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APN Legislative Round-Up for the week ending October 9, 2009

1.  New Bills and Resolutions
2.  Administration Officials Tell Senate Banking Committee: Not So Fast with IRPSA
3.  Israel and Iran in the Defense Authorization Bill
4.  More Partisan Point Scoring over IRPSA?

(Defense Authorization/Iran/Israel) HR 2647:  On 10/7/09 House and Senate conferees agreed on the conference version of HR 2647, the FY10 Defense Authorization bill.  On 10/8/09 the House passed the conference report by a vote of 281-146.  The bill includes a number of Israel- and Iran-related provisions, as detailed in Section 3, below.
(IRAN) S. Con. Res. 45: Introduced 10/6/09 by Sen. Specter (D-PA) and 6 cosponsors, "A concurrent resolution encouraging the Government of Iran to allow Joshua Fattal, Shane Bauer, and Sarah Shourd to reunite with their families in the United States as soon as possible." Passed by Unanimous Consent 10/6/09 and referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
(Defense Appropriations/Iran) HR 3326:  Introduced 7/24/09 by Rep. Murtha (D-PA), "Making appropriations for the Department of Defense for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, and for other purposes."  On 10/6/09 the Senate voted to adopt an amendment in the form of a substitute (in effect replacing the House-passed text with its own version).  House and Senate conferees will now meet to iron out differences between the two versions of the bill.   
The Senate-passed text includes a section funding the "Two-stage Ground-based Interceptor Missile"(Sec. 8121), and requires (among other things) a report from the Director of the Missile Defense Agency not later than 2/1/2010 setting forth "Options for deploying an additional Ground-based Midcourse Defense site in Europe or the United States to provide enhanced defense in response to future long-range missile threats from Iran, and a description of how such a site may be made interoperable with the planned missile defense architecture for Europe and the United States."  In addition, Sec. 8071 of the bill earmarks funding for Israeli Cooperative Programs, stating that "Of the amounts appropriated in this Act under the heading `Research, Development, Test and Evaluation, Defense-Wide', $202,434,000 shall be for the Israeli Cooperative Programs: Provided, That of this amount, $80,092,000 shall be for the Short Range Ballistic Missile Defense (SRBMD) program, $50,036,000 shall be available for an upper-tier component to the Israeli Missile Defense Architecture, and $72,306,000 shall be for the Arrow Missile Defense Program, of which $25,000,000 shall be for producing Arrow missile components in the United States and Arrow missile components in Israel to meet Israel's defense requirements, consistent with each nation's laws, regulations and procedures: Provided further, That funds made available under this provision for production of missiles and missile components may be transferred to appropriations available for the procurement of weapons and equipment, to be merged with and to be available for the same time period and the same purposes as the appropriation to which transferred: Provided further, That the transfer authority provided under this provision is in addition to any other transfer authority contained in this Act."
(CJS Approps/Iran) HR 2847: Introduced 6/12/09 by Rep. Mollohan (D-WV), "Making appropriations for the Departments of Commerce and Justice, and Science, and Related Agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, and for other purposes."  Considered in the Senate 10/7 and 10/8.  On 10/8, Sens. Brownback (R-KS) and Schumer (D-NY) submitted two amendments targeting Iran's access to refined petroleum products.  SA 2656 would add a provision that "of the amount appropriated under this heading, not less than $1,000,000 shall be made available for overseas end use checks to curtail the transshipment or reexportation of goods originating in the United States to Iran .''  SA 2673 would add a provision that "of the amount appropriated under this heading, not less than $1,000,000 shall be made available to the Bureau of Industry and Security Export Enforcement to curtail the illicit transshipment, reexportation, or diversion of U.S.-origin items to Iran .''  Neither amendment has been considered as of this writing.
2.  Administration Officials Tell Senate Banking Committee: Not So Fast with IRPSA
As promised, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-CT) convened a hearing on 10/6/09 on the topic of Iran sanctions (the hearing, entitled "Minimizing Potential Threats from Iran: Administration Perspectives on Economic Sanctions and Other US Policy Options" can be watched online here.)
