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Laurens, S.C. – Last evening, President Barack Obama signed Rep. Jeff Duncan’s bill requiring the State Department to draft a strategy for addressing the Iranian threat in the Western Hemisphere. Rep. Duncan’s bill is one of only 13 substantive bills authored by freshman lawmakers to reach President Obama’s desk over the last two years.
Rep. Duncan represents South Carolina’s third Congressional District and sits on the Foreign Affairs, Homeland Security and Natural Resources committees. Each committee provided valuable insights in drafting the bill. “We needed a strategy. I didn’t think the Department of State was taking this seriously enough,” Rep. Duncan toldThe Hill newspaper.
S.C. Republican Party Chairman Chad Connelly praised Rep. Duncan’s leadership in passing the bill. “All South Carolinians and Americans should appreciate Rep. Jeff Duncan’s leadership on Iran. His bill, passed with overwhelming support in Congress, will undoubtedly protect and strengthen our country.”
More from The Hill newspaper:
Freshman South Carolina lawmaker gains clout with Iran sanctions bill
Freshman Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) has managed to carve out an influential niche on the House Foreign Affairs panel by getting his first bill through both chambers.
With Tuesday’s House approval of the “Countering Iran in the Western Hemisphere Act,” Duncan’s bill becomes one of only 13 substantive bills from freshman lawmakers that have made it to the president’s desk this term. The House had already approved the bill in September, but the Senate made a slight change when it passed it last week.
The bill requires the State Department to draft a strategy for addressing the Iranian threat in the Western Hemisphere while ensuring the United States maintains access to the region’s energy supplies. It touches on issues addressed by all three committees the lawmaker sits on: Foreign Affairs, Homeland Security and Natural Resources.
“We needed a strategy,” Duncan told The Hill in a short phone interview prior to the vote. “I didn’t think the Department of State was taking this seriously enough.”
The legislation comes at a critical time for U.S. relations with Iran. While President Obama in his second-term Cabinet is expected to surround himself with allies who share his vision for multilateral sanctions and direct talks with Iran to get the country to abandon its alleged nuclear weapons program, Congress has run out of patience and is demanding tougher action.
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