Legislative Round-Up- September 29, 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. Israel & AIPAC in the 2024 Election Cycle
3. Hearings & Markups
4. Media & Reports
5. Members on the Record

New from FMEP:

NOTE: Senator Menendez (D-NJ) – a reliable champion of Israel and opponent of Iran diplomacy – stepping down as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has sparked a great deal of speculation on what this may mean for Israel/Palestine issues. In this context, it is worth recalling that the new chairman of the committee, Sen. Cardin (D-MD) is arguably an even more reliable champion of both Israel and of AIPAC’s legislative priorities in Congress. This includes repeatedly leading on efforts (thus far unsuccessful) to pass legislation that would CRIMINALIZE U.S. citizens’ freely-taken political free speech, as an expression of their own political views, if that free speech aligns with EU or UN policies calling for or supporting the mere differentiation between Israel and settlements. For a review of what that effort looked like, see here.


1. Bills, Resolutions & letters

(FY24 SFOPS) HR 4665: As noted in previous Round-Ups, I have adopted a policy of NOT covering Middle East-related elements in the FY24 Appropriations Bills this year, because (a) the odds of these bills passing into law are close to zero, and (b) the bills themselves – both base text and amendments – have crossed into a level in nuttiness that just defies serious analysis. For entertainment (ah – to laugh or to cry?) you can review all the wacky amendments that were submitted – most of which were note made in order – here (as an example of what things look like this year, check out H. Amdt. 450, offered by Ogles (R-TN), which reduces the salary of SecState Blinken to $1. That amendment passed on the House floor this week by a voice vote). Anyway, I’m breaking my policy to summarize some of the Middle East-related amendments considered this week’s on the House to the FY24 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill:

  • H. Amdt. 451 (text), offered by Ogles (R-TN), to block funding for the State Department’s for the Office of Palestinian Affairs – passed by Voice Vote. [yes, they voted to, in effect, shut down an office of the State Department]
  • H. Amdt. 455 (text), offered by Steube (R-FL), to “prohibit funds from being used for the Lebanese Armed Forces.” Failed by a vote of 120 – 309, 1 Present.
  • H. Amdt. 461 (text), offered by Boebert (R-CO), to “decrease the salary of Palestinian affairs officer George Noll to $1″. Failed in a mostly party-line vote of 191 – 238. [Yes, 191 members voted to cut off the salary of an American CIVIL SERVANT. This is like cutting off the salary of people at the post office because you don’t like what is being sent in the mail].
  • H. Amdt. 477 (text), offered by Tenney (R-NY), to “reduce the salary of the Special Envoy to Iran Robert Malley to $1.” Passed by a voice vote. [Because of course they did.]
  • H. Amdt. 478 (text), offered by Tenney (R-NY), to “prohibit funds to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel out of Jerusalem.” Passed by a vote of 360 – 67. [Yes, an amendment to prevent the Biden Administration from doing something…they have made absolutely clear they will never do, despite the fact that they should do it].
  • H. Amdt. 481 (text), offered by Steube (R-FL), to “ensure none of the funds made available by this Act may be used to provide assistance to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).” Failed in a mostly party-line vote of 198 – 232. [Grandstanding at the expense of the UN is always a good way to earn pro-Israel credit; re-litigated U.S. support for UNESCO is double value!]
  • H. Amdt. 482 (text), offered by Perry (R-PA), to “prohibit any funds from being made available for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.” Failed by a vote of 213-218. [Grandstanding at the expense of the UN is always a good way to earn pro-Israel credit; going after UNRWA is at least triple value! The fact that the amendment failed is remarkable and suggests that there are still people in Congress who, even if they don’t give a crap about Palestinian refugees and humanitarian needs, see UNRWA as good for Israel]
  • H. Amdt. 483 (text), offered by Ogles (R-TN), to “prohibit the use of funds to delist the Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.” Passed by a vote of 351-81. [What does that even mean? And in what world is this an issue other than for scoring political points by pretending it is something that has to be prevented?]
  • Adopted as part of En Bloc Amendment: Mast (R-FL) amdt,prohibits funds from being used to support a Palestinian State unless the U.S. Secretary of State certifies that the government of the new Palestinian State exercises full territorial jurisdiction over the Gaza Strip

(SUPPORTING USSC) S. 2956: Introduced 9/27/23 by Ossoff (D-GA), Young (R-IN), Lankford (R-OK) and Booker (D-NJ), the “Middle East Security Coordination Act,” aka, A bill to support the work of the United States Security Coordinator to Israel and the Palestinian Authority in furthering coordination between Israelis and Palestinians, and for other purposes.” Referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.

