Sunday, February 16, 2014

100 House Democrats Sign Letter Opposing Additional Iran Sanctions

In advance of the start of talks on a permanent agreement between P5+1 countries and Iran later this month in New York City, 100 Democrats and 4 Republicans co-signed a letter supporting the diplomatic effort and opposing additional sanctions.

The letter, organized by David Price (NC-04) and Lloyd Doggett (TX-35), reads as follows:
Dear Mr. President,

As Members of Congress and as Americans, we are united in our unequivocal commitment to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. The proliferation of nuclear weapons in the Middle East would threaten the security of the United States and our allies in the region, particularly Israel.
The ongoing implementation of the Joint Plan of Action agreed to by Iran and the “P5+1” nations last November increases the possibility of a comprehensive and verifiable international agreement. We understand that there is no assurance of success and that, if talks break down or Iran reneges on pledges it made in the interim agreement, Congress may be compelled to act as it has in the past by enacting additional sanctions legislation. At present, however, we believe that Congress must give diplomacy a chance. A bill or resolution that risks fracturing our international coalition or, worse yet, undermining our credibility in future negotiations and jeopardizing hard-won progress toward a verifiable final agreement, must be avoided.

We remain wary of the Iranian regime. But we believe that robust diplomacy remains our best possible strategic option, and we commend you and your designees for the developments in Geneva. Should negotiations fail or falter, nothing precludes a change in strategy. But we must not imperil the possibility of a diplomatic success before we even have a chance to pursue it.
Here are the 100 Democrats: Karen Bass (CA-37)
Joyce Beatty (OH-03)
Timothy Bishop (NY-01)
Earl Blumenauer (OR-03)
Madeleine Bordallo (Guam)
Corinne Brown (FL-05)
G. K. Butterfield (NC-01)
Lois Capps (CA-24)
Mike Capuano (MA-07)
Andre Carson (IN-07)
Matt Cartwright (PA-17)
Donna Christensen (US Virgin Islands)
Yvette Clarke (NY-09)
Lacy Clay (MO-01)
Emanuel Cleaver (MO-05)
James Clyburn (SC-06)
Steve Cohen (TN-09)
Gerry Connolly (VA-11)
John Conyers (MI-13)
Jim Cooper (TN-05)
Joe Courtney (CT-02)
Elijah Cummings (MD-07)
Danny Davis (IL-07)
Pete DeFazio (OR-04)
Diana DeGette (CO-01)
Rosa DeLauro (CT-03)
John Dingell (MI-12)
Lloyd Doggett (TX-35)
Donna Edwards (MD-04)
Keith Ellison (MN-05)
Bill Enyart (IL-12)
Anna Eshoo (CA-18)
Sam Farr (CA-20)
Bill Foster (IL-11)
Marcia Fudge (OH-11)
John Garamendi (CA-03)
Raul Grijalva (AZ-03)
Luis Gutiérrez (IL-04)
Rush Holt (NJ-12)
Jared Huffman (CA-02)
Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18)
Eddie Johnson (TX-30)
Hank Johnson (GA-04)
Marcy Kaptur (OH-09)
William Keating (MA-09)
Robin Kelly (IL-02)
Dan Kildee (MI-5)
Ann Kuster (NH-02)
John Larson (CT-01)
Barbara Lee (CA-13)
John Lewis (GA-05)
David Loebsack (IA-02)
Zoe Lofgren (CA-19)
Stephen Lynch (MA-08)
Jim Matheson (UT-04)
Carolyn McCarthy (NY-04)
Betty McCollum (MN-04)
Jim McDermott (WA-07)
Jim McGovern (MA-02)
Jerry McNerney (CA-09)
Gregory Meeks (NY-05)
George Miller (CA-11)
Gwen Moore (WI-04)
Jim Moran (VA-08)
Gloria Negrete McLeod (CA-35)
Rick Nolan (MN-08)
Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC)
Beto O'Rourke (TX-16)
Ed Pastor (AZ-07)
Donald Payne, Jr. (NJ-10)
Pedro Pierluisi (PR)
Chellie Pingree (ME-01)
Mark Pocan (WI-02)
Jared Polis (CO-02)
David Price (NC-04)
Nick Rahall (WV-03)
Charlie Rangel (NY-13)
Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40)
Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-02)
Bobby Rush (IL-01)
Tim Ryan (OH-13)
Gregorio Sablan (CNMI)
Jan Schakowsky (IL-09)
Bobby Scott (VA-03)
Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01)
Louise Slaughter (NY-25)
Jackie Speier (CA-14)
Mark Takano (CA-41)
Bennie Thompson (MS-02)
Mike Thompson (CA-05)
John Tierney (MA-06)
Paul Tonko (NY-20)
Niki Tsongas (MA-03)
Chris Van Hollen (MD-08)
Nydia Velázquez (NY-07)
Peter Visclosky (IN-01)
Tim Walz (MN-01)
Maxine Waters (CA-43)
Peter Welch (VT)
John Yarmuth (KY-03)

Five of them are non-voting: Madeleine Bordallo (Guam), Donna Christensen (US Virgin Islands), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), Pedro Pierluisi (Puerto Rico), and Gregorio Sablan (Northern Mariana Islands).

The list of 100 Democrats contains, to my count, 50 of the 70 members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

These 100 Democrats were joined by four Republicans:

John Duncan, Jr. (TN-02)
Richard Hanna (NY-22)
Walter Jones (NC-03)
Tom Massie (KY-04)

In contrast, last August, the House voted for additional sanctions on Iran 400 to 20. Only 17 Democrats and 3 Republicans voted no. One Democrat--Hank Johnson (GA-04)--voted present.

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