Statement Opposing the Iran Counter Proliferation Act of 2007
Mr. Speaker, I rise in strongest opposition to this curiously-timed legislation which continues to beat the drums for war against Iran. It is interesting that this legislation was not scheduled for a vote this week, but appeared on the schedule at the last minute after a controversial speech by Iran's President at Columbia University.
The House has obviously learned nothing at all from the Iraq debacle. In 2002, Congress voted to abrogate its Constitutional obligation to declare war and instead transfer that authority to the President. Many of my colleagues have expressed regrets over their decision to transfer this authority to the President, yet this legislation is Iraq all over again. Some have plausibly claimed that the move in this legislation to designate the Iranian military as a foreign terrorist organization is an attempt to signal to the President that he already has authority under previous resolutions to initiate force against Iran. We should recall that language specifically requiring the President to return to Congress before initiating any strike on Iran was removed from legislation by House leadership this year.
In expanding sanctions against Iran and against foreign businesses and countries that do business with Iran, we are hurting the American economy and moving the country closer to war. After all, sanctions are a form of warfare against a nation; and, if anyone has forgotten Cuba, sanctions never achieve the stated goals.
This legislation authorizes millions more dollars to identify and support young Iranians to come to the United States. Does anyone believe that we are assisting political opposition to the current Iranian regime by singling Iranians out for U.S. support? How would Americans react if the Chinese government were funding U.S. students to come to China to learn how to overthrow the U.S. government? This move is a counterproductive waste of U.S. taxpayer dollars.
The march to war with Iraq was preceded with numerous bills similar to H.R. 1400. No one should be fooled: supporters of this legislation are aiming the same outcome for Iran. I strongly urge a "no vote on this bill.