In the course of the hearing, Deputy Secretary of State Jim Steinberg and Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Stuart Levey were both asked about new sanctions on Iran and about the Administration's position on proposed sanctions targeting Iran's imports of refined petroleum products (the Iran Petroleum Sanctions Act, aka IRPSA).  What these two officials said about sanctions - including alluding to concerns about sanctions that harm civilians rather than the government and could thus be counterproductive, and emphasizing the need for multilateral, rather than unilateral, action - would seem to indicate that the Obama Administration shares many of our concerns about this particular sanctions initiative.  Key excerpts from the hearing are included below (emphasis added).
Key Steinberg Statements
"...You're seeing a coming together of countries around the world to recognize that this is Iran's last opportunity and if they fail to take it there is a greater openness to this. I don't want to underestimate the difficulty. It's very critical that we get the support of the Security Council if we can because that really strengthens the effectiveness.
" to impose sanctions and have them be effective is a -- is a matter of judgment and not science. We've had a lot of experience as you said over the years with sanctions. We know that sometimes they have an impact on the population and the government is able to insulate itself from those sanctions.  Other times they can provide leverage by putting additional pressure on the governments. And I think that's something that we're going to have to fine tune as we go forward. I think it's important that we have a broad range of tools available to us, but I think we do need to have a -- a more refined judgment about precisely how to exploit the kind of vulnerabilities that Undersecretary Levey talked about to see which are the smart sanctions that have the biggest impact. So for example, the undersecretary talked about the role of the IRGC. That may be a place where we could be particularly effective. And I think we want to work with you, working with the experts in this area as we develop this toolkit to think about how the targeting is most effective in both supporting those we want to support in Iran and putting the pressure on those who need to make the decisions desist from the program that they're currently involved in."
"...I do think we always have to worry about the humanitarian impact and the political impact [of proposed sanctions] because we want to take advantage of the dynamic there and not to undercut the opposition, not to hurt those who are being courageous...And I think part of it will be a judgment call as Undersecretary Levey has said about whether there's a broad international consensus, whether this is seen as the international community taking an action so that it's not the United States alone singling them out that I think we'll have an impact on the political dynamic within Iran.  It may also depend on what other measures are taken and how obvious it is that Iran is refusing to -- to take any kind of positive action. So I think it is a delicate judgment. There may be other steps that we want to take first. We need to look at the full suite of -- of tools that are available to us both in terms of the sequence and how it applies in the circumstances."
"...the most important thing is I think we have a better chance of getting broad-based sanctions, broad-based economic and political pressure because we've demonstrated that -- that we have made every effort to solve this through diplomacy, and that the burden is clearly on Iran, and that they have clearly rejected any attempt to solve this peacefully. I think that's an enormous tool for us to get others to act and at the end of the day, not only is -- because not only is a sanction more effective when they're -- when they're broad-based, but it also takes away the political argument that the Iranian government may try to make, which that this is American hostility.  This is -- this is clearly an international rejection of their unwillingness to be straightforward and open about their program, their unwillingness to prove that it is peaceful. And so I think that affects not only our ability to get others to join us, but the dynamic that we've all been discussing today about how this plays to Iran itself, becomes harder for them to -- to try to use that line with their own people about why these painful measures are now being employed."
Steinberg Exchange with Sen. Corker (R-TN)
CORKER: ...Senator Bayh had asked a good question about what might happen with the sanctions on refined product as far as the people go. As a just a tool itself, I mean, do you think the -- the keeping of refined product from actually coming in from other places to Iran is an effective sanction, period? I mean, is it -- is it an effective sanction?  And then the reason I ask, there have been a lot of people that say that they can easily get around it and, you know, there's all kind of -- they have subsidies in place that they could remove and that would contain, you know, the amount that would actually be utilized. There's, you know, a lot of smuggling that goes on to other countries which they could stop. I mean, is it -- is it or is it not an effective sanction?
STEINBERG: Senator, I think -- I think, we still have not reached a -- a firm judgment on whether that would be the best way to go. In part because we have to -- we need a better understanding of what the efficacy would be, in part because it would depend on how -- the degree to which others participated in this. Obviously this is a hard thing to do in a vacuum.
CORKER: Sure, but -- but if everybody participated, I know right now China's the -- the major assistor (ph), if you will, but if -- if everybody participated and the companies that have just recently stopped continued to stop, would it be an effective sanction or not?
