Tell @SpeakerPelosi: Don’t Let Iran Warhawk @TedDeutch Chair the War & Peace Committee

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In the Democratic-controlled House, the Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee (HFAC) is generally seen as the leader of House Democrats on issues of war and peace. The Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee decides what bills and amendments to end and prevent wars will get a vote on the House floor and which ones will not. The main exception to this is when someone successfully invokes the War Powers Resolution on an unauthorized war, bypassing HFAC to force a floor vote (a key purpose of the War Powers Resolution is to allow any Member of the House to bypass HFAC to force a floor vote on an unauthorized war.)

Currently, the chair of HFAC is Eliot Engel, who voted for the Iraq war, voted against President Obama’s Iran deal to prevent war, and was one of only 16 House Democrats to vote to keep sending cluster bombs to the Saudi regime for use against civilians in Yemen, even after President Obama stopped doing so. (164 Democrats and 40 Republicans voted the right way.) 

But there are growing indications that this may be Eliot Engel’s last term in Congress. 

If Engel departs, House Democrats would have to choose a new chair of HFAC. Given that Americans are increasingly opposed to war and interventionism, one might expect that House Democrats would take this moment to choose an HFAC Chair that is in line with the American people.  

But the conventional wisdom in DC is that the HFAC chair is owned by pro-war interests like the weapons manufacturers and AIPAC. According to this view, the next HFAC chair must have the same record on war and peace as Engel.

As the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports

“If Engel is unseated, the Foreign Affairs Committee would get a new chair responsible for steering its direction, likely drawn from the moderates who still occupy leadership positions in the House because of their seniority. One person considered a likely fit for the role is Rep. Ted Deutch, a Democrat from Florida who chairs the committee’s Middle East subcommittee and is staunchly pro-Israel.”

What does JTA mean when they say that Ted Deutch is “staunchly pro-Israel”? Most Congressional Democrats say are “pro-Israel.” So how “pro-Israel” is Ted Deutch? He opposed President Obama’s deal to prevent war with Iran, even though most House Democrats supported the deal. Ted Deutch was so proud of himself that he opposed President Obama’s Iran deal that he wrote an op-ed about it at the time and still proudly displays the op-ed on his Congressional website

Let’s get ahead of Democratic leadership and make clear that we demand a new HFAC chair who will #EndEndlessWars.

Urge your Senators and Representative to say no to Iran Warhawk Ted Deutch as chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee by signing our petition.