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Schneider Uses Bipartisanship To Further Legislation

While on a JUF mission to Israel last month, Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Deerfield) met with Israeli leaders.
While on a JUF mission to Israel last month, Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Deerfield) met with Israeli leaders.

By Steve Sadin

When Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Deerfield) wants an act of Congress, he looks for shared interest from a colleague, a Republican associate.

Schneider’s most recent piece of legislation, the Israel Qualitative Military Edge Enhancement Act aimed to help Israel maintain the military edge he has over its neighbors, was introduced with Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA).

In February, Schneider introduced the America Works Act with Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA) to help stimulate job growth. The bill creates a certification which schools and other training programs can issue to signify to a potential employer the credential holder is ready to step into a specific job.

None of this is an accident. The night Schneider was elected he pledged to do what he could to end gridlock in Washington and he has worked to develop relationships with members of his freshman class and others on both sides of the aisle.

After his election, Schneider also sought and received committee appointments—Small Business and Foreign Relations—to use his areas of expertise to help him legislate. “These two (committee) assignments are priorities (because) they are important issues in the District,” he said.

In the last few weeks, Schneider has been busy in the House Foreign Relations Committee with more than his own legislation. He is taking a role as the panel gives a closer look at sanctions against Iran to prevent that country from acquiring nuclear weapons.

“We need to increase the intensity of the sanctions and ratchet up the time they (Iran) must comply before the sanctions increase,” Schneider said. “We want to reduce the time for reporting from 180 days to 60 days.”

Should this legislation reach the Senate, Schneider need look no further than a few miles east of his Deerfield home for bipartisan support. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Highland Park) has long advocated tough sanction against Iran. He worked on the issue when he was still recovering from his stroke at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.

“Congress must enact the toughest possible economic sanctions against Iran to prevent the regime from acquiring a nuclear breakout capability,” a spokesperson for Kirk said. “(The Senator) is working with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to further reduce Iranian oil revenues, block Iran’s access to its foreign exchange reserves and blacklist additional sectors of Iran’s economy.”

Schneider’s legislation to help Israel maintain its qualitative military advantage over other countries in the Middle East goes further than some measures which have been introduced in the past.

“Israel has always had a qualitative edge in conventional weaponry,” Schneider said. With additional threats in the region, Schneider wants more. “It must extend to nonconventional,” he added referring to cyber attacks. “Israel must always be in a position to defend itself by itself.”

Again, Schneider has a potential ally in the Senate on the issue. Kirk has long been a proponent of helping Israel stay a step ahead of its neighbors. “Sen. Kirk is strongly committed to preserving Israel’s qualitative military edge and enhancing Israel’s capabilities to defend itself from existential threats,” the spokesperson said.

Hummingbird Fan June 10, 2013 at 10:10 AM
We send Israel 3 billion dollars a year so that Israel can build settlements and militarily occupy lands that belong to others. The US has lost credibility as the rest of the world questions our unwavering aid, no matter how poorly Israel behaves. I will be very interested to see just how far Brad Schneider goes in working as a US congressman for the state of Israel.
Richard Biller June 12, 2013 at 12:26 AM
For the record the dollars in military aid provided to Israel must be used to purchase US manufactured military equipment and weapons. This has been the policy under the last 3 presidents at least. Also the Israeli military shares military intelligence with us. We provide no aid to Israel for other than military purposes. Now we do provide aid to the Palestinians which they use to teach hate of Americans and Israelis alike. Also the picture is Congressman Schnieder with the US ambassador Dan Shapiro (who grew up in champaign) not israeli officials.
Hummingbird Fan June 18, 2013 at 01:15 PM
Unfortunately Richard, you've wrongly lumped a whole lot of Palestinians into your characterization of them as hateful. The vast majority do not bomb anybody even thought they have suffered horrible deprivation and many many more fatalities than Jews during their decades long occupation. Palestinians have shown remarkable restraint given the extreme losses and injustices to which they have been subjected. Watch film put out by the Israeli human rights group, B'tselem and see how Palestinians are treated by Jewish settlers and the Israeli military. Read Sandy Tolan's "The Lemon Tree" Read President Carter's "Peace not Apartheid". Watch the film "5 Broken Cameras". Read news printed outside the United States!! I have heard many Jewish peace workers describe their first hand accounts of how twisted the US media has been in representing a Jewish-centric view in our country that has completed distorted the truth. Palestinians are not the villains in this story. Most have just wanted to live in peace on lands they occupied for many hundreds of years (and possibly longer) until they were violently driven out by Zionist paramilitary groups paving the way for a pure Jewish state.

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