider (D-IL) 9/12/23: X-thread – “This is an encouraging step toward including Israel in the US visa waiver program and advancing our nations’ unbreakable bond rooted in shared interests and values. Israeli and Palestinian Americans are a crucial part of the American melting pot and I look forward to see them all having an easier time visiting family and friends.” Linked to article, Israel includes Gaza Americans in US visa-waiver pilot as deadline nears (Reuters 9/11/23)
  • Rosen (D-NV) 9/8/23: X-post – “Israel’s inclusion in the Visa Waiver Program will strengthen the bond between our two nations & increase travel & tourism to the U.S. That’s why @SenRickScott & I led 65 colleagues in a bipartisan push for @DHSgov & @StateDept to prioritize getting this done this year.

Israel – Jack Lew Nomination as US Ambassador to Israel

  • Tenney (R-NY) 9/11/23: X-post – “Last week, Biden nominated Jack Lew as U.S. Ambassador to Israel, even after he proved he was the wrong man for the job. The President must reconsider this misguided and dangerous nomination.
  • Gottheimer (D-NJ) 9/8/23: X-thread – “Congratulations to my friend and former colleague, Jack Lew, on his nomination as U.S. Ambassador to Israel. Jack has served at some of the highest levels of government — as Secretary of the Treasury, White House Chief of Staff, OMB Director, among other roles. He is an an experienced professional with a deep and unwavering commitment to the U.S.-Israel relationship. He is a longtime champion of this historic partnership and friend of Israel. At this important moment in U.S.-Israel relations, I urge the Senate to act swiftly to confirm this qualified nominee.

Israel – general

  • Gottheimer (D-NJ) 9/14/23: X-thread – “As Rosh Hashanah approaches, Congress must continue to loudly and clearly act on its commitment to combating antisemitism and protecting Jewish Americans. As the only Jewish member of the New Jersey delegation, I will continue to push for efforts like the Nonprofit Security Grant Program, fight against antisemitism, and support the historic U.S.-Israel relationship.” Linked to JNS article
  • Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) 9/13/23: X-post – “I work w/ @CotlerWunsh on our Interparliamentary Task Force to Combat Online Antisemitism and respect her knowledge, passion & commitment to eradicate this hatred. Israel and the Jewish people are lucky to have such a dedicated, experienced professional in this role.” In response to Cotler-Wunsh X-post – “Antisemitism is a toxic hate that transcends politics, religion, time, and geography, poisoning the places and spaces in which it takes hold. In this troubling time of rising and mainstreaming antisemitism, politicization is one of the central factors that enables it to fester, mutate, and permeate. At a time of growing polarization, intersecting global and local challenges, and the blurring of lines between online hate and real-world harm, I accept the position of Israel’s Special Envoy for Combatting Antisemitism with a tremendous sense of responsibility. As Special Envoy, I will continue serving the Jewish people, the State of Israel, and the universal principles of life and liberty for all to comprehensively identify and combat the scourge of antisemitism in all its forms.” Reminder: Cotler-Wunsh is a leading advocate/cheerleader for adoption/enforcement of the IHRA definition of antisemitism across all aspects of free speech, public life and the public debate.
  • Blackburn (R-TN) 9/13/23: X-post – “Made a stop at the world premiere of “Route 60: The Biblical Highway” with @mikepompeo & Amb. @DavidM_Friedman. A powerful message combined with moving storytelling about the 146-mile road that is the Biblical spine of Israel. A wonderful film to share with friends and family.
  • Cohen (D-TN) 9/13/23: X-post – “Said I would support funding Israel defense spending as along as I’m in Congress.The most oppressed people in mankind’s history have a home and I’ll support them with iron dome, sling shot, and other military protection against Iran and others who want to destroy #Israel #Jewish” – response to X-thread by Miko Peled, “@repstephencohen says he’ll support apartheid & segregation of Palestinians ‘for as long as I am in congress.’ ‘Palestinians never had a George Washington,’ was his reply to Israeli crimes. Washington owned slaves, why would Palestinians want him? Then he said, I was progressive before the Squad were even born.’ What’s a smug remark! @repstephencohen is a lying hypocrite he’s not a progressive!
  • Kiggans (D-VA) 9/12/23: Submitted for the record remarks by Rabbi Dr. Israel Zoberman of Temple Lev Tikvah, entitled, “Recognizing the threat to Israel’s democracy” [“the current internal crisis threatening Israeli democracy, the Middle East’s sole one, is due to the most extreme coalition government in Israel’s history attempting to alter its Western liberal orientation by disabling the Supreme Court’s standing as an independent Judiciary“]
  • Rob Menendez (D-NJ) 9/12/23: X-post – “It was great to join @AIPAC for a conversation earlier this week at Congregation B’nai Israel. I am committed to deepening our country’s relationship with the Israeli people and supporting the Jewish community in New Jersey especially in the face of rising antisemitism.

