Bob Goodlatte: No more free passes

bob goodlatteA free pass at Disney World is one thing, but a free pass for nations wishing to destroy our way of life has no place in America’s foreign policy. In President Obama’s final State of the Union address, he spoke at length about looking toward the future. There is nothing more important to the future than protecting the United States from the threats of hostile nations like North Korea and Iran. However, the Obama Administration’s foreign policy is giving them a free pass.

In recent months, Iran has illegally tested two ballistic missiles, and just a few days ago, Iran detained 10 U.S. sailors and seized two Navy boats. Iran’s actions are further proof that they have no intention of upholding even the weak limits placed on them by the Administration-negotiated Iran Nuclear Agreement. This deal, which I opposed, largely met Iran’s goals – sanctions are lifted and nuclear research and development continues while America’s safety is compromised. And, just last week, North Korea claimed they had successfully tested a hydrogen bomb, a weapon more powerful than an atomic bomb. While it is doubtful that this was a hydrogen bomb as alleged, it is clear that the Administration’s lax foreign policies have only emboldened the Kim regime’s development of nuclear weapons.

This week, the House of Representatives considered legislation to expand existing sanctions against the Kim regime in North Korea and prevent the Administration from lifting sanctions on foreign financial institutions whose actions have knowingly resulted in support for terrorists or have contributed to Iran’s ballistic missile program. Click here to read more about these bills.

Much like how bad behavior should not be rewarded, it also should not be ignored. Our response to threats from Iran and North Korea cannot be muted. These bills before Congress send a strong message that the United States will not tolerate increased aggression. I take our Constitution’s directive to “provide for the common defense” very seriously. It is not a partisan issue. Americans on all ends of the political spectrum have a shared goal of ensuring the U.S. remains the most powerful nation in the world and safe from the threats of despots. We cannot afford to jeopardize that by handing out free passes.

Bob Goodlatte represents the Sixth District of Virginia in Congress.

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