Vote Explanations for Anti-Iran Deal Bills

This week, I voted against a suite of bills (H.R. 5631, H.R. 4992, and H.R. 5119, that would violate U.S. commitments under the Iran nuclear agreement (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action “JCPOA”) and thus fatally undermine the historic agreement.

Introduced ahead of the nuclear deal’s first anniversary, these bills show that — despite a now proven record of reversing and limiting Iran’s nuclear program — Congressional Republicans are solely focused on destroying this historic achievement and bringing us closer to confrontation with Iran.

This deal already proving successful, remains the best chance we have of preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.

H.R. 5631, the Iran Accountability Act, includes provisions that would prevent the Administration from implementing certain U.S. sanctions relief commitments under the JCPOA on the basis of non-nuclear related activity by Iran.

H.R. 4992, the United States Financial System Protection Act, contravenes United States commitments in the JCPOA, as it would reapply secondary sanctions on Iran’s financial sector by prohibiting permissible financial transactions between Iran and the international community that are wholly outside the U.S. financial system. This would amount to a harmful and unnecessary overreach, undermining the President’s exercise of International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) authority. As the Administration has been clear, the United States will continue to impose our primary trade embargo on Iran but this bill seeks to directly undermine Iran’s conduct of banking transactions outside of the United States — activity that became permissible on Implementation Day in return for Iran meeting its nuclear-related commitments, as verified by the IAEA.

H.R. 5119, No 2 H2O from Iran Act, includes provisions that would foreclose the United States from procuring heavy water from Iran in the future. Removal of excess heavy water from Iran denies Iran access to material that could be stockpiled for potential nuclear weapons production while also providing the international market access to an important commodity for research and non-nuclear industries.

Together these bills would materially undermine the continued viability of the JCPOA and jeopardize our most powerful and viable tool preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. At the same time, the nuclear deal with Iran was just that — a nuclear deal and only a nuclear deal. I remain committed to countering destabilizing Iranian actions, such as support for terrorism, ballistic missile development and testing, as well as flagrant violations of human rights. I have introduced legislation (H. Res 600) to further these goals and continue to press the administration on these fronts.

Continued and clear-eyed implementation of the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA) is critical to ensuring Iran does not obtain a nuclear weapon and remains in the interests of our country and that of our closest allies across the world.