WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, the House Rules Committee began consideration of amendments to the Department of State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill [HR 3081]. Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN), Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia, has pushed for a tougher line on Iran and more protections for Israel with the introduction of four separate amendments (details below). After making the case to the Rules Committee for his amendments, Rep. Burton issued the following statement:
" I have asked the Rules Committee to allow the House to vote on four separate amendments that address the increased tensions in the Middle East, specifically with respect to Iran and Israel. I believe Congress should send a clear message through tougher sanctions that Iran's increasingly radical regime will not have support from the free-world.
"Furthermore, Congress must express unified support for Israel, our greatest ally in the Middle East, in a way that is much clearer than President Obama did in his Cairo speech. And, before another dime of taxpayer money goes to Gaza, we need a genuine commitment to peace from Hamas. Without that commitment, any assistance we offer to Gaza is likely to do more harm to our ally than good."
Burton Amendment #42: Would prohibit funds from being used to establish diplomatic or commercial ties in or with Iran.
Burton Amendment #43: Would express the sense of the House that legislation should be enacted to expand economic sanctions against Iran.
Burton Amendment #44: Would prohibit funds in the bill from being used for assistance to Gaza unless Hamas recognizes Israel's right to exist.
Burton Amendment #46: Would express the sense of Congress that regardless of differences of policy regarding international funding for abortion, Congress is united in its support of Israel.