Gus Bilirakis on War & Peace
Voted YES on banning armed forces in Libya without Congressional approval.
RESOLUTION Declaring that the President shall not deploy, establish, or maintain the presence of US Armed Forces in Libya, pursuant to the War Powers Resolution.
The House of Representatives makes the following statements of policy: The President shall transmit a report describing in detail US security interests and objectives, and the activities of US Armed Forces, in Libya since March 19, 2011, including a description of the following:
- The US Armed Forces shall be used exclusively to defend and advance the national security interests of the US.
- The President has failed to provide Congress with a compelling rationale based upon US national security interests for current US military activities regarding Libya.
- The President shall not deploy, establish, or maintain the presence of units and members of the US Armed Forces on the ground in Libya unless the purpose of the presence is to rescue a member of the Armed Forces from imminent danger.
Congress has the constitutional prerogative to withhold funding for any unauthorized use of the US States Armed Forces, including for unauthorized activities regarding Libya.
Reference: Resolution on Libya;
; vote number 11-HV410
on Jun 3, 2011
- The President's
justification for not seeking authorization by Congress for the use of military force in Libya.
- US political and military objectives regarding Libya, including the relationship between the intended objectives and the operational means being employed to achieve them.
- Changes in US political and military objectives following the assumption of command by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
- Differences between US political and military objectives regarding Libya and those of other NATO member states engaged in military activities.
- The specific commitments by the US to ongoing NATO activities regarding Libya.
- The anticipated scope and duration of continued US military involvement in Libya.
- The costs of military, political, and humanitarian efforts concerning Libya as of June 3, 2011.
Voted NO on removing US armed forces from Afghanistan.
Directs the President, pursuant to the War Powers Resolution, to remove the U.S. Armed Forces from Afghanistan:
- by no later than 30 days after this resolution is adopted; or
- if the President determines that it is not safe to remove them by such date, by no later than December 31, 2011.
Proponent's Argument for voting Yes:
[Rep. Kucinich, D-OH]:The American people oppose this war by a margin of two to one. Nearly 2/3 of Americans say the war isn't worth fighting. We are spending $100 billion per year on this war. There are those who are saying the war could last at least another 10 years. Are we willing to spend another $1 trillion on a war that doesn't have any exit plan, for which there is no timeframe to get out, no endgame, where we haven't defined our mission? The question is not whether we can afford to leave. The question is, can we afford to stay? And I submit we cannot afford to stay.
The counterintelligence strategy of General Petraeus is an abysmal failure, and it needs to be called as such.
Opponent's Argument for voting No:
Reference: Resolution on Afghanistan;
; vote number 11-HV193
on Mar 17, 2011
[Rep. Ros-Lehtinen, R-FL]: This resolution would undermine the efforts of our military and our international partners in Afghanistan and would gravely harm our Nation's security. 3,000 people died on Sep. 11 because we walked away once from Afghanistan, thinking that it didn't matter who controlled that country. We were wrong then. Let us not make the same mistake twice. Completing our mission in Afghanistan is essential to keeping our homeland safe. This is about our vital national security interests. It is about doing what is necessary to ensure that al Qaeda and other extremists cannot reestablish safe havens such as the ones they had in Afghanistan when the 9/11 attacks were planned against our Nation and our people. The enemy, indeed, is on the run. It is demoralized and divided. Let us not give up now.
Voted NO on investigating Bush impeachment for lying about Iraq.
OnTheIssues.org Explanation: This vote is on referring the impeachment resolution to a Congressional Committee to decide further action (not on impeachment itself).
Congressional Summary: Resolved, That President George W. Bush be impeached for committing the following abuses of power:
Proponents' arguments for voting YEA: Rep. Kucinich: Now is the time for this Congress to examine the actions that led us into this war, just as we must work to bring our troops home. This resolution is a very serious matter and I urge the Committee on Judiciary to investigate and carefully consider this resolution.
- Article I--Creating a Secret Propaganda Campaign To Manufacture a False Case for War Against Iraq
- Article VI & VIII--Invading Iraq in Violation of H.J. Res. 114, the U.N. Charter and International Criminal Law
- Article X--Falsifying Accounts of US Troop Deaths and Injuries for Political Purposes
- Article XI--Establishment of Permanent US Military Bases in Iraq
- Article XII--Initiating a War Against Iraq for Control of That Nation's Natural Resources
- Article XVII--Detaining Indefinitely and Without Charge Persons Both US Citizens and Foreign Captives
- Article XXIV--Spying on American Citizens, Without a Court-Ordered Warrant, in Violation of the
- Article XXVI--Announcing the Intent To Violate Laws With Signing Statements, and Violating Those Laws
Rep. Wasserman-Schultz: Impeachment is a lengthy process which would divide Congress and this nation even more deeply than we are divided right now. Referring this resolution to the House Judiciary Committee is the constitutionally appropriate process that should be pursued.