STEINBERG: Again, I think -- I think we have not reached a firm conclusion about whether the net benefits and the net costs would have the effect, because the -- the challenge is always to try to translate the economic impact into what the political impact would be.  And our goals, as we think about what we might want to do going forward is to think, as -- as Secretary Levey said, but how does the government make its calculations? What would have the biggest impact on them? Whether it's transmitting it through its impact on the people or whether it's directly affecting their own activities.  We found in many cases, for example, and the reason I think a lot of us are focused on the IRGC, is if you can focus on the kind of the cost-benefit calculation of the individuals who are making these decisions, sometimes that has a more targeted impact, sometimes cause more sanctions than things that have to work as a transmission belt through the pain they impose on the public. But I don't think we want to take it off the table. I think it's one of the things that we need to do.
CORKER: Let me ask you this, have you asked for Congress to act and the reason I ask that, I -- my guess is with all the testosterone, if you will, that -- that shows itself as it relates to Iran and other kinds of things, if you ask for sanctions, they'd be passed out of here in about 24 hours, maybe more quickly.  So -- so -- so the question is, have you asked for us to take any actions in Congress as it relates to sanctions?
STEINBERG: I think, Senator, the key for us will in part be timing, which is...
CORKER: No, no, no, but have you asked yet? Just yes, no.
STEINBERG: We're going to ask for additional measures.
CORKER: So you'd like for Congress to prescribe what needs to be done, or would you like for Congress to enable you if you make decisions as it relates to sanctions?
STEINBERG: Senator, we -- they -- the president would like to have the maximum flexibility in part because of his ability to...
CORKER: He'd like to be enabled.
STEINBERG: Would like to be enabled.
CORKER: In an essence just to get to the legislation we had before us, you would oppose, then, the Lieberman-Kyl Bill that says you shall -- you shall keep refined product from coming into Iran.
STEINBERG: Again, Senator, I think what we'd like to do is work with the committee to -- to give the president the appropriate flexibility and I know the chairman and others have indicated some ways to look at that...
Key Levey Statement
"...some of the...lessons that we've learned are that to the extent we can focus on illicit conduct of the -- of the government in Iran, we'll have a better chance of not only getting better support within Iran but getting a better multi-lateral coalition to impose the measures with us, which is my second point, that, you know, if we can do this with other countries we're much, much better off than if we do it unilaterally. So as we go forward, as the deputy secretary said, we need to be very careful and craft this plan in as careful a way as possible to make sure we have the desired effect."
Levey Exchange with Sen. Schumer (D-NY)
SCHUMER: But the concept, I'm not asking you for language. I'm asking, would the administration support the concept of putting pressure on oil companies gas -- that sell gasoline to Iran and making it virtually untenable for them to do that by not selling here?
LEVEY: Again, Senator, I think we have to, in terms of which of the potential measures of sanctions, whether they're more targeted on individual entities in Iran as opposed to a broad-based thing that would affect the Iranian economy like that, I think we have not reached a judgment as to which of those might be the most effective. In part because, not only do we want to have the impact on the economy, we want to make sure that that's going to affect the decision making in Iran and not target the wrong people in Iran and similarly, to make sure that we -- that we maximize the chance of getting international support for these things because there is obviously a risk in these things. And if -- if we do not have international support, that there'll be diversions. There'll be work -rounds, and the efficacy of the sanctions will not nearly be as effective."
3.  Israel and Iran in the Defense Authorization Bill - Conference Version
On 10/7/09 House and Senate negotiators approved the conference version of the FY 2010 Defense Authorization Bill (HR 2647).  On 10/8/09 the House passed the conference report; the Senate is expected to follow suit shortly.  The conference version of the report includes three Israel-related provisions as well as a number of far-ranging Iran-related provisions, as follows:
Israel is specified as one of the countries that should be considered when assessing Iran's military power and plans, in the context of a new required report (see below for details of this section).  
This section states that it is the Sense of Congress that "(1) Israel is one of the strongest allies of the United States; (2) the United States remains vigorously committed to supporting Israel's welfare, security, and survival as a democratic state; (3) Israel and the United States face common 14 enemies; and (4) the United States should continue to provide critical security assistance needed to address existential threats."  
In addition, funding tables included in the bill indicate that the bill authorizes 144,630,000 for "Israeli Cooperative Programs," which is $25 million more than the Administration's $119,630,000 request.  The table indicates that $25 million of the total funding is for "Short-range ballistic missile defense," $25 million more than was requested for that program.
This is a Sense of Congress to the effect that the US should develop, test, and maintain effective ballistic missile defense systems capable of defending the US and its allies from "the threat of ballistic missile attacks from nations such as North Korea and Iran."
