Meet the Congresswoman Who's Responsible for Those Historic Sanctions Against Iran

Posted: Dec 03, 2012 7:55 AM

This representative has been responsible for key foreign policy legislation and isn’t afraid to call the president out on the issue. Read a key excerpt from our recent profile of Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen in Townhall Magazine!


From Townhall Magazine's December installment of Have You Met with Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, by Kate Hicks:

GOP Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen knows firsthand the value of freedom. At the age of 8, she emigrated from Cuba to the United States.

“That’s really shaped a lot of who I am. Cuba’s not just a place you put on your passport,” she says. “It really helped to define me in my political positions forever, because I know that the fight for freedom and democracy are real goals, they’re not just theoretical.”

Now, she represents southern Florida’s new 27th district, home to many immigrants like herself.

“I have people who literally just got off the boat yesterday, and it’s pretty awesome when you talk to them and hear about their journey to the United States and what they think of this country,” she says. “It’s like a July 4th every day in South Florida, because you have people who are so patriotic and love this country and everything that it stands for.”...

As chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, she oversees review of almost all legislation pertaining to the subject, and has herself sponsored a number of key bills dealing with places like Syria, Greece, North Korea and Iran. In fact, President Obama actually has Ros-Lehtinen to thank for those “historic sanctions” against Iran that he loves to talk about—she was the sponsor of that bill.

“You [heard] him in the debates, saying ‘Oh, thank goodness we have these tough sanctions, and it’s because of my leadership in the White House,’ and I just about [choked] on my coffee,” she says. “He had absolutely nothing to do with it at best, and the reality is that everything he did when he was involved was to slow the process down, because he was still trying to negotiate with Iran.”

Ros-Lehtinen’s tenure as chair has been marked with a frustrating lack of communication from the executive branch on matters of national security. She also cites the Arab Spring and the 9/11 embassy attacks in Benghazi as instances where the administration refused to adhere to its promises of transparency.

“He goes on all the cool shows, and then that’s how we’re able to get information about the Benghazi attacks where people died, and we’re quoting him from the Leno show, or the David Letterman show, or “The View” show—I’ve never seen anything like this,” she says.

Read more about Ros-Lehtinen in the December issue of Townhall Magazine.