Republicans Introduce the PUNISH Act - Ernst Says Some Democrats are Hesitant to Support Due to Upcoming Midterms

Republicans Introduce the PUNISH Act - Ernst Says Some Democrats are Hesitant to Support Due to Upcoming Midterms

Senator Joni Ernst says that there is broad support from Republicans in the Senate.

Jackson Bakich
Jackson Bakich
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September 21, 2022

As President Joe Biden (D) and his administration has set their intentions on renegotiating the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – also known as the Iran Nuclear Deal – Republicans in both the House of Representatives and the Senate are looking for ways to keep it from happening, while also protecting American citizens.

In order to do so, Rep. Mike Waltz (R-FL) alongside Sen. Joni Enrst (R-IA) introduced the Preventing Underhanded and Nefarious Iranian Supported Homicides (PUNISH) Act.

The PUNISH Act attempts to bar the Biden administration from re-entering any nuclear agreement with Iran unless the U.S. can “certify that Iran has not planned any assassination attempts on Americans for five years.” The certification must be done by the Secretary of State.

“The Iran Regime is actively using its proxies to carry out attacks and threaten U.S. officials despite the Biden Administration’s ongoing efforts to negotiate a nuclear deal that will further enrich the world largest state sponsor of terrorism,” said Congressman Waltz. “The Biden Administration has a duty to protect its citizens from the Iran Regime’s proxies who have already carried out an attack on Salman Rushdie, plotted an assassination against former National Security Advisor John Bolton. Maximum pressure sanctions must be retained against the Iranian Regime.”

Senator Ernst, who brought the companion legislation to the Senate also stated, “It's hard to fathom that, after countless attacks on Americans, and multiple confirmed plots against U.S. officials, the Biden administration continues to cozy up to Iran in hopes of a mythical, so-called nuclear deal.”

Ernst would also mention that, “President Biden should not provide a dime of sanctions relief to the largest state sponsor of terrorism, which is actively trying to kill U.S. officials and citizens, at home and abroad. The PUNISH Act will ensure Iran continues to feel maximum pressure from the United States.”

When it comes to support from across the aisle, Senator Ernst stated that they have 25 Senators currently on board, but support from individual Democrats is few and far between due to the hesitancy to go against the party before the midterms.

"There are a number of Democrats that are extremely concerned about the direction that we are taking with Iran, especially with pursuing the Iran Nuclear Deal, so we are hopeful that we'll get a number of their members on board, but many of them are afraid to speak out against President Joe Biden, especially with the midterms coming up," said Ernst.

The PUNISH Act also reinstate the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” approach to sanctioning the world’s largest state sponsor of terror, Iran. It also prohibits the lifting of sanctions on Iran. The bill has been endorsed by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) Action, Christians United for Israel (CUFI), America First Policy Institute, Republican Jewish Coalition, and Heritage Action.

Cosponsors of the bill include Reps. Carlos Gimenez (R-FL), Doug Lamborn (R-CO), Brian Mast (R-FL), Maria Elvira Salazar (R-FL), Mike Garcia (R-CA), Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY), Van Taylor (R-TX), Jake Ellzey (R-TX), Kat Cammack (R-FL), Joe Wilson (R-SC), Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Randy Weber (R-TX), David Rouzer (R-NC), Ronny Jackson (R-TX), Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), Mike Bost (R-IL), Ted Budd (R-NC), Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA), and Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA).

Jackson Bakich

Jackson Bakich

Born in Orlando but raised in Lake County, Florida, Jackson Bakich is currently a junior at Florida State University. Growing up in the sunshine state, Bakich co-hosted the political talk radio show "Lake County Roundtable" (WLBE), and was a frequent guest for "Lake County Sports Show" (WQBQ). Currently, he is the co-host of "Tomahawk Talk" (WVFS), a sports talk radio program covering Florida State athletics in Tallahassee.

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