FMEP Legislative Round-Up: March 17, 2023


1.Bills, Resolutions & Letters
2. Hearings
3. Media & Reports
4. Members on the Record (Palestine/Palestinians)
5. Members on the Record (Israel)
6. Members on the Record (Iran)
7. Members on the Record (other Mideast countries)

New from FMEP:

  • 3/15/23 — New episode of FMEP’s Occupied Thoughts podcast: The Cost of a Palestine Caveat: Biden Admin Chooses Politics Over Human Rights Expertise, ft. FMEP Non-resident Fellow Peter Beinart speaking to Maya Berry (Arab American Institute) and Jim Cavallaro (University Network for Human Rights) about the Biden Administration’s recent decision to rescind Cavallaro’s nomination to the serve as an independent expert on the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

1. Bills, Resolutions & letters

(SAUDI HUMAN RIGHTS PRACTICES) S. Res. 109: Introduced 2/15/23 by Murphy (D-CT), Lee (R-UT) and Durbin (D-IL), “A resolution requesting information on Saudi Arabia’s human rights practices pursuant to section 502B(c) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961.” Referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations. As explained in Murphy’s press release, this resolution requires the Department of State “to examine and report on Saudi Arabia’s domestic human rights practices and its involvement in the war in Yemen.” It draws on “Section 502B(c) of the Foreign Assistance Act which allows Congress to vote to request information on a particular country’s human rights practices from the State Department.” Importantly: S. Res. 109 was introduced as a “privileged resolution,” meaning “the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee has ten days to put the request for information before the Committee for consideration. If the Committee does not do so, Murphy and Lee can force a floor vote on the motion to discharge from the Committee. If the resolution passes in the Senate, the administration must submit the report within 30 days or all security assistance to Saudi Arabia is cut off.

Also see:

  • Murphy quote from press release: “It’s impossible for the United States to assemble a global human rights and pro-democracy coalition if we continue to turn a blind eye to Saudi Arabia’s worsening human rights record. The Saudi government tortures political dissenters, imprisons human rights defenders, brutally murders journalists, helps their citizens evade justice in the United States, and uses our weapons to commit war crimes. The administration has not acted on its commitment to re-evaluate the relationship with Saudi Arabia, so it is incumbent on Congress to take action. This resolution sets in motion a process that will allow Congress to debate the deteriorating human rights record of Saudi Arabia and how that should impact U.S. policy going forward.”
  • Lee quote from press release: “U.S. weapons don’t belong in the hands of human rights abusers. This resolution is a simple and fair request for the State Department to provide additional information regarding Saudi Arabia’s human rights record. I’m proud to support this resolution because the people and their elected representatives have a right to know the types of activity we are tacitly supporting.”
  • US senators adopt new strategy to push Saudi Arabia on human rights (Reuters 3/15/23); Senators want to force admin talk on Saudi ties (Politico 3/15/23)
  • Tweets: Murphy (D-CT), Murphy (D-CT), Murphy (D-CT)

(REPEAL IRAQ AUMF) S. 316: Introduced 2/9/23 by Kaine (D-VA) and having 27 bipartisan cosponsors, “A bill to repeal the authorizations for use of military force against Iraq.” Action this week: 3/14/23 – Motion to proceed; 3/16/23 – Cloture on the motion to proceed to the measure invoked in Senate by Yea-Nay Vote. 68 – 27; 3/16 — Motion to proceed to measure considered in Senate. (CR S815).

Also see:

(FIGHTING TRANSNATIONAL REPRESSION) S. 831 (text): Introduced 3/16/23 by Merkley (D-OR), Rubio (R-FL), Cardin (D-MD) and Hagerty (R-TN), “A bill to address transnational repression by foreign governments against private individuals, and for other purposes.” Referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.

Also see:

  • Merkley press release [“This bipartisan, comprehensive legislation would establish a new U.S. policy to hold foreign governments and individuals accountable when they stalk, intimidate, or assault people across borders, including in the United States. The bill would also help elevate countering transnational repression as a key foreign policy priority of the United States and prioritize diplomacy that combats transnational repression as part of a broader strategy to advance democratic principles and respect for human rights, domestically and internationally.”]
  • Note: this legislation would have no impact on efforts by foreign governments and associated individuals to directly influence U.S. laws/policy for the purpose of having the US target critics of these governments on their behalf.