Saudi Arabia

  • Moskowitz (D-FL) 9/13/23: video clip of him pointing out that Republicans complaining that the “Biden family took money from a foreign entity” don’t seem to care at all about the fact that Kusher got $2 billion from Saudi Arabia
  • Garcia (D-CA) 9/13/23: X-post – “Jared Kushner’s investment firm received $2 billion dollars from Saudi Arabia just months after overseeing Middle East policy in the Trump White House, but the House GOP is too busy with their partisan Biden witch-hunt to even acknowledge the hypocrisy within their own party.”
  • Beyer (D-VA) 9/13/23: X-post – “When Jared Kushner was a top advisor in the Trump White House their foreign policy was ridiculously friendly to Saudi Arabia. Kushner got $2 billion from the Saudi investment fund. Republicans shut down an investigation. This isn’t anything but partisan politics at its worst.” Replying to X-post from McCarthy (R-CA), The American people deserve to know that public offices are not for sale—and that the federal government is not being used to cover up the actions of a politically-connected family.”
  • Garcia (D-CA) 9/13/23: X-post – “Good morning to everyone except Jared Kushner, who accepted $2 Billion from the Saudi’s two months after leaving the Trump White House. We demand answers.
  • Garcia (D-CA) 9/12/23: X-post – “The Trump & Kushner Crime Family needs to be held accountable. Why did Jared Kushner receive $2 billion from the Saudi Government months after leaving the Trump White House? The American people deserve answers.”
  • Garcia (D-CA) 9/12/23: floor statement – “America’s Political Cons and Scandals” [“I rise today to urge House Republicans to investigate one of modern America’s biggest scandals and political cons. Why did the Saudi Government give Jared Kushner $2 billion just months after he left the Trump White House? Kushner, who oversaw Middle East policy for his father-in-law, has enriched himself and his family in what is clearly an enormous grift and likely serious conflict of interest crimes. Let’s review: First, Jared Kushner conned his way to a cushy White House job with no clear job description and no experience. Then he took it upon himself to prioritize pushing out the U.S. Secretary of State so he could cozy up to the Saudi  Government. Once he was close enough to the Saudis , we have records of a $110 billion arms deal between the U.S. and Saudi  Arabia that was inflated at the direction of Jared Kushner. Mere months after Kushner exits the White House, what happens? The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia overrules his own advisers and sends $2 billion to Kushner’s company bank account. In the exact words of Republican Chris Christie, who I will quote: “The grift from this family is breathtaking. It is breathtaking. Jared Kushner and Ivanka Kushner walk out of the White House, and months later get $2 billion from the Saudis.” Some colleagues from across the aisle have explicitly said the Kushner family has engaged in business dealings that may have crossed the ethical line, and I agree, yet they refuse to act. Is this the same party that is obsessed with President Biden’s family? The American people deserve answers, and I urge my colleagues across the aisle to answer our calls and subpoena Jared Kushner’s company once and for all.“]
  • Cornyn (R-TX) 9/12/23: X-post – “Cornyn pushes Biden to back bill making it easier for 9/11 families to sue Saudi Arabia”
  • Markey (D-MA) 9/11/23: X-post – “Saudi Arabia and the OPEC Cartel are purposefully cutting oil production to keep gas prices high. We can’t keep letting these oil tycoons shake down American families—we need to break this dirty cycle and invest in American-made clean energy.” Linked to article, Saudi Arabia to extend voluntary cut of 1 million barrels per day until the end of the year (CNBC 9/5/23)


  • Murphy (D-CT) 9/12/23: Floor statement on Egypt, human rights, US aid, and accountability under Congressionally-mandated conditions in the law [worth reading the whole statement]
  • Murphy (D-CT) 9/13/23: press release – Murphy Statement on Meeting with Foreign Minister of Bahrain
  • Murphy (D-CT) 9/12/23: X-post – “So amazing to meet with Bahraini human rights activist Maryam Al-Khawaja @MARYAMALKHAWAJA today, ahead of my meeting with Bahrain’s Foreign Minister.”
  • Coons (D-DE) 9/12/23: X-post – “Very concerned by the deteriorating health of human rights activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja as he continues a hunger strike against his wrongful imprisonment in Bahrain. Abdulhadi must be immediately released, allowed to seek medical care, and return to his family.
  • Mills (R-FL) 9/11/23: X-post – “On this day, let us not forget about another tragedy in American history that occurred in 2012, the attack on the consulate in Benghazi. Under the Obama-Biden Administration, four Americans, including Ambassador Stevens, were killed in a terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya despite warnings the security situation in Benghazi was deteriorating. We witnessed lives lost under failed leadership with Biden as Vice President, and we’ve seen it more recently with the Abbey Gate bombing in Kabul. Both events showed our leaders putting politics ahead of military strategy. Rather than being transparent with the American people, in both situations, the administrations lied about the events that caused the preventable deaths of Americans. As a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I will continue to work to ensure this failed administration is held accountable so events like Benghazi and Abbey Gate don’t happen again.