This provision authorizes the use of $309 million in funds (otherwise available in FY09 and FY10 for the Missile Defense Agency for the purpose of developing missile defenses in Europe), "for research, development, test, and evaluation, procurement, or deployment of alternative missile defense systems or their sub-systems designed to protect Europe, and the United States in the case of long-range missile threats, from the threats posed by current and future Iranian ballistic missiles of all ranges."  To use the funds for this purpose the Secretary of Defense must certify that the systems are consistent with NATO policy, are "operationally-effective and cost-effective in providing protection for Europe, and the United States in the case of long-range missile threats, against current and future Iranian ballistic missile threats", and are interoperable (to the extent practical) with other NATO missile defense efforts.
This provision requires that not later than 1/21/10 the President submit to Congress a report containing:  details of US efforts to engage Iran diplomatically; an assessment of Iran's seriousness about such engagement; an assessment of ongoing Iranian support for terrorist groups; an assessment of the extent to which Iran has complied with various UNSCR resolutions; an assessment of Iran's ballistic missile program; an assessment of Iran's involvement in narcotics trade in Afghanistan; a list of all current bilateral and multilateral sanctions against Iran and a description of efforts to enforce and strengthen them; a detailed summary of US efforts to enforce these sanctions; an assessment of the effectiveness of these sanctions in achieving US goals; a list of all parties (US and foreign) violating existing Iran sanctions; and a detailed summary of all US efforts to enforce sanctions against Iran.
This section mandates an annual report to Congress (due 1/30 of each year, with the requirement expiring 12/31/2014) by the Secretary of Defense, providing "A description and assessment of Iranian grand strategy, security strategy, and military strategy."  The section stipulates in detail what the details this report must contain, including "the goals of Iran's grand strategy, security strategy, and military strategy," "trends in Iran's strategy that would be designed to establish Iran as the leading power in the Middle East and to enhance the influence of Iran in other regions of the world." and "Iranian strategy regarding other countries in the region, including other specified countries" - specified later as other countries in the region.  The report must also include a detailed assessment of "the capabilities of Iran's conventional forces, " "An assessment of Iran's unconventional forces and related activities..." and "An assessment of Iranian capabilities related to nuclear and missile forces."
This provision stipulates that Congress believes that the Government of Iran should "seize the historic offer put forward by President Barack Obama to engage in direct diplomacy with the United States" (though notably as a sense of Congress, it does not in any way express support for or endorsement of this historic effort), "suspend all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, as directed by the United Nations Security Council" and "come into full compliance with Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, done at Washington, London, and Moscow July 1, 1968, and entered into force March 5, 1970 (commonly known as the ''Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty''), including the additional protocol to the Treaty."  The provision also states that  the President should consider imposing additional, more restrictive sanctions on Iran if "the Government of Iran fails to enter into good faith talks which result in progress toward compliance with applicable United Nations Security Council resolutions" and
"the United Nations Security Council has failed to adopt significant and meaningful additional sanctions on the Government of Iran."
- SEC. 1261 - 1266. VOICE ACT (''Victims of Iranian Censorship Act'')
This provision authorizes $15 million in funding for the Broadcasting Board of Governors' International Broadcasting Operations Fund (funding normally dealt with under the Foreign Operations Appropriations and Foreign Affairs Authorization bills) in order to "expand Farsi language programming and to provide for the dissemination of accurate and independent information to the Iranian people through radio, television, Internet, cellular telephone, short message service, and other communications."  Specifically, the funding is to "develop additional transmission capability for Radio Farda and the Persian News Network to counter ongoing efforts to jam transmissions, including through additional shortwave and medium wave transmissions, satellite, and Internet mechanisms; " "develop additional proxy server capability and anti-censorship software to counter efforts to block Radio Farda and Persian News Network Web sites;" "develop technologies to counter efforts to block SMS text message exchange over cellular phone networks;" "expand program coverage and analysis by Radio Farda and the Persian News Network, including the development of broadcast platforms and programs, on the television, radio and Internet, for enhanced interactivity with and among the people of Iran; " "hire, on a permanent or short-term basis, additional staff for Radio Farda and the Persian News Network;" and "develop additional Internet-based, Farsi-language television programming, including a Farsi-language, Internet-based news channel."