(WE <HEART> AMERICAN CITIZENS LIVING IN ISRAEL) Lawler et al letter to State Dept: On 3/16/23 Reps. Lawler (R-NY) and 6 House colleagues (bipartisan – 5 representing New York, 1 representing New Jersey) sent a letter to Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affair Naz Durakoglu raising concern about “reported delays and staffing shortages at the U.S. Embassy in Israel.” The letter notes complaints from American citizens residing in Israel (who as dual nationals enjoy voting rights and representation both in Israel and in the U.S. Congress) about their “frustrations” with U.S. Citizen Services in Israel, especially with respect to reports of birth abroad (i.e., the equivalent of U.S. birth certificates for babies born to U.S. citizens outside the U.S.) and passport applications (keeping in mind that Americans who merely travel to Israel don’t generally apply for passports there, since they needed a passport in order to travel there in the first place – so this is referring to passports for Americans born in Israel). The letter notes, “Despite being U.S. citizens, these Americans are waiting in some cases months in order to see basic requests fulfilled” (notably, according to the State Department’s website, the normal time it takes for an American in the U.S. to obtain a passport is 2-3 months). The letter asks the State Department to answer a series of questions that appear designed to determine whether the backlog in Israel is on par with backlogs in other embassies in other capitals, and suggests that given the large number of Americans living in Israel [“upwards of 500,000”] perhaps the State Department needs to reassess relevant staffing levels in Israel. Also see Tweets – D’Esposito (R-NY-4), Goldman (D-NY-10), Lawler (R-NY-17)


2. Hearings

Appropriations (and authorizations) Season is Upon Us!

March 23, 2023: The House Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing entitled, “U.S. Military Posture and National Security Challenges in the Greater Middle East and Africa.” Scheduled witnesses are: Celeste Wallander, Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs; Gen. Michael Kurilla, Commander, U.S. Central Command; and Gen. Michael Langley, Commander, U.S. Africa Command.

March 16, 2023: The Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing, “To receive testimony on military and civilian personnel programs in the Department of Defense in review of the Defense Authorization Request for Fiscal Year 2024 and the Future Years Defense Program.” Witnesses were: General Michael Kurilla, Commander, United States Central Command (statement) and General Michael Langley, USMC, Commander, United States Africa Command (statement). Notably, a great deal of Gen. Kurilla’s statement focused on Iran, with CENTCOMM’s first “Strategic Priority” being: “Deter Iran.” CENTCOMM’s second strategic priority is “Counter Violent Extremist Organizations” and priority #3 is “Compete Strategically.” Discussion around that third priority included focus on China and China-Iran and China-Saudi relations. Israel makes an appearance in this analysis in two areas: first, as an area of concern for growing Chinese influence, and second, in highlighting that the “realignment of Israel from European Command to Central Command 18 months ago has immediately and profoundly altered the nature and texture of many of CENTCOM’s partnerships for the good.

Also see:

March 15, 2023: The Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing to consider a group of State Department nominations, including Karen Sasahara as U.S. Ambassador to Kuwait (read her statement here) and Martina Anna Tkadlec Strong as U.S. Ambassador to UAE (link to her testimony on the SFRC website is broken). Video of the hearing, which included a lot of discussion of the Abraham Accords, is here. Also see: UAE ambassador nominee emphasizes commitment to pushing back on China in the Gulf (Jewish Insider 3/16/23)


3. Media & Reports

Haaretz 3/16/23: Key Senator [Murphy, D-CT] Wants Biden to Get Tough on Netanyahu, Floats Conditioning Israel Aid

Jewish Insider 3/16/23: AIPAC rolls out first 2024 endorsements, including vulnerable Senate Democrats

Al-Monitor 3/16/23: Saudi Arabia finally gets a US ambassador after 2-year vacancy

Times of Israel 3/16/23: US senators worried about overhaul’s security fallout, IDF vet says after DC visit

Chaskell Bennett, Board of Trustee member of Agudath Israel 3/15/23: Tweet – Bipartisan representation of U.S. Senators meeting with Agudath Israel Washington Mission delegates today at the US Capitol. Issues including Israel, rising antisemitism, religious liberties, school choice & passports were discussed. Thank you @SenSchumer @SenatorTimScott @SenatorCardin @TomCottonAR

Times of Israel (post by David-Seth Kirshner) 3/15/23: AIPAC does the difficult work for us – I want the US to oppose BDS and efforts to delegitimize Israel, no matter how distasteful I find the relevant congressmen [“David-Seth Kirshner is the senior rabbi of Temple Emanu-El, a Conservative synagogue in Closter, New Jersey. He is the past President of the NY Board of Rabbis and the NJ Board of Rabbis and is a Senior Rabbinic Fellow at the Hartman Institute and serves on the Executive Committee of the JFNA. Rabbi Kirshner was appointed to the New Jersey/Israel Commission by Governors Christie and Murphy. Rabbi Kirshner is a National Council member of AIPAC.”]

