Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Rep. Hank Johnson on H.Con.Res. 362

Representative Hank Johnson (D-GA) responded to a constituent regarding concerns that provisions in H.Con.Res. 362 might be misconstrued as calling for a blockade against Iran. Rep. Johnson said he will work to amend or delete the provision. Below is the text of his letter.

September 8, 2008

Dear XXX:

Thank you for contacting me to express your concerns about H.Con.Res. 362, a resolution expressing the sense of Congress regarding the threat posed to international peace and stability in the Middle East.

As you know, H.Con.Res. 362 pushes for an international diplomatic response to Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons. It is currently before the House Foreign Affairs Committee and has 220 bipartisan cosponsors.

I chose to cosponsor this bill in response to reports about possible covert military operations in Iran. It appears that the Bush administration is already moving in the direction of war against Iran and we now know that the President does not feel he needs authorization from Congress. As a result, I felt it was important to push for what is essentially a non-binding statement from Congress that stresses the need to focus on diplomacy and working with other nations to lessen the threat from Iran.

H.Con.Res. 362 admittedly has some strong language. The strongest language requests internationally backed inspections of items departing or entering Iran. It is important to note that such functions have been conducted by the United Nations and called for in numerous UN resolutions. However, I certainly understand this part of the resolution could be misconstrued and I will push for an amendment that either deletes this statement or clarifies it further.

I appreciate your passion for this issue. I share it and believe that if Congress acts appropriately, we can successfully constrain any additional actions the Bush administration may look to take in Iran.

I am eager to hear your concerns and look forward to working with you. For more information, please visit my office online at Thank you again for contacting me.

Hank Johnson

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