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PA-Sen: Toomey Signs Senate Letter to Iranian Leaders

Pat ToomeyRepublican Senators haven’t been able to convince President Obama about their concerns, so now they are going a different route.

According to Josh Rogin of Bloomberg View, 47 GOP Senators sent an open letter to the leaders of Iran about a proposed nuclear deal. Among the signatories was Pennsylvania’s junior Senator, Pat Toomey.

The Obama Administration and the Iranian regime have been negotiating for over a year on an agreement that would freeze Iran’s nuclear weapon program. With an end of the month deadline, reports indicate a deal may be close.

Details have been sparse but apparently the two sides are closing in on a ten-year deal.

Given Republican control of the Senate and the need for two-thirds approval of any treaty, though, it is more likely the two countries would have to settle for an executive agreement.

Congressional Republicans recently invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress in which he argued against the deal.

President Obama, who views this and other moves as attempts to undermine him, denounced the move and Vice President Biden did not attend the address.

Now 47 of the 54 Republican Senators are going around the President to appeal to the “Leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

“The letter is meant not just to discourage the Iranian regime from signing a deal but also to pressure the White House into giving Congress some authority over the process,” Rogin writes.

The Senators, who unlike the President, have to stand for re-election in the future, aren’t happy with the proposed deal. Not only that, they seem to indicate in the message that they would not honor it.

“The President may serve only two 4-year terms, whereas senators may serve an unlimited number of 6-year terms,” they write. “As applied today, for instance, President Obama will leave office in January 2017, while most of us will remain in office well beyond then – perhaps decades.”

“We will consider any agreement regarding your nuclear-weapons program that is not approved by the Congress as nothing more than an executive agreement between President Obama and Ayatollah Khamenei,” they conclude. “The next president could revoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen and future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time.”

PoliticsPA reached out to Senator Toomey’s office for comment.

“I think the letter makes the points,” Communications Director E.R. Anderson responded.

Update: Former Congressman Joe Sestak, who ran against Sen. Toomey in 2010 and is seeking a rematch next year, responded to the Senator’s action in a lengthy email:

During my 31 years in the Navy, I went to approximately 80 countries. I have served in the White House as President Clinton’s Director for Defense Policy and on the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Executive Branch. I also have great respect for the institution of Congress, where I served for four years. But the regard for the institution of the U.S. Presidency and Commander-in-Chief that I saw around the world was unrivaled—as long as we respect it also.

Senators have the absolute right to argue and disagree with the President’s approach to any issue. But for Sen. Toomey to sign a letter to a foreign leader urging that leader to ignore the institution of the American Presidency is inexcusable, embarrassing, and shows a lack of experience and understanding about America’s standing in the world, led first and foremost by the U.S. President.

When Sen. Toomey was a Congressman, he fundamentally misunderstood the proper use of our military in the world when he voted to send us into the Iraq War. Today, Sen. Toomey is again wrong in voicing directly to an adversarial leader his opposition to an ongoing process of American diplomacy, by Toomey’s signing of a letter to the Supreme Leader of Iran, who has called for “Death to America.”

That Sen. Corker, the Republican Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, did not sign the letter underscores the recklessness of Sen. Toomey’s political actions – that he would tell a leader who wishes us ill to ignore our President’s endeavor. Signing the letter only serves to disrupt a possible effort to bring about a peaceful resolution to the nuclear weapons issue with Iran. 

And if the nuclear talks fail, Toomey offers no other option except to go directly to war. Then, once again, we will have a representative who will have pushed our nation into war and – with no skin of his own in the game – will once again walk away from the men and women he sent into battle by voting against 12 Department of Veterans Affairs’ appropriations bills after his vote for the war in Iraq.

130 Responses

  1. Pat Toomey is a coward traitor working for AIPAC and Israel. He voted for commandant Obamas secret TPP, wants police to have military weapons for use on US citizens and is a disgrace to Pennsylvania. We shall not show any mercy. You had a chance to do the right thing.

  2. It is clear many that post here do not know their History on the past actions of members of Congress and just what Treason is defined as. So please continue to make fools out of yourself and show that all you care about is party over Nation. btw.. I wonder how you all feel now that Iran has taken control over a US Shipping Vessel and continues to state “Death to America”. Nothing but useful Idiots!

