Even with Congress on recess, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is taking a leading role in political affairs even as Democrats look to make inroads in her South Florida district.
With reports emerging last week about the Obama administration sending $400 million to the Iranian regime, the South Florida Republican, the chairwoman of the House Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, ripped into the administration.
“News of the Obama administration sending a plane full of cash as a ransom payment to the State Sponsor of Terror, Iran, comes as no surprise and further underscores just how far the president will go to appease the regime,” Ros-Lehtinen said on Wednesday. “Surreptitiously sending a cargo plane full of cash to Iran, knowing full well that it is the world’s primary money-laundering and terror financing regime, puts our national security at risk as well endangers the stability and security of the Middle East region. The administration must be held accountable and a full and complete investigation surrounding the nuclear deal, the $1.7 billion settlement and this ransom payment must be conducted. I’ve already asked GAO to do a complete audit of the account related to the $1.7 billion settlement with Iran, but it is clear that there are many more questions that must be answered, including whether any laws were violated.
“Teheran has already taken more American citizens hostage and is no doubt seeking to trade them for the $2 billion in regime assets that the Supreme Court ruled could go to the families of Iranian terror or for other favorable ‘settlements’ at the U.S.-Iran Claims Tribunal,” Ros-Lehtinen added. “Congress must take action to block the administration from making any further concessions to the Iranian regime and it must compel the Obama administration to provide full transparency over the extent of its actions toward Iran.”
Ros-Lehtinen has also played a large role in leading the Florida delegation on federal funding to combat Zika. She rounded up the other members of the delegation to sign off on a letter to Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director Tom Frieden urging more funds be sent to the Sunshine State to battle the virus.
“I’ve been calling for months for action on this critical problem and for resources from the federal government to prepare our state and especially our local community to deal with the arrival of the Zika virus and its aftermath,” Ros-Lehtinen said. “The virus is finally here in our community and half-steps and half-measures from federal agencies with the power to do more are of little comfort to families throughout our state.
"The Obama Administration and Congress must put aside partisan fights and pass a full funding bill dedicated to eradicating the Zika virus,” she continued. “The CDC is an essential partner for our state and our community to be able to deal with this emerging public health crisis, but Florida needs to receive far more financial support. CDC Director Frieden must develop a fair funding formula that accurately reflects Florida’s greater risk from Zika.”
But businessman Scott Fuhrman, the favorite for the Democratic nomination to challenge Ros-Lehtinen in November, slammed the congresswoman on Zika last week.
“They are telling pregnant women to stay out of neighborhoods in Miami, and my opponent, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen goes on recess. Are you kidding me?” asked Fuhrman. “Where is her outrage? Why are our leaders not refusing to leave until funding gets allocated and a plan put in place to deal with this emergency?
“Being a leader means more than just passively putting in an amendment or two and hope you get funding. It means fighting until all options are exhausted and then making every effort to sound the alarms,” Fuhrman continued. “My opponent has barely raised her voice above a whisper on this issue. And now they're taking a break. It's absurd.”