The White House is moving aggressively to limit Democratic defections on Capitol Hill that could undermine its negotiations with Iran, dispatching senior officials and President Barack Obama himself to lobby senators against taking action before a nuclear deal with the rogue regime is reached.
Senior administration officials have asked Senate Democrats to notify the White House if they are considering signing onto a bill drafted by Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) that would give Congress the ability to accept or reject any nuclear deal. The push, several Senate sources said, is to prevent a veto-proof majority from building by heading off any fresh Democratic support for the plan and persuade supporters to keep their powder dry until the conclusion of multilateral negotiations with Iran.
The lobbying effort has come from all quarters. Obama has spoken directly with Democratic senators on the Foreign Relations Committee, including Ben Cardin of Maryland. Other senators who are weighing whether to join the legislative effort, such as Joe Manchin of West Virginia, have been briefed by the likes of Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew have reached out directly to senators, according to sources on Capitol Hill. Read more at Politico.
Christians United for Israel published full-page newspaper ads in the home states of four Democratic senators urging them to back a bill that would mandate congressional approval of any Iran nuclear deal.
The ads appeared Monday in the Billings Gazette in Montana, the New York Post, The Star-Ledger in New Jersey and the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia. They are targeting Sens. Jon Tester of Montana, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Cory Booker of New Jersey and Mark Warner of Virginia.
CUFI, whose leader, Pastor John Hagee, has been sharply critical of the Obama administration, also canvassed followers in the states to call and email the senators. Read more at JTA.
CUFI is deeply committed to ensuring that President Obama will not have a blank check to negotiate a bad deal with Iran that will endanger America, Israel and the West. We believe that Congress has a moral and Constitutional obligation to review any nuclear deal that is reached.
There is an important bill in Congress — the Corker-Menendez Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act — that will ensure Congress reviews any nuclear agreement with Iran. President Obama has announced that he will veto this legislation Thus it is not enough that Corker-Menendez pass, but it must pass by a veto-proof majority of 67.
Last week, CUFI launched a multi-front campaign to build support for Corker-Menendez. We began with an action alert that has thus far generated more than 72,000 emails from CUFI members to their senators demanding that they support this bill.
This week, we ran full-page advertisements urging support for Corker-Menendez in the home-state newspapers of four Democratic senators we view as critical to building a veto-proof majority: Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Jon Tester (D-MT), Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Mark Warner (D-VA). We followed up these ads with targeted e-mail and phone call campaigns.
A Washington Post columnist wrote that “CUFI is doing what very few Jewish pro-Israel or other pro-defense groups are doing: Putting the spotlight on those who talk big and hide in the shadows, too timid to oppose the White House.”
Our campaign has helped narrow the gap. We are now to senators away from the veto-proof majority we need. With your help, we intend to keep the pressure on until these last two votes are secured.
Pakistani Taliban suicide bombers exploded themselves near two churches in the eastern city of Lahore on Sunday as worshippers were gathered inside, killing 14 people, officials said, in the latest attack against religious minorities in the increasingly fractured country.
In the tense aftermath, angry mobs lashed out at people they suspected of involvement in the attacks — including one person who was burned to death — and Christian crowds set fire to cars in a show of defiance in the country’s second largest city and the prime minister’s seat of power.
Life in Pakistan is increasingly fraught with danger for religious minorities, especially Christians. They have been targeted by extremist Sunni Muslim militants who object to their faith. Read more at Fox News.