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Government Relations: May 2012 Archives

Legislative Round-Up: Week Ending May 25, 2012

1.  Bills, Resolutions & Letters
2.  Senate Passes More Iran Sanctions
3.  Senate Moves on FY13 ForOps - Includes Attack on Palestinian Refugee Status
4.  Members on the Record
5.  From the Press

Legislative Round-Up: Week Ending May 18, 2012

1.  Bills, Resolutions & Letters
2.  House Passes Iran "Red Lines" Resolution, but Important Clarifications Now on the Record
3.  House Passes FY13 NDAA (details or Iran/Mideast Amendments)
4.  Senate Tries, and Fails, to Pass More Iran Sanctions
5.  Hearings & Confirmations
6.  Members on H. Res. 568 (red lines resolution)
7.  Members on the Record
8.  From the Press

With new Iran talks set for May 23rd, and the House adjourning at the end of this week until May 30, one of the main themes of the week in both the House and Senate was Iran (as is evident from the table of contents of today's Round-Up).  

The apparent goal was for Congress to send "messages" to Iran about how tough it is prepared to be if Iran doesn't play ball in talks.  Supporters of this approach suggest that Congress is helping the president, acting as the "bad cop" to the president's "good cop," and letting Iran know that "if you don't deal with him, you're going to have to deal with us."   

Critics of this approach, on the other hand, suggest that Congress is undermining the effort to find a way, short of war, to address Iran's nuclear program - by sending a message to Iran that the President does not have the support he needs to negotiate any agreement with Iran, even if Iran is ready to make one.  The latter is not far-fetched, given that most sanctions in place against Iran today have been imposed via laws passed by Congress (meaning they can only be lifted by Congress passing a new law) rather than, as was the case in the past, by acts of the President (i.e., via executive orders that the President had the authority, on his own, to rescind).  Indeed, some members are coming out openly opposing diplomacy - for example, in a statement 5/17/12, HFAC Chair Ros-Lehtinen, R-FL, noted that she was "deeply concerned that the Administration's foolish embrace of yet another round of negotiations will only embolden the regime."

APN Applauds House Committee for Clarifying that Bill doesn't not Authorize Use of Force against Iran; Urges Passage of "Iran Special Envoy" Amendment
Washington, DC - Last night the House began consideration of HR FY13 National Defense Authorization Act. 

Americans for Peace Now (APN) has serious concerns that Part C of the bill could be interpreted as an authorization of use of force against Iran.  APN strongly supports the amendment offered by Representatives John Conyers (D-MI), Keith Ellison (D-MN), Walter Jones (R-NC) and Ron Paul (R-TX), to "clarify that nothing in the bill shall be construed as authorizing the use of force against Iran."   


Below is the message sent May 16, 2012 to House staffers expressing APN's encouragement to members to sign this constructive, timely, bipartisan letter in support of a diplomatic effort whose success is important to the national security of both the U.S. and Israel.

I want to draw your attention to a bipartisan Dear Colleague letter currently circulating in the House, seeking cosigners on a letter to President Obama regarding upcoming P5+1 talks in Baghdad. The letter was initiated by Reps. Price (D-NC) and Dreier (R-CA).


Below is the message sent May 14, 2012 to House staffers expressing APN's opposition to H. Res. 568.

Tomorrow, the House is scheduled to bring H. Res. 568, dealing with Iran, to the floor under suspension of the rules.

Americans for Peace Now (APN) urges members of Congress to vote NO or PRESENT on this resolution.

Legislative Round-Up: Week Ending May 11, 2012

APN Legislative Round-Up
     for the week ending
          May 11, 2012

1.  Bills, Resolutions & Letters
2.  Draft House version of Defense Authorization Ups the Ante on Iran
3.  FY13 Foreign Ops - House Version
4.  Hearings & Confirmations
5.  Members on Passage of HR 4133
6.  Members on the Record
7.  From the Press