“YES” on Cruz Amendment on Israel’s Right to Exist

On Friday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) 94% offered an amendment to the highway, transit and Export-Import Bank bill (H.R. 22) to prohibit the President from providing sanctions relief to Iran until the Government of Iran recognizes Israel’s right to exist and certain United States citizens are released from Iran.

Earlier this year, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) 40% blocked an amendment offered by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) 77% and  Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) 73% that would prohibit President Obama from providing sanctions relief to Iran until that government recognized Israel’s right to exist.

Iran remains committed to destroying Israel, and as The Heritage Foundation’s Jim DeMint noted, the deal gives Iran immense resources to continue along that path:

“The deal also gives Tehran plenty of money to ramp up these—and other—destabilizing activities. The agreement gives Iran an immediate “signing bonus” of up to $50 billion in sanctions relief.  It calls for the gradual release of about $150 billion now frozen in overseas accounts—an amount more than six times that of Israel’s annual defense budget. Over time, the sanctions relief will pour tens of billions more into the regime’s treasury, courtesy of surging oil revenues.

“The regime will use much of this windfall to fund Hezbollah, Hamas, the Shia insurgency in Yemen, and Shia militias in Iraq—further destabilizing the entire region. Leveraging its new-found wealth to escalate the Middle East’s ongoing wars, Iran could gain hegemony over Iraq and Yemen and win effective control of their important oil resources and oil supply routes.”

Heritage Action supports adoption of the Cruz amendment and will include any relevant vote as a key vote on our legislative scorecard.*

* Because Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) 40% filled the tree — thereby blocking the opportunity for any senator to offer amendments — this amendment was offered as a third degree amendment.  While third degree amendments are not prohibited by the Standing Rules of the Senate, the chair will rule such an effort out of order.  At that point, the Senator will appeal ruling of the Chair that the amendment is not in order and force a recorded vote or a filibuster of the appeal.