That Democrats voted as a block against removing Congresswomen Ilhan Omer (D-MN5) from the House Foreign Affairs Committee was very disappointing and Congressman Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ5) faced much criticism for his party line vote. But where exactly does Congressman Gottheimer stand on our issues?
First, it has been a busy few weeks for Representative Gottheimer. Since the beginning of the new congressional session in January, he has signed on to every pro-Israel legislation and every bipartisan anti-Iranian legislation in the House. Thanks to him, there have been many introduced, and he has spearheaded most of them. There are 435 House members, yet few if any other member of Congress of either party can match that record.
Josh has either introduced or was the lead/original Democratic cosponsor on just about every legislation that relates to Israel’s security or to fighting antisemitism. One gets the impression that Josh wakes up in the morning and thinks of what he can do that day to enhance Israel’s security, because he knows it will enhance U.S. security as well and because it is the right thing to do.
You can see for yourself. Go to the congress.gov website and search for this congressional session’s pro-Israel legislation. Josh introduced or was an original cosponsor on:
H Res 92 — Recognizes Israel as America’s legitimate and democratic ally and condemns antisemitism.
HR 603 — Requires a study on Holocaust education efforts of states, local educational agencies and public elementary and secondary schools.
HR 340 — Hamas International Financing Prevention Act (which he also introduced last session with Brian Mast R-FL).
HR 689 – Directs the Secretary of State to review whether certain Iranian officials are eligible for entry into the US.
H Concurrent Resolution 7 – Condemns the Iranian regime’s human rights abuses against the brave women and men of Iran peacefully demonstrating in more than 133 cities.
HR 931 — Requires a report on oligarchs and parastatal entities of Iran, and for other purposes.
H Res 100 — Expresses support for the Iranian people’s desire for a democratic, secular and nonnuclear Republic of Iran, and condemns violations of human rights and state-sponsored terrorism by the Iranian government.
Amendment to HR 21 — H Amdt 34 — An amendment that requires the secretary to consult with certain secretaries about the plan and to ensure such plan will not result in the sale of petroleum products drawn down from the reserve to Iran, China, North Korea or Russia.
HR 589 — Imposes sanctions on the Supreme Leader of Iran and the President of Iran and their respective offices for human rights abuses and support for terrorism.
In addition, he cosponsored:
HR 537 — Forgotten Heroes of the Holocaust Congressional Gold Medal Act.
And this session is just getting started. Every one of these bills is bipartisan, and a couple have Josh and a single Republican as sponsors – so far. Bipartisanship is important to the co-chair of the Problem Solvers Caucus. There will hopefully be many more bipartisan pro-Israel bills to come. This is exactly why NORPAC endorsed Representative Gottheimer in the last election.
Back to Ilhan Omar. Although Josh did not vote against her committee appointment, his vote did not change the outcome, as he certainly knew. Instead of using a sledge hammer to dislodge Ilhan Omar from a committee from which he knew she would be removed anyway, Josh led HRes 92 (strongly condemning antisemitism and confirming Israel as a true friend), with Ilhan Omar as his surprising first co-sponsor! Read the text of that legislation and you will see that this is a sea change not many would have thought possible. Trading a vote that does not change the outcome for a solid statement of support for Israel and against antisemitism from Omar is a surprising win.
No successful politician can totally ignore their party’s politics; however, the pro-Israel community has a staunch friend and leader on our issues in Josh Gottheimer. Moreover, he continues to gain support on important issues from previous opponents of the US-Israel relationship. We trust him and are proud to have him as our representative.Laurie Baumel PHD
National VP NORPAC
Ben Chouake MD (Dr. Ben)
National President NORPAC