1. Press Release
  2. Middle East & Iran, Nuclear Weapons

Unprecedented: 151 Reps Support Iran Framework Deal

By Kate Gould, May 7, 2015


One hundred fifty-one members of Congress sent a letter to President Obama commending the political framework reached between the P5+1 countries and Iran and pressing for continued diplomatic efforts to secure a negotiated nuclear agreement.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Kate Gould 
kate@fcnl.org 
202-547-6000

Washington, DC: 151 members of Congress sent a letter to President Obama commending the political framework reached between the P5+1 countries and Iran and pressing for continued diplomatic efforts to secure a negotiated nuclear agreement.

This unprecedented show of pro-diplomacy support from the House, led by Representatives Jan Schakowsky (IL), Lloyd Doggett (TX) and David Price (NC), supports the negotiators' work to "build on the progress made in the political framework and turn it into a long-term, verifiable agreement."

The letter cautions that "if the United States were to abandon negotiations or cause their collapse, not only would we fail to peacefully prevent a nuclear-armed Iran, we would make that outcome more likely." The signatories include Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, the third-ranked House Democrat Rep. James Clyburn, and the Chair of the House Democratic Caucus Rep. Xavier Becerra. The signatories represent more than three quarters of the House Democratic Caucus, and the majority of House Democrats serving on the Foreign Affairs Committee, Armed Services Committee and the Appropriations Committee.

“This is the strongest signal Congress has ever sent in support of a negotiated settlement with Iran,” said Kate Gould, FCNL’s Legislative Associate for Middle East Policy. “Clearly, the flood of pro-diplomacy calls, messages and letters to the editor are having an impact on the Iran debate in Washington. Support for diplomacy is on the ascendance on Capitol Hill."

In less than two years of the negotiations between the U.S. and Iran, FCNL's nation-wide network has generated tens of thousands of pro-diplomacy messages and phone calls to congressional offices; organized hundreds of lobby visits on Iran in district, state and D.C. congressional offices; and published more than 250 pro-diplomacy letters to the editor in newspapers from every state in the country.

The full text of the letter and signers follows below and can be found on Rep. Jan Schakowsky's website.


Dear Mr. President:

As negotiations over Iran's nuclear program continue, we urge you to stay on course, building on the recently announced political framework and continuing to work toward a strong and verifiable agreement between the P5+1 countries and Iran that will prevent Iran from having a nuclear weapon. We commend you and your negotiating team, as well as our coalition partners, for the significant progress made thus far.

This issue is above politics. The stakes are too great, and the alternatives are too dire. We must exhaust every avenue toward a verifiable, enforceable, diplomatic solution in order to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran. If the United States were to abandon negotiations or cause their collapse, not only would we fail to peacefully prevent a nuclear-armed Iran, we would make that outcome more likely. The multilateral sanctions regime that brought Iran to the table would likely collapse, and the Iranian regime would likely decide to accelerate its nuclear program, unrestricted and unmonitored. Such developments could lead us to war.

War itself will not make us safe. A U.S. or Israeli military strike may set back Iranian nuclear development by two or three years at best - a significantly shorter timespan than that covered by a P5+1 negotiated agreement. We must pursue diplomatic means to their fullest and allow the negotiations to run their course – especially now that the parties have announced a strong framework – and continue working to craft a robust and verifiable Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action by June 30.

We must allow our negotiating team the space and time necessary to build on the progress made in the political framework and turn it into a long-term, verifiable agreement. If we do not succeed, Congress will remain at-the-ready to act and present you with additional options to ensure that Iran is prevented from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

Thank you for your resolve in preventing a nuclear-armed Iran. We look forward to continuing our shared work on this important matter.

