Republican Jr Senator; previously Representative (IL-10)
Ground troops against ISIS only with long-term exit strategy
Q: On Iran: Support the US-Iran treaty that limits Iran's nuclear capability in return for lifting economic sanctions?
Q: On Iraq: Should the US recommit significant additional ground troops to Iraq to combat the success of
Duckworth: Only as part of long-term plan and exit strategy drawing on all facets of U.S. power.
Kirk: Supports Obama request to fight ISIS for limited engagement of three years.
Source: CampusElect Voter Guide to 2016 Illinois Senate race
, Oct 9, 2016
Win the Global War on Terror
Winning the Global War on Terror: Mark Kirk authored legislation to increase the reward for Osama bin Laden and establish Pashto-language radio service along the Afghan-Pakistan border.
He remains a leader in enhancing the State Department's terrorist rewards programs, increasing development work in the tribal region of Pakistan and boosting support to National Solidarity Program of Afghanistan.
We cannot allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons. Mark Kirk, founder and co-chairman of the House Iran Working Group, remains the leader in Congress in stopping Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile programs. This year, Rep. Kirk introduced legislation
to restrict the flow of gasoline to Iran (HR1985) and to enable public divestment from companies doing business in Iran (HR1327). The Kirk Amendment to end US financing for companies that deliver gasoline to Iran passed the House in July (HR3801).
Foreign policy matters on Main Street. Anyone in our community who saw the increase in gas prices, due in part to a decision by OPEC nations half-a-world away, knows this.
We also must strengthen our commitment to the security of Israel, which faces a difficult challange in the peace process and a growing missile threat from countries like Iran.
, Sep 9, 2000
More aid for Israel to foster Palestinian peace
In addition to the United States’ annual package of military aid, it is important to point out that the hard costs of peace for Israel will be substantial. The rebuilding and relocation of vacated strategic military assets and civilian infrastructure
will be costly. As Israel commits to incur such costs, the United States will need to allocate additional aid to offset this substantial burden as well as supply funding for true Arab partners in peace.
, Sep 9, 2000
Maintain sanctions against Iran & other rogue states
Iran, Iraq, Libya and Syria maintain an “at war” status with Israel. These regimes continue to actively seek and develop technologies aimed at Israel’s destruction. Total support for sanctions, especially against Iran who is close to the possession of a
nuclear weapon, and any nation who engages in or threatens any aggressive act involving WMD must be upheld scrupulously. This would include countries that are proven to aid and abet in the transference or development of such weaponry, like Russia.
, Sep 9, 2000
Move US embassy to Jerusalem
An undivided Jerusalem must remain the capital of Israel. The United States embassy, in conformance with legislation passed by the Congress
in 1995 must be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
, Sep 9, 2000
US aid for Arabs who are peace partners with Israel
I support U.S. assistance to Arab countries in the region that are true partners in peace with Israel. While I am concerned about the government of Egypt’s unwillingness to address anti-Semitic rhetoric in major newspapers, I still believe
that our aid to Egypt plays a positive role in the peace process with Israel. I applaud the recent peace treaty between Israel and Jordan and worry that the working people of Jordan have yet to see the “fruits of peace.”
, Sep 9, 2000
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:
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
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.
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
Voted YES on declaring Iraq part of War on Terror with no exit date.
Voting YES would support the following resolution (excerpted):
Whereas the United States and its allies are engaged in a Global War on Terror, a long and demanding struggle against an adversary that is driven by hatred of American values and that is committed to imposing, by the use of terror, its repressive ideology throughout the world;
Whereas the terrorists have declared Iraq to be the central front in their war against all who oppose their ideology;
Whereas the United States and its Coalition partners will continue to support Iraq as part of the Global War on Terror:
Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the House of Representatives--
Honors all those Americans who have taken an active part in the Global War on Terror;
Declares that it is not in the national security interest of the United States to set an arbitrary date for the withdrawal or redeployment of United States Armed Forces from Iraq;
Declares that the United States is committed to the completion of
the mission to create a sovereign, free, secure, and united Iraq;
Declares that the United States will prevail in the Global War on Terror, the noble struggle to protect freedom from the terrorist adversary.