Jewish Insider 3/15/23: DeSantis’ Ukraine flip alarms pro-Israel Republicans

Jewish Insider 3/15/23: Coons ‘very concerned’ about growing Chinese engagement in the Middle East

Atlantic Council 3/14/23: N7 Conference: Agriculture, Water & Food Security [“The N7 Initiative will convene a Conference on Agriculture, Water and Food Security on March 14-16 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.” Members of Congress participating:: Reps. McCaul (R-TX) and Schneider (D-IL); Sens. Booker (D-NJ) and Ernst (R-IA)]

Washington Examiner 3/14/23: Andrew Cuomo announces progressive pro-Israel advocacy group

Times of Israel 3/13/23: On trip to the US, high-level IDF veterans issue warning against judicial overhaul [“Military officers warn Congress members, Jewish community that government policies undermine IDF’s standing as a moral army, open fissures in society, threaten national security”]

Mid Hudson News 3/13/23: Dispute over US funding for Israeli military funding rages on (PHOTO ESSAY & VIDEO)

American Prospect 3/13/23: Rising Democratic Tumult Over Israel – A series of communications last week show the fault lines, and pitfalls, in dealing with an increasingly illiberal Israeli government.


4. Members on the Record (Palestine/Palestinians)

Bush (D-MO-1) 03/16/23: Tweet – “20 years ago today, Israeli occupation forces killed American peace activist Rachel Corrie in Gaza as she protested their demolishing of Palestinian homes. May we honor her memory by continuing to join in solidarity with the Palestinian people in their struggle for liberation.” Link to image

Tlaib (D-MI-12) 03/16/2023: Twitter thread – “Fellow Americans are recognizing now more than ever that Palestinians face violence and racism from the Israeli government. New polling reflects the shift we’ve seen in our communities, with Democrats increasingly supporting Palestinian human rights. Democrats’ Sympathies in Middle East Shift to Palestinians… | At a time when so many Democrats have rallied against fascism at home, many of these same people are wondering why we send billions of dollars every year to a far-right government that leading human rights organizations say is maintaining an apartheid system.


5.  Members on the Record (Israel)

Endorsement Season Starts

Bacon (R-NE-2) 03/16/2023: Tweet – “I thank AIPAC for it’s early 2024 endorsement for re-election. I am a champion defender for an iron-clad Israel-US relationship and a secure Israel that is a safe haven for Jews from all over the world seeking refuge from anti-Semitism. AIPAC rolls out first 2024 endorsements, including vulnerable Senate Democrats… |

Bacon (R-NE-2) 03/16/2023: Retweet of @manuelrajunov – “We are proud to support pro-Israel champions like @DonJBacon. None better than him! @AIPAC @aipacpac Link to quoted tweet

Bacon (R-NE-2) 03/16/2023: Retweet of @AIPAC – “Thank you @DonJBacon for supporting a strong U.S.-Israel relationship!  Link to quoted tweet

Cuellar (D-TX-28) 03/16/2023: Tweet – “AIPAC rolls out first 2024 endorsements, including vulnerable Senate Democrats… |

Bacon (R-NE-2) 03/17/2023: Tweet – “Great book by @DanielGordis! I appreciated the in-depth historical and cultural context he provides. I’ve taken multiple trips to Israel and worked in tandem with Israeli Defense Forces on missile defense, and am a champion for a strong Israel-U.S. relationship in Congress. Link to image

Fischer (R-NE) 03/16/2023: Tweet – “As a firm believer in the importance of the long-standing US-Israel alliance, I am grateful to AIPAC for their ongoing support. I will continue to be a supportive voice of Israel in the U.S. Senate to ensure we stand proudly behind one of our best allies. – AIPAC Political Portal… |

Gonzales (R-TX-23) 03/16/2023: Tweet – “Thank you @AIPAC for your trust and support. I will continue to ensure US-Israel relations remain as strong as ever. Link to quoted tweet

Manning (D-NC-6) 03/17/2023: Retweet of @USJewishDems – “Meet @RepKManning: – First woman to serve as Chair of @jfederations – Leading the fight against antisemitism as Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Taskforce to Combat Antisemitism – Outspoken supporter of the U.S.-Israel relationship as a member of @HouseForeign Link to image

Moskowitz (D-FL-23) 03/16/2023: Tweet – “Thank you to the Jewish Federation of Broward County and the American Jewish Committee for inviting me to speak about my first 2 months in Congress, my steadfast support for Israel, and my commitment to combatting antisemitism. Link to image


