Saturday, April 4, 2015

House Majority leader casts doubts on the proposed nuclear deal with Iran, says the country's history of deceit makes it a bad partner

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, House Majority leader, responds to the proposed nuclear deal with Iran.

"Yesterday, the Obama Administration announced a framework with Iran on its nuclear program.

"I am profoundly concerned by initial reports of the framework that has been established for a
comprehensive technical deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran regarding its nuclear program.  In coming weeks, Congress will subject this framework and the Obama Administration’s Iran policy to significant scrutiny and carefully weigh legislative options.

"It is hard to see how any agreement that allows Iran to keep operating an industrial-scale centrifuge program or continue conduct advanced research and development into more efficient centrifuge designs can be said to ‘cut off every pathway that Iran could take to develop a nuclear weapon,’ as the President stated.

Iran’s decades of deceit do not inspire confidence.  Complete disclosures of the military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program must come at the beginning of a final agreement, and a truly invasive inspections and verification regime must emerge in the technical agreement.

 "Finally, I remain concerned the Obama Administration continues to ignore the growing threat Iran poses to American interests and allies in the Middle East.  Iran’s support for terrorism, its burgeoning missile force, its rampant proliferation activities, its violent bid for hegemony, and its efforts to destabilize the region continue unabated. Relieving sanctions and pressure on the regime in Tehran at this pivotal moment in the region risks emboldening a regime whose violent sectarian agenda is at the source of so many of the region’s crises.

Whatever the ultimate outcome of the nuclear negotiations, the United States and its international partners must confront Iranian aggression throughout the Middle East from Yemen to Gaza.

 "Also, Governor Brown issued mandatory water restrictions for our state this week. This order from the governor should not only alarm Californians, but the entire nation should take notice that the most productive agriculture state in the country has entered uncharted territory. We have experienced extreme drought conditions in years past but thanks to the most sophisticated water system in the country that captured and stored water during the wet years for use during the dry years, our communities and farmers survived. Unfortunately, state officials have turned their back on this proven infrastructure system.

The governor’s order is the culmination of failed federal and state policies that have exacerbated the current drought into a man-made water crisis. Sacramento and Washington have chosen to put the well-being of fish above the well-being of people by refusing to capture millions of acre-feet of water during wet years for use during dry years.

These policies imposed on us now, and during wet seasons of the past, are leaving our families, businesses, communities, and state high and dry. These rules and regulations must be changed.

My House colleagues and I have acted aggressively to enact legislation that would have helped protect us from the current situation. In 2011, and again in early 2014, the House passed comprehensive water legislation to increase the amount of water we could capture and store. Unfortunately, the Obama and Brown Administrations and Senators Boxer and Feinstein opposed these proposals. As the drought continued to worsen, the House passed emergency drought legislation in December of 2014 to allow us to capture storm and rainwater from early season storms. That too was blocked by the Senate.

It is time for action, and House Republicans are developing another legislative proposal to help put California water policy back on the path to commonsense. This time I hope Governor Brown, Senator Boxer, and Senator Feinstein will join my colleagues and me in this effort.

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