Tony Perkins / September 17, 2015

Senate Continues Arms Wrestling

Could America be facing another 9/11? Lawmakers trying to stop President Obama’s Iranian deal think so. With two procedural votes in the win column for the president, conservatives are looking through every weapon in their arsenal to keep one of the most dangerous Middle East regimes from using theirs on innocent Americans. Although the administration is still withholding information on the agreement’s side deals, what Congress does know is enough to scare anyone.

Could America be facing another 9/11? Lawmakers trying to stop President Obama’s Iranian deal think so. With two procedural votes in the win column for the president, conservatives are looking through every weapon in their arsenal to keep one of the most dangerous Middle East regimes from using theirs on innocent Americans.

Although the administration is still withholding information on the agreement’s side deals, what Congress does know is enough to scare anyone. Under the terms of the pact, the world would be handing over the keys to an unchecked, untrustworthy, and unrepentant regime, bent on destroying the Israel and the United States. Not only would the deal leave Iran’s vast nuclear program intact, but by lifting sanctions, it would make sure President Hassan Rouhani had mountains of cash to fund it with.

As everyone from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has said, we’re kidding ourselves if we think Iran — whose agenda is less blatant than ISIS, but no less dangerous — can be dealt with as anything other than a rogue state. Still, Democrats, four of whom had the courage to stand up to the president and demand better, insist GOP leaders are “wasting time” extending the debate on what could be the greatest national security question of our generation. In a Senate that’s never been in a hurry to do anything, it should raise plenty of red flags that Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is trying to turn the page so quickly.

Public opinion probably has something to do with it, since the deal’s support is in a sustained freefall. From the Washington Post to Pew, statisticians are surprised by the beating the agreement is taking with voters. Disapproval numbers jumped 10 points on the Post’s survey since March. And in Pew, the numbers are even more shocking. Only 21 percent of Americans approve of the deal negotiated between Iran, the U.S. and five other countries. “The fact that it didn’t get debated, it didn’t get voted on — there’s a lot of people who are very, very upset about this” said Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.).

Sensing the urgency of the moment, Senate Majority Leader McConnell is shifting strategies. As early as tomorrow, he will offer amendments that may make the president’s party reconsider its position. McConnell is attaching two conditions to the deal: forcing Iran to recognize Israel as a state and demanding the release of American hostages like Pastor Saeed Abedini, who has been held in Iranian prison and tortured for the last three years. These are reasonable amendments, but they may show the unreasonableness of some Democrats who would be willing to leave Americans behind, as President Obama has. “Democrats [with the exception of Ben Cardin (Md.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Robert Menendez (N.J.), and Charles Schumer (N.Y.)] seem to think they can end the discussion by blocking an up-or-down vote, then turn around and pretend they care deeply about Israel and human rights,” McConnell told reporters [Tuesday].

It’s an ingenious move, one several pundits are applauding. “A condition of blocking any sanctions relief until Iran releases four American prisoners is not only defensible, it points out the indefensible neglect of those detainees by the Obama administration,” Ed Morrissey explained. “A competent negotiating team handling the Iranians … would have gotten that much in return. Not only should that condition not be a deal-killer, it should have been a condition for even discussing sanctions relief.” Sen. Reid is already squirming, insisting that “Republicans have lost.” But the reality is, if Congress approves this deal, Republicans haven’t lost. America has.

Committee Puts Its Best Foot(age) Forward…

The Iranian agreement isn’t the only thing that should be radioactive in Congress. So is the government’s deal with Planned Parenthood. While the Senate tries to stop the Middle East from killing Americans, Republicans are trying to stop their dismemberment here at home. With the release of another undercover video [Wednesday], the tenth, the House’s pro-lifers are even more motivated to end the forced partnership between taxpayers and Cecile Richards’s group.

As another employee praised the financial potential of the baby parts-for-profits scheme, Congressman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) announced that his Oversight and Government Reform Committee would be adding to its Planned Parenthood video collection by subpoena. In California, a judge with deep ties to President Obama blocked the release of some of David Daleiden’s footage over the summer. But, as the chairman of the House Subcommittee on Health Care, Benefits, and Administrative Rules, Rep. Jordan can ask the courts to hand over whatever footage the ruling protects.

“The recently released undercover Planned Parenthood videos are beyond disturbing,” Jordan said in his announcement. “They are outright appalling, and show activity that is not only morally wrong, but appears to be potentially illegal as well. These videos raise serious questions about this organization’s use of taxpayer funds that cannot go unanswered. It is our duty as Members of Congress to ensure taxpayer money is not misused. This subpoena creates a legal obligation that ensures that a judge in Northern California cannot stand in the way of congressional investigations into this matter. For Congress to make informed decisions about its use of taxpayer dollars, it is vital that we review the unedited videos to understand the whole truth.”

While the courts try to stop Americans from seeing the horrors their own dollars make possible, we applaud Congressman Jordan for making sure the country knows the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth — about Planned Parenthood.

Life at 24 Weeks

Did you know at 3 weeks an unborn child’s heart begins to beat? The child begins kicking at 10 weeks, and at 20 weeks can feel pain? And at 24 weeks, Planned Parenthood can rip apart and sell the parts of the baby? Since the media rarely talk about these facts, we have an obligation to educate Americans about life in the womb and the horror of what’s taking place in Planned Parenthood centers. These facts are the focus of a new ad campaign launched by the Faith, Family, Freedom Fund — the Super PAC connected to Family Research Council Action. Beginning today, the PAC is launching ads in Colorado asking voters to contact Senator Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and urge him to “stop funding Planned Parenthood with taxpayer dollars” and redirect those funds to the 243 clinics in Colorado that aren’t scandal ridden. A new survey released by the Heritage Foundation find that 78 percent of Americans agree the “government should not be in the business of funding organizations that harvest and sell baby parts from aborted children.” While this is encouraging news, it’s important that Congress hears from this vast majority of Americans who don’t want their tax dollars funding this atrocity. You can help by sharing this video with your friends and family and by calling your U.S. senators at (202) 224-3121. Tell them it is time for Congress to end the flow of your tax dollars to Planned Parenthood.


This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.

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