Aug. 4, 2015
Three leading members of the House of Representatives – Reps. Steve Israel (D – N.Y.), Nita Lowey (D – N.Y.), and Ted Deutch (D – Fla.) – today became the first three Democratic Jewish members of Congress to go on record opposing the nuclear deal with Iran. Rep. Israel, the chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, told Newsday that he would vote against the deal and will work to defeat it in next month’s Congressional vote. Israel toldNewsday that he was going public with his opposition hoping that he might influence other members of the House.
Lowey, the ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, which controls government spending, issued a press release stating that preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons is a “essential national security imperative,” and that after extensive consultations with “officials in the Obama Administration, regional experts, foreign leaders, Congressional colleagues, and my constituents,” she could not support the deal.
Deutch, the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, made his announcement in an op-ed published today in the Sun-Sentinelnewspaper. Citing his longstanding efforts to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, Deutch argued that the deal not only fails to accomplish its stated goals of preventing a nuclear Iran, but dangerously strengthens Iran in a number of other ways. Deutch also dismissed concerns that the only alternative to the deal is war, writing that “there are different predictions” of the consequences of Congress rejecting the deal, but approving the deal will provide Iran with billions in unfrozen assets and new business and will mean “more money for Hamas for building terror tunnels in Gaza, more weapons for Hezbollah in Lebanon, more slaughter in Syria, and more violence worldwide.” Deutch concluded that he could not support a deal that will give Iran billions while “letting it maintain an advanced nuclear program and the infrastructure of a threshold nuclear state.”
Israel, Lowey, and Deutch join four other Democrats Representatives –Juan Vargas (D – Calif.), Grace Meng (D – N.Y.), Albio Sires (D – N.J.), and Kathleen Rice (D – N.Y.) – in opposing the deal. Deutch, Vargas, Meng, and Sires are all recent or current members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Additionally, former New York Democratic Rep. Gary Ackerman voiced his opposition to the deal over the weekend. (via TheTower.org)