Solidarity with/Support for Morocco &/or Libya and their people

Iran – general

  • Rubio (R-FL) 9/15/23: X-post – “A new report from @USCIRF sheds light on the religious persecution and abuses carried out by the regime in Tehran. Iran continues to actively repress and censor religious minorities and civilians who protest their criminality. #ExpressionNotOppression” [Linked to USCRIF Report]
  • McCaul (R-TX) 9/14/23: X-post – “CHM @RepMcCaul: “Instead of issuing hollow threats, the U.S. should put forward a resolution at the IAEA referring Iran to the U.N. Security Council for its nuclear violations as I have been calling for since March.” Linked to: Quad Statement – Agenda Item 7d – IAEA Board of Governors Meeting – September 2023
  • Durbin (D-IL) 9/12/23: X-post – “Days ahead of the anniversary of the death in police custody of his niece, Mahsa Amini, Safa Aeli has been detained with no information given to his family of his whereabouts. What a cowardly attempt by Iranian authorities to silence its people. #MahsaAmini #IranRevolution
  • McCaul (R-TX) 9/12/23: press release – McCaul on Iran’s Continued Nuclear Violations [“The IAEA Director General’s statement today further emphasizes the need for drastic action, including at the IAEA, to ensure Iran is held to its treaty obligations. The international community’s failure to hold Iran accountable for its continued nuclear violations undermines non-proliferation efforts around the world. The Biden administration must seek a finding of non-compliance and refer Iran’s nuclear violations to the U.N. Security Council, as I called for back in March. We cannot let Iran’s continued nuclear escalation go unpunished.”] Also see McCaul X-post
  • Blackburn (R-TN) 9/11/23: X-post – “Putin is desperate for weaponry to facilitate his failing war in Ukraine, so he is turning to America’s enemies like North Korea and Iran.”
  • Hagerty (R-TN) 9/11/23: X-post – “Deeply disturbing. Director-General Rafael Grossi of @iaeaorg—the world’s nuclear watchdog—says the Biden Admin hasn’t told the IAEA what unwritten understandings on Iran’s nuclear program it has agreed to. No transparency means no accountability.”
  • Blackburn (R-TN) 9/11/23: X-post – “As the Biden administration continues to negotiate with terrorist-supporting Iran, Tehran and its proxies are waging a multifront war on the U.S. It’s time Biden recognizes Iran as the dangerous adversary it is.”
  • Wagner (R-MO) 9/11/23: press release – Wagner Denounces Biden’s Shameful Hostage Deal That Puts Americans at Risk
  • Hunt (R-TX) 9/11/23: X-post – Our disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, our welcome-mat border, our acquiescence to Iran’s nuclear ambitions, our refusal to confront the growing menace of China and the war on domestic energy production, Biden has set the stage for the next 9/11.” [linked to and quoting from Washington Times article, Biden has set the stage for the next 9/11, should resign immediately]
  • Santos (R-NY) 9/10/23: X-post – “Lula, your shameful collaboration w/ Iran will not be tolerated! @POTUS quit supporting Lula’s anti-American regime, which is out to destroy democracy everywhere, including in Brazil. As you keep undermining us, Lula, the entire world is watching. #FORALULA #StoptheAyatollah

Iran – Supporting Biden Admin on Prisoner Deal

  • Murphy (D-CT) 9/13/23: X-post – “It’s great how Iran hawks say to never trust Iran…unless Iran is saying things that help Iran hawks. Would it shock you to know Raisi isn’t telling the truth? The money can only be released for humanitarian expenses. Raisi is spinning for local audiences that oppose the deal.” In response to Good (R-VA) X-post – “The Biden White House is helping fund terrorism and the nuclear program of Iran.”
  • Himes (D-CT) 9/13/23: X-post – “Not sure if this is uninformed or intentionally misleading. The US isn’t paying Iran, we’re unfreezing existing Iranian money for exclusively humanitarian use. No deal is perfect, but at the end of the day this is about bringing 5 Americans home to their families.” In response to Good (R-VA) X-post – “The Biden White House is helping fund terrorism and the nuclear program of Iran.”
  • Himes (D-CT) 9/13/23: X-post – “This is the right decision. By unfreezing these Iranian funds for humanitarian use, @POTUS is helping 5 US citizens, including my constituent Morad Tahbaz, return home. I’ll continue to support the Admin’s efforts to ensure that we leave no American behind.
  • Murphy (D-CT) 9/12/23: X-post – “I want to explain to you why Joe Biden made the right decision to make an agreement to bring our Iran hostages home. Don’t listen to the hype from the anti-Biden hawks. Listen to the facts.” (with video)
  • Murphy (D-CT) 9/12/23: X-post – “Trump’s Iran policy was a unqualified debacle. Under Trump’s watch, Iran dramatically accelerated their nuclear program, started shooting at American troops again, attacked Saudi Arabia, increased their support for terrorists, and continued their domestic political repression.” Linked to X-post from Laura Loomer, “President Trump is calling out ⁦@JoeBiden for sending $6 BILLION to the terrorist regime Iran. ‘He had the audacity to announce this terrible deal today, September 11th.’ Joe Biden loves Islamic terrorists” (accompanied by screenshot of Trump’s denunciation on Truth Social of the Biden Admin’s deal to release Americans held by Iran).
  • Murphy (D-CT) 9/12/23: X-post – “Republicans are going to keep making this “$6B in cash to Iran” argument even though it’s totally false. The $6B is Iran’s money that was frozen in a Korean bank account. It’s being released to buy food/medicine for the Iranian people, in order to get American hostages home.