Also see:

  • Ossoff press release – Sens. Ossoff & Young Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Sustain High-Level U.S. Engagement for Stability in Israel & the Middle East [noting backing for the bill from the Israel Policy Forum]; Young press release
  • For analysis of the Middle East Security Coordination Act, see this X-thread from Joel Braunold (of the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace): “While USSC is vital find it curious that in what is essentially an approps authorization bill two things: 1) no 2SS mention – which is slippage congressionally speaking for Dems. 2) the $75 mil number. The $75 mill number I assume is coming from the trump years where there was an agreement in a hard earmark for 75 mil for security and 75 mil for ESF funding – the security number was just made at that level to try and get ESF as high as poss. Since the ESF number under Biden has gone back to 225 ish. The reason the 75 mil for security is odd is it’s far higher then admins have even drawn from for years and the amount was coming down to around 35/40. It’s also odd as the account that it’s drawn from is INCLE which is no year money meaning the previous approps that were at this level already exist and are open to use. There must be over 200 mill just sitting there already. The challenge with USSC hasn’t been funding level (though trying to cut number of flag officers has been problem) so find it odd that it’s a sense of Congress on flag officer rather then requirement. So it’s a hard earmark messaging bill in a no year account that divorced the USSC for 2SS US policy. Again think security coordinator at flag level very very important but the policy context is as well. I’ll note that R is now the new agreed language ‘supports regional peace and stability and improves prospects for progress towards a negotiated resolution of the Israeli Palestinian conflict’ – cool but it’s a shift.”
  • Media: US senators file bipartisan bill to boost funding for Jerusalem security coordinator (Times of Israel 9/28/23); First look: New Senate bill aims to strengthen U.S. Palestinian security post (Axios 9/28/23); Lawmakers seek to strengthen, shore up Israeli-Palestinian security coordinator role (Jewish Insider 9/29/23)

(IRAN SANCTIONS) HR 5826: Introduced 9/28/23 by Wilson (R-SC) and Moskowitz (D-FL), “To require a report on sanctions under the Robert Levinson Hostage Recovery and Hostage-Taking Accountability Act, and for other purposes.” Referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and the Committee on the Judiciary.

(DISAPPROVING OF IRAN PRISONER DEAL) H. Res. 739: Introduced 9/28/23 by Issa (R-CA) and 29 cosponsors (all Republicans), “Disapproving of the waiver of sanctions on Iran submitted to Congress on September 11, 2023.” Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Also see:

(NO NORMALIZATION OF ASSAD GOVERNMENT) S .2935: Introduced 9/27/23 by Risch (R-ID) and Rubio (R-FL), “A bill to prohibit any official action to recognize or normalize relations with any Government of Syria that is led by Bashar al-Assad.” Referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations


(INVESTIGATE IRANIAN-AMERICAN AT DOD) Blackburn letter to SecDef: On 9/28/23, Sen. Blackburn (R-TN) reportedly (by Jewish Insider) sent a letter to SecDef Austin expressing “concern over the actions taken by Ariane Tabatabai, the current Chief of Staff for Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict (ASD/SOLIC)” [notice the absence of the word “allegedly” or anything like that]. It goes on: “Given your administration’s intentional appeasement of the Iranian regime, it is unfortunately not surprising that you are allowing those with close ties to Iran to serve in a senior role. It is vital to the security of our nation to thoroughly evaluate all individuals with links to the regime that wish to operate within the Department of Defense. It is imperative that no one with direct affiliations to the Iranian regime have access to sensitive information or influence over United States foreign policy.” It asks for answers to a list of questions (answers due by October 6) about Tabatabai’s hiring and position, including “Has Ms. Tabatabai ever been in the position to make impacts that directly impact the country of Israel?

(NEED ANSWERS RE: ALLEGATIONS OF IRANIAN INFLUENCE OPERATION) Hagerty/Hern/Wilson letter to POTUS: On 9/27/23, Reps. Hagerty (R-TN), Hern (R-OK), and Wilson (R-SC) sent a letter to President Biden requesting answers to a list of questions, in either classified or unclassified form: “1) Can you please confirm whether the audiotape published on September 17th and the “sensitive but unclassified” documents published on August 27th by the Tehran Times are authentic? 2) If the audio and documents are authentic, please provide security assessment on how the Tehran Times obtained them. 3) Was Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley  involved in the chain of custody of the “sensitive but unclassified” U.S. government documents that were ultimately published by the Tehran Times? 4) Were any of the non-governmental persons referenced by the Tehran Times— including Trita Parsi, Ali Vaez, and Vali Nasr—involved in chain of custody of the U.S. documents that were ultimately published? 5) Please describe the steps your Administration is taking to prevent further leaks of information to the Iranian regime? Which elements of the U.S. government have you tasked with this responsibility?” Also see press release, Hagerty (R-TN) X-post

(NEED ANSWERS RE: DOD OFFICIAL & IRANIAN REGIME) Bergman/Rogers letter to SecDef: On 9/26/23, Reps. Bergman (R-MI) and Rogers (R-AL) sent a letter to SecDef Austin expressing “deep concern with the Department’s hiring of Ariane Tabatabai as the Chief of Staff for Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict (ASD/SOLIC).” The letter asserts: “Ms. Tabatabai’s past employment history and close ties to the Iranian regime are alarming and should be disqualifying for anyone seeking such a sensitive position of trust within the United States Department of Defense.” The letter asks for answers to a list of questions about Tabatabai’s hiring, to be produced by October 3. Also see: press release.