Rep. Ron Paul: I rise, reluctantly, in favor of referring that resolution to the House Judiciary Committee for full consideration, which essentially directs the committee to examine the issue more closely than it has done to this point.
Reference: The Kucinich Privilege Resolution;
; vote number 2008-401
on Jun 11, 2008
Voted NO on redeploying US troops out of Iraq starting in 90 days.
To provide for the redeployment of US Armed Forces and defense contractors from Iraq. Requires within 90 days to commence the redeployment; and to complete such redeployment within 180 days after its commencement. Prohibits the use of DOD funds to increase the number of US forces serving in Iraq in excess of the number serving in Iraq as of January 1, 2007, unless specifically authorized by Congress. Authorizes retaining in Iraq US forces for providing security for diplomatic missions; for targeting al-Qaeda; and for training Iraqi Security Forces. Requires the President to transfer to the government of Iraq all interest held by the US in any military facility in Iraq.
Proponents support voting YES because:
This war is a terrible tragedy, and it is time to bring it to an end. This is a straightforward bill to redeploy our military forces from Iraq and to end the war in Iraq. This bill does not walk away from the Iraqi people.
It specifically continues diplomatic, social, economic, and reconstruction aid. Finally, this bill leaves all the decisions on the locations outside of Iraq to which our troops will be redeployed wholly in the hands of our military commanders.
Opponents support voting NO because:
This legislation embraces surrender and defeat. This legislation undermines our troops and the authority of the President as commander in chief. Opponents express concern about the effects of an ill-conceived military withdrawal, and about any legislation that places military decisions in the hands of politicians rather than the military commanders in the field. The enemy we face in Iraq view this bill as a sign of weakness. Now is not the time to signal retreat and surrender. It is absolutely essential that America, the last remaining superpower on earth, continue to be a voice for peace and a beacon for freedom in our shrinking world.
Reference: Out of Iraq Caucus bill;
Bill H R 2237
; vote number 2007-330
on May 10, 2007
Strengthen sanctions on Syria & assist democratic transition.
Bilirakis co-sponsored strengthening sanctions on Syria & assist democratic transition
A bill to strengthen sanctions against the Government of Syria, to enhance multilateral commitment to address the Government of Syria's threatening policies, to establish a program to support a transition to a democratically-elected government in Syria.
Syria Accountability and Liberation Act - States that US sanctions, controls, and regulations relating to Syria shall remain in effect until the President certifies that Syria has ceased support for terrorism, has dismantled biological, chemical, or nuclear weapons programs and has committed to combat their proliferation, respects the boundaries and sovereignty of all neighboring countries, and upholds human rights and civil liberties.
Source: Syria Accountability and Liberation Act (S2917/HR2332) 08-S2917 on Apr 24, 2008
Imposes specified trade, assistance, and military sanctions, as appropriate, on persons or countries that transfer goods or technology so as to contribute to Syria's biological, chemical, nuclear, or advanced conventional weapons programs.
- Imposes specified sanctions aimed at Syria's energy sector.
- Sets forth diplomatic measures intended to isolate the government of Syria.
- Directs the President to provide assistance to support a democratic transition in Syria. Authorizes appropriations.
Boycott & sanctions against Iran for terrorism & nukes.
Bilirakis signed Iran Threat Reduction Act
Source: H.R.1905 11-HR1905 on May 13, 2011
- Declares that it is US policy to deny Iran the ability to support acts of foreign terrorist organizations and develop unconventional weapons and ballistic missiles.
- Urges the President to initiate diplomatic efforts to expand the multilateral sanctions regime regarding Iran.
- Directs the President to impose specified sanctions on a person who knowingly makes specified investments with respect to Iran's ability to develop petroleum resources; or exports to any items that would contribute to Iran's ability to acquire or develop chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons, or acquire or develop destabilizing numbers and types of advanced conventional weapons.
- Defines sanctions to include: prohibitions on loans from US financial institutions; prohibitions on foreign exchange; prohibitions on property transactions; and export and procurement sanctions.
- States that a determination to impose sanctions under this Act shall not be reviewable in any court.