  • Murphy (D-CT) 9/11/23: X-post – “Good for President Biden. Continuing Trump’s failed Iran policy makes no sense. These detainees deserve to be home.”
Iran – OUTRAGE at Biden Admin for Prisoner Deal
  • Wicker (R-MS) 9/15/23: X-post – “The Biden admin says that Iran will use ransom payments for humanitarian purposes only. But Iran is clear that it has other plans. Iran has used sanctions relief to fund terrorism before. It is disgraceful and dangerous that Biden’s Iran team never learns.
  • McClain (R-MI) 9/15/23: X-post – “Biden’s negotiation with Iran is nothing more than signing a deal with the devil.” [with video]
  • Hawley (R-MS) 9/14/23: X-post – “Biden likes to follow the footsteps of Obama. That’s why he just made a deal with the devil, handing Iran prisoners and billions. “The Biden Admin is absolutely desperate to please Iran . . . meanwhile it’s making us less safe. It’s making the region less stable.” [with Fox News video clip]
  • Murphy (D-CT) 9/15/23: X-post – “The Iran hawks who oppose the detainee deal just want Biden to continue Trump’s broken Iran policy. What did ‘maximum pressure’ get us? – more advanced Iranian nuclear program – Iran shooting as U.S. troops – more support for Iranian proxy armies Why continue a failed policy?
  • McClain (R-MI) 9/14/23: floor statement – “I rise today in anger. I am angry that President Biden is quite literally negotiating with terrorists and plans to release to Iran $6 billion in frozen assets. Do you know what negotiating with terrorists leads to? I will share with you what that leads to: more Americans being kidnapped for ransom. Connect the dots, people. It is not that tough. This is an absolute embarrassment to our country and a complete and utter failure of Biden’s foreign policy yet again. Make no mistake about it. The $6 billion that Biden is so casually handing over to Tehran, what will it be used for? It will be used to fund State- sponsored terrorism. Let us not forget what happened on 9/11. This is on the heels of 9/ 11. We are incentivizing terrorism by giving our enemies $6 billion. We can’t be this asleep at the wheel; but he is. This will destabilize the Middle East and put our allies at grave risk. Let me be clear. This is not diplomacy or statesmanship. This is signing a deal with the devil.”
  • McClain (R-MI) 9/14/23: X-post – “Under no circumstance should a President knowingly give our enemies access to nuclear weapons. President Biden’s deal with Iran does just that.”
  • Steel (R-CA) 9/14/23: extension of remarks, “I rise to commend the passage of the MAHSA Act, which is an important step in holding the Iranian regime accountable for its continued oppression of its own people. However, we cannot ignore the Biden Administration’s latest misstep in handing over $6 billion to Iran. Longstanding U.S. policy dictates that we do not negotiate with terrorists. Unfortunately, that is exactly what President Biden did with this payoff, enabling Iran to continue threatening the security of the free world. I’ve introduced the bipartisan, bicameral Solidifying Iran Sanctions Act with Foreign Affairs Chairman McCaul. Our legislation will hold Iran accountable and prevent them from acquiring nuclear weapons. Iran poses a serious threat to global stability and peace. We need strength–not payoffs and appeasement–to deter future hostility from this rogue regime.”
  • Gallagher (R-WI) 9/14/23: X-post – “The Biden administration denies that they made a $6 billion ransom deal with Iran. As Rep. Gallagher said on @FoxBusiness, ‘When you give people money in return for hostages, there’s no other word to describe it other than a ransom payment.’”
  • Bacon (R-NE) 9/14/23: X-post – “Paying $6B to get American hostages back is ransom… and it incentivizes more hostage taking in the future. Iran is the #1 terrorist exporting nation in the world and it will use the $6B to undermine the region.
  • Lawler (R-NY) 9/14/23: X-post – Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi admits what we already knew – Iran will use the funds secured in the Biden Administration’s $6 billion deal to advance their nefarious ends across the region.
  • C0tton (R-AR) 9/14/23: X-post -“President Biden’s embarrassing appeasement of Iran only endangers Americans and our allies. My op-ed” [linked to op-ed]
  • Hagerty (R-TN) 9/13/23: X-post – A President that actually respects the Constitution would submit any nuclear agreement with Iran as a treaty.” Linked to his 9/12/23 post on Substack entitled, Biden is Evading the Law with His Secret Iran Deal [excerpt: “According to many recent news reports, the Biden Administration has been negotiating an unwritten agreement with Iran in which the United States would relieve billions of dollars of sanctions on Iran in return for the Iranian regime’s promises to curb the expansion of its nuclear weapons program, roll back its support for terrorist proxy attacks on U.S. government personnel in the region, and release American hostages.“]
  • Blackburn (R-TN) 9/13/23: X-post – Biden has released $6 billion in frozen funds to Iran in a deal to swap prisoners. The U.S. should not be negotiating with terrorists. Period.” [with video]
  • Cornyn (R-TX) 9/13/23: X-post – “Iran has profited from taking American hostages, and the U.S. has given other nations no reason to fear doing the same.Linked to article, Biden’s $6 Billion Ransom to Iran (Wall Street Journal editorial board)
  • Cruz (R-TX) 9/13/23: X-post – “Joe Biden couldn’t bother to show up at the 9/11 Memorial. To add insult to injury, on the same day, Biden announced that he is giving $6 billion to the Ayatollah of Iran who regularly chants, “Death to America.” More on this bad decision on Verdict.