(WELL DONE EUROPE IN SANCTIONING IRAN MISSILE/DRONE PROGRAM – NOW DO MORE!) Menendez-Hagerty et al letter to E3: On 9/22/23, Sens. Menendez (D-NJ) and Hagerty (R-TN) sent a letter, cosigned by 29 fellow senators, to the ambassadors of the UK, France, and Germany. The letter applauds, “the decision to take concrete actions to uphold restrictions on Iran’s ballistic missile and drone program this fall.” It also notes “we strongly support the decision to take steps that would maintain sanctions on Iran’s missile and drone program before UN sanctions sunset in mid-October, and we encourage you to urge other European allies and other like-minded partners to do the same.” Also see: Bipartisan group of senators urges European allies to push U.N. on Iran sanctions (Jewish Insider 9/27/23)

(TARGETING FUNDING FOR PALESTINIAN NGOS) Issa letter to FBI and Treasury: According to a 9/21/23 article published by the Washington Examiner, on 9/21/23 Rep. Issa (R-CA) sent a letter “demanding the FBI and Treasury Department investigate ActBlue over the top Democratic software previously allowing an anti-Israel group accused of having Palestinian terror ties to fundraise on its platform.” It goes on: “Issa is requesting significant information from both Treasury’s Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Undersecretary Brian E. Nelson and FBI Director Christopher Wray while also asking the top officials to review whether ActBlue or PACBI violated federal law.”  Quoting the letter, the article states: “‘The undeniable and continued collaboration between these two entities raises serious concerns of the enabling of terror-related activity and may also constitute money laundering crimes as well as violations of international law,’ Issa…wrote to Nelson and Wray, noting that ‘no part’ of reporting from the Washington Examiner has been ‘contradicted or denied by ActBlue.‘” While Issa’s office has not posted the letter online, on 9/27/23 it posted a press release touting the Washington Examinder’s article and validating its contents.

2. Israel & AIPAC in the 2024 Election Cycle

The Forward 9/26/23: No Republicans have expressed support for the Israeli protest movement — yet. Here’s why they should at the next debate

3. Hearings & Markups

September 28, 2023: The Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing, “To consider the nominations of: Honorable Derek H. Chollet to be Under Secretary of Defense for Policy and Ms. Cara L. Abercrombie to be Assistant Secretary of Defense for Acquisition.” Video (with auto-generated transcript) is here.  Members questions included issues related to Iran, allegations of an Iran influence operation inside the U.S. government (which GOP members appears to have decided is a matter of estalbished fact, not allegations), Syria, Israel and more. Also see:
September 28, 2023: The House Foreign Affairs Committee held a hearing entitled, “Reclaiming Congress’s Article I Powers: Counterterrorism AUMF Reform.” Witnesses were: Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict Christopher P. Maier Defense Department General Counsel Caroline Krass; and State Department Acting Legal Adviser Richard C. Visek. Video is here. Members questions included issues related to Iran, allegations of an Iran influence operation inside the U.S. government (which GOP members appears to have decided is a matter of estalbished fact, not allegations), and Israel.  Also see:
  • Mast (R-FL) 9/28/23: X-post (with video clip) – “WATCH: How did a high ranking staffer at Joe Biden’s State Department get a top-secret security clearance when she’s alleged to have ties to an Iranian propaganda group? And why don’t her bosses know whether or not she was properly vetted?
  • Wagner (R-MO) 9/28/23: X-thread – “Since the Admin’s shameful flight from Afghanistan 2 yrs ago, the Taliban has been left to help manage the very significant terror threats emanating from Afghanistan. The Taliban is a U.S. adversary that funds al Qaeda, employs al Qaeda members, & permits al Qaeda training camps. Meanwhile, Iran has only grown bolder and more aggressive in its support for terrorist proxies. Let’s be clear. Iran is a state sponsor of terror. U.S. policy must always, always, aim to deter or punish Iran’s use of terrorist proxies to harm Americans… …& sow instability across the Middle East. The U.S. must retain a powerful toolkit that empowers us to address these threats to our citizens & homeland. Watch our Foreign Affairs hearing on updating Authorizations for the Use of Military Force here.

September 27, 2023: The House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia held a hearing entitled, No Incentives for Terrorism: U.S. Implementation of the Taylor Force Act and Efforts to Stop ‘Pay to Slay.’” Witnesses were: Elliot Abrams (who was convicted of lying to Congress – but hey, why should that matter to anyone – testimony); Jonathan Schanzer (FDD – testimony); and Michael Koplow (IPF – testimony, which notably includes calling for the U.S. – in the name of peace and security – to “encourage Israel to limit growth in Israeli settlements to large settlement blocs rather than in isolated settlements or in settlement outposts that are illegal under Israeli law” – a recommendation that in effect means the U.S. should give a green light to all other Israeli settlement activity). Also see:

