Members of Alabama’s congressional delegation split along party lines Friday when the House took its vote on the nuclear deal with Iran. Support for the controversial White-House backed agreement failed in the House 269-162.
But the vote was largely symbolic as a way to record Republican opposition to the deal, as Senate Democrats Thursday blocked a final vote to reject the deal giving President Barack Obama‘s administration a hard-to-come-by diplomatic victory.
The landmark agreement announced in July between Iran and six other countries — the United States, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Russia and China — aims to prevent Iran from a nuclear weapons program in exchange for sanctions relief that have isolated the country and stymied its economy.
Here’s what the Alabama delegation had to say of their votes:
U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne (AL-01): voted NO
This will likely be the most important vote I will take during my time in Congress, and I could not support the nuclear agreement, which will put the American people at greater risk. This deal does not do nearly enough to prevent Iran from gaining access to a nuclear weapon. In turn, the deal will empower Iran by giving them access to billions of dollars in sanctions reliefs and allowing them to acquire Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles.
As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, my constituents can rest assured that I will continue to do all I can to bring this deal to a halt and hold the Obama administration accountable.
U.S. Rep. Martha Roby (AL-02): voted NO
Not only will we have paved the way for Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon and potentially initiated a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, but we will have strengthened the hand of this adversarial state while weakening our own.One silver lining is, because this is an executive agreement and not a treaty, it is subject for review in the next administration. Let’s pray our next president doesn’t adhere to a foreign policy doctrine of “leading from behind.
U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (AL-03): voted NO
I remain adamantly opposed to the nuclear deal with Iran. Iran has proven time and time again they cannot be trusted and have done nothing but fund terror across the Middle East against those like our closest ally Israel.
U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt (AL-04): voted NO
The deal the Administration has made with Iran seems to be more about securing a legacy for the President than about making sure Iran never obtains a nuclear weapon. This deal simply adds time to the clock, but does nothing to change Iran’s endgame. Before negotiations began, the President said that no deal was better than a bad deal. In light of everything that is wrong with the Iran Nuclear Deal, it is hard for me to imagine what the President would have considered a bad deal.
U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer (AL-06): voted NO
The Corker-Cardin law is clear. It requires that the President to transmit to Congress ‘the agreement … including all related materials and annexes’ before any sanctions can be waived. The President has failed to transmit the ‘side agreements’ concerning the exact terms of the nuclear inspections. I joined 93 of my colleagues in a letter to the President concerning this issue last month. Unfortunately, these materials have still not been transmitted to Congress. The President needs to comply with the law and give Congress access to all of the documents that are part of this deal with Iran.”
The Corker-Cardin bill was passed and signed into law in May. Key elements of the Iran deal’s inspections program, which is executed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), are part of ‘side agreements’ between the IAEA and Iran, have not been transmitted to Congress, a violation of the Corker-Cardin law. Reports indicate that these agreements allow inspections of the Parchin military site, a key location for Iran’s nuclear program, to be based on information and samples provided by the Iranian regime, not independent investigators.
U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07): voted YES
After several months of thorough deliberation, classified briefings with nuclear experts and military officials, and extensive conversations with numerous constituent groups and diplomats from our allied nations and partners, I have decided to support the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). I did not come to this decision lightly, nor am I under any illusions that this agreement is not without its problems. However, I believe this agreement is the best multilaterally negotiated agreement we will get, and thus represents the most viable diplomatic option moving forward.
To be clear, my decision to support the JCPOA is not based on a belief in Iran’s intentions but rather in the power of the international community to collectively enforce a nuclear-free Iran. As a Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, I have a unique understanding of our intelligence capabilities and of our capacity to monitor Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA. Moreover, all of the options available to the United States—including the use of military force—will remain available throughout the life of the deal and beyond. Ultimately, I believe the JCPOA provides us with a diplomatic path forward and helps us further counter Iran’s destabilizing activities in the region.