Saturday, May 9, 2015

Do These 43 House Dems Want War with Iran?

On Thursday, a group of 150 House Democrats--led by Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Lloyd Doggett (TX-35), and David Price (NC-04)--sent a letter to President Obama in support of the diplomatic negotiations with Iran.

You can read the full text here:
Dear Mr. President:

As negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program continue, we urge you to stay on course, building on the recently announced political framework and continuing to work toward a strong and verifiable agreement between the P5+1 countries and Iran that will prevent Iran from having a nuclear weapon. We commend you and your negotiating team, as well as our coalition partners, for the significant progress made thus far.

This issue is above politics. The stakes are too great, and the alternatives too dire. We must exhaust every avenue toward a verifiable, enforceable, diplomatic solution in order to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran. If the United States were to abandon negotiations or cause their collapse, not only would we fail to peacefully prevent a nuclear-armed Iran, we would make that outcome more likely. The multilateral sanctions regime that brought Iran to the table would likely collapse, and the Iranian regime would likely decide to accelerate its nuclear program, unrestricted and unmonitored. Such developments could lead us to war.

War itself will not make us safe. A U.S. or Israeli military strike may set back Iranian nuclear development by two or three years at best—a significantly shorter timespan than that covered by a P5+1 negotiated agreement. We must pursue diplomatic means to their fullest and allow the negotiations to run their course — especially now that the parties have announced a strong framework — and continue working to craft a robust and verifiable Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action by June 30.

We must allow our negotiating team the space and time necessary to build on the progress made in the political framework and turn it into a long-term, verifiable agreement. If we do not succeed, Congress will remain at-the-ready to act and present you with additional options to ensure that Iran is prevented from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

Thank you for your resolve in preventing a nuclear-armed Iran. We look forward to continuing our shared work on this important matter.
The list of 150 signers (whose names were conveniently listed alphabetically at the end of the letter) actually contains only 145 voting members of Congress. Five of them are non-voting members: Madeleine Bordallo (Guam), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), Pedro Pierluisi (Puerto Rico), Stacey Plaskett (U.S. Virgin Island), and Gregorio Sablan (Northern Mariana Islands). Pierluisi has the status of "Resident Commissioner"; the rest are "Delegates." 
With 145 voting signers and a caucus of 188 voting members, that means that 43 didn't sign the letter in support of diplomacy with Iran.

Who are the 43?

Brendan Boyle (PA-13)
Jim Cooper (TN-05)
Jim Costa (CA-16)
Joe Crowley (NY-14)
Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
John Delaney (MD-06)
Ted Deutch (FL-21)
Eliot Engel (NY-16)
Lois Frankel (FL-22)
Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02)
Gwen Graham (FL-02)
Alan Grayson (FL-09)
Gene Green (TX-29)
Alcee Hastings (FL-20)
Jim Himes (CT-04)
Steny Hoyer (MD-05)
Steve Israel (NY-03)
Derek Kilmer (WI-06)
Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-01)
Sandy Levin (MI-09)
Dan Lipinski (IL-03)
Nita Lowey (NY-17)
Carolyn Maloney (NY-12)
Grace Meng (NY-06)
Patrick Murphy (FL-18)
Jerry Nadler (NY-10)
Donald Norcross (NJ-01)
Frank Pallone (NJ-06)
Bill Pascrell (NJ-09)
Scott Peters (CA-52)
Collin Peterson (MN-07)
Mike Quigley (IL-05)
Kathleen Rice (NY-04)
John Sarbanes (MD-03)
Adam Schiff (CA-28)
Kurt Schrader (OR-05)
Brad Sherman (CA-30)
Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09)
Albio Sires (NJ-08)
Dina Titus (NV-01)
Juan Vargas (CA-51)
Filemon Vela (TX-34)
Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23)

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