  • Video of this hearing is here [for those who want to sit through nearly 80 minutes of anti-Palestinian grandstanding — which for bonus anti-Palestinian/anti-Biden grandstanding points covered allegations, published that same day, that the State Department is funding a Palestinian NGO in Gaza that is linked to terror].
  • Jackson (R-TX) 9/27/23: X-post (with video clip) – “The Biden admin is ILLEGALLY funding, w/taxpayer dollars, the Palestinian Authority’s “Pay to Slay” which subsidizes and incentivizes terrorism against Israelis & Americans. I will always stand with Israel, and Biden’s actions are in direct violation of the Taylor Force Act!
  • Lawler (R-NY) 9/27/23: X-thread with video clip) – The @HouseForeignGOP‘s Subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia held a hearing today on the enforcement of the Taylor Force Act, and US efforts to stop ‘pay to slay.’ It is deeply concerning that President Biden resumed economic aid to the Palestinian Authority when pay to slay policies are still in effect, and continues to fail to bring up this policy on the world stage. This is in direct violation of the Taylor Force Act and must be stopped.
  • Lawler (R-NY) 9/27/23: X-post (with video clip)- “One thing is fundamentally clear. The Palestinian Authority is a corrupt and criminal authority and President Biden should absolutely not encourage other countries to subsidize PA terrorism.”


4. Media & Reports

Menendez/Egypt Scandal

Allegations of Iranian Influence Agents in Biden Admin

5. Members on the Record

Expressing Concern About/Objecting to Israel’s Admission into the Visa Waiver Program
Tlaib (D-MI) 9/28/23: press release – “The Biden Administration’s decision to admit Israel into the Visa Waiver Program explicitly condones and enables the Israeli government’s discriminatory practices towards Americans requesting entry, including hours of detainment and interrogation. The far-right Israeli government routinely discriminates against Americans seeking to enter the country, even denying myself and Congresswoman Omar entry in 2019. This decision enables further racist practices and violence towards Americans including the murder of Shireen Abu Akleh. The United States has yet to hold the Israeli government accountable. The Visa Waiver Program requires that all U.S. citizens are treated equally. I have received consistent reports of discrimination of Americans attempting to enter Israel. No one should be discriminated against due to their national origin, ethnicity, or faith. By moving forward with this decision, the U.S. government is allowing a foreign government to discriminate against its own citizens based on protected class. The Israeli government has not and will not uphold reciprocity.” Also see X-post
Van Hollen (D-MD), Schatz (D-HI), Merkley (D-OR), and Welch (D-VT) 9/27/23: press release – “As longtime supporters of the close U.S.-Israel relationship, we support Israel’s candidacy to join the Visa Waiver Program, once it meets all of the requirements of the Program required by law – the same standard that we apply to all our other VWP partners. But to date, Israel has failed to meet the ‘Blue is Blue’ requirement. Adherence to this important American tenet of reciprocity and equal treatment of all U.S. citizens is critical to the integrity of the Visa Waiver Program, and we are deeply concerned with the Administration’s decision to move forward in violation of that principle. We will carefully monitor the situation to determine whether Americans continue to face discrimination based on their ethnicity, national origin, or religion. And we will keep pressing for answers as to how the U.S. government will ensure that Israel ultimately comes into full compliance with VWP requirements as well as what mechanisms the U.S. has to monitor the implementation of one system for all U.S. citizen travelers by May 1, 2024.”
Celebrating Israel’s Admission into the Visa Waiver Program
Titus (D-NV) 9/28/23: X-post – “The strong relationship and mutual security interests we share with Israel will be bolstered by their entry into the @StateDept Visa Waiver Program. On @HouseForeign, I’ll keep working to support our ironclad partnership.
Cramer (R-ND) 9/28/23: X-post – Earlier this year, a bipartisan group of my colleagues and I called on the Biden administration to allow Israel into the Visa Waiver Program. I’m pleased to see Israel admitted to the program, a recognition of the strong ties between our two countries.
Calvert (R-CA) 9/28/23: X-post – “Including our valued ally Israel to the U.S. Visa Waiver Program is a positive step that is long overdue.
Stevens (D-MI) 9/28/23: X-post – “Happy to see Israel included in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program! This will streamline travel, fostering even closer ties between the U.S. and Israel. I can’t wait for more Israeli tourists to visit the U.S. – hopefully a few will make it to Michigan!
Wicker (R-MS) 9/27/23: X-post – Israel’s admission to the Visa Waiver Program was long overdue. Visa-free travel for Israelis to the United States will strengthen our partnership and our economies.

Cassidy (R-LA) 9/27/23: X-post –Great news! #Israel is officially in the Visa Waiver program. @SenRickScott, @SenJackyRosen, and 65 of my colleagues fought for this reality. This will strengthen the always-increasing friendship between our two ally countries.”