Authorizes financial and political assistance to entities that support democracy in Iran.
- Imposes visa, property, and financial sanctions on persons identified as officials of the government of Iran, security services, or the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
- Directs the President to develop a National Strategy to Counter Iran.
- Requires a report on the Central Bank of Iran's activities to facilitate Iran's efforts to acquire nuclear missile capacities, and promote terrorism.
Terminates the provisions of this Act when Iran:
- has dismantled its efforts to develop or acquire nuclear, chemical and biological weapons;
- no longer provides support for acts of international terrorism; and
- poses no threat to US national security, interests, or allies.
Counter Iran's growing presence in Latin America.
Bilirakis co-sponsored Countering Iran in the Western Hemisphere Act
Congressional Summary:A BILL: To provide for a comprehensive strategy to use all elements of national power to counter Iran's growing presence and hostile activity in the Western Hemisphere.
Congress finds the following:
- Iran is pursuing cooperation with Latin American countries by signing economic and security agreements in order to create a network of diplomatic and economic relationships to lessen the blow of international sanctions and oppose Western attempts to constrict its ambitions.
- According to the Department of Defense, Iranian government agencies were involved in some of the deadliest terrorist attacks of the past two decades, including the 1994 attack on the AMIA Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires, by supporting the groups that actually executed the attacks.
- Reports since the early 1990s suggest direct Iranian government support of Hezbollah activities in the Tri-Border Area of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay, and in the past decade,
Iran has built 17 cultural centers in Latin America.
- Iran has used its proxies in Latin America to raise revenues through illicit activities, including drug and arms trafficking, counterfeiting, money laundering, forging travel documents, pirating software and music, and providing haven and assistance to other terrorists transiting the region.
Rep Jeff Duncan's Sponsor comments:Congress has spent trillions of dollars for military operations in the war on terror, yet we have neglected to protect ourselves from the threat that looms just beyond our own borders. We know that Iran has been building diplomatic, economic, and security relationships with Latin American countries for years. The US possesses vital political, economic, and security interests in the Western Hemisphere. I am concerned that our nation's vulnerability to this growing threat on our Southern border is not being adequately addressed."
Source: H.R.3783 12-H3783 on Jan 18, 2012
Iranian nuclear weapons: prevention instead of containment.
Bilirakis co-sponsored Resolution on Iran's nuclear program
Expressing the sense of Congress regarding the nuclear program of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran.Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives, that Congress--
- Whereas, since at least the late 1980s, Iran has engaged in a sustained pattern of illicit and deceptive activities to acquire nuclear capability;
- Whereas the UN Security Council has adopted multiple resolutions since 2006 demanding the full suspension of all uranium enrichment-related activities by Iran, particularly possible military dimensions;
- Whereas, in Nov. 2011, the IAEA issued an extensive report that documents "serious concerns regarding possible military dimensions to Iran's nuclear programme";
- Whereas top leaders of Iran have repeatedly threatened the existence of the State of Israel;
- Whereas the Department of State has designated Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism since 1984;
- Whereas Iran has provided weapons, training, & funding to terrorist groups, including Hamas, Hezbollah, and Shiite militias in Iraq;
Whereas Iran had forged a "secret deal" with al Qaeda to facilitate the movement of al Qaeda fighters and funding through Iranian territory;
Source: HRes568/SR41 12-HJR568 on Mar 1, 2012
- Reaffirms that the US Government has a vital interest in working together to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability;
- warns that time is limited to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability;
- urges continued and increasing economic and diplomatic pressure on Iran until a full and sustained suspension of all uranium enrichment-related activities;
- expresses that the window for diplomacy is closing;
- expresses support for the universal rights and democratic aspirations of the people of Iran;
- strongly supports US policy to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability;
- rejects any US policy that would rely on containment as an option in response to the Iranian nuclear threat.
Intervene in Iraq to protect persecuted Christians.
Bilirakis signed Relief to Nineveh Plain of Iraq
Calling for urgent international intervention on behalf of Iraqi civilians facing a dire humanitarian crisis in the Nineveh Plain region of Iraq.
Whereas recent extremist attacks have had a particularly severe effect on ethnic and religious minority communities in the region;
- Whereas the UN Security Council on July22, 2014 denounced the persecution of Iraqi Christians, including Yazidis and Mandeans;
- Whereas reports indicate that some 150,000 Iraqi people in the Nineveh Plain region are now facing ethnic and religious cleansing and have been targeted for retribution by ISIS;
- Resolved that Congress--
- Condemns the religious bigotry, property destruction, and violent attacks on, and intimidation of, Iraqi civilians by armed extremists.
