Progressives Applaud Pro-Diplomacy Letter Signed by 151 Representatives

Last Updated on May 7, 2015.

Americans for Peace Now
“This letter – signed by one-third of the voting members of the House, including members of the Democratic leadership and Jewish members – sends an unprecedented and resounding message of Congressional backing for the ongoing Iran negotiations and the achievement of an agreement to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, consistent with the Framework Agreement announced last month. The release of the Schakowsky-Doggett-Price letter comes during a period of intense negotiations between the P5+1 and Iran over the final details of an agreement, the deadline for which is June 30. Its positive, pro-diplomacy message should encourage and energize negotiators as they enter the final stretch in this long and arduous negotiations effort.” [5/8]

Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation
“Today, Congress sent a clear signal of support for diplomatic efforts to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran. As is often the case—it is what Congress did not do that carries the day. The Senate avoided poison pills designed to kill diplomacy. Maybe they got the memo that 150 House Democrats sent to President Obama: they support diplomacy. Notably, that is more votes than would be needed to uphold a veto of any bill that might derail diplomacy. So, for today Congress did no harm. Now let’s see about tomorrow.” [5/7]

Friends Committee on National Legislation
“This unprecedented show of pro-diplomacy support from the House, led by Representatives Jan Schakowsky (IL), Lloyd Doggett (TX) and David Price (NC), supports the negotiators’ work to “build on the progress made in the political framework and turn it into a long-term, verifiable agreement.” ‘This is the strongest signal Congress has ever sent in support of a negotiated settlement with Iran,’ said Kate Gould, FCNL’s Legislative Associate for Middle East Policy. ‘Clearly, the flood of pro-diplomacy calls, messages and letters to the editor are having an impact on the Iran debate in Washington. Support for diplomacy is on the ascendance on Capitol Hill.'” [5/7]

J Street
“Today marks a huge victory for leaders in Congress supporting diplomacy to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. And J Street’s advocacy played a central role in reaching this milestone. We knew that, as soon as the world powers announced a framework agreement, opponents of diplomacy would pull out all the stops to try to kill a potential agreement. So hundreds of J Street supporters took to Capitol Hill on our national Advocacy Day to urge Members of Congress to sign this letter and give President Obama the political space he needs to reach a good deal. Today, that letter has 150 signers– over one-third of the House of Representatives. This letter is a major victory for pro-diplomacy advocates who want to keep partisan politics from ruining our best chance to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.” [5/7]

Just Foreign Policy
“This is huge. Of the 150 signers, 145 are voting members, enough to uphold a presidential veto of any legislation Republicans might try to pass to sabotage a deal. That includes any attempt to block President Obama from waiving sanctions after a deal has been concluded, which is what Republicans have been trying to do with such legislation as the Corker-Menendez bill. Those who are against an Iran deal know what a powerful statement this letter is, and they will try to intimidate those who signed into backing away from their current stance. ” [5/7]

MoveOn to House Dems on Iran:  Thank You for Supporting Diplomacy
“Across the country and around the world, MoveOn members and peace-loving peoples are grateful to the 150 Democrats in the House of Representatives who declared their support for our nation’s diplomatic negotiations with five other world powers and Iran over the future of Iran’s nuclear program. Once finalized, this deal can ensure Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and could stand as the most significant foreign policy achievement of the Obama presidency—if not the last several decades. Our country cannot and will not yield to politicians who would sabotage diplomacy for their own political gain. We thank Reps. Schakowsky, Doggett, and Price for their leadership in the House. When Democrats stand united against unnecessary wars, MoveOn members stand with them. We will continue to mobilize in support of this framework, holding any elected officials who attempt to sabotage diplomacy accountable for the rest of their political careers.” [5/7]

Peace Action
“This House letter to the President shows the overwhelming support in Congress for diplomacy with Iran and to finalize an agreement that verifiably thwarts Iran from building a crude nuclear weapon. Most in Congress realize there are no better options than reaching a strong accord with Iran on its nuclear program. Clearly Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) and David Price (D-NC) and the other 147 signers of the letter understand that successful diplomacy with Iran on its nuclear program will make Americans safer. Now the Senate should take some advice from the House and ditch the unhelpful Corker bill and wait until a final agreement is reached before taking legislative action. Though 150 signatures are significant by representing over a third in the House, many in Congress want to see a final agreement before making their views known. Once a strong final accord is reached with Iran, support in Congress will grow. A vote to approve or disapprove the agreement will likely be close but nowhere near enough to override an Obama veto. There are likely a handful of Republicans that would join those on this letter by Democrats. Even in this more conservative House, this is the largest public support of diplomacy with Iran to date. It shows the importance of supporting the administration’s efforts to reach a final deal with Iran on its nuclear program.” [5/7]

Win Without War
“Today, in an unprecedented show of support for diplomacy, 150 Members of Congress sent a letter to President Obama to let him know that they have his back when it comes to negotiations with Iran. Here’s why this letter is so important: Hawks in Congress have been trying to blow up negotiations for two years. They’re fighting for the ability to veto any nuclear deal. President Obama has threatened to veto Congress’s dangerous actions, but we worry that Republicans – with the help of a handful of Democrats – could override that veto. This letter shows that more than one-third of the House supports diplomacy. That’s enough to sustain a Presidential veto of diplomacy-killing legislation.”

*When originally published, the pro-diplomacy letter had 150 signatures. Rep. Delaney signed on after the letter was published, bringing the total to 151.

May 7, 2015