During my more than twenty years in Congress, I have been a staunch defender of the State of Israel. I oppose any and all attempts by Palestinians to unilaterally declare statehood, circumvent the peace process or pressure Israel into making concessions that would jeopardize its security. While the United States should use its good offices, peace can only be achieved through direct, bilateral negotiations.
As unrest continues to rock the Middle East, it is more important than ever that the United States steadfastly support the Jewish State’s right to defend itself. The most significant threat facing Israel remains the prospect of a nuclear armed Iran. The United States must work with Israel and our allies to thwart Iran’s dangerous ambitions and keep all options on the table to do so.
The recent nuclear deal that the Obama administration struck with Iran, which I voted against, is a bad deal and the wrong policy for the United States to pursue. This agreement allows Iran, after just ten years, to develop a nuclear weapon within one year. During these ten years Iran will retain its nuclear infrastructure and receive hundreds of billions of dollars in sanctions relief which it can use to spread terrorism throughout the world. This agreement also allows Iran 24 days to prepare for an inspection, ends the arms embargo in Iran after five years, and also ends the ICBM embargo after eight years. By doing so this agreement only institutionalizes Iran’s nuclear program.
Since the implementation of the Administration’s toxic Nuclear Agreement, Iran has shown no sign of wanting to ease or discontinue its hostility towards the United States. This is evident in the kidnapping of 10 American sailors in January 2016 and the continued testing of ballistic missiles. I will continue to condemn the Iran Nuclear Deal and I am supporting efforts to establish a Congressional committee to scrutinize its implementation.
It is essential that the United States provide Israel with the tools it needs to defend itself and maintain its Qualitative Military Edge (QME) over its adversaries. Consistent with the 2008 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), I supported $3.1 billion in security assistance to Israel in the FY 2016 funding legislation. The current MOU is set to expire in 2018. I have asked the President to negotiate a new MOU with Israel that will increase Israel’s annual security assistance funding to $5 billion.
I have also endorsed these items:
- An April 2016 letter to the President requesting that he reach an agreement that with Israel that increases their U.S. foreign military assistance to $5 billion annually as he negotiates a new Memorandum of Understanding.
- An April 2016 letter to Secretary John King inquiring about the Department of Education’s efforts to monitor and address anti-Semitism on college campuses.
- A March 2016 letter to the President that expresses concern with potential U.N. initiatives that would hinder the prospects for peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.
- A November 2015 letter to Secretaries Kerry and Lew requesting clarification as to whether the Iran Nuclear Deal violates federal law by allowing the subsidiaries of US parent companies to do business with Iran.
- A November 2015 letter to President Abbas, calling upon him to end the incitement of and condemn violence against Israel and resume security cooperation and peace talks with the Israeli government.
- A September 2015 letter to Secretary Kerry requesting clarification that state-level sanctions on Iran that are not affected by the Iran Nuclear Deal will remain in place.
- A resolution expressing opposition to the European Commission interpretive notice regarding labeling Israeli products and goods manufactured in the West Bank and other areas, as such actions undermine efforts to achieve a negotiated Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
- A resolution opposing politically motivated acts of boycott, divestment from, and sanctions against Israel.
- A resolution establishing a Congressional committee on oversight of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (Iran Nuclear Deal).
- A resolution condemning all forms of anti-Semitism and encouraging U.S. and European leadership to take measures to prevent attacks.
- A resolution to enhance security of Europe’s Jewish communities and improve the prevention and response to anti-Semitic attacks.
- The Iran Sanctions Extension Act, which extends sanctions on Iran that were put in place by the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996 for an additional 10 years.
- The Combating BDS Act, which asserts on a federal level, the legal authority of state and local governments to take tangible actions to counter boycott sanctions and divestment movement against Israel.
- The United States-Israel Trade Commercial Enhancement Act, which aims to counter the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel.
- The IRGC Sanctions Act, which prohibits anyone from knowingly engaging in any financial transaction with or transfer funds to Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) or any IRGC subdivision.
- The Sanctioned Iranian Entities Oversight Act, which extends through 2019 the annual report the President must submit to Congress regarding the use of certain Iranian seaports by foreign vessels and the use of foreign airports by sanctioned Iranian air carriers.
- The Displaced Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries and Iran Act, which directs the President to report to Congress on actions the Administration has taken in the preceding year regarding the resolution of the issue of Jewish refugees from Arab countries and Iran.
- Joined the Bi-Partisan Congressional Taskforce for Combating Anti-Semitism.