Lummis (R-WY) 03/16/2023: Tweet – “I’m very troubled that President Biden’s Department of Education has potentially been funding antisemitic programs at colleges across America. My colleagues & I are demanding answers from the Biden admin because tax dollars should never be used to fund hatred. Link to quoted tweet” [conflating criticism of Israel with antisemitism]

Rubio (R-FL) 03/17/2023: Tweet – “Mientras recordamos a las víctimas del ataque terrorista de 1992 en contra de la Embajada de Israel en Buenos Aires por terroristas de Hezbolá, respaldados por Irán,rendimos homenaje a su memoria y reafirmamos la importancia de la rendición de cuentas y justicia tras este crimen.

Rubio (R-FL) 03/17/2023: Tweet – “As we remember the fallen victims of the 1992 terrorist attack against the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires by Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorists, we pay tribute to the lives that were senselessly lost and reaffirm the importance of justice and accountability.

Graham (R-SC) 03/16/2023: Twitter thread – “I fear those who suggest we give in to intimidation by aggressors – like President Biden has done throughout the world – are going to make things dramatically worse, not better. Russia intentionally knocked down a U.S. drone operating legally in international airspace. Ronald Reagan, Donald Trump, and other strong leaders would not take crap like this from adversaries of the United States. I hope the Pentagon sends drones back in the same airspace and lets Russia know that we will defend American assets. Big wars start when brutal aggression is met with weakness. The best way to prevent big wars is to quickly stand up to aggressors. What will lead to a wider war would be to allow Putin to succeed in Ukraine – enticing him to take other territory in Europe – which he claims belongs to Russia. That would lead to an Article 5 NATO violation and American troops would immediately be put in harm’s way. In other cases, allowing Iran to continue enriching uranium, ultimately reaching weapons-grade level, will force Israel to eventually act. Weakness against Putin will surely lead to China’s invasion of Taiwan. History has shown weakness in the face of aggression and only leads to wider conflict.

Scott (R-SC) 03/15/2023: Tweet – “I am thankful for the work Agudath Israel is doing on behalf of families and kids. Thank you for continuing to support important legislation like my Educational Choice for Children Act. Students deserve the access to a quality education. Link to video

Moskowitz (D-FL-23) 03/14/2023: Tweet – “Thank you to Israel Heart2Heart and @connectwarriors for inviting me to your event tonight honoring both American and Israeli service members. We owe you our respect and we owe you our freedom. Link to image

Nadler (D-NY-12) 03/14/2023: Tweet – “Perhaps Mr. Cuomo doesn’t understand that there are a number of progressive, pro-Israel organizations-like New York Jewish Agenda (NYJA)-right here in New York, doing just fine without his ‘help’. Link to quoted tweet

Roy (R-TX-21) 03/14/2023: Retweet of @SenateForeign – “This report from @UNWatch & @Impact_SE only further emphasizes the need for the Senate to pass my UNRWA Accountability & Transparency Act. We cannot allow #UN organizations to teach anti-Semitism and hate with U.S. tax payer dollars. Link to quoted tweet

Roy (R-TX-21) 03/14/2023: Twitter thread – “UNRWA’s lengthy and detailed history of promoting anti-Semitism, violence, and terrorism through “educational” materials, and its continued ties to Hamas, should completely disqualify this corrupt entity from receiving any U.S. taxpayer funding. Link to quoted tweet Israel is one of our greatest allies and closest friends; we cannot say we truly stand with them while helping prop up a corrupt organization like this. If our actions do not match our words, then our word means nothing.

Gosar (R-AZ-9) 03/13/2023: Tweet – “Biden’s budget proposal prioritizes and rewards illegal aliens and foreigners like Ukrainians, Israelis, and others while punishing Americans. We’ve had enough of that. It’s time to put America First.

Risch (R-ID) 03/14/2023: Tweet – “This report from @UNWatch & @Impact_SE only further emphasizes the need for the Senate to pass my UNRWA Accountability & Transparency Act. We cannot allow #UN organizations to teach anti-Semitism and hate with U.S. tax payer dollars. Link to quoted tweet

Roy (R-TX-21) 03/14/2023: Tweet – ““History tells us that a strong Israel – backed by the United States’ robust and unambiguous support – has yielded extraordinary leaps forward in Middle East peace never thought possible.” “A strong Israel is a strong America.” EXCLUSIVE: ‘Unwavering Support’: Rep. Chip Roy Writes Letter To Benjamin Netanyahu Affirming U.S.- Israel Alliance… |