This provision establishes as in US Treasury "the Iranian Electronic Education, Exchange, and Media Fund."  The objective of the Fund is to support the development of technologies, including Internet Web sites, that will aid the ability of the Iranian people to "gain access to and share information;" "exercise freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and freedom of assembly through the Internet and other electronic media;" "engage in Internet-based education programs and other exchanges between Americans and Iranians;" and  counter efforts-- (A) to block, censor, and monitor the Internet; and (B) to disrupt or monitor cellular phone networks or SMS text exchanges."   Monies in the fun are to be used for grants "for targeted projects that advance the purpose of the Fund." The section authorizes $20 million for the fund.
This provision stipulates that not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter for 5 years, the President shall submit a report to Congress that provides a detailed description of US-funded broadcasting efforts in Iran, Iranian efforts to block US or other outside broadcasts, Iranian efforts to monitor or block internet access or gather information about individuals, and plans by the Broadcasting Board of Governors for the use of the $20 million authorized in this Act.
This provision stipulates that not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall submit to Congress a report on non-Iranian persons, including corporations with United States subsidiaries, that, after the date of the enactment of this Act, have knowingly or negligently provided hardware, software, or other forms of assistance to the Government of Iran that has furthered Iran's efforts to filter online political content; disrupt cell phone and Internet communications; and monitor the online activities of Iranian citizens.
This provision authorizes $5 million to be appropriated to the Secretary of State "to document, collect, and disseminate information about human rights in Iran, including abuses of human rights that have taken place since the Iranian presidential election conducted on June 12, 2009." [It is not clear if these funds are supposed to come out of the Defense Budget - which would be odd, in effect handing Defense funds to another agency - or if they are to come out of Foreign Operations funds - which would be odd,  since Defense Authorizers have no authority over Foreign Operations funding].
In addition, the Managers' statement accompanying the bill included three Iran-related items:
Standard Missile-3 procurement:  "The budget request included $168.7 million in Procurement, Defense-wide, for procurement of Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IA interceptors for the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) system.  The House bill would authorize the budget request.  The Senate amendment would authorize the budget request.  The conference agreement would authorize $191.9 million in Procurement, Defense-wide, for procurement of SM-3 Block IA missiles, an increase of $23.2 million.  The conferees note that on September 17, 2009, the President announced a new missile defense architecture for Europe that will rely heavily on the SM-3 interceptor, to be used both on ships and on land. The first phase of the architecture, to be deployed in 2011, would include deployment of Aegis BMD ships equipped with SM-3 Block IA interceptors to defend against existing Iranian short- and medium-range ballistic missiles. The conferees believe it would be valuable to increase the inventory of SM-3 Block IA interceptors to defend against Iran's existing ballistic missile capabilities."
Sense of Congress on ballistic missile defense (sec. 231):  "The House bill contained a provision (sec. 224) that would express the sense of Congress reaffirming support for protecting the United States against limited ballistic missile attack.  The Senate amendment contained a related provision (sec. 241) that would express the sense of the Congress on the development, testing, fielding, and maintenance of ballistic missile defense systems that are capable of defending the United States, its forward-deployed forces, allies, and other friendly nations from the threat of ballistic missile attacks from nations such as North Korea and Iran.  The House recedes with a clarifying amendment.   The conferees note that the terms 'operationally effective' and 'cost effective' encompass the qualities of affordable, reliable, suitable, and survivable missile defense systems."
Authorization of funds for development and deployment of alternative missile defense systems in Europe (sec. 235): "The House bill contained a provision (sec. 226) that would authorize the use of $353.1 million in fiscal year 2009 and 2010 funds authorized or otherwise made available for the Missile Defense Agency for the development of missile defenses in Europe to be used for the development and deployment of an alternative missile defense system that would protect Europe and the United States, subject to a certification by the Secretary of Defense that the alternative defense system is expected to meet certain conditions.  The Senate amendment contained a similar provision (sec. 246) that would authorize the use of the fiscal year 2009 and 2010 funds for the development and deployment of alternative missile defense systems designed to protect Europe, and the United States in the case of long-range missile threats, from the threats posed by current and future Iranian ballistic missiles of all ranges, if the Secretary certifies that the alternative systems are expected to meet certain conditions.  The provision also included a rule of construction stating that it would not limit or prevent the Department of Defense from pursuing the development or deployment of operationally effective and cost effective missile defense systems in Europe.