  • Kennedy (R-LA) 9/13/23: X-post – “Everyone has the right to be stupid now and then, but Pres. Biden is abusing that privilege with this $6B Iran deal.”
  • Hagerty (R-TN) 9/13/23: X-thread – “How does paying over $1 billion per hostage not encourage further hostage-taking? Given money’s fungibility, how will the Admin respond when Iran uses the $6B on terrorism & its nuclear weapons program? What role did suspended US envoy Rob Malley play in the talks? (1/2) Does the $6B pay for Iran renouncing its goal of assassinating Pompeo, Hook, O’Brien & other former Trump Admin officials? The State Dept would have had to answer these & other questions if they hadn’t no-showed to a planned briefing for Senate staff yesterday. (2/2)
  • Cruz (R-TX) 9/13/23: X-post – “President Biden’s foreign policy is an absolute disaster. Recently, he paid the murderous and evil Iranian regime $6B to release American hostages. This sends a message to every terrorist around the world— taking Americans for ransom is a profitable endeavor.
  • Green (R-TN) 9/13/23: X-post – “Negotiating with Tehran while it openly calls for the destruction of the United States and our ally Israel is a disgrace.”
  • Cruz (R-TX) 9/13/23: X-post – “Ted Cruz Blasts Biden’s Iran Deal, Says It’s ‘A Metaphysical Certainty’ The Money Will ‘Fund Terrorism.’” [headline of linked Daily Caller article]
  • Hagerty (R-TN) 9/13/23: X-post – “President Biden’s actions in giving Iran–the world’s biggest terrorism sponsor–a $6 BILLION ransom is beyond shameful.” [Linked to Breitbart article]
  • Cotton (R-AR) 9/13/23: X-post – “Iran’s president said the ayatollahs will spend Joe Biden’s $6 billion ransom payment as they see fit—this means funding terrorist attacks against Americans and our allies. This was a craven act of appeasement and total failure of leadership from the Biden administration.” [with Fox News video clip]
  • Loudermilk (R-GA) 9/13/23: X-post – “To make matters worse, this deal was finalized with the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, Iran, on the anniversary of 9/11.   Unbelievable exchange.” [Linked to Fox News clip]
  • Budd (R-NC) 9/13/23: X-post – “The Biden administration has bankrolled Iranian terrorism and put a price on Americans abroad. Total disgrace.
  • Steel (R-CA) 9/13/23: X-post – “Longstanding U.S. policy dictates that we do not negotiate with terrorists. Unfortunately, that is exactly what President Biden has done by handing over $6 billion to Iran. This payoff enables Iran to continue threatening the security of the free world.
  • Armed Services GOP 9/13/23: X-post – “We must do all we can to ensure that Iran never wields a nuclear weapon. President Biden’s weakness has only allowed Iran to get closer to their goal of having a nuclear weapon.
  • Mast (R-FL) 9/13/23: X-post – “Iran is the top state sponsor of terror. Biden’s decision puts Americans abroad at risk. By unfreezing $6 billion & handing it to the Ayatollah, this Administration could basically bankroll almost all of the Iranian military’s $6.8 billion budget. That’s a hell of an incentive.
  • Armed Services GOP 9/13/23: X-post – “Biden’s $6 billion cash infusion for Iran will put them in a better position to develop a nuclear weapon and fund terrorism. President Biden is incentivizing our adversaries to take Americans hostage.
  • Calvert (R-CA) 9/13/23: X-post – “Giving the Iranian regime – the largest sponsor of terrorism in the world – access to $6 billion will have deadly consequences.
  • Diaz-Balart (R-FL) 9/13/23: X-post – “My statement condemning the Biden Admin’s treacherous multibillion dollar sanctions relief to #Iran” [with pic]. Also see press release
  • Ernst (R-IA) 9/12/23: X-post – “Biden’s @StateDept is blatantly lying to the American people and just said, “No one is giving Iran a dollar.” Don’t be fooled folks, President Biden just rewarded the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism with a $6 billion check.
  • Ernst (R-IA) 9/12/23: X-post – “On the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, President Biden announced he cut Iran – the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism – a $6 billion check.   Disgraceful.
  • Cruz (R-TX) 9/12/23: X-post – “The Biden administration is sending $6 billion to the Iran Ayatollah who routinely chants, “death to America and death to Israel.” Sadly this Biden White House puts partisan politics ahead of national security. This is spectacularly dangerous for Israel and the United States.” [with video footage of Fox News appearance]
  • Yakym (R-IN) 9/12/23: X-post – “It’s bad enough the Biden admin is bankrolling the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism. That they announced this deal on the anniversary of 9/11 is even more reprehensible. We can’t reward a regime that attacks Israel and funds terrorism.
