January 19, 2016
We live in a dangerous world, and the threats to the United States only continue to grow when we fail to lead on the world's stage. Time and time again, the Obama Administration has been far too trusting in those who seek power through aggression. In recent months, we have turned our attention to fighting the Islamic State and radical Islamic terrorists, but we must also be acutely aware of the nations who have recently become emboldened by this Administration's failure to address serious national security threats.
Two weeks ago, North Korea announced that it had successfully tested a hydrogen bomb. While there is reason to believe North Korea lacks the technology to actually carry out this test, there is no doubt it was intended to provoke the West. North Korea has watched while this Administration struck a dangerous nuclear agreement with Iran and continued to set dangerous precedents in international relations.
On Sunday, the Obama Administration began lifting economic sanctions on Iran, granting them access to billions of dollars, and participated in a prisoner swap, despite its recent acts of aggression. In December, Iran fired rockets into the Strait of Hormuz only 1,500 yards from United States Navy ships, giving them hardly any warning. Just last week, ten United States Navy sailors were forcefully taken into Iranian custody, while the President made no statement or mention of the incident during his State of the Union Address.
There is no doubt that this Administration's failure to stand up to, and its willingness to negotiate with, Iran – the world's largest state sponsor of terror – has emboldened those who seek to assert their violent agendas on the world's stage. Issues of national security are too important to leave to idealism and wishful thinking. With that at the forefront of our minds, the House will continue to do everything within our power to protect our national security.
This past week, the House passed the North Korea Sanctions Enforcement Act with an overwhelming bipartisan majority of 418-2. This legislation will prevent North Korea's access to hard currency and seize assets related to its nuclear proliferation, illicit activities, and human rights violations, and it is my hope the Senate considers it expeditiously. And soon, the House will consider the Iran Terror Finance Transparency Act to prevent the Administration from offering sanctions relief to any bank or individual unless we can prove with absolute certainty they do not support Iran terrorist cells, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, Iran's ballistic missile program, or even its conventional weapons program.
I was pleased that this weekend the Administration announced sanctions against 11 Iranian-linked companies for their roles in the ballistic missile program, but this comes too late after the Administration publicly wavered on whether to institute these sanctions. The House will continue to fight to enhance sanctions against North Korea, Iran, and any other nation who poses a threat to our national security.
Under Article One of the Constitution, Congress has no greater responsibility than to provide for the defense of our great country. In the House, national security remains a top priority, and I urge our colleagues in the Senate and the President to join us in this vital effort.
If you need any additional information or if we may be of assistance to you, please visit my website at hurt.house.gov or call my Washington office: (202) 225-4711, Charlottesville office: (434) 973-9631, Danville office: (434) 791-2596, or Farmville office: (434) 395-0120.