Support amongst the American public has steadily eroded for the Iran nuclear deal. And it’s not just Republicans – public approval has shrunk across the board from Independents to Democrats alike. In a recent Pew Research Center poll, Americans are opposed to the deal by an overwhelming 2 to 1 margin.
Earlier this month in the House of Representatives, we passed three pieces of legislation aimed to delay, scrap or have the deal renegotiated with teeth by the White House.
One resolution stated President Obama has not complied with the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act. That act states President Obama must provide all agreements to Congress. We know he hasn’t done that, because we know there is a secret side agreement between the International Atomic Energy Agency and Iran that Congress has not seen. I voted for the resolution.
We also went on the record, unlike the Senate, and voted to approve or disapprove the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (the Iran nuclear deal). It was soundly defeated. I voted to disapprove of the deal.
Finally, we passed a bill to suspend the authority of President Obama to waive or suspend the sanctions we have in place with Iran until January of 2017. The point here was to force President Obama to go back to the table and try and negotiate a better deal with teeth in it. I supported this bill.
I have said from the beginning, I want to see Iran come into the world community to be a peaceful partner. But let’s be realistic. Iran has a track record of deceit, broken agreements and lies. They still chant death to America and are holding four Americans hostage. They do not recognize our strong ally Israel as a sovereign nation and are committed to its destruction. Since 1984, Iran has been identified as an official state sponsor of terrorism. Iran continues to be sympathetic to, and have supported, terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah. And, just weeks ago Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called for Israel’s destruction. This is all too disturbing.
And, sure enough, Iran has already begun scheming to change the terms of this flawed deal.
Days ago, it was reported Ayatollah Ali Khamenei demanded sanctions be lifted entirely – not just suspended – but entirely lifted. The news reported the Ayatollah went on to threaten “there will be no deal” unless this is done and further warned, “if sanctions are only suspended, Iran, in turn, will only ‘suspend’ nuclear activities cited in the deal.”
Many Americans believe Iran negotiators already have the upper hand in the deal. Now it appears Iran wants even more.
This clearly raises the question – what’s next? Congress needs to continue to fight and push the White House to scrap this plan and work for a better deal. The State Department has outlined a plan to move ahead. They have indicated the deal will be formally adopted on October 19.
Congress must remain diligent in working to stop this deal.
Leaders and my colleagues in the House are already discussing the possibility of legal action against President Obama’s administration because they have not complied with the provisions of the law in providing all side agreements to Congress. Congress will also keep fighting to strengthen the oversight of this deal to force Iran to be compliant. We can pursue reauthorizing the Iran Sanctions Act to stop foreign companies from investing in Iran’s oil and gas industries. And perhaps most importantly, we must make clear to Iran and the world community that we stand with our ally Israel. If Congress and the White House can send that message jointly, then we can maximize our credibility.
One thing is certain; we must keep fighting for a stronger deal and a more secure America and world.