Reference: Resolution on Prevailing in the Global War on Terror;
Bill HRES 861
; vote number 2006-288
on Jun 12, 2006
Voted YES on approving removal of Saddam & valiant service of US troops.
States that the House of Representatives:
affirms that the United States and the world have been made safer with the removal of Saddam Hussein and his regime from power in Iraq;
commends the Iraqi people for their courage in the face of unspeakable oppression and brutality inflicted on them by Saddam Hussein's regime;
commends the Iraqi people on the adoption of Iraq's interim constitution; and
commends the members of the U.S. Armed Forces and Coalition forces for liberating Iraq and expresses its gratitude for their valiant service.
Reference: War in Iraq Anniversary resolution;
Bill H Res 557
; vote number 2004-64
on Mar 17, 2004
Voted YES on authorizing military force in Iraq.
Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against Iraq: Passage of the joint resolution that would authorize President Bush to use the US military as he deems necessary and appropriate to defend U.S. national security against Iraq and enforce UN Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq. It would be required that the president report to Congress, no later than 48 hours after using force, his determination that diplomatic options or other peaceful means would not guarantee US national security against Iraq or allow enforcement of UN resolutions and that using force is consistent with anti-terrorism efforts. The resolution would also give specific statutory authorization under the War Powers Resolution. Every 60 days the president would also be required to report to Congress on actions related to the resolution.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Hastert,R-IL;
; vote number 2002-455
on Oct 10, 2002
Condemns anti-Muslim bigotry in name of anti-terrorism.
Kirk co-sponsored the Resolution on bigotry against Sikh Americans:
Title: Condemning bigotry and violence against Sikh Americans in the wake of terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001.
Summary: Declares that, in the quest to identify, locate, and bring to justice the perpetrators and sponsors of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, the civil rights and liberties of all Americans, including Sikh-Americans, should be protected.
Condemns bigotry and acts of violence or discrimination against any Americans, including Sikh-Americans.
Calls upon local and Federal law enforcement authorities to: (1) work to prevent hate crimes against all Americans; and (2) prosecute to the fullest extent of the law all those who commit hate crimes.
Source: House Resolution Sponsorship 01-HR255 on Oct 4, 2001
Supports $48 billion in new spending for anti-terrorism.
Kirk adopted the Republican Main Street Partnership issue stance:
The Republican Main Street Partnership (RMSP), the largest group of moderate GOP elected officials in the nation, applauds President Bush's call for $48 Billion in new defense spending to win the war on terrorism, provide for homeland defense and modernize the U.S. military.
Main Street Moderates, also offer support for the President's "Homeland Defense" initiative that strengthens border security ($2.1 Billion Increase), bulks up INS and Customs inspectors and agents (focusing on the northern border), and proposes a 500% increase in "Bio-Terrorism" spending.
These were part of the RMSP Anti-Terrorism Policy proposed by key Main Street members Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Rep. Christopher Shays (R-CT) and others shortly after Sept. 11th. Sen. Snowe called "the President's proposals to boost funding for the Coast Guard, border security and customs right on target." "By focusing on these issues (Defense and Homeland Security), he's clearly in touch with what's most important to the American people," said fellow Main Street member Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY).
Source: Republican Main Street Partnership press release 01-RMSP5 on Jan 30, 2002
Solidarity with Israel in its fight against terrorism.
Kirk co-sponsored a Congressional Resolution expressing solidarity with Israel:
[The United States] expresses solidarity with Israel as it takes necessary steps to provide security to its people by dismantling the terrorist infrastructure in the Palestinian areas; and
Commits to Israel's right to self-defense and support for additional U.S. assistance.
Condemns the recent wave of Palestinian suicide bombings and the ongoing support and coordination of terror by Yasir Arafat and other members of the Palestinian leadership.
Demands that the Palestinian Authority fulfill its commitment to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure in the Palestinian areas.
