Invasion of Iraq was a colossal mistake; out in 16 months
The invasion of Iraq was a colossal mistake, and I opposed the war from the very beginning. Bush's blunders have left us without easy solutions for improving the situation. Barack Obama has proposed a 16-month timeline for withdrawal. I believe that
we can and should do it even sooner as the ongoing presence of our troops reduces stability.
I have endorsed the Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq, which sets a series of clear goals towards expeditiously & safely ending our involvement in Iraq.
Source: 2008 House campaign website, polisforcongress.com, "Issues"
, Nov 4, 2008
Boycott & sanctions against Iran for terrorism & nukes.
Polis signed Iran Threat Reduction Act
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.
Iranian nuclear weapons: prevention instead of containment.
Polis 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.
Intervene in Iraq to protect persecuted Christians.
Polis 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.
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; and
requests 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.`
Voted NO on net neutrality: don't regulate the internet.
Polis voted NAY Military Aid to Syrian Opposition
Congressional Summary: H Amdt 1141 authorizes training and equipping appropriately vetted elements of the Syrian opposition; requires detailed reports (including progress reports) on the plan, vetting process, and procedures for monitoring unauthorized end-use of provided training and equipment; and permits the Secretary of Defense to accept foreign contributions.
Statement in support by Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA-25): I offer an amendment to HJ.124 to provide authority to train and equip elements of the Syrian opposition in order to defend the Syrian people from attacks by ISIL and to protect the US and our friends and allies. ISIL is a clear and present threat to our allies across the Middle East and to the US. The President has requested the authority to train and equip nongovernmental entities fighting in the non-U.S.-led operation in Syria. There is no doubt that any strategy to defeat ISIL must contain a Syrian component.
I believe that there are options to defeat ISIL in Syria short of a major U.S.-led combat operation. But the window of opportunity is closing.
Statement in opposition by Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY-13): I don`t see where the President needs authority to do what we are about to allow him to do because of a threat to the US. I haven`t come close, in convincing [myself or my constituents] that training people overseas, that we don`t know, to fight ISIS is in their best national interest. Already we have lost trillions of dollars and over 6,000 lives in this area, and I don`t think we have yet to declare war. This honorable body [should] determine whether or not any enemy is a threat to the US and that we are going to go to war with them, that we should force every American to evaluate whether or not they believe that they are prepared to make sacrifices.
Legislative outcome: Amendment passed House 273-156-9 on 17-Sep-2014.
Source: Congressional vote 14-HJR124 on Sep 16, 2014
Sanctions on Iran to end nuclear program.
Polis 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.)