Gillibrand (D-NY) 9/27/23: X-post -“This is excellent news that will strengthen the relationship between the U.S. and Israel and increase tourism and travel between our two nations!
Rubio (R-FL) 9/27/23: X-post –Israeli citizens will now benefit from the U.S. Visa Waiver Program. This step will bolster U.S.-Israeli relations and reinforces our nation’s strategic alliance to our strongest ally in the Middle East.
Scott (R-FL) 9/27/23: X-post -“BREAKING: Israel is now admitted into the Visa Waiver Program This is great news! I was proud to lead this monthslong process of strong, bipartisan support for Israel in Congress, which will strengthen our strong friendship with Israel”
Scott (R-FL) 9/27/23: press release – Following Bipartisan Push from Senators Rick Scott & Jacky Rosen, Israel Admitted to Visa Waiver Program
Hagerty (R-TN) 9/27/23: X-post – I have strongly advocated for Israel’s inclusion in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program. Our Alliance with the Jewish state is critical, so I am glad to see Israel finally included.
Rosen (D-NV) 9/27/23: X-post – By adding Israel to the Visa Waiver Program, we’ll strengthen the U.S.-Israel relationship & increase tourism & business travel to the U.S. I was proud to lead the bipartisan push to get this done, & I’ll keep working across the aisle to strengthen ties between our two nations.
Lankford (R-OK) 9/27/23: X-post – “Some good news out of DHS—the US will now allow Israel to join the Visa Waiver Program. This has been a long time coming.
Britt (R-AL) 9/27/23: X-post – This is welcome news. I was proud to join a bipartisan group of colleagues earlier this year in calling on the Administration to make this designation. Alabama stands with Israel—our great ally, friend, and partner.
Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) 9/27/23: X-post – “Wasserman Schultz Applauds Biden’s Decision to Welcome Israel Into Visa Waiver Program”
Frankel (D-FL) 9/27/23: X-post – “Israel’s admission into the Visa Waiver Program is welcome news. This important step forward will strengthen the bond between the U.S. & Israel while improving the engagement, economic cooperation, freedom of movement, and security coordination between our two countries.
Gottheimer (D-NJ) 9/27/23: X-thread  – “I applaud the Administration for welcoming Israel — our key ally in the Middle East — into the Visa Waiver Program. This move will boost our economy and tourism, and expand freedom of movement for U.S. citizens. Israel is an indispensable partner of the United States & acceptance into the VWP is a testament to that relationship. Support for the U.S.-Israel alliance has proven critical to America’s national security & I will continue to make sure that it remains bipartisan and durable.”
McCaul (R-TX) 9/27/23: X-post – “CHM @RepMcCaul: ‘Today is a great day for the U.S.-Israel relationship. Designating Israel into the Visa Waiver Program will make visits to the US easier & strengthen ties between our countries. I look forward to welcoming many Israelis to the US. Texas is ready to greet you!‘”
Davidson (R-OH) 9/27/23: X-post – “#GoodNews Israel is one of our closest allies. Making travel between our countries more seamless makes sense. Bravo!”
Gonzalez (R-TX) 9/27/23: X-post – “This is a significant move towards deepening our ties and bolstering the relationship between our two countries. Welcome to the Visa Waiver Program, Israel!
Lawler (R-NY) 9/27/23: X-thread “Israeli citizens will now be allowed visa-free entry into the U.S. and U.S. citizens will be able to request visa-free access to Israel. This is welcome news that will further enhance the bonds between our two nations and peoples. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues on the @HouseForeignGOP and throughout the Congress to strengthen our historic friendship with Israel and pursue our shared objectives of peace and prosperity in the region.”
Gimenez (R-FL) 9/27/23: X-post – “#BREAKING The democratic, Jewish State of Israel is now part of the Visa Waiver Program, which will bring our two nations even closer together!
Sherman (D-CA) 9/27/23: press release – Sherman, Author of Original Israel Visa Waiver Legislation, Applauds President Biden’s Historic Announcement of Israel’s Entry into the Visa Waiver Program; also see X-post
Israel – general

Auchincloss (D-MA) 9/29/23: X-post – “90% of House Republicans just voted to defund security aid to Israel.

Phillips (D-MN) 9/29/23: X-post – They say they support our troops, yet our troops won’t receive pay. They say they believe in a social safety net, yet are slashing support for our most vulnerable by 30%. And they say they support Israel, yet they’re trying to cut $1 billion in aid. What in the world is going on?

Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) 9/29/23: X-post – “House Republicans just voted to cut Israel aid by $1 Billion, that’s with a “B.” And that includes almost every self-described ‘moderate Republican’ in this chamber. I’m joining fellow Members now at the Capitol Triangle to discuss this failure w/ the press. Join me.