Expresses concern that Arafat's actions are not those of a viable partner for peace.
Urges all Arab states to declare their unqualified opposition to all forms of terrorism, particularly suicide bombing, and all parties in the region to pursue peace in the Middle East.
Commends the President for his leadership in addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Encourages the international community to take action to alleviate the humanitarian needs of the Palestinian people.
Source: House Resolution Sponsorship 02-HR392 on Apr 18, 2002
Strengthen sanctions on Syria & assist democratic transition.
Kirk 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.
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.
Source: Syria Accountability and Liberation Act (S2917/HR2332) 08-S2917 on Apr 24, 2008
Iranian nuclear weapons: prevention instead of containment.
Kirk 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.
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;
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives, that Congress--
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.
Congressional Summary:Prohibits US-based correspondent accounts or a payable-through accounts by a foreign financial institution that knowingly:
conducted or facilitated a significant transaction on behalf of the Central Bank of Iran, or another Iranian financial institution, or a person involved in the energy, shipping, and shipbuilding sectors of Iran
Authorizes sanctions pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.
Arguments for and against bill: (New York Times, May 8, 2013): Seeking to escalate pressure on Iran, a bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation that would deny the Iranian government access to its foreign exchange reserves, estimated to be worth as much as $100 billion. The legislation would be the first major new sanction confronting Iran since its inconclusive round of negotiations last month on its disputed nuclear program.
Sponsors of the legislation contend that Iran is not bargaining in good
faith while it continues to enrich uranium. Part of the reason, they say, is that Iran has been able to work around the worst effects of the sanctions by tapping its foreign currency reserves overseas, which are largely beyond the reach of current restrictions. "Closing the foreign currency loophole in our sanctions policy is critical in our efforts to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability," the sponsors said.
Critics said the new legislation risked further alienating Iranians who suspect that the sanctions' true purpose is not to pressure Iran in the nuclear negotiations, but to cause an economic implosion that would lead to regime change. "When we've cemented a sanctions escalation path, we're creating a trajectory toward actual confrontation," said the founder of the National Iranian American Council, a Washington group that opposes sanctions. Some Iranian leaders, he said, see the sanctions "as a train that can only go in one direction and has no brakes."
Iran must accept long-term intrusive nuke inspection.
Kirk signed demanding that Iran accept intrusive nuclear inspection
Excerpts from Letter from 85 Senators to President Obama We all hope that nuclear negotiations succeed in preventing Iran from ever developing a nuclear weapons capability. For diplomacy to succeed, however, we must couple our willingness to negotiate with a united and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime. We urge you to insist on the realization of these core principles with Iran:
Iran has no inherent right to enrichment under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Any agreement must dismantle Iran's nuclear weapons program and prevent it from ever having a path to a nuclear bomb.
Iran has no reason to have an enrichment facility like Fordow, and that the regime must give up its heavy water reactor at Arak.
Iran must submit to a long-term and intrusive inspection and verification regime.
Iran must not be allowed during these negotiations to circumvent sanctions.
Iran must clearly understand the consequences of failing to reach an acceptable final agreement. We must signal unequivocally to Iran that rejecting negotiations and continuing its nuclear weapon program will lead to much more dramatic sanctions, including further limitations on Iran's oil exports.
Opposing argument: (Cato Institute, "Enforcing Iran Nuke Deal," Jan. 25, 2017): More than anything else, the Iran nuclear deal must be kept because the alternative is a return to ever-heightening tensions and clamoring by hawks in both countries. From 2003 to 2014, years of unrelenting U.S. sanctions and confrontation, Iran went from 164 centrifuges to 19,000. The hostile approach generates a more expansive, less transparent Iranian nuclear program and increases the chances for another disastrous U.S. war in the Middle East. Let's hope the Trump administration chooses not to go that route.
Source: Iran Nukes Letter 14LTR-NUKE on Mar 18, 2014
Sanctions on Iran to end nuclear program.
Kirk 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;
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.
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.)