Israel Qme Enhancement Actby Former Representative Phil Gingrey
Posted on 2013-12-11
GINGREY of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of H.R.
1992--the Israel QME Enhancement Act. I would like to commend the
author of this legislation and colleague from Georgia, Mr. Collins, for
his leadership on this issue. I would also like to thank the Foreign
Affairs Committee Chairman Royce of California and Ranking Member Engel
of New York on quickly moving this bill through the Committee.
Mr. Speaker, it goes without saying that our strongest ally in the Middle East is the State of Israel. It is, therefore, incumbent upon us to provide them with our unwavering support. In order to uphold this commitment, we must understand the ongoing security threats to Israel. H.R. 1992 helps achieve this goal by increasing the frequency by which the Secretary of State must report to Congress on Israel's qualitative military edge (QME).
Unfortunately, Israel is constantly on alert from various threats to its existence, particularly cyber and asymmetric ones. In fact, regional, Iran has stated that its desire to ``wipe Israel off of the map.'' Therefore, despite the interim agreement between the P5+1 that was adopted on November 24, 2013, I still believe that it is critically important that we prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability.
Congress took an important step during 2012 by implementing economic sanctions on Iran through the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012. This important legislation punishes individuals who knowingly sell more than 1,000,000 barrels of refined product, or individuals that sell, lease, or provide Iran with goods, services, technology, or information.
However, despite these sanctions, Iran's nuclear program has continued to grow. Earlier this year in June, the International Atomic Energy Agency stated that Tehran was violating international regulations by increasing the number of centrifuges. Although the November 24th interim agreement caps Iran's proliferation at 5%, I remain skeptical of Iran's motive for continued nuclear activity.
Mr. Speaker, that is why the bill we have before today is absolutely essential in assisting Israel. By increasing the QME reports delivered to Congress, we can oversee the potential emerging threats that Israel will face in the future. I urge all of my colleague to join me in supporting H.R. 1992.