6. Members on the Record (Iran)

Iran-Saudi-China-Russia Relations

Scott (R-FL) 03/16/2023: Tweet – “Communist China colludes with our adversaries like Russia, Cuba, Venezuela and Iran to undermine the United States and create global instability. Watch today’s @SASCGOP hearing to hear what we’re doing to stop them.: Open/Closed: To receive testimony on the posture of United States Central Command and United States Africa Command in review of the Defense Authorization Request for Fiscal Year 2024 and the Future Years Defense Program | United States Senate Committee on Armed Services   Link to image

Van Orden (R-WI-3) 03/16/2023: Tweet – “The Biden admin, with the stellar leadership of @secblinken and @secdef, have pulled off of foreign relations coup. They have driven China, Russia, & Iran together diplomatically and militarily. This is sure to lead to great things for America. Bravo. China, Russia and Iran to conduct military drills in Gulf of Oman… |

Waltz (R-FL-6) 03/16/2023: Tweet – “An absence of leadership from Biden has led to a new axis of authoritarianism. This is what happens when you don’t adequately respond to spy balloons/hacked U.S. pipelines/etc. Link to quoted tweet

Gooden (R-TX-5) 03/15/2023: Tweet – “China, Russia, and Iran are holding joint military drills. What is Joe Biden’s Pentagon doing? Hiring multiple “diversity” officers with a salary up to $180,000 a year.

Bacon (R-NE-2) 03/15/2023: Retweet of @marklevinshow – “1.If I am the only voice willing to speak out, so be it. The phrase is “peace through strength,” not “peace through pacifism,” the latter of which is extremely provocative -especially given the enemies that are aligning against us as I write this -Russia, China, Iran, North Korea

Hagerty (R-TN) 03/14/2023: Tweet – “Biden squandered the opportunity he inherited to strengthen America’s position in the Middle East. The recent China-brokered agreement between Iran & Saudi Arabia is a regrettable yet unsurprising consequence of the Biden Admin’s foreign policy malpractice.China’s Xi looks to extend Beijing’s global reach after Iran-Saudi…… |

Hagerty (R-TN) 03/14/2023: Twitter thread – “China’s advance continues under Biden. CCP brokered a normalization deal b/w Saudi Arabia & Iran. Unclear what Faustian bargain Beijing pushed here, but Nat’l Security Advisor @JakeSullivan46 shockingly said it’s “something that we think is positive.” (1/2)Press Gaggle by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan En Route San Diego, CA | The White House Now, Beijing is getting its way in our own Hemisphere with Honduras moving to drop diplomatic relations with Taiwan & recognize the PRC. Will @JakeSullivan46 & the Biden Admin welcome this damaging advance by Communist China, too? (2/2) Honduras president says govt to seek official relations with China… |

Lankford (R-OK) 03/14/2023: Tweet – “The world should be concerned when China brokers deals for Iran and Russia. Biden continues to lead from behind—he needs to stop slow-walking US support for our allies in the Middle East policy & enforce sanctions on Iran.

Murphy (D-CT) 03/15/2023: Tweet – “There are many potential takeaways from the China brokered Iran-Saudi deal. One of them is the continued move of Saudi Arabia away from the United States. Political repression is critical to the Saudi government, and China will back their campaign of crushing political dissent.


Cruz (R-TX) 03/16/2023: Retweet of @Kredo0 – “JUST IN: Biden Greenlights $500 Million Payment to Iran — Latest sanctions waiver gives Tehran cash “to boost Russia’s all-out war against Ukraine,” @SenTedCruz tells me Latest Biden Admin Sanctions Waiver Allows $500 Million Payment for Iran, Tehran Says… |

Doggett (D-TX-37) 03/16/2023: Twitter thread – “Another member of Iran’s Kurdish minority, Mohayydein Ebrahimi, faces death tonight from a murderous regime fearful of any dissent.  Targeted for real or perceived affiliation with Kurdish political opposition groups, he is in Urumieh prison under solitary confinement. Link to image Today, March 16, he was given a “last meeting” with his family and is at imminent risk of execution at any moment. He was denied access to a lawyer and sentenced to death following a grossly unfair trial, relying primarily or exclusively on “confessions” obtained under torture and other similar treatment.  He is the sole breadwinner for multiple families. Let’s pray for a reprieve, shine a spotlight on the atrocities being committed by the Iranian regime, and stand with the courageous people of Iran, who struggle for their rights.

Wilson (R-SC-2) 03/16/2023: Tweet – “CCP spy balloon. Iranian regime developing ICBMs. Now Putin arrogantly destroying US drone over intl waters. We must recognize world competition btwn autocracies w/Rule of Gun opposing democracies w/Rule of Law. Biden legacy will be determined by weakness or Peace Thru Strength.

