Bklyn Electeds Respond To Iran Nuclear Agreement
Brooklyn’s federal lawmakers and Boro Park Assemblyman Dov Hikind, yesterday, gave a variety of remarks on the Obama Administration announcement that the U.S. has come to an agreement with Iran, in which the East Asian country – long at odds with America and American allies in the Middle East – would not build nuclear weapons in exchange for an end to sanctions. The agreement now goes before Congress for debate. The following are some local lawmaker comments on the tentative agreement.
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer: “Over the coming days, I intend to go through this agreement with a fine-tooth comb, speak with administration officials, and hear from experts on all sides. I supported legislation ensuring that Congress would have time and space to review the deal, and now we must use it well. Supporting or opposing this agreement is not a decision to be made lightly, and I plan to carefully study the agreement before making an informed decision.”
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand: “I strongly supported and helped pass the sanctions that were put in place that brought Iran to the table, but sanctions alone won’t work. The best outcome for the national security interests of the United States and Israel is a strong, verifiable deal that prevents Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Now that the deal is complete, it is Congress’s duty to look long and hard at the details. I want to read all of the details, especially on the verification components, before making a determination whether this is a good deal.”
Southern Brooklyn/Staten Island Congressman Dan Donovan: “The original goal of negotiating with Iran was to dismantle their nuclear program, but this Administration’s insatiable quest for legacy building morphed it into simply managing their proliferation, all but guaranteeing a nuclear-armed Iran in the next decade. The President consistently negotiated from a position of weakness, unable to even get our four American hostages returned. Sadly, this could be the most dangerous diplomatic agreement of our lifetime.
“Iran’s mantra of death to America and a world without Israel will not be abated by this accord, nor will its financing of global terrorism, which will in fact be buoyed by the lifted sanctions. We know Iran cannot be trusted, yet the agreement allows for ample opportunity to deceive. All you need to do is look at the reaction across the globe that has our allies feeling betrayed and Putin ecstatic. Supporters falsely purported no deal would result in war, but this deal ensures a nuclear arms race will ensue in the Middle East.
“In the coming days, I will be closely analyzing the details of the agreement and the best course of action. As I said from the beginning, I cannot support any deal that allows Iran to continue on its path to a nuclear weapon, and it is my sincere hope that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle feel the same. Doing what’s right for the security of America and the world must be our only priority.”
Western Brooklyn Congressman Jerrold Nadler: “Following the P5+1 agreement with Iran on its nuclear program, it is imperative that we use the period of Congressional review to examine its details, terms, and consequences. It will be crucial that we understand the full ramifications of the proposed agreement: with primary concern for the immediate and long-term security of the United States, of Israel, and of our other allies in the region; and of the likely effectiveness and enforceability of the agreement in preventing the Iranian regime from obtaining nuclear weapons. I look forward to evaluating the agreement in comparison to the other available alternatives for preventing a nuclear Iran. We must reserve full judgment until there is time to apply a critical eye and a clear head in assessing this agreement.
“This agreement has no influence on the other serious issues that remain with the Iranian regime and its behavior. Iran continues to be a destabilizing and destructive force in the region and around the world. I have strongly spoken out against the Iranian regime in the past, condemning its hateful rhetoric and policies towards the United States and Israel, and have regularly supported the tightening of sanctions to isolate Iran and restrict its influence in the region. As we examine the P5+1 agreement, it will be important that this distinction remains clear — we are not dealing with a friend and we must not waiver in our commitment to supporting our allies and continuing to counter Iran’s support for terrorist groups.”
Borough Park Assemblyman Dov Hikind: “The agreement announced today with Iran, the world’s number one state sponsor of terrorism, is extraordinarily naive and dangerous. Based on initial reports, this is a total capitulation. The only winner is Iran. The deal essentially paves Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon.”
“This deal is about one thing only: President Obama’s legacy. The Middle East is in shambles. From Syria, Yemen, Egypt, Iraq, to the spread of ISIS, every one of this administration’s foreign policies has been an utter failure. Iran supports Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and other terror proxies globally, and continues to prop up the Assad regime in Syria. Just this past Friday, on Iran’s Al-Quds Day, we saw once again a mob burning American flags and chanting “Death to Israel, Death to America.” And who was participating in this vitriol display of hate? The “moderate” president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani. This is what Iran says before an agreement—can you imagine what will happen now that Iran stands to receive billions of dollars in frozen assets? Even more disturbing, the agreement removes sanctions on Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps chief Qasem Soleimani, who has the blood of Americans on his hands.”
Donovan Supports Velazquez Disaster Bill
Southern Brooklyn/Staten Island Congressman Dan Donovan, this week, supported a Northern Brooklyn Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez bill that passed the House to improve the Small Business Administration’s disaster response and allow individuals and businesses to file new applications for post-Sandy disaster loans.
The measure requires SBA to: update its disaster response plan to better prepare for high application volumes; report to Congress within 30 days of enactment on implementing expedited disaster assistance programs; and reopen the application process for post-Sandy disaster loans.
“It’s no secret to anyone who endured the nightmare of Hurricane Sandy that the Federal Government–and the SBA in particular–bungled this process. Their response was a stain on our government, but now we have an obligation to make sure it’s fixed,” said Donovan.
“This legislation is critical to ensuring our small businesses get the assistance they are owed, and I urge my colleagues in the Senate and the President to act swiftly so this bill can become law. Too much time has already passed,” he added.
Hamilton Praises Cuomo Veto
Central Brooklyn State Sen. Jesse Hamilton, yesterday, praised Governor Andrew Cuomo for his recent veto of a bill that would have given upstate Orange County a greater say in annexation plans of Kiryas Joel, a Hasidic Community in that county, with strong ties to Brooklyn’s large Satmar community.
“Governor Cuomo made the right decision in vetoing the Kiryas Joel Annexation Bills last week. As I explained on the Senate floor when I voted ‘no,’ I believe the bills unjustly impact the citizens of Kiryas Joel,” said Hamilton.
“The residents of Kiryas Joel deserve the same standards that obtain in other communities across the state. As Governor Cuomo related in his veto messages, the measures were duplicative, state agencies already take into consideration environmental impacts, and the measures were unconstitutional, requiring extra consultation on boundaries,” he added.
Jeffries Leads Congressional Effort On Criminal Justice Reform
Central Brooklyn Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, yesterday, was named co-chair of a bipartisan Congressional caucus charged with looking at educating the public and Members of Congress on crime mitigation, rehabilitation, community collaboration, reform of the prison system, and the advancement of safety and justice in the United States.
Joining Jeffries on the newly created organization as co-chairs are U.S. Representatives Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Raul Labrador (R-ID) and Cedric Richmond (D-LA).
“America’s criminal justice system wastes taxpayer dollars, hurts our economic productivity and has unnecessarily devastated countless families. Fixing our badly broken system is an urgent challenge this Congress must confront. The bipartisan caucus will be an important vehicle to generate legislative action that saves money, makes us safer and leads to more equitable criminal justice policies,” said Jeffries.
The caucus comes as President Obama, this week commuted the sentences of 46 nonviolent drug offenders, saying the crime didn’t fit the punishment.