Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Rep. Mike Thompson on H.Con.Res. 362

Representative Mike Thompson (D-CA) has joined a growing movement in Congress against provocative language in H.Con.Res. 362 as indicated in a response to a constituent on the matter. Below is the full text of the letter.

"Thank you for contacting me regarding H Con Res 362. Like you, I remain strongly opposed to any military action against Iran. Questions have been raised about the intent of a specific passage in the bill, and I would like to clarify the purpose of the bill and update you on its current status.

"On May 22, 2008, Representative Gary Ackerman (D-NY) introduced this resolution to call on the President to use economic, political and diplomatic means to discourage Iran from pursuing further nuclear development. However, some have suggested that the resolution is an attempt to authorize a military blockade of Iran. Moreover, serious concerns have been raised that the Bush Administration may use the resolution, as currently written, for political cover to justify a blockade, military action or even invasion of Iran.

"In an effort to directly address these concerns and clarify his intent, Rep. Ackerman sent a letter to all Members of Congress on July 10, 2008 in which he stated: "some have described a non-binding resolution that I have introduced [H Con Res. 362]. as a resolution declaring war and calling for a naval blockade. Nothing could be further from the truth or my intent. the resolution states as explicitly as the English language will allow 'Whereas nothing in this resolution shall be construed as an authorization of the use of force against Iran.' Since a naval blockade is by definition the use of force, the language of this resolution renders the prospect of a naval blockade simply out of the question."

"House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman (D-CA) has indicated that he has no intention of moving the bill through his committee unless the language is first altered to ensure that there is no possible way it could be construed as authorizing any type of military action against Iran.

"Furthermore, you should know that I will withdraw my support for the bill if this change is not made. I firmly believe that while the situation in Iran is of serious concern, any preemptive use of military force would be counter-productive and harmful to American interests. I remain committed to diplomacy as the most affective means of resolving conflicts throughout the region.

"Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts with me on this important issue. Please continue to contact me on all issues of importance to you and our district."


Member of Congress

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