Bacon (R-NE-2) 03/15/2023: Retweet of @EliLake – “No normalization with Iran while Iranians are fighting to topple their tormentors. Link to quoted tweet

Crapo (R-ID) 03/15/2023: Tweet – “Idaho’s agriculture industry is a precious resource that should be protected from foreign adversaries. Prohibiting China, Russia, Iran and North Korea from investing in U.S. farmland and agricultural companies is critical for our national security. Crapo Joins Bill to Stop Foreign Adversaries from Buying American Farmland and Agricultural Businesses | U.S. Senator Mike Crapo of Idaho

Durbin (D-IL) 03/15/2023: Tweet – “The Trump Admin’s reckless decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear agreement made the U.S. & world less safe. In my meeting w/ @iaeaorg, I applauded their efforts to monitor Iran’s program & secure Ukraine’s civilian nuclear power plants against Russian caused catastrophe. Link to image

Kim (R-CA-40) 03/15/2023: Tweet – “Great to join the Orange County Iranian American Chamber of Commerce to kick off Nowruz 2023 & show support for the Iranian people in #MissionViejo! I’m honored to represent a vibrant Persian community in #CA40 & wish all celebrating a Nowruz Mubarak filled with many blessings. Link to image

Levin (D-CA-49) 03/15/2023: Tweet – “There must be accountability for those within the Iranian government who choose to advance and legitimize brutal repression. That’s why I co-signed this letter urging the Administration to take additional action against Iranian officials. Link to image

Menendez (D-NJ) 03/15/2023: Tweet – “Good to host @iaeaorg Director General @rafaelmgrossi in the Capitol. Discussed Iran’s deeply concerning march toward 90% enrichment, nuclear safety at Ukrainian power plants, & the importance nuclear energy holds in our efforts toward sustainability & combatting climate change. Link to image   Link to quoted tweet

Risch (R-ID) 03/15/2023: Tweet – “.@rafaelmgrossi has no shortage of issues to address at @iaeaorg, including #Iran’s uranium enrichment & #Russia’s takeover of the largest power plant in Europe. He’s an effective leader & I look forward to continuing to work w/ him to address these issues.Risch Meets with IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi | United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations   Link to image

Risch (R-ID) 03/15/2023: Tweet – “The U.S. has an enduring interest in a prosperous, democratic, & stable Western Hem. The Biden Admin should focus on addressing malign influence from #Russia, #China, & #Iran in the region, as well as the crises in #Venezuela, #Colombia, #Haiti, & more. Ranking Member Risch Opening Remarks at Hearing on Future of U.S.-Brazil Relations | United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations

Crockett (D-TX-30) 03/13/2023: Tweet – “I couldn’t agree more—it’s about human rights. Dr. King said injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere & it’s on us to speak up against women’s rights abuses in Iran. Dallas using their voice for the better! ‘It’s about human rights’: Downtown Dallas march condemns women’s rights abuses in Iran… |

Hunt (R-TX-38) 03/13/2023: Twitter thread – “Chairman @RepWesterman nails it! The US must prioritize energy independence. By producing more oil and natural gas domestically, the US would reduce its dependence on foreign energy producers, create jobs, stimulate the economy, and strengthen our national security! Link to quoted tweet The Biden Administration needs a coherent energy policy that is consistent and that aligns with the needs of the American people, not the woke climate lobby. We shouldn’t be relying on countries like Russia, Iran or Venezuela. #UnleashAmericanEnergy


7. Members on the Record (Other Mideast countries)

Saudi Arabia & Bahrain

Wyden (D-OR) 03/16/2023: floor statement on Fallon Smart Rule & Bahraini family [“I rise today to highlight a new rule by the State Department that honors a 15-year-old Portland girl whose life was cut short by a hit-and-run driver in 2016. The girl’s name is Fallon Smart, and the man accused of manslaughter in her hit-and-run death was a Saudi national. Subsequent reporting by my hometown paper, The Oregonian, uncovered that the Saudi national likely fled the country with the assistance of the Saudi Government. The paper’s reporting later revealed that this Saudi affront to American justice was not–repeat, was not–an isolated example when its nationals face criminal charges in our country…This Fallon Smart rule came after I put a hold on Michael Ratney’s nomination to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia. I did it to raise the profile of this issue and get commitments from the State Department. I lifted my hold on that nomination, and Mr. Ratney has been confirmed. I want to thank Secretary Blinken for agreeing to take concrete actions that are going to deter other foreign officials from assisting fugitives on American soil…Unfortunately, despite all the progress in achieving the Fallon Smart rule, some Federal bureaucrats in this administration continue to defer to the interests of dictators in the Middle East. That callous attitude by Federal immigration officials has had devastating impact at home in Oregon for two people who have done everything right to contribute to their adopted communities.  The names of these two standout Oregonians are Matar Matar and his wife Dr. Amal Alyusuf, and the saga of this couple’s unconscionable wait for asylum has also been detailed by in-depth reporting in The Oregonian newspaper…my office has run into a bureaucratic morass again and again from unresponsive immigration officials closing their eyes and ears to all the evidence of how this exemplary Oregon family is owed better. So just as I pledged to seek justice for Fallon Smart and to make sure this administration follows the Fallon Smart rule, I am, today, putting this administration on notice that I will be just as dogged in pursuing a just solution for this Bahraini family…”]