Diaz-Balart (R-FL) 9/28/23: X-post (with video clip) – “The FY24 State and Foreign Ops bill provides UNWAVERING SUPPORT FOR OUR DEMOCRATIC ALLY #ISRAEL”
Roy (R-TX) 9/28/23: X-post – Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel. Period. Rep Roy was proud to support this measure.” Linked to Tenney (R-NY) X-post
Tenney (R-NY) 9/28/23: X-post – “President Trump moved the US Embassy in Israel to the undisputed capital, Jerusalem. Tonight, the House OVERWHELMINGLY voted for my amendment to prevent funds from being used to relocate the embassy out of Jerusalem. American will always recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital!
Rubio (R-FL) 9/27/23: X-post -“Felicito al gobierno paraguayo por la próxima apertura de su embajada en la capital eterna del pueblo de Israel, Jerusalén. Es esencial que los países de nuestra región construyan alianzas fructíferas en apoyo a Israel.
Daines (R-MT) 9/25/23: X-post – “On Yom Kippur 50 yrs ago, Egypt & Syria attacked Israel on the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, resulting in the brutal Yom Kippur war. As Jews in MT & across the globe fast, reflect & observe this holy day, may we all reflect on this somber anniversary. G’mar Chatimah Tova.
McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) 9/22/23: press release – McMorris Rodgers, House Abraham Accords Caucus Celebrate 3-Year Anniversary of Historic Accords Signing
Cruz (R-TX) 9/22/23: X-thread – “This is what real journalism looks like. As I’ve been saying, Team Biden is secretly working to reverse the US recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Biden officials publicly denied. Here, the State Dept’s top Mideast diplomat is finally forced to admit. 1/x In July I led a letter to the admin saying it was becoming impossible to expeditiously confirm State Dept nominees because they kept misleading Congress about their Mideast policies. I have imposed targeted holds on nominees relevant to their Golan policy until they clarify. 2/x Linked to video clip from interview 9/21/23
Turner (R-OH) 9/22/23: Interview on MSNBC (clip entited, ‘Congress would absolutely support’ a Saudi-Israel deal says Rep. Turner]
Targeting Palestinians (& Free Speech)
Hagerty (R-TN) 9/29/23: X-post – “U.S. taxpayer funds should not go to foreign entities who partner with terrorist organizations openly seeking to slaughter Jews & destroy Israel, period. It is unacceptable that the Biden Administration continues to do thisLinked to article, State Department bankrolls group accused of ‘cooperating’ with Palestinian terrorists (Washington Examiner 9/27/23)
Mast (R-FL) 9/27/23: X-post – Nevermind the sheer stupidity of thinking Palestinian terrorists would respond to DEI programs. It is an international embarrassment that the Biden Administration is actively funding violent anti-Israel groups in Gaza and the West Bank. I stand with Israel, period.” Linked to article, State Department bankrolls group accused of ‘cooperating’ with Palestinian terrorists (Washington Examiner 9/27/23)
Burchett (R-TN) 9/27/23: X-post – “The Phoenix Center has received tens of thousands in U.S. dollars and is partnered with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Why are two U.S. designated terrorist groups receiving money from the @StateDept?”
Lesko (R-AZ) 9/27/23: X-post – Israel is our most important ally. I’m proud to be joining @RepTenney in cosponsoring the Countering Hate Against Israel by Federal Contractors Act to prohibit Federal agencies from contracting with companies engaged in a boycott of Israel.”
Lawler (R-NY) 9/22/23: X-post – “It is unconscionable the University of Pennsylvania is moving forward with giving platform to individuals who have expressed blatantly anti-Israel and anti-Semitic tropes. This is exactly why I introduced the Stop Anti-Semitism on College Campuses Act.” Linked to article, UPenn president declines to intervene in antisemitic conference on campus (Jewish Insider 9/21/23)
Beyer (D-VA) 9/24/23: press release – Beyer Statement On Egypt And Senator Robert Menendez [“A jury will decide whether Senator Menendez committed federal crimes that can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, but the preponderance of evidence presented in the indictment makes it impossible for him to continue serving in the U.S. Senate, and I urge him to resign. I further urge the Administration and my colleagues in Congress and to note and respond forcefully to the covert Egyptian campaign to thwart American foreign policy aims detailed in the indictment...”] Also see Beyer’s X-post
Crow (D-CO) 9/24/23: X-post – “Revisiting this post… and my call for a review of our relationship and support of Egypt.” Linked to Crow’s 4/11/23 X-post, “We should all be asking why we’re sending over $1bn in military aid to Egypt if they’re going to support Russian’s war crimes in Ukraine. It’s time for a thorough review of this relationship and our military aid.” [that post is linked to a Washington Post 4/11/23 article, Egypt secretly planned to supply rockets to Russia, leaked U.S. document says]
Egypt – General
Rounds (R-SD) 9/22/23: X-post – “Bright Star 23, a joint training exercise between the U.S. and Egyptian militaries, just wrapped up at the end of last week. Grateful for our strategic partnership with Egypt, which is highlighted by Bright Star.
Saudi Arabia & Saudi-Israel Normalization
Durbin (D-IL) 9/28/23: X-post – “Five years after his brutal murder by the Saudi regime, we still await justice for Jamal Khashoggi. Amid efforts to whitewash the Saudi govt’s abuses, I continue to urge the release of political prisoners such as Waleed Abu al-Khair & Salma al-Shehab, & the lifting of travel bans and other arbitrary restrictions on dissidents and former political prisoners such as Raif Badawi.” Linked to Washington Post 9/27/23 editorial, Five years after the Khashoggi murder: No justice, no closure