  3. Senator Toomey, I think signing the letter to Iranian leaders is an act of treason. How dare you sign your name to a letter to a foreign party that doesn’t concern you. You have overstepped your bounds and your judgement is impaired. Our Executive Branch of Government possesses the power to negotiate, not you. Perhaps you need more conversation with the citizens of Pennsylvania and not just those within the Republican circles. I no longer wish to call you “senator,” but the “traitor.” Are you familiar with the mathematical formula: + x – = -. You can do 100 good things but this negative action created the “negative.”

  4. I live in Pennsylvania andI am embarrassed by Mr Toomey’s action by signing this letter. It seems he feels he is ABOVE THE LAW…hopefully he is not.! But this is politics and as every hard working citizens know…not all things are not always equal…UNFORTUNATELY!!

  5. I didn’t like George Bush at all but if the Democrats did this I would be equally appalled. They were just plain wrong and it reveals a telling mindset. Sure Iran is dangerous and should be allowed to have nukes….so help the process

  6. Its what they do…both sides are so locked in step with their party to reserve power at all cost. Either that or they’re just plain ideologues/zealots. I was a middle of the road republican for the first 20 years of my adult life. I switched back in the late 90s as I watched the republican politicians just become a bunch of angry, white, inflexible, old as$-h@le$. They would block a Democratic sponsored bill to name the sky blue. I’m not a diehard liberal OR conservative – I pick my issues individually.

  7. Toomey:
    You owe us an explanation for this outrageous, damaging, and disrespectful childish act…..And an apology.
    But I expect we will see neither.

  8. Mr. Toomey I do not see signing this as an act of treason. But can you explain the rationale behind your signature on T. Cotton’s open letter to Iran?
    I do not see how it as a positive for getting a “better deal”, for strengthening our image with allies or neutrals, for persuading the President to “behave” differently, for encouraging any cross party cooperation, or for demonstrating your qualifications for re-election.
    Can you respond without insulting me with the banal and shallow comments of a freshmen Senator?

  9. Shame on you and the Republican Party. The majority of Americans elected president Obama to lead. The actions of you and the GOP are an embarrassment to our country. You owe us and the President an apology.

  10. From a very distressed citizen of PA and of the USA:
    I am shocked and dismayed by Sen. Toomey’s action in signing the letter to Iran. I moved here from Connecticut in June where I had intelligent and excellent senators for years. By Toomey’s action in signing the letter to Iran, I wish I were back in CT. He undermined the status of the US by his action. I believe that he intended to undermine the Office of the President but what he actually did is to show the world his ignorance of the Constitution and of the Logan Act.
    Even the Foreigh Affairs Minister of Iran, as shown by his responses, finds the action of the 47 reprehensible and ignorant. It is shameful and all should be ashamed. Political grandstanding and aggrandizement is what they are guilty of.
    Please Sen. Toomey, recant your position and your signature on this letter and apologize to your constituents, if not to President Obama himself.

  11. Bless the 47 Senators who signed this letter. In the face of incompetence by Obama and Kerry they did the right thing, in my lifetime , I never thought we would see leaders more corrupt and arrogant lthan Nixion- and more incompetent than Carter. For those who posted and used the word “treason ” incorrectly – it is better applied to Kerry and his actions during Vietnam. Still I join with many in calling out Toomey- he signed the letter but doesn’t seem to have the guts or integrity to defend it. Toomey gave us Mitch MCConnell – no wonder there is so little an alternative to the arrogance of Obams, Pelosi and Kerry

  12. It’s almost shocking that educated Democrats don’t call out the utter ignorance of their fellow party members on this issue. Where’s the dissent for these wingnuts? Are you afraid of what they’ll say about you? When 100% of democrat comments are ignorant and hypocritical, don’t you understand what that makes your party look like? Just as crazy as the rightwingers.

  13. I am so ashamed of you for signing the letter with 46 other traitors. I have not always agreed with your politics but felt you were a man of honor. I was obviously wrong. You have shamed Pennsylvania with your actions. I hope the 47 of you are all charged with treason. You have forgotten you represent people and not the republican party.

  14. This utter act of disrespect is unbelievable!
    Cotton , a Senator for 60 days, was able to convince 46 others of this folly or was he used by the more experienced haters to try to disgrace the president and the country. What an embarrassment.

  15. Senator Toomey,
    I am so disappointed to learn that you were one signatory to the letter to Iran.
    What a disservice to the ongoing negotiations attempting to stop Iran’s productions of nuclear weapons.

