Tactics must not undermine safety
Published 5:40 pm Tuesday, September 27, 2016
As each day goes by, we continue to learn more about the administration’s misleading details regarding its arrangement with the Iranian regime. It is astounding that we continue to push legal and ethical boundaries in order to pay cash to the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.
These cash payments were paid as recently as just a month ago and as far back as January of this year, and even more disturbing, we learned that the president made these payments while keeping the Department of Defense and joint chiefs of staff in the dark about the transactions.
This past week, the House of Representatives took a step to ensure this will not happen again. The Prohibiting Future Ransom Payments to Iran Act would effectively prohibit cash payments to the government of Iran in order to keep a solid track record of exactly what, if any, monetary transactions are being made with Iran and why.
This bill serves an extraordinarily important purpose in that it would keep the administration honest and transparent in terms of its payments to Iran via the dubious Iran Nuclear Agreement. Though it is unfortunate that it is necessary to pass a law such as this in order to prevent an American president from sending untraceable cash payments to the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, it has been proven time and again that we must act to rein the Administration in with respect to Iran.
I applaud Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) for introducing this important bill in an effort to bolster our national security.
Our world is threatened by the ambitions of rogue states like Iran, and our foreign policy must recognize the danger that these actors pose. North Korea is another example of an aggressive regime that escalates its actions absent strong action to deter such. North Korea successfully performed new nuclear testing — this time in a potentially more worrisome fashion than ever before. This rogue regime is continuing at a steady pace to increase its capabilities in terms of developing nuclear weaponry and, similar to threats by other enemies, it has been all but completely ignored by this administration.
In the absence of leadership, further destabilization, aggression and escalation by enemies at home and abroad cannot be ignored. With tensions mounting around the globe, the Obama Administration continues to insist on a foreign policy based on peace through accommodation in the face of unacceptable behavior and very real threats. It is high time we stand up and acknowledge these threats which are degrading the safety and stability of our country, work with our allies and rebuild our standing in the world.
It continues to be the case that these issues of national security are too important to leave to idealism and wishful thinking. We must remain vigilant and resolute in keeping nation and allies safe. I will continue to advocate for a foreign policy that promotes peace through strength — under Article One of the Constitution, Congress has no greater responsibility than to provide for the defense of our great country.
In the House, national security remains a top priority, and I urge our colleagues in the Senate and the president to join us in this vital effort to see to it that our enemies do not continue to succeed and advance in their efforts of destruction.
Robert Hurt, a Republican, represents Lunenburg County in the U.S. House of Representatives. He can be reached at his Farmville office at (434) 395-0120.