Garcia (D-CA) 9/28/23: X-post (with video clip) – “The GOP is trying to smear President Biden with NO evidence while they cover up for the Trump Crime family. Jared Kushner used his White House job to do favors for the Saudis and walked away with $2 billion. Where is the investigation? I fought back today.
Whitehouse (D-RI) 9/28/23: X-post – “Top US banks like Citigroup, Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase have also offered trillions to Saudi Aramco, Exxon and other fossil fuel companies for fossil fuel activity in developing countries in regions such as South America and Africa.'” Citing linked article, Banks pouring trillions to fossil fuel expansion in global south, report finds (The Guardian 9/4/23)
Murphy (D-CT) 9/25/23: X-post – “To support a defense treaty with Saudi Arabia, you have to believe that such a pact would end this practice of the Saudis constantly playing the U.S. off against Russia, Europe, and China. It’s an enormous leap of faith without much backing evidence.” Linked to article, Saudi Arabia weighs nuclear power offers from China and France in bid to sway US (Financial Times 8/26/23)
Murphy (D-CT) 9/23/23: X-post – “I want a normalization deal to happen, and I want the U.S. to play a role in it, but it’s nearly impossible to imagine that the kind of commitments Israel would need to make re the West Bank could be delivered by Netanyahu’s current coalition.
Blumenthal (D-CT) 9/22/23: X-post – “MBS says the quiet part out loud—he’ll ‘continue sportswashing’. That’s why I’ll continue investigating.” Linked to article,  Crown Prince: Saudi Arabia ‘will continue doing sportswashing’ for money (NBC Sports 9/21/23)
Lawler (R-NY) 9/23/23: X-thread – “An honor to meet Crown Prince Al Hussein Bin Abdullah II of Jordan during his visit to the Capitol this week. As a member of the @HouseForeignGOP and its Middle East Subcommittee, pursuing a lasting peace in the Middle East has been and will remain one of my highest priorities. Jordan normalized relations with Israel in 1994 and has been a reliable ally and partner ever since. I was fortunate to visit the country in the spring with @SpeakerMcCarthy and a bipartisan delegation of House colleagues. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues, the states of Jordan and Israel, and other partners across the region to advance our shared goals of peace and prosperity.
Iran – General
Stefanik (R-NY) 9/29/23: X-post – “Joe Biden cannot and should not be considering terms dictated by the Iranian regime for any reason.” Linked to article, Iran’s president says US should ease sanctions to demonstrate it wants to return to nuclear deal (Associated Press 9/21/23)
Tenney (R-NY) 9/29/23: X-post – “I am deeply appalled by the attack on Makki Mosque on the anniversary of Zahedan’s Bloody Friday. This violence by IRGC is abhorrent and I call for them to immediately end this assault on their own people. I stand with the brave Iranian people, demanding justice and rights!
Cotton (R-AR) 9/29/23: X-post – “President Biden gave in to Iran’s hostage game mere weeks ago. Now, he’s looking the other way as the ayatollahs test their rockets. Iran will continue to exploit his weakness.
Ernst (R-IA) 9/29/23: X-post – “The IRGC continues to threaten U.S. servicemembers.   Biden’s appeasement of Iran must end.
Thune (R-SD) 9/28/23: X-post – “Food security is a critical component of national security, and we need to make sure foreign adversaries like China, Russia, and Iran do not threaten the U.S. food supply.
Allegations of Iranian Influence Agents in Biden Admin
[NOTE: Most of these X-posts are linked to: Inside Iran’s influence operation (Semafor 9/26/23) or Inside Tehran’s Soft War- How Iran Gained Influence in US Policy Centers (Iran International)]
Cruz (R-TX) 9/28/23: X-post – Reports and emails show there is a vast Iranian influence operation that involves officials going to the very top of the Biden administration. Sadly, it’s paid off, with Biden administration officials enabling Iran to make hundreds of billions of dollars and get within reach of a nuclear arsenal.
McCaul (R-TX) 9/27/23: statement – McCaul: Latest Reports on Malley Saga ‘Alarming’; also see X-post – “CHM @RepMcCaul issued a statement responding to reports about an Iranian regime influence campaign intended to impact U.S. policymaking. Many of those involved had close ties to Special Envoy for Iran Rob Malley, who remains under investigation for mishandling classified info
Cruz (R-TX) 9/27/23: X-post – “National Security Roles for the Biden Administration, Plus Chinese Communists Send $250,000 to Joe Biden’s Home. @benfergusonshow and I discuss on this explosive episode of Verdict.
Cruz (R-TX) 9/27/23: X-post – It just broke that three officials linked to the Biden administration were taking instructions from the Iranian regime. This is a stunning revelation, but the corrupt corporate media is trying to bury the story. Listen to Verdict for the news you can’t get anywhere else.
Cruz (R-TX) 9/27/23: X-post – “Today’s podcast is incredibly important. There is breaking news that three top officials linked to the Biden Iran team were getting instructions directly from the Iranians on critical national security decisions. Additionally, there is breaking news that a Chinese Communist wired $250,000 to Joe Biden’s home address in Delaware. The corporate media is not covering these stories. If you want the truth, you need to listen to this special episode of Verdict.
