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September 3, 2015 2:33 pm

After Obama’s Congressional Coup, Texas Governor Encourages Private Businesses to Join States’ Sanctions Against Iran

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Texas Governor Greg Abbott. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott told the state’s congressional delegation that he would encourage private enterprises to join sanctions prohibiting taxpayer-funded investment in Iran and entities that do business with the Islamic Republic, vowing to uphold state restrictions even as the Obama administration’s nuclear deal goes into effect, the Houston Chronicle reported on Thursday.

Though he circulated a letter encouraging Texan lawmakers in Washington to reject the nuclear deal before news broke that the Obama administration had secured enough votes to prevent the deal from being scuttled in Congress, Abbott’s call sheds light on state efforts to circumvent the sweeping agreement with Iran.

Texas, like some 25 other states — including California, New York, New Jersey, Illinois and Florida — has laws against investing in Iran or related entities, especially in relation to taxpayer-funded investments, such as pension funds for public employees.

Secretary of State John Kerry admitted during a testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action to deal with Iran’s nuclear program was more an “executive-to-executive” type of agreement, conceding that states would likely be able to keep their sanctions in place, even as international financial restrictions are peeled back. The Iran deal itself calls on the White House to encourage states to cancel these sanctions, which in Texas, for example, have affected oil deals with the crude-rich state of Iran for years.

Abbott called the nuclear deal “short-sighted,” and accused the Obama administration of turning a “blind eye to geopolitical realities.” He said the deal would threaten the U.S.’s “greatest ally in the region: Israel.”

The Obama administration this week announced it had enough senators backing the deal to prevent Congress from killing it, though many in the U.S. and Israel have vowed to continue efforts to alter aspects of the deal, which they say fails to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power.

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  • Yale

    There are still two avenues to be pursued:

    1) A challenge to the Constitutionality of Corker-Cardin– It’s not at all obvious that Congress can vote to deny itself powers assigned to it by the Constitution. If the Republicans had any sense, they would be pursuing this already.

    2) An effort should be made to get those Senators foolish enough to vote in favor of this deal to change their minds. Accept that they will vote for the President’s desires on the initial round, but then demand that they choose between loyalty to America and the Constitution on one hand, and loyalty to Obama when it comes to the over-ride.

    A concerted effort to obtain changes like this might make Obama think twice: Vetoing when he knows he will win is assured, a veto when there is a possibility of losing is far less obvious — loosing on such a veto over-ride would deprive Obama of the power he craves and finally demonstrate to Democrats that there is life after rejecting Obama’s demands. The country will be better for it. Maybe Obama will finally learn something about being president.

  • Treeta Mayfield

    Thank you for standing up against this short-sighted deal and please continue to fight
    defunding of Planned Parenthood.

  • Ellen Mendel

    Bravo! Finally others are standing up for the more than 50% of Americans and 10 to 1 Israelis who are against the deal and whose voices have been silenced by the nefarious tactics of this administration and the highjacking of the use of checks and balances by arcane rules calling this important agreement a ‘deal.’ and thereby highjacking the use of checks and balances which we have been used to in the United States.

  • Mickey Oberman

    Perhaps some of Obama’s “backers” will awaken to reality in time to change their minds before they cast suicidal votes.