  • Cotton (R-AR) 9/12/23: X-post -“Iran’s leaders will take the money and run. What on earth did Joe Biden think would happen?
  • Tillis (R-NC) 9/12/23: X-post -“Yesterday was a stark demonstration of how soft President Biden is against our enemies. One the same day our nation honored the innocent Americans who lives were taken by terrorists, Biden decided to give $6 billion to the Iranian Regime, the world’s top state sponsor of terrorism. This concession encourages hostage diplomacy. It is a terrible decision.
  • Stefanik (R-NY) 9/12/23: X-post -“On the anniversary of 9/11, a day on which Americans promise to #NeverForget the worst terrorist attacks in American history. Joe Biden announced the release of $6 BILLION  to Iran – the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism. This is unAmerican.”
  • Crane (R-AZ) 9/12/23: X-post -“Much of this is funded by Iran…and @POTUS is now unfreezing $6 billion more for Iran. See the problem?” Linked to a tweet from i24News (an Israeli news outlet), showing a video clip with the note “Palestinian factions in Gaza begin a military drill simulating a broad escalation with Israel. The exercise includes launching barrages of rockets out to sea…
  • Aderholt (R-AL) 9/12/23: X-post -“This was announced on the anniversary of the largest terror attack in our nation’s history. And Iran is the world’s largest sponsor of state run terrorism. We all know what Iran will spend this money on.”
  • Green (R-TN) 9/12/23: X-post -“Yesterday our country mourned the anniversary of 9/11. Then, President Biden agreed to negotiate with Iran—a state sponsor of terrorism. Despicable.”
  • Kennedy (R-LA) 9/12/23: X-post – “By releasing $6 BILLION in assets to the world’s biggest sponsor of terrorism, the Biden WH is encouraging the Iranian Regime to take hostages for financial gain.”
  • Scott (R-FL) 9/12/23: X-post -“President Biden can’t seem to cut his habit of sending money to terrorists. First, it was $400 million to Iran in 2016 when he was VP. Now, it’s $6 billion to Iran on 22nd anniversary of 9/11. This President is putting a price on American lives. Enough is enough.”
  • McClain (R-MI) 9/12/23: X-post -“Make no mistake, President Biden bartering with Iran is no different than making a deal with the devil.
  • Stefanik (R-NY) 9/12/23: X-post -“Joe Biden’s policies are emboldening our adversaries while putting Americans’ safety and security at risk. When this horrific Iran deal was first announced, I joined @SteveScalise & @RepMcCaul  in demanding answers on this apparent nuclear deal and prisoner exchange. Our request for information was ignored. This is unacceptable.
  • Young (R-IN) 9/12/23: X-thread -“Unlocking $6 billion in funding will only make the regime in Tehran more hungry and further undermine our ability to stop Iran’s malign activities. While we should use every appropriate resource to secure the release of American citizens wrongfully detained overseas, the Biden Administration’s decision reinforces a dangerous precedent and will enable Iran to increase its destabilizing activities across the Middle East.
  • Ernst (R-IA) 9/12/23: X-post -“Iran took full advantage of President Biden’s appeasement strategy. The IRGC is laughing at President Biden as they run away with $6 billion.
  • D’Esposito (R-NY) 9/12/23: X-post – “The decision by the Biden Admin to issue sanction waivers & allow the transfer of frozen Iranian funds is both deeply troubling and detrimental to American national security. Announcing this misguided move on 9/11 is an even greater slap in the face.”
  • Walberg (R-MI) 9/12/23: X-post – “Iran is the leading state sponsor of terrorism, and the Biden administration has made yet another concession to them – this time to the tune of $6 billion in frozen assets. Unfortunately, this is another example of weakness, appeasement, and failure on the international stage.”
  • Garcia (R-CA) 9/12/23: X-post – “This administration’s appeasement strategy has done nothing but cost American blood and treasure. This deal is FOR Iran, not with Iran. It’s a risk to the security of Americans, Israel and our Middle East partners. Biden’s decision to announce this $6 billion ransom payment on the 22nd anniversary of 9/11 is as offensive as the deal itself. We need to show strength on the international stage, not continue retreating to the sidelines.
  • Curtis (R-UT) 9/12/23: X-post – The Admin releasing funds to a terrorist state on 9/11 Remembrance Day is repugnant. They claim this $6B can only be used for “humanitarian trade” but money is fungible. $6B to Iran frees up $6B they can spend threatening Israel, arming Russia in its war against Ukraine, and building up terrorist proxies across the Middle East.
  • Rogers (R-AL) 9/12/23: X-post – “.@coachbrucepearl is exactly right – Iran is not our friend. This Administration’s foreign policy has only enriched a regime that maintains a deep-seated hatred of America and American values.
  • Blackburn (R-TN) 9/12/23: X-post – “The Biden administration’s decision to grant terrorist-supporting Iran access to $6 billion in frozen funds will allow Tehran to continue its shadow war against Israel. Biden’s hostage negotiation is putting the Jewish state further at risk.