"The House recedes with an amendment that would add a requirement for an independent assessment of the operational effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the alternative missile defense architecture announced by the President on September 17, 2009. The Secretary of Defense would be required to submit a report to the congressional defense committees by June 1, 2010, on the independent assessment.  The conference agreement would authorize the use of $309.0 million in fiscal year 2009 and 2010 funds, the amount of funding available other than for military construction, for alternative European missile defense systems or their subsystems. The conferees expect the Department of Defense to promptly provide to the congressional defense committees an expenditure plan for any of these funds planned to be used for such missile defense systems in Europe pursuant to a certification by the Secretary."
4.  More Partisan Point Scoring over IRPSA?
As noted in last week's Bulletin, the Iran Petroleum Sanctions Act (IRPSA) is rapidly becoming the focus of partisan point-scoring in the House of Representatives.  As also noted last week, this is in clear contrast to the previous 8 years, when a great deal of Iran sanctions legislation was introduced but did not pass, primarily out of deference to the White House.  This time around, however, such deference is no longer the order of the day for some House Republicans - a change of course that is remarkable in particular given the fact that for the first time in more than the decade the White House is engaging intensively on the Iran issue (and given the fact that it appears clear, at least for now, that the White House does not want this legislation to move, as demonstrated by the statements in Sec. 3, above).
House Minority Whip Cantor (R-VA) pressing House Majority Leader Hoyer (again) on IRPSA) - 10/8/09
Mr. CANTOR. ... If I could, Mr. Speaker, turn to the question of foreign policy and where we are in terms of the bill coming from the Foreign Affairs and Financial Services Committees.   Last week, Mr. Speaker, the gentleman had said that the White House was engaging in discussions with China and Russia, that perhaps that was why the bill would not be moving forward. This, again, is the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act. And to paraphrase the gentleman, Mr. Speaker, I would say that the gentleman indicated that Mr. Berman will be talking to the White House about timing.   I yield to find out whether we have any clarity on that and when that bill will be coming to the floor.
Mr. HOYER. I thank the gentleman for yielding.  I have talked to Mr. Berman. He is in discussions with the White House. Both you and I are strong supporters of the legislation, as is Mr. Berman. My expectation is he has indicated that he wants to consider this bill and bring it to the floor, and I have told him that as soon as it's ready to come to the floor, I will schedule it for the floor.   In addition, I will tell the gentleman that it is possible that we will have the sanctions bill out of the Financial Services Committee. As you know, there are two different bills. The Berman bill is the stronger of the two. But we may well move next week, may move next week, on the Financial Services sanction bill, which deals with, obviously, financial transactions.  My expectation is Mr. Berman is looking at this and does hope and expect to bring this bill out either at the very latter part of a couple weeks from now or perhaps the first week in November. But I know he's very much engaged in this, and we very much support moving on this.
Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) Floor Speech 10/6/09
"Madam Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 2194, the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act of 2009, which my good friend and colleague Chairman Berman introduced on April 30, and of which I am a co-sponsor... Even as President Obama opens diplomatic talks with Iran, we know, from all our experience with Iran and so many other dictatorships, that a serious effort to peacefully stop Iran's development of nuclear weapons will require the strongest political and economic pressure our country can muster...Madam Speaker, I urge you and Chairman BERMAN to move this bill, which now has over 325 co-sponsors, to the floor for passage by the full House as soon as possible. The bill is right, and the time is right."
Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX) Floor Speech 10/7/09
"Madam Speaker, the global threat of Iran's nuclear program is growing every day. The luxury of time has vanished and the need for Congressional action is absolute.  What we already knew about the Iranian nuclear program, compounded with the recent revelations of an additional uranium enrichment facility outside of Tehran and Iran's continued testing of long-range missiles, only continues to build on an already disturbing scenario. The Iranian regime is furiously building its nuclear program and threatening anyone who walks the streets of Paris, Beijing, London and New York. Every day that goes by without weakening the regime or its ambitions, the world becomes less safe. We MUST act now. I wholeheartedly support increased sanctions and divestment efforts and hope the U.S. Congress responds immediately to provide these critical tools to the President. The United States needs to show strong leadership to show the world that we are serious in taking down this imminent threat from Iran. U.S. actions should be matched by other world leaders--especially Russia and China. Iran's potential peril to the world is global, so too should be the response."

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