National Republicans are targeting Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey over his votes to prop up the Islamic government of Iran, which is widely believed to be a sponsor of terrorist groups, including Hamas.
“Senate Democrats sent our tax dollars to Iran, which used that money to bankroll terrorist groups like Hamas. As the nation witnesses the unfolding conflict in the Middle East, one thing is certain: these senators can’t be trusted to keep America safe,” said National Republican Senate Campaign spokesman Philip Letsou.
The ad references a 2015 vote cast by Casey to uphold the so-called “Iran Deal” brokered by President Barack Obama that sent billions of dollars to the terror-sponsoring nation. The results of the deal immediately benefited Tehran.
“The Obama administration secretly arranged a plane delivery of $400 million in cash on the same day Iran…formally implemented the nuclear deal,” CNN reported. “The money was flown into Iran on wooden pallets stacked with Swiss francs, euros, and other currencies.”
Casey, who is seeking reelection in 2024, said he has stiffened his stance toward Iran. He touts his reversal of support for President Joe Biden’s allowing $6 billion in funds to be released to Iran. Casey now wants the funding refrozen in light of the Oct. 7 attack on Israel.
“These funds should remain frozen until we can determine whether Iran played a role in the attack and what the appropriate U.S. response should be,” Casey said.
For Republicans, it looks like politics at work, not a policy to contain Iran and its pro-terrorism policies.
Republican Dave McCormick, who is challenging the Pennsylvania Democrat in 2024, said on X, “The United States must work with our allies to use every tool at our disposal to constrain Iran’s ability to support its terrorist proxies.”
On Oct. 9, McCormick wrote a letter to Casey asking him to tell Biden to keep that $6 billion out of the hands of the Iranian regime.
“I call on you to join me in urging President Biden to block Iran’s access to $6 billion in recently unfrozen assets,” McCormick wrote to Casey. “And if President Biden will not do this, I call on you to introduce legislation to put a hold on these funds.”
In the same letter, McCormick asked Casey to help stop the flow of Iranian oil to China and others that provide “a lifeline to the regime,” allowing it to garner billions.
“The administration must fully implement U.S. sanctions on Iran, especially in the energy sector, to force Tehran to make difficult decisions about support to its terrorist proxies,” McCormick wrote.
According to the Republican Jewish Coalition, Casey has a record of being soft on Iran.
That group said Casey “did not support legislation to impose sanctions on Iran and Hamas that would have stopped money from flowing into terrorist coffers. On three occasions in 2015, he voted to approve the Obama administration’s nuclear deal, lifting sanctions on Iran and giving it access to billions of dollars. Some of that money funded Hamas’ training and arming for last month’s attack.
“Mr. Casey did not support the Palestinian International Terrorism Support Prevention Act of 2021, which would have imposed sanctions on Hamas. That bill would have denied terrorist groups access to loans or credit guaranteed by American financial institutions and penalized foreign countries that gave money to Hamas.
“In 2019, Mr. Casey criticized Israel for barring Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib from visiting. In addition, Mr. Casey failed to support the Combating BDS Acts of 2021 and 2023. These bills would have allowed state and local governments to divest from entities that support the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement. The movement seeks to delegitimize Israel and destroy it through economic and diplomatic means,” the coalition said.