  • Barr (R-KY) 9/12/23: X-post – “U.S. citizens held by Iran must be released unconditionally. By lifting sanctions and providing $6 billion to a designated State Sponsor of Terrorism, the Administration continues to show weakness abroad. This decision, particularly near the the 9/11 anniversary, puts the U.S. homeland as well as American servicemembers and allies in the region further at risk.
  • Cotton (R-AR) 9/11/23: press release – Cotton Condemns Biden’s “Ransom Payment” to Iran [“First Joe Biden used 9/11 as an excuse to flee Afghanistan. Now he desecrates this day by paying ransom to the world’s worst state sponsor of terrorism. Shameful.”]
  • Flood (R-NE) 9/11/23: X-thread – “Déjà Vu: Obama gave $1.7 billion to Iran in his failed deal. Now Biden is releasing $6 billion. Iran has been designated by the U.S. State Department as a ‘State Sponsor of Terrorism’ since 1984. Money won’t buy goodwill here. Handing Iran more cash further enables one of America’s biggest enemies — and we’re all finding about this on the 22nd anniversary of 9/11. Biden’s foreign policy is a disgrace and it’s weakening America’s standing in the world.
  • McCaul (R-TX) 9/11/23: press release – “The Americans held by Iran are innocent hostages who must be released immediately and unconditionally. However, I remain deeply concerned that the administration’s decision to waive sanctions to facilitate the transfer of $6 billion in funds for Iran, the world’s top state sponsor of terrorism, creates a direct incentive for America’s adversaries to conduct future hostage-taking. It’s particularly egregious that this is taking place on the same week as the anniversaries of 9/11—as Iran is actively harboring the leader of Al Qaeda—and Mahsa Amini’s murder by Iran’s so-called ‘morality police.’ The administration is demonstrating weakness that only further endangers Americans and freedom-loving people around the world.” Also see 9/14/23 X-post
  • Donalds (R-FL) 9/11/23: X-post – “$6 billion for Iran, and the government could shut down because Biden refuses to spend a dime or lift a finger to secure the homeland.
  • Norman (R-SC) 9/11/23: X-post – “So we get 5 prisoners. Iran gets $6 billion. Oh, plus Iran also gets five prisoners.
  • Cline (R-VA) 9/11/23: X-post – This coming from the same Administration and State Department that dealt with the Afghanistan fiasco. Iran is a leading sponsor of State-sponsored terrorism in the region. Cutting a deal is both naive and dangerous.
  • Pfluger (R-TX) 9/11/23: X-post – “On the anniversary of 9/11, President Biden announced a $6 billion hostage deal with Iran—the largest state sponsor of terror. This is beyond tone deaf and only endangers Americans and our allies around the world.
  • Lawler (R-NY) 9/11/23: X-post – “It is appalling and shameful that the Biden administration decided to inform Congress of its billion dollar deal with Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terror, on the 22nd anniversary of the day terrorists took the lives of nearly 3,000 Americans.
  • Cruz (R-TX) 9/11/23: X-post – “President Biden has established a secret nuclear deal with the Iranian regime that is being kept from Congress and the American people. Today’s news confirms there has already been a side deal including a $6 billion ransom and the release of Iranian operatives. Nevertheless these are only the barest outlines of the staggering concessions that Biden has already made and intends to make to the Ayatollah, including an additional $10 billion transfer and indeed hundreds of billions of dollars by not enforcing oil sanctions. Meanwhile he has allowed the Iranian regime to all but acquire a virtual nuclear arsenal over the last two and a half years. The Biden administration must keep their deal secret because if they disclosed it, the law requires them to come to Congress and defend it, and this appeasement is utterly indefensible. Instead they will continue lying about their policies until Congress forces them to do otherwise.” Also see Cruz press release – Sen. Cruz Blasts Biden-Iran Nuclear Side Deal on Hostages
  • Timmons (R-SC) 9/11/23: X-post – “On the 22nd anniversary of 9/11, the Biden Administration just sold out our nation to Iran YET AGAIN. On today of all days, Biden is handing money over to a state sponsor of terrorism. The American apologists are running the country. This is simply Obama’s third term.”
  • Hagerty (R-TN) 9/11/23: X-post – “On the 22nd anniversary of 9/11, the biggest terrorist attack on U.S. soil, President Biden is waiving sanctions & allowing the transfer of $6 billion in frozen funds for a ransom payment to Iran, the world’s biggest terrorist sponsor. Shameful.”
  • Daines (R-MT) 9/11/23: X-thread – “As our nation solemnly remembers the worst terrorist attack in our history, I’m outraged @JoeBiden saw fit to make a terrible deal with the world’s leading sponsor of terror. This Biden deal with Iran only encourages Iran to take more Americans hostage and is more proof that Biden can be pushed around when it comes to Iran’s nuclear ambitions. We should never negotiate with terrorists.”
  • D’Esposito (R-NY) 9/11/23: X-post – “The Biden administration announcing a deal with Iran on the anniversary of 9/11 is simply insulting. We cannot allow this anti-American agenda to go on.
  • Thune (R-SD) 9/11/23: X-post – “The U.S. should be unrelenting in its efforts to bring detained Americans home, but Iran will now count pallets of ransom money, putting its leaders in a better position to develop a nuclear weapon and fund terrorists. And the price to release U.S. hostages will only go up.”
