150 Democrats Sign Letter Supporting Iran Deal

Doggett was one of three Democrats to write the letter. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Doggett was one of three Democrats to write the letter. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Posted May 7, 2015 at 3:17pm

In a major signal of public support, 150 House Democrats signed a letter Thursday supporting President Barack Obama’s framework for a nuclear deal with Iran.  

“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,” the letter begins. The 150 Democrats — 145 of whom can vote — is a significant number. As the Washington Post points out , if Congress voted to reject the Iranian nuclear deal, and Obama vetoed the rejection, there would appear to be just enough Democrats to sustain the president’s veto.  

The Senate advanced language Thursday , 98-1, that would give Congress a say over the deal. But the current language would effectively require a two-thirds majority, meaning the 150 Democrats signed onto Thursday’s letter — which was written by Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, Lloyd Doggett of Texas and David E. Price of North Carolina — could essentially render input from the rest of Congress meaningless.  

Of course, that assumes all Democrats on the letter remain supportive of a deal that would hypothetically be voted down by the rest of Congress. Notably, there are more than 40 Democrats who did not sign the letter, including Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California did sign.  

Either way, the Obama administration continues to work out the fine details with Iran and the other permanent countries on the U.N. Security Council (plus Germany, hence the “P5+1” moniker). The outline of the deal would trade a lifting of sanctions on Iran in exchange for a number of concessions on the country’s nuclear programs, including U.N. inspections, the scaling back of uranium production and the degradation of Iran’s most refined nuclear materials.  

But the deal has yet to be finalized. An agreement is set for June 30, but even that deadline could be extended.  

The full text of the letter follows:

May 7, 2015

The President
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500

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,
Jan Schakowsky Lloyd Doggett David E. Price
Member of Congress Member of Congress Member of Congress

 

List of signers in alphabetical order

1

Adams, Alma

2

Aguilar

3

Ashford

4

Bass

5

Beatty

6

Becerra

7

Bera

8

Beyer

9

Bishop, S.

10

Blumenauer

11

Bonamici

12

Bordallo

13

Brady

14

Brown, Corrine

15

Brownley

16

Bustos

17

Butterfield

18

Capps

19

Capuano

20

Cardenas

21

Carney

22

Carson

23

Cartwright

24

Castor

25

Castro

26

Chu

27

Cicilline

28

Clark, Katherine

29

Clarke, Yvette

30

Clay

31

Cleaver

32

Clyburn

33

Cohen

34

Connolly

35

Conyers

36

Courtney

37

Cummings

38

Davis, D.

39

Davis, S.

40

DeFazio

41

DeGette

42

DeLauro

43

DelBene

44

DeSaulnier

45

Dingell

46

Doggett

47

Doyle

48

Duckworth

49

Edwards

50

Ellison

51

Eshoo

52

Esty

53

Farr

54

Fattah

55

Foster

56

Fudge

57

Gallego

58

Garamendi

59

Green, Al

60

Grijalva

61

Gutierrez

62

Hahn

63

Heck

64

Higgins

65

Hinojosa

66

Honda

67

Huffman

68

Jackson Lee

69

Jeffries

70

Johnson, E.B.

71

Johnson, H.

72

Kaptur

73

Keating

74

Kelly

75

Kennedy

76

Kildee

77

Kind, Ron

78

Kuster

79

Langevin

80

Larsen

81

Larson

82

Lawrence

83

Lee

84

Lewis

85

Lieu

86

Loebsack

87

Lofgren

88

Lowenthal

89

Lujan

90

Lujan Grisham

91

Lynch

92

Maloney, S

93

Matsui

94

McCollum

95

McDermott

96

McGovern

97

McNerney

98

Meeks

99

Moore

100

Moulton

101

Napolitano

102

Neal

103

Nolan

104

Norton

105

O’Rourke

106

Payne

107

Pelosi

108

Perlmutter

109

Pierluisi

110

Pingree

111

Plaskett

112

Pocan

113

Polis

114

Price

115

Rangel

116

Richmond

117

Roybal-Allard

118

Ruiz

119

Ruppersberger

120

Rush

121

Ryan, Tim

122

Sablan

123

Sanchez, Linda

124

Sanchez, Loretta

125

Schakowsky

126

Scott, Bobby

127

Scott, David

128

Serrano

129

Sewell

130

Slaughter

131

Smith, Adam

132

Speier

133

Swalwell

134

Takai

135

Takano

136

Thompson, B.

137

Thompson, M.

138

Tonko

139

Torres

140

Tsongas

141

Van Hollen

142

Veasey

143

Velazquez

144

Visclosky

145

Walz

146

Waters

147

Watson Coleman

148

Welch

149

Wilson

150

Yarmuth

 

Related:

Senate Overwhelmingly Passes Iran Bill; Boehner Looks to House Action


House Democrats Forced to Choose Sides in Iran Debate


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