Saudi Arabia

Bush (D-MO-1) 03/17/2023: Tweet – ““I hope that the world gets better for us. I hope our people get old. I hope we get to see our kids grow up to fight for us. I hope for trans rights worldwide.” —Eden Knight, may she rest in power  A Young Saudi Trans Woman Is Believed Dead After Being Lured From the US and Forced to Detransition… |

Gallego (D-AZ-3) 03/16/2023: Tweet – “We need to stop the corporate greed from LIV Golf and its Saudi backers. I support @IATSE broadcast workers demanding fair benefits and workplace safety – it’s time to defend every Arizonan’s right to earn a living wage, no matter who’s paying their check! #IASolidarity Show more

Murphy (D-CT) 03/16/2023: Retweet of @BeckyCNN – ““China doesn’t give them [Saudi Arabia] a very hard time when it comes to their human rights record.” U.S. Senator @ChrisMurphyCT says questions need to be asked about the underlying reasons for Saudi Arabia’s relationship with China. Link to video

Raskin (D-MD-8) 03/17/2023: Retweet of @OversightDems – “RM @RepRaskin released an @OversightDems report revealing early findings from our probe into the Trump family’s failure to disclose major gifts received from foreign officials, including silver swords from the Saudi Crown Prince & golf clubs from Japan.Oversight Democrats Release Evidence Showing Trump First Family… |

Cruz (R-TX) 03/15/2023: Tweet – “Biden foreign policy is utterly backwards: “The deal would…bring Saudi Ara­bia closer to its big­gest trad­ing part­ner, China, with­out alienating its top se­cu­rity part­ner in Wash­ing­ton, WHERE OFFICIALS SAID THE SAW THE DETENTE AS POSITIVE.” Saudi Crown Prince Test Drives Nonaligned Foreign Policy… |

Graham (R-SC) 03/14/2023: Twitter thread – “Great news for South Carolina. I worked very closely with Boeing, the South Carolina delegation, Saudi Arabia and the administration to overcome the obstacles to make this deal possible. Saudi Arabia Plans to Buy Up to 121 Boeing 787 Dreamliners… | The Biden Administration has done a terrific job in moving the ball forward and was instrumental in landing this purchase. As always, Governor McMaster and Commerce Secretary Lightsey were there to make good things happen for South Carolina. This decision by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to purchase Boeing 787s, manufactured in South Carolina to start Riyadh Air and support Saudia Airlines, is a game changer in so many ways. It solidifies Boeing’s presence in Charleston for years to come, and validates the quality of the South Carolina workforce. Boeing has been a great corporate citizen for the people of South Carolina. As I have repeatedly stated, this multi-billion dollar direct investment by Saudi Arabia in the United States will pay dividends regarding the valuable bilateral relationship between our two countries over time. I will do everything in my power to make sure this is a win-win for all concerned.


Gaetz (R-FL-1) 03/17/2023: Tweet – “Anna is a STAR!!!! Link to quoted tweet

Pfluger (R-TX-11) 03/16/2023: Tweet – “Russia’s brazen attack on a U.S. MQ-9 Reaper drone is reminiscent of the cowboy approach I witnessed Russian fighter pilots use in 2017 over Syria. We need an immediate apology from the Russian government. @foxandfriends Link to video

Biggs (R-AZ-5) 03/15/2023: Tweet – “This morning, I spoke to the @gilbertchamber about issues impacting our district. I spoke about water scarcity, border security, the debt ceiling, reducing the federal bureaucracy, and withdrawing our troops from Syria. I’ve worked on legislation to address these areas. Link to image

Gaetz (R-FL-1) 03/15/2023: Retweet of @SinclairC2C – “‘A very bad decision’: @RepMattGaetz blasts Barack Obama for getting U.S. involved in Syrian civil war Link to video