  • Sullivan (R-AK) 9/11/23: X-post – “On this somber, sacred day, it’s outrageous and insulting that Americans received the news that the Biden Administration has cut a sweetheart $6 billion-deal with Iran. While I welcome any American hostage being freed and reunited with their family, this deal with Iran only serves to incentivize the terrorist regime to take MORE Americans hostage. I also seriously doubt the $6 billion dollars unfrozen will not end up fueling Iran’s efforts to destabilize the Middle East, oppress its own people, and target Americans and our allies. This deal rewards the malign behavior of the largest state sponsor of terrorism, a regime with the blood of thousands of Americans on its hands.
  • Biggs (R-AZ) 9/11/23: X-post – “On the 22nd anniversary of 9/11, the Biden Administration announces they’re shelling out prisoners and cash to Iran. You can’t make this stuff up!”
  • Harshbarger (R-TN) 9/11/23: X-post – “America is being blackmailed by the #1 sponsor of state terrorism to the tune of $6 billion for “humanitarian aid”. Do you honestly think the Iranian regime will use it for humanitarian aid?? #DupedAgain”
  • Blackburn (R-TN) 9/11/23: X-post – “The Biden administration’s $6 billion payout incentivizes Iran’s terrorist activities and endangers the lives of even more of our citizens.
  • Blackburn (R-TN) 9/11/23: X-post – “On the anniversary of 9/11, Biden has made a deal to swap prisoners and release $6 billion in frozen Iranian funds. You don’t negotiate with terrorists.
  • Graham (R-SC) 9/11/23: X-thread – “I am always glad when Americans are released from captivity.   However, this agreement will entice rogue regimes, like Iran, to take even more Americans hostage.  The ayatollah and his henchmen are terrorists and truly represent a terrorist state. One of the oldest rules is that you don’t negotiate with terrorists. Well, we just did. Billions of dollars will now flow to the ayatollah and the terrorist regime in Iran. They are being rewarded for their outrageous behavior.    At multiple levels this will make America, and Americans, less safe.
  • Tuberville (R-AL) 9/11/23: X-post – “On the 22nd anniversary of the September 11 attacks, the Biden Administration announces $26 Billion is being sent to Saudi Arabia and Iran.
  • Mills (R-FL) 9/11/23: X-post – “Biden fails to pay his respects on the anniversary of 9/11 to any of the sites on this historically tragic day, but makes a deal to swap five Iranian prisoners and unfreeze $6 billion to Iran’s regime. I vehemently oppose this decision that will ultimately fund terrorist activities against Americans and our allies. This is the most corrupt and compromised administration in America’s history and he’s out to destroy America.
  • Hill (R-AR) 9/11/23: X-post – “.@POTUS’ reckless deal to send $6 billion in frozen assets to Iran, the leading state sponsor of terrorism and egregious human rights violator, only further emboldens bad actors and puts the safety of American citizens who hold a blue passport at risk around the world.
  • Barrasso (R-WY) 9/11/23: X-post – “Senate Republicans warned @JoeBiden that enriching terrorists in Iran to the tune of $6 billion will only embolden bad actors and make the world less safe. This decision is absolutely appalling.”
  • Issa (R-CA) 9/11/23: X-post – Biden just gave $6 billion to Iran — and on 9/11. We used to call funding a terror state an act of treason.”
  • Marshall (R-KS) 9/11/23: X-post – “Joe Biden releases 5 prisoners & $6B to Iran, a leading state sponsor of terrorism. On the day we pay tribute & remember the victims of 9/11, one of the most horrific attacks on American soil, the Biden Admin brokered a deal with terrorists who openly shout ‘Death to America.
  • Hinson (R-IA) 9/11/23: X-post – “Biden is funding Iranian terrorists and their proxies – to the tune of $6 billion – and giving them access to energy.     His weakness and appeasement will only embolden our enemies.
  • Duncan (R-SC) 9/11/23: X-post – On the 22nd anniversary of the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil, the Biden Administration lets Congress know they are going to allow the transfer of $6 billion of frozen money to Iran. Not only is the Biden Administration negotiating with a state sponsor of terrorism, they are losing the negotiation! This decision by the Biden Administration will embolden Iran to continue taking hostages to extort the USA and other countries.”
  • Womack (R-AR) 9/11/23: X-post – “Making concessions to Iran, the leading state sponsor of terror and brazen human rights abuser, while handing over $6 billion for this evil regime to finance more terrorist attacks on Americans is shameful. Alerting Congress on today of all days just rubs salt in the wound.
  • Grassley (R-IA) 9/11/23: X-post – “It’s ridiculous for US to be blackmailed into paying $6B for hostages which will help indirectly finance the number 1 foreign policy of Iran: terrorism Last time it was $1.7B traded for hostages next time it will probably be $10B the price keeps going up & up
  • Ernst (R-IA) 9/11/23: X-post – “President Biden is going through with his $6 BILLION payout to the IRGC and its proxies. This will only greenlight Iran’s illicit actions and encourage further hostage “diplomacy”. Biden’s failed strategy of appeasement must end.