Shore Congressman Tom MacArthur Taking Israel Trip
3rd District Representative Tom MacArthur (R-NJ) is heading to Israel Saturday to speak with the Prime Minister about the Obama Administration's nuclear deal with Iran.
MacArthur discussed his upcoming trip with Tom Mongelli, host of Townsquare Media's "Ask The Congressman" program Wednesday night on NewsTalk Radio WOBM 1160 & 1310 AM.
MacArthur said President Barack Obama touts the deal, but he wants to find why the Unites State's allies in the Middle East hate it.
"Israel, both the government and the opposition, hates the deal. Saudi Arabia has said it's going to create instability and they'll want a nuclear weapon if Iran has one. Turkey, which probably has the most to gain economically from dealing with Iran, has been skittish about it. They haven't outright opposed it, but I'm going to ask directly what their concerns are," said MacArthur.
MacArthur was blunt about his feelings about the deal.
"I think this is a President who wants to get something done and has convinced himself that somehow a bad deal is a good deal, and unfortunately, it will be a decade before we see just how bad it is," MacArthur said.
The Iranian regime hates American, its allies, and wants to impose its version of Islam on the entire region, according to MacArthur.
"It gives them $150 billion of economic relief overnight. We act like it's a major world power we're negotiating with. This is an economy the size of the state of Maryland. $400 billion economy and we're infusing it with a $150 billion cash infusion, or economic relief in various forms. We're propping up a regime that tyrannizes its own people and hates us, doesn't have our interests at heart, and putting it on a path to getting a nuclear weapon," said MacArthur.
He explained the deal would allow Iran to start testing ballistic missiles and buy them from Russia and China.
"We're counting on Russia and China, if Iran cheats, to have our back. They're not going to have our back. Our interests are not they're interests," said MacArthur. He pointed out Russia in particular has shown a disregard for International Law in its own actions.
"We should be standing with our friends in that region. Israel is our closest ally in the region and one of our closest in the World," MacArthur said. He noted Saudi Arabia is an ally, as well as Turkey, which just started allowing the United States to launch Drone strikes from an airbase against the Islamic State.
"This Administration, this President, is making deals with the wrong people: Deals with a Cuban regime that 90 miles off our coast abuses its own people, with an Iranian regime that is unreliable, untrustworthy," said MacArthur.
MacArthur pointed out that he sits on the Armed Services Committee and was speaking out of knowledge, not just passion.
MacArthur also expressed his passion to help prevent the KC-10 Extender Air-to-Air Refueling Tanker mission at the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst from being retired. There's 80 missions at the Joint Base, but MacArthur referred to the KC-10 as the "lynchpin" of them.
"From my seat on the Armed Services Committee, I was able to get an amendment into the National Defense Authorization Act that stops the Air Force from prematurely retiring it."
A second amendment on the Appropriates side that MacArthur proposed also would prevent the Air Force from spending any more money to explore or pursue retirement of the KC-10. He noted that the House and Senate currently are working to get the bill that will go to President Obama to include the same protections.
Other legislation MacArthur introduced aimed at fixing specific Super storm-related issues continue making progress. One measure would allow people with Small Business Administration (SBA) loans would be eligible for other grants.
"As long as people are in good standing repaying the loan, they would be eligible for RREM (Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation and Mitigation) grants and other forms of federal aid," said MacArthur.
Another bill would stop the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) from recouping funds it approved, unless the applicant made a mistake or committed fraud, and would include a statute of limitations.
MacArthur also fielded questions from advocates of the proposed Fair Tax legislation, seeking him as a co-sponsor and pressing MacArthur for a face-to-face meeting.
"I don't make commitments until I've really considered them, I've read them, because my word is my bond," said MacArthur.
MacArthur agreed to look at details of the proposal and acknowledged that while tax reform should be one of Congress's highest priorities, "It has been kicked down the road repeatedly." He added, "If I see things that can improve our current overly complex, overly high tax system, then I certainly will consider it."