Sincerely,

Representative Jan Schakowsky (IL)
Representative Lloyd Doggett (TX)
Representative David Price (NC)

Alabama: Terri Sewell

Arizona: Ruben Gallego, Raul Grijalva

California: Pete Aguilar, Karen Bass, Xavier Becerra, Ami Bera, Julia Brownley, Tony Cardenas, Lois Capps, Judy Chu, Susan Davis, Mark DeSaulnier, Anna Eshoo, Sam Farr, John Garamendi, Janice Hahn, Mike Honda, Jared Huffman, Barbara Lee, Ted Lieu, Zoe Lofgren, Alan Lowenthal, Doris Matsui, Jerry McNerney, Grace Napolitano, Nancy Pelosi, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Raul Ruiz, Linda Sanchez, Loretta Sanchez, Jackie Speier, Eric Swalwell, Mark Takano, Mike Thompson, Norma Torres, Maxine Waters

Colorado: Diana DeGette, Ed Perlmutter, Jared Polis

Connecticut: Joe Courtney, Rosa DeLauro, Elizabeth Esty, John Larson

Delaware: John Carney

Florida: Corrine Brown, Kathy Castor, Frederica Wilson

Georgia: Sanford Bishop, Hank Johnson, John Lewis, David Scott

Guam: Madeleine Bordallo

Hawaii: Mark Takai

Illinois: Cheri Bustos, Danny Davis, Tammy Duckworth, Bill Foster, Luis Gutierrez, Robin Kelly, Bobby Rush

Indiana: Andre Carson, Pete Visclosky

Iowa: David Loebsack

Kentucky: John Yarmuth

Louisiana: Cedric Richmond

Maine: Chellie Pingree

Maryland: Elijah Cummings, John Delaney, Donna Edwards, C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, Chris Van Hollen

Massachusetts: Mike Capuano, Katherine Clark, Bill Keating, Joe Kennedy, Stephen Lynch, Jim McGovern, Seth Moulton, Richard Neal, Niki Tsongas

Michigan: John Conyers, Debbie Dingell, Dan Kildee, Brenda Lawrence

Minnesota: Keith Ellison, Betty McCollum, Rick Nolan, Tim Walz

Mississippi: Bennie Thompson

Missouri: WM Lacy Clay, Emanuel Cleaver

Nebraska: Brad Ashford

New Hampshire: Ann Kuster

New Jersey: Donald Payne Jr., Bonnie Watson Coleman

New Mexico: Ben Ray Lujan, Michelle Lujan Grisham

New York: Yvette Clarke, Brian Higgins, Hakeem Jeffries, Sean Patrick Maloney, Gregory Meeks, Charles Rangel, Jose Serrano, Louise Slaughter, Paul Tonko, Nydia Velazquez

North Carolina: Alma Adams, G.K. Butterfield

Northern Mariana Islands: Gregorio Sablan

Ohio: Joyce Beatty, Marcia Fudge, Marcy Kaptur, Tim Ryan

Oregon: Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici, Peter DeFazio

Pennsylvania: Robert Brady, Matt Cartwright, Mike Doyle, Chaka Fattah

Puerto Rico: Pedro Pierluisi

Rhode Island: David Cicilline, Jim Langevin

South Carolina: James Clyburn

Tennessee: Steve Cohen

Texas: Joaquin Castro, Al Green, EB Johnson, Sheila Jackson Lee, Ruben Hinojosa, Beto O’Rourke, Marc Veasey

Vermont: Peter Welch

Virginia: Don Beyer, Gerry Connolly, Bobby Scott

Virgin Islands: Stacey Plaskett

Washington: Suzan DelBene, Denny Heck, Rick Larsen, Jim McDermott, Adam Smith

Washington, DC: Eleanor Holmes Norton

Wisconsin: Ron Kind, Gwen Moore, Mark Pocan

Kate Gould

  • Legislative Director, Middle East Policy

Kate Gould is FCNL's Legislative Director for Middle East Policy. Kate is one of only a handful of registered lobbyists in Washington, D.C. working to advance human rights objectives and support diplomatic solutions to resolve disputes between the U.S. and Iran and the conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Israel/Palestine.