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Thursday, September 19, 2019

On March 30th, NORPAC brought Senators Graham (R-SC) and Blumenthal (D-CT) to two separate fundraising events in Englewood. At both events, the two Senators, from opposite ends of the political spectrum, voiced their support for a strong US-Israel relationship while taking questions from attendees.

The first event was hosted by Shmuel & Jocelyn Jonas for Senator Lindsey Graham, the Senior Senator from South Carolina. Since his inauguration into the U.S. Senate in 2002, Senator Graham has been an outspoken advocate of U.S.-Israel relations. He has the distinction of being among the foremost national leaders as the principal sponsor on both legislation and Senate Resolutions promoting this relationship and the safety and security of America and Israel.

Senator Graham is considering running for the White House and gathering people interested in having him in that position or using his bully pulpit on issues related to Iran and American support for Israel. He has less than 2 months until he makes a formal declaration on whether he will pursue the Presidency in 2016.

Senator Graham currently sits on the committees for Appropriations, Armed Services, Budget, Judiciary, and is Chairman of the highly important Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs. This makes him one of the most important Congressmen ensuring that $3.1 billion in foreign aid and millions more in Missile Defense security assistance are sent to Israel each year.

The second event was hosted by former Englewood Mayor Michael and Amy Wildes for Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT). Blumenthal is one of the original Democratic co-sponsors of the Senate Kirk-Menendez Iran Sanctions bill which will impose the harshest sanctions yet on Tehran if they fail to reach a satisfactory deal on their nuclear program. Senator Blumenthal also recently became a co-sponsor of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, a bill to ensure that any agreement with Iran reached by the administration regarding sanctions relief will receive Congressional review and approval.

A Jewish Member of Congress with family roots in Germany, Blumenthal has been a stalwart supporter of Israel's safety and security and has gone on record defending Israel's defensive operations with regard to terror attacks from Gaza and abroad. He believes that Israel is safer when they have a qualitative military edge, supported by the United States.

Both Senators Blumenthal and Graham face strong opposition from the Obama Administration for their support of Iran Sanctions and Congressional review of a deal with Tehran.  Senator Blumenthal stated that he has received repeat calls not to sponsor the Nuclear Agreement Review Act. Senator Graham stated that he believes we must keep up the pressure on Iran to ensure a satisfactory deal is reached, in which zero enrichment capability is a reality.

NORPAC continues to host Members of Congress in the Bergen area with an event for House Foreign Relations Chair Ed Royce (R-CA) in late April.