Senate Unanimously Passes Cruz Bill to Keep Terrorist Ambassador Out of US

Given Obama’s track record, he’ll just ignore this. But it’s still long overdue.

The Senate unanimously approved a bill banning Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations from the United States on Monday night.

Sen. Ted Cruz’s proposal would prevent known terrorists from entering the United States as ambassadors to the U.N. Hamid Aboutalebi, who participated in the 1979 hostage-taking of Americans in Tehran, has been appointed ambassador to the UN by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

Anyone connected with the hostage-takers shouldn’t get a U.S. visa, said a former hostage and U.S. diplomat. He requested anonymity to avoid renewed attention.

The Cruz bill passed unanimously Monday evening and will require House approval and President Obama’s signature to take effect. An aide to Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.), who has authored a similar bill in the House, said the congressman was working with Cruz to move the proposal quickly through that chamber. Leadership aides in the GOP-controlled House did not immediately respond to requests for comment about the bill’s prospects.

A deal to approve Cruz’s bill quickly materialized over the weekend, aides said, when the senator from Texas spoke with Sen. Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.), the chamber’s third-ranking Democrat, who also has been pushing aggressively for sanctions against Iran and for the Obama administration to block the granting of a visa to the new envoy.

In a deeply divided Senate, the idea of Cruz and Schumer — two often-intense partisans — working together on anything is almost fanciful. But aides to both senators said that during their conversation Schumer said Cruz’s bill would probably be able to come to the floor without Democratic objections. Cruz agreed to make changes that would require that targets of the legislation must be found by the State Department to have participated in terrorist activities before they can be barred from entering the country, aides said.

The conversation came after both senators expressed their opposition last week to Aboutalebi’s appointment. In a speech, Cruz said: “It is unconscionable that in the name of international diplomatic protocol the United States would be forced to host a foreign national who showed a brutal disregard of the status of diplomats when they were stationed in his country. This person is an acknowledged terrorist.”

Cruz’s legislation, if passed, would allow the President to deny applications  “if the President determines the applicant has engaged in terrorist activity against the United States, engaged in espionage against the United States or poses a national security threat to the United States.”

Cruz said “This legislation speaks to the larger issue of who we have to let into this country” and quoted one of the hostages, Barry Rosen, calling the idea of Aboutalebi as an ambassador “a disgrace.”

Cruz also quoted Rosen saying, “If the President and Congress don’t condemn this act by the Islamic Republic then our captivity and suffering at the hands of Iran was for nothing.”

The bill overall is a formality since it allows Obama to deny the visa if he so chooses. It wouldn’t have passed otherwise. But it’s still a statement worth making. And it shows skeptics that Cruz can work with Democrats to get things done if he chooses to.

  • SCREW SOCIALISM

    DEATH to the islamofascist regime of iran!

    HANG the ayatollahs!

    LONG LIVE PERSIA!

  • truebearing

    Ah…signs of sanity from the Left, or is it merely an attempt to staunch the political bleeding from their other blunders? Either way, at least they finally voted for something that serves the nation positively.

    Cruz is crafty. He knows Obama can negate this vote, but he also knows that Obama will then come one step further out of the Muslim closet if he does.

    Is Chuck Shumer beginning to have an inner conflict over being jewish, yet facilitating the agenda of a party that is anti-semitic and anti-American?

    • Daniel Greenfield

      Cruz also shows that he can move a bipartisan bill forward. Schumer shows that he can work with Cruz, which undermines the Dem narrative that he’s impossible.

      Schumer plays his own complex games. He beat out Obama’s attempt at making Princess Caroline the Senator from New York. He also pushed forward Mukasey into the Atty General slot. It’s hard to predict exactly what he’s going to do and why, but he keeps both parties off balance.

      • truebearing

        Cruz can throw the hard stuff, but he has a great change-up, too. I would love to see him as the next president.

        Cruz knew the democrats wouldn’t have the guts to oppose him on this bill, and it reminds me of something I was taught about sales many years ago. I was the new hire and Lenny was the oldest. He sat me down and taught me some things I never forgot. One of those tips was to always first say something agreeable to a prospective buyer, usually an observation about the weather, or something that wasn’t debatable. Then say something else that is easy to agree with. Doing so does two things: it establishes you as a truthful, agreeable person; and it establishes a subconcious tendency in your potential buyer to agree to purchase your product. Maybe Cruz knew Lenny. He just used that strategy to perfection.

        • Daniel Greenfield

          You set up a pattern for an encounter and keep it going.

  • Gee

    Heck – just arrest him when he enters the country. The Iranians won’t be able to complain – they started it

    • objectivefactsmatter

      And have a nice big trial.

      • Gee

        The Iranians did not give their American hostages any sort of trial.

        • objectivefactsmatter

          I’m not asserting that they have any right to be tried because they don’t.

          A trial would however serve our society well if not corrupted by politics. Which means these days it probably would not serve us well. But ideally…

          Your point is understood and valid.

    • ObamaYoMoma

      Not according to Ron and Rand Paul!

      • Gee

        Between the two of them they almost have a double digit IQ

  • wileyvet

    Now Obama will have an emergency strategy meeting with the MB to see how he should respond. Better call in Dalia Mogahed too, and Huma Wiener. Ted Cruz just stuck it to BO. Check Mr. President. Your move.

  • http://libertyandculture.blogspot.com/ Jason P

    My guess is that Obama will get behind the move. It’s too strong a statement to ignore. Besides, why waste political capital opposing it?

    Kudos for Cruz for seizing the moment. Leadership … coming in 2016.

  • objectivefactsmatter

    Nothing shows how much you value good faith diplomacy like storming an embassy.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    I agree with the Cruz bill, but when did this so-called terrorists perpetrate violent acts ? Who did he kill? And where?

    In my book, he’s a non-violent stealth and deceptive jihadists. As a matter of fact, non-violent stealth and deceptive jihadists comprise the vast overwhelming majority of Muslims in the world today as opposed to a tiny minority of jihadists that are dedicated to violent jihad such as AQ.

    As a matter of fact, all Muslim immigrants to the USA, for instance, are non-violent stealth and deceptive jihadists (although a certain small percentage will inevitably resort to violent jihad), as Muslims never ever migrate to infidel countries to assimilate and integrate but instead to one day eventually subjugate and dominate. Indeed, the very act of assimilating into an infidel society would be extremely blasphemous and blasphemy in Islam is a capital offense .

    Oh that’s right, Daniel, you never mislabel non-violent stealth and deceptive jihadists as being terrorists? I almost forgot. Yeah right!