AJC, AIPAC Express Disappointment in Dems Filibuster of Iran Deal Vote
The American Jewish Committee (AJC) expressed disappointment in a successful filibuster by Senate Democrats that blocked a vote on President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran on Thursday.
AJC Executive Director David Harris lamented the Senate’s failure to vote on the agreement despite its “historical and global importance.”
“Forty-two senators blocked the effort to hold a vote and, in doing so, prevented members of the Senate from going on the record as they should, and as American democracy would expect,” he said, noting that public approval for the deal has been polling as a low of 21%.
Pro-Israel lobby AIPAC, which like the AJC opposed the deal, said the “American people deserved a direct up or down vote on the resolution of disapproval,” which until now has been the focus of opponents of the Iran deal.
AIPAC and the AJC urged the Democrats who filibustered to “reconsider” in the coming days, with AIPAC continuing to cast doubt on the viability of the deal the White House maintains effectively blocks each of Iran’s pathways for nuclear weapons. The Senate has another chance to vote before the end of the congressional review period on September 17.
Other Jewish groups on Tuesday called the filibuster a “horrible idea” that undermined the American process. Jewish groups, pro-Israel lobbies and GOP hawks have been the loudest critics of the Iran deal, which was negotiated between the United States, United Kingdom, France, Russia, China, Germany and Iran.
Republicans meanwhile have refused to hand President Obama an easy victory, threatening to erode the Iran deal in budget wrangling for a Sept. 30 must-pass spending bill, putting another government shutdown on the horizon.
And in the House, GOP lawmakers threw together three resolutions at the last minute, one censuring the Obama administration for failing to comply with the congressional review act by withholding side-deals between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency, another approving the Iran deal, which will almost certainly fail, and a final measure meant to prevent the removal of sanctions until after a new president is sworn into office in 2017.