Right Web

Tracking militarists’ efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy

NORPAC Helps House Hawk Attack Iran Deal

The biggest donor to anti-Iran deal Rep. Ed Royce’s (R-CA) 2014 campaign committee was NORPAC, a political action committee aligned with AIPAC.

Print Friendly

LobeLog

Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) is leading the charge in the House of Representatives to derail the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) signed between the P5+1 and Iran to limit the country’s nuclear program in exchange for relief from nuclear-related sanctions. Royce may have a powerful financial incentive, in the form of tens of thousands of dollars in bundled campaign contributions from a group aligned with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). This money would enable him to continue in his role as the House’s leading Iran hawk. Royce’s biggest campaign donor in the current and previous election cycle is NORPAC, a political action committee aligned with AIPAC, which led efforts to kill the nuclear accord.

Yesterday, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, chaired by Royce, approved the “Iran Terror Finance Transparency Act,” setting up the first of a series of expected showdowns over attempts to limit the White House’s ability to lift sanctions on Iran.

The legislation would give Congress greater oversight over the rolling back of sanctions. According to administration officials, the bill is an attempt to derail the JCPOA after opponents of the agreement, most of whom were Republican, failed to muster enough votes to block the agreement last year.

Even Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and one of a handful of Democrats who opposed the nuclear agreement, opposed the new legislation, saying, “I believe it doesn’t serve any purpose to have bills like this that are designed to kill the deal.”

The rhetoric from Royce, on the other hand, has only gotten more heated. During a Tuesday appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, he blamed Obama for the recent deterioration in relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran after the Saudis started the year by executing Shiite leader Sheik Nimr Baqr al-Nimr. “They perceive we have tilted toward Iran and this has created problems in terms of our credibility in the region,” said Royce, who repeated the GOP refrain that the Obama administration is “leading from behind.”

Royce may believe that new legislation designed to constrain the White House’s ability to hold up its obligations under the JCPOA would improve regional stability. But he also has a valuable financial incentive to attack the Obama administration’s Iran diplomacy.

NORPAC directed $48,150 to Royce’s campaign committee in the 2014 election cycle (his second biggest donor, General Atomics, contributed $17,800) and $27,588 in the 2016 cycle (his second biggest donor, RIDA Development, contributed $13,500), according to data published by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

The bundled campaign contributions might be a drop in the bucket for the AIPAC aligned group—AIPAC reportedly spent nearly $30 million fighting the nuclear deal—but it establishes NORPAC as Royce’s most valuable fundraising ally.

Royce is NORPAC’s biggest recipient of campaign contributions in the House during the 2016 cycle. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is the group’s biggest overall recipient in the cycle.

NORPAC’s campaign contributions to Royce might seem generous considering the House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman won his 2014 midterm election by more than 30 points. But Royce certainly isn’t turning down NORPAC’s overtures. The group held a fundraiser last month for Royce in Teaneck, NJ, praising the congressman’s role as a “leading voice on Iran sanctions.”

Royce is scheduled to elaborate on his views about the Obama administration’s foreign policy in an event today at the American Enterprise Institute, the locale from which “experts” such as Richard Perle, Michael LedeenReuel Marc GerechtNewt GingrichCharles Krauthammer, and Ahmed Chalabi made their case for de-Baathification in Iraq in the months leading up to the 2003 invasion.

Royce probably won’t touch on the foreign policy disasters hatched at AEI, or their role in setting the stage for the rise of the Islamic State, just as he probably doesn’t remind his allies at AIPAC that the group pushed for regime change in Iraq. Instead, according to the announcement, he will discuss “how the Islamic State and al-Qaeda can be defeated” and “the importance of American leadership to defend and advance freedom, security, and free markets both at home and abroad.”

Share RightWeb

Featured Profiles

J.D. Crouch II is a former deputy national security adviser and assistant to President George W. Bush who helped develop the “troop surge” in Iraq.


Michael Flynn is a former Trump administration National Security Advisor who was forced to step down only weeks on the job because of his controversial contacts with Russian officials before Trump took office.


Victoria Coates, member of Donald Trump’s National Security Council and former adviser to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), has a long track record of working with hardline foreign policy hawks.


Elliott Abrams is an ideological neoconservative based at the Council on Foreign Relations whose track record includes a criminal conviction for lying to Congress during the Reagan-era Iran-Contra affair.


Joe Lieberman, the neoconservative Democrat from Connecticut who retired from the Senate in 2013, co-chairs a foreign policy project at the American Enterprise Institute.


Founded shortly after 9/11, the now defunct Americans for Victory over Terrorism championed “victory” in the “war on terrorism,” in part by promoting “research about Islam and Islamism” and “attacking those who would blame America first.”


Freedom Watch, a pressure group led by right-wing activist Larry Klayman, promotes a hodgepodge of conservative foreign and domestic polices, claiming to be “the only political advocacy group that speaks through actions, rather than just words.”


For media inquiries,
email rightwebproject@gmail.com

From the Wires

Print Friendly

The meeting between President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu provided the clearest indication yet that the United States will support Netanyahu in stepping back from the two-state solution.


Print Friendly

Will President Donald Trump name Elliott Abrams deputy secretary of state? Although a knowledgeable and capable operator, Abrams is better known for being convicted on charges of withholding information from Congress about the Iran-Contra scandal, smearing those with whom he disagrees with charges of anti-Semitism, and defending perpetrators of mass human rights violations, including in particular people accused of genocide in the Central American conflicts of the 1980s.


Print Friendly

Reports the the United States plans ti impose new sanctions on “Iranian entities” appears to indicate the the start of a systematic effort by the Trump administration to abrogate the Iran nuclear deal.


Print Friendly

Trump’s support for a Muslim ban are connected to his embrace of an unscientific poll undertaken by one of his top advisors (who claims that she disseminates “alternative facts”) and commissioned by a renowned anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist.


Print Friendly

The people who are expected to have the biggest impact on Donald Trump’s foreign policy collectively have no experience at all in this issue.


Print Friendly

Two eminent foreign policy analysts, historian Andrew Bacevich of Boston University’s Pardee School of Global Studies and political scientist John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago, discuss fundamental problems with American foreign policy and the Obama legacy, particularly with respect to Israel-Palestine.


Print Friendly

Not only is Monica Crowley, Donald Trump’s pick to head communications for the National Security Council, the subject of a wide-ranging plagiarism scandal, she pushed fringe conspiracy theories about “Islamist infiltration in the U.S.”


RightWeb
share