Hagerty (R-TN) 9/27/23: X-thread – “Shocking news reports by @semafor & @IranIntl_En raise serious questions that @POTUS @JoeBiden’s Administration must answer. 1/6 (1) Prior to granting a security clearance to Ariane Tabatabai, were @StateDept & @DeptofDefense aware of her prior involvement in the Iran Experts Initiative, an Iranian foreign ministry-backed influence operation? 2/6 (2) Prior to granting a security clearance to Ariane Tabatabai, did   @StateDept & @DeptofDefense investigate her seeking guidance from & coordination w Iran officials before attending events & testifying before the U.S. Congress? Did these activities fall under FARA? 3/6 (3) Does Ariane Tabatabai, as current COS to Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations/Low-Intensity Conflict, have access to Special Access Programs? If so, did @DeptofDefense subject her to further vetting or was that somehow waived by a DoD senior official? 4/6 (4) Prior to granting @Rob_Malley a security clearance to serve as @USEnvoyIran, did @StateDept first investigate his close & continuing contact w Ali Vaez, who had undisclosed involvement in the Iran Experts Initiative, an Iranian foreign ministry-backed influence operation? 5/6 In closing, this story is a complete scandal & an outrage. The American ppl deserve complete transparency & accountability on the ties—esp. previously undisclosed ties—that top U.S. policymakers on Iran have had to the terrorist regime in Tehran. 6/6
Ernst (R-IA) 9/27/23: X-post – “The Biden administration allowed the Iranian Regime to secretly infiltrate the Pentagon.   Now they are defending it.   No question – this is a threat to national security, and action should be taken immediately.
Hagerty (R-TN) 9/26/23: X-post –First @Rob_Malley’s scandal & now new shocking reports that pro-Iran Biden officials w clearances had allegedly coordinated w/ Iran’s terrorist regime on influence operations in the U.S. How many of Biden’s pro-Iran admin officials are compromised? 1/2 Biden’s Iran policy has been dominated by regime sympathizers. Some retain high-level security clearances. Any @DeptofDefense or @StateDept official who’s entangled w Iran’s terrorist regime’s foreign influence operations should not have a clearance. 2/2
Graham (R-SC) 9/26/23: X-thread – If the allegations in this story are remotely accurate, it would be stunning on so many levels. The Obama and Biden Administration’s obsession with trying to normalize relationships with Iran – the largest state sponsor of terrorism – has been well documented and understood. However, if these interactions between Obama and Biden officials with Iran are accurate, it not only demonstrates an incredible lack of judgement and understanding about the Iranian regime, but put at risk our own national security interests and those of our allies. Congress must look into these allegations. If true, they are earth shattering.
Cruz (R-TX) 9/26/23: X-post – “Leaks published today show that the Iranian regime ran an extensive influence operation. It included members who are now top Biden administration officials involved in Iran issues. Meanwhile Team Biden is continuing to conduct secret Iran negotiations. I am calling on those to be immediately suspended. ” Also see: press release – “Sen. Cruz Calls for Halt in Secret Iran Negotiations After Leaked Emails Show Top Biden Officials Were Part of Iran Regime Operation”
Cotton (R-IN) 9/26/23: X-post – “Senior officials in both the Biden and Obama administrations were likely party to an Iranian-backed PR campaign. Is anyone surprised?
House GOP 9/26/23: X-post – “‘Three aides of Robert Malley, Biden’s special envoy for Iran, were part of an Iranian government network‘”
Harshbarger (R-TN) 9/26/23: X-post – “This is an absolute disgrace. The Biden Administration must be held accountable for their incompetence and soft-on-Iran policies.
Gimenez (R-FL) 9/26/23: X-post – “America’s enemies have long plotted to infiltrate our government. It’s clear that the Iranian regime was successful in their attempt of placing agents within the highest levels of the US government. Shameful and despicable
Crane (R-AZ) 9/26/23: X-post – “The Biden admin has always been weak on Iran. Now we know why.”
Curtis (R-UT) 9/26/23: X-post – The Iranian government will go to extreme lengths to achieve its nuclear weapon ambitions. It is deeply concerning that their influence operations have successfully reached into the Biden Admin.
Iran – general
Cotton (R-AR) 9/25/23: X-post – The Biden administration admits what the rest of the world knows already: Iran’s leaders aren’t acting in good faith. Why, then, does the administration insist on rewarding the ayatollahs with cash?
Cotton (R-AR) 9/25/23: X-post- “.@SecBlinken admits he doesn’t think Iran will restrict its nuclear program, yet he greenlit a $6 billion payment to the ayatollahs and continues to try to resuscitate the failed nuclear deal.” Linked to article, Blinken suggests Iran not a responsible actor on nuclear program (Reuters 9/22/23)
McClain (R-MI) 9/22/23: X-post – If Biden is willing to give terrorists in Iran billions, what sort of dangerous deal is he willing to make with China?
Wicker (R-MS) 9/23/23: X-post – “Bahrain, which hosts U.S. Fifth Fleet, is a vital U.S. partner in the Middle East for countering Iran and advancing regional peace through the Abraham Accords. The U.S. should always stand with its partners. I strongly support our new bilateral agreement.” Linked to article, The new status quo in the Middle East (op-ed by’s Bahraini Crown Prince Al Khalifa in the Washington Times 9/15/23)
Druze Appreciation
Wilson (R-SC) 9/28/23: floor statement entitled, Appreciating the Druze [“...I am grateful to have spoken with Sheikh al-Aql Hikmat Alhajiri, one of the three senior most Druze religious leaders in Syria, to discuss his impactful work at the forefront of the mass mobilization of Druze against the Assad regime…“]