    Further your action damages the security of our nation and of the Middle East.

    While you may disagree with the President’s ongoing negotiations, they have not been resolved, your letter reads like you already have determined the outcome and that you desire to discredit any possible success.

    The condescending tone of the letter you have signed is embarrassing to me and to our country.

  16. Toomey , I am from Coraopolis 15108 you should have never sigh that letter. I am sure you are aware of that now. I believe you will enjoying you’re last term in office. Tony LaRocca

  17. Diane, even DAVID DIANO agrees this letter helps our president to negotiate the strictest terms he can. The only reason for someone to object is because they don’t mind Iran having the tools to bring, “Death to America,” as Sestak correctly quoted their Supreme Leader.

  18. Just wanted to add my name to the list of like-minded people who agree that the actions of the 47 Senators showed an overall lack of respect for our country, the other involved countries and our President. It demonstrates, again, the lack of civility and protocol rampant in our current society. Freshman Sen. Tom Cotton, the sponsor of the letter, a Harvard grad, attorney and veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan has obviously forgotten everything he learned about the “chain of command”. Our Junior Sen. Pat Toomey continues to build a pathetic record for himself.

    To “UNSANCTIONED R” … Nancy Pelosi also acted far beyond the scope of her job in 2007 as well. But, compared to the current situation, the acts of Pelosi and her contingent was child’s play. Nonetheless, it was wrong …. again … PROTOCOL, CHAIN OF COMMAND. As much as I despised the policies of Bush, Chaney and Rumsfield, loose canons are a detriment to us all, whatever their party affiliation.

    As for Sen. Toomey … you didn’t get my vote to begin with nor will you ever.

  19. Senator Toomey’s actions of signing a letter to Iran is treason. The senate is filled with audacious members who have treated this country with disrespect. They have collected pay for doing nothing. They will collect pay long after they are removed from office. They have now shown the world not to disrespect our president. I am embarrassed that Toomey is my representative. I pray Pennsylvania will long remember this act.

  20. The letter to Iran is without doubt one of the most destructive acts by far this group of white anglo men have done to our country. This not only depicts a group of white men who despise a sucesfull black American President but read thru this-they hate anyone who isnt white like them. I am embarrased for the senator from my state. Legal actions should follow.

  21. Mr. Toomey has acted irresponsibly by signing the letter to Iran. I believe this was an act of treason. I will do everything I can to make sure this traitor of the United States is never elected again. How could you do this?? Why did you do this? You have some explaining to do.

  22. I receive e-mail from Senator Toomey & read it even though I’m a registered Democrat. I try very hard to be an independent voter. After hearing more & more about the letter the Republican party sent to Iran & printing out the names of the Senators who signed it I will NEVER AGAIN IN MY LIFE vote for any Republican candidate. This was an act of treason committed by these elected officials who serve as representatives for the people of the United States of America. I can only hope other citizens will not re-elect anyone whose signed their name to this letter. I will no longer read or accept any information from Senator Toomey. I am blocking his name because I’m done with anything he has to say. I am outraged & sick to my stomach that the Republican party has vowed to turn their backs on the majority of Americans who voted President Obama into his second term. I know Democrats & Republicans are like oil & water but that’s not what they’re elected to do. I’m not stupid, I know each party has an opinion, that is why I’ve tried to consider a candidate rather than a party when I vote. No more, the Republican Senators are vile disgusting people for doing what they did. I hope there are legal ramifications for your party having done this. Also, for the Republican Party to invite a foreign leader to speak in the Senate without the invitation coming from the president of the United States shows just how low your party will go to show their arrogance & in my opinion stupidity.

    Judith Lee Pistoria

  23. I am embarrassed to have Toomey as a senator in my state. I believe what he has done is nothing less than treason.

  24. I am most disappointed that Mr. Toomey has seen it a proper action to sign the letter. As a Pennsylvanian this act does not represent the action I would support from my elected representative, not matter what party, race, creed, color, planet, etc. he or she originated. In addition, it demonstrated a fundamental misunderstanding of how our government has negotiated treaties since the conclusion of the conflict in 1776. It is time to change representatives at the next election.

  25. “Plus, I think Iran would sign a peace treaty just to piss off Netanyahu by showing what a lying fearmonger he is.”

    That’s some high-stakes poker, David.

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