- Calls upon the government of Iraq to protect the safety and constitutional rights of all Iraqi citizens.
- Calls on the President, Secretary of State, and the Permanent Representative to the
UN to implement a humanitarian intervention to protect civilians, stabilize the security situation in the Nineveh Plain region of Iraq, and facilitate humanitarian assistance in the Kurdistan region to help absorb the influx of refugees.
Argument in opposition: (by The Christian Post)
ISIS has asked minorities to flee, convert to Islam, or be killed. H.Con. Res. 110 makes it a priority to protect Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq and create safe havens for them. Yazidis are viewed by the ISIS as "devil worshipers."
Argument in opposition: (by Baltimore Nonviolence Center, July 26, 2014)
[We're seeking] action to keep us from sliding back to war in Iraq. On July 25, the House passed H. Con. Res. 105, the proposal to keep U.S. troops out of Iraq, by an overwhelming vote of 370-40. By passing the Iraq War Powers Resolution, Congress made clear that they stand with the American public, who do not want to go back to war in Iraq.
Source: H.C.R.110 14_HCR110 on Jul 24, 2014
Work with Iraqi government to fight ISIL.
Bilirakis signed Resolution on ISIL
RESOLUTION Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives on the current situation in Iraq and the urgent need to protect religious minorities from persecution from the Sunni Islamist insurgent and terrorist group the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIL) as it expands its control over areas in northwestern Iraq.Whereas ISIL has a stated mission of establishing an Islamic state and a caliphate across the Levant through violence against Shiites, non-Muslims, and unsupportive Sunnis;Resolved, That the House of Representatives--calls on the US Department of State to work with the Kurdistan Regional Government, the Iraqi central government, neighboring countries, the diaspora community in the US, and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to help secure safe havens for those claiming amnesty in Iraq; andrequests the addition of a Special Representative for Religious Minorities to [the Iraqi] government.
Reporting pro & con by Politico.com, Sept. 17, 2014:
Secretary of State John Kerry said arming the moderate opposition in Syria was the "best counterweight" against ISIL and emphasized to lawmakers: "ISIL must be defeated. Period." However, "US ground troops will not be sent into combat in this conflict," Kerry testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. "Instead, they will support Iraq forces on the ground as they fight for their country."
Protesters from the anti-war group Code Pink stood up, held signs and chanted "No more war!" Kerry turned his attention to the protesters, and told them that while he was sympathetic to their opposition to war, if they believed in the broader mission of Code Pink, "then you ought to care about fighting ISIL." Stressing that the Islamic State was "killing and raping and mutilating women" and "making a mockery of a peaceful religion," Kerry told the protesters: "There is no negotiation with ISIL."
Source: H.RES.683 14_HRes683 on Jul 24, 2014
Sanctions on Iran to end nuclear program.
Bilirakis signed Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act
Expresses the sense of Congress that:
- diplomatic efforts to address Iran's illicit nuclear efforts, unconventional and ballistic missile development programs, and support for international terrorism are more likely to be effective if the President is empowered with explicit authority to impose additional sanctions on the government of Iran;
- US concerns regarding Iran are strictly the result of that government's actions; and
- the people of the United States have feelings of friendship for the people of Iran and regret that developments in recent decades have created impediments to that friendship.
States that it should be US policy to:
- support international diplomatic efforts to end Iran's uranium enrichment program and its nuclear weapons program;
- encourage foreign governments to direct state-owned and private entities to cease all investment in, and support of, Iran's energy sector and all exports of refined petroleum products to Iran;
- impose sanctions
on the Central Bank of Iran and any other Iranian financial institution engaged in proliferation activities or support of terrorist groups; and
- work with allies to protect the international financial system from deceptive and illicit practices by Iranian financial institutions involved in proliferation activities or support of terrorist groups.
Source: S.908&HR.2194 2009-S908 on Apr 30, 2009
- Amends the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996 to direct the President to impose sanctions if a person has made an investment of $20 million or more (or any combination of investments of at least $5 million which in the aggregate equals or exceeds $20 million in any 12-month period) that directly and significantly contributed to Iran's ability to develop its petroleum resources. (Under current law the sanction thresholds are $40 million, $10 million, and $40 million, respectively.)
- Establishes additional sanctions prohibiting specified foreign exchange, banking, and property transactions.
- Includes refined petroleum resources.
Page last updated: Jan 31, 2017