What a great question! Why hasn’t anyone else raised it before today? Oh, wait …
To be fair, Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA) raised the issue almost four weeks ago. She tweeted this shortly before Punchbowl reported that the House Democrat caucus had grown increasingly uncomfortable with Joe Biden’s plan to outsource American national security to a “war criminal”:
I’m continuing to monitor reports of an attack on our consulate in Irbil.
If reports are accurate, the Biden Administration must withdraw its negotiations with Iran. We cannot re-enter a failed JCPOA to further empower Iran and threaten global security.
— Rep. Elaine Luria (@RepElaineLuria) March 13, 2022
Earlier today, Luria joined fourteen others in the House Democratic caucus who posed the question more bluntly. If Biden insists that Vladimir Putin is a “war criminal” that needs to go “on trial,” and that he cannot be allowed to remain in power, then why in the world would Biden partner with Putin on a bad deal to let Iran’s mullahs off the nuclear hook?
“Iran is dangerously close to obtaining a nuclear weapons capability, and they show no end in sight to the pursuit of a nuclear weapon,” Luria says.
Luria adds “it's completely unacceptable” to lift Foreign Terrorist Organization status for the IRGC as part of negotiations.
— Max Cohen (@maxpcohen) April 6, 2022
“Are we seriously going to let a war criminal — Vladimir Putin — be the guarantor of this deal?” Gottheimer says.
— Max Cohen (@maxpcohen) April 6, 2022
Other than Punchbowl’s Max Cohen, this has drawn zero attention from the American media as of midday. That certainly seems odd, considering the intriguing politics of Biden’s congressional allies openly revolting at the structure of this negotiation, which was one of the cornerstones of Biden’s foreign-policy argument in the 2020 election. Just the connection to the war in Ukraine should be enough to rate coverage.
Instead, we just get a curtain-raiser for the event from last night at the Jewish Forward:
More than a dozen Democratic members of Congress are expected to speak out on Wednesday against a potential agreement that would see the U.S. and Iran return to a nuclear deal, in which Iran accepts limitations on its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.
The 15 House Members will “raise concerns about the looming Iran deal” in a news conference outside the U.S. Capitol, according to a media advisory.
The conference is being organized by Josh Gottheimer, a moderate Democrat from New Jersey who serves as co-chair of the bipartisan House Problem Solvers Caucus, and Elaine Luria, a second-term Democrat from Virginia. Both were elected to Congress after the implementation of the 2015 nuclear deal, and expressed support for new sanctions imposed by former President Donald Trump after the U.S. withdrawal from that deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA. Wednesday’s gathering follows a letter Gottheimer and Luria spearheaded last month, which 12 Democrats signed onto, urging the administration to address their concerns about the deal.
And another curtain-raiser from Arutz Sheva:
A group of 15 Democratic House members are scheduled to hold a press conference on Wednesday morning in which they will raise concerns about the nuclear deal that is being drafted with Iran.
The lawmakers who will take part in the press conference are: Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5), Elaine Luria (VA-2), Donald Norcross (NJ-1), Jared Golden (ME-2), Juan Vargas (CA-51), Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15), Dean Phillips (MN-3), Haley Stevens (MI-11), Tom Suozzi (NY-3), Brendan Boyle (PA-2), Darren Soto (FL-9), Val Demings (FL-10), Jim Costa (CA-16), Susie Lee (NV-3) and Grace Meng (NY-6).
Aaaaaannd … that’s it for media coverage as of noon ET.
That’s a significant swath of House Democrats opposing Biden on what is an obviously contradictory and incoherent foreign-policy position. Why aren’t media outlets covering this — and better yet, why aren’t the “democracy dies in darkness” brigades shining a light on Biden’s pathetic reliance on Putin to get his deal done?
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