Menendez (D-NJ) 03/15/2023: Tweet – “Honored to deliver remarks for @CPG_USHMM @HolocaustMuseum’s center to #PreventGenocide event marking the 12th anniversary of the start of the conflict in Syria. No matter how long it takes, we must hold the Assad regime accountable for its war crimes. Menendez Speaks to the Holocaust Museum Regarding Syria… |

Risch (R-ID) 03/15/2023: Tweet – “On the 12th anniv of the Syrian revolution, we remember & honor the people of #Syria, who deserve accountability & freedom from the brutal #Assad regime. The Biden Admin’s policies & lack of sanctions have frozen the conflict, & we must do more to seek accountability for Assad.

Hill (R-AR-2) 03/13/2023: Tweet – “As I have consistently stated, no government should seek to normalize relations with Assad, a murderous dictator of his own citizens. His actions are barbaric – signaling that this behavior is acceptable by normalizing relations with the Assad regime is reckless.

McCaul (R-TX-10) 03/13/2023: Twitter thread – “CHM @RepMcCaul: “I am deeply concerned by Kais Saied’s move to normalize relations with war criminal Bashar Al-Assad. Democracies don’t support dictators. Assad continues to bomb Syrians and block lifesaving humanitarian aid. Tunisia’s Saied to restore diplomatic relations with Syria… | “This is why the administration MUST enforce the Caesar Act sanctions. Assad should be a pariah; instead, he is collecting phone numbers. U.S. policy needs to oppose normalization, not quietly watch it happen.”

McCaul (R-TX-10) 03/14/2023: Retweet of @RepFrenchHill – “As I have consistently stated, no government should seek to normalize relations with Assad, a murderous dictator of his own citizens. His actions are barbaric – signaling that this behavior is acceptable by normalizing relations with the Assad regime is reckless.

Paulina Luna (R-FL-13) 03/13/2023: Tweet – “Check out the article I wrote. It Is Time To Get Our Troops Home From Syria… |


Espaillat (D-NY-13) 03/14/2023: Retweet of @MarocDiplomatie – “M. Nasser Bourita s’est entretenu, aujourd’hui à Rabat, avec une délégation du Caucus hispanique du Congrès américain. Link to image”. Also retweeted by Garcia (D-TX-29)


Scott (R-SC) 03/13/2023: Tweet – “This is a proud moment for South Carolina. Once again, our talented workforce is powering state-of-the-art technology and showcasing the Palmetto State’s innovative spirit. Greenville’s Lockheed Martin makes first F-16 Block 70 for major non-NATO ally of U.S., Bahrain… |


Khanna (D-CA-17) 03/14/2023: Twitter thread – “Politics is about addition & persuasion. David & I have disagreements but we find common ground on cutting bloated defense spending, opposing the Yemen war, 1st Amend. Having core convictions but engaging with those who see the world differently is so needed in our nation. Link to quoted tweet If we progressives want to get Medicare for All passed, we do it by making the case. I believe we can argue that it is pro economic growth and just in a free enterprise system. Let’s have those convo with people like David w/out compromising convictions. Link to reply @davetroy I have voted for Ukraine aid every time and support Biden policy.

Khanna (D-CA-17) 03/14/2023: In reply to Tweet – “@RobboLaw Sachs is supporting me precisely because he shared my perspective on ending the Yemen war


Cornyn (R-TX) 03/17/2023: Retweet of @niinisto – “We had profound discussions on the geopolitical situation with President @RTErdogan in Ankara today. Türkiye has now decided to send the ratification of Finland’s NATO membership to its parliament. I look forward to further deepening the cooperation of our countries as allies. Link to image

Kelly (D-AZ) 03/17/2023: Tweet – “It was good to speak with @JeffFlake, the Turkish Ambassador, and representatives from Turkey about the country’s recovery efforts after being hit by a devastating earthquake. It’s also always good to see another Arizonan in DC. Thanks for coming by the office. Link to image

Shaheen (D-NH) 03/17/2023: Tweet – “As co-chairs of the Senate NATO Observer Group, @SenThomTillis and I are proud to reaffirm support for 🇸🇪 and 🇫🇮’s NATO accession. Hungary and Türkiye should follow in the footsteps of 28 of 30 members of the Alliance and ratify both bids without further delay. Link to image

Shaheen (D-NH) 03/15/2023: Tweet – “Today, @SenThomTillis and I met with representatives from the Turkish government and U.S. Ambassador to Türkiye, Jeff Flake. Our statement: Link to image