Will Edwards vote for Iran sanctions?
Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) and her colleagues in the House are expected to vote Tuesday on whether to place new sanctions on Iran, and one source said she will likely vote for the sanctions.
Why does Maryland Politics care? Edwards, facing potentially stiff electoral competition from Prince George's County State's Attorney Glenn F. Ivey in next year's primary, has taken some heat from the Jewish community in past months over her record on Israel. Voting for the sanctions on Iran, which are aimed at curbing the nation's chances of obtaining nuclear weapons, could help mollify some in the pro-Israel camp, said Ron Halber, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington.
"I think it's a good first step," said Halber, who added that an Edwards aide told him today that she would vote for the sanctions.
"But," Halber said, "I think it's very hard to undo a first impression."
Halber was referring to reported unease among some in the local Jewish community that began when Edwards voted "present" in January on a non-binding resolution condemning Hamas and supporting Israel's right to defend itself, which passed 390-5.
At the time, Edwards called the measure "the wrong resolution at the wrong time." She said in a statement that she believed there "is no question" that Israel has a right to defend itself but that the resolution was not in the best interest of resolving hostilities in Gaza.
Edwards's spokesman, Dan Weber, declined to comment on how Edwards would vote Tuesday, but said she may release a statement later.
The January vote was not the only time Edwards went against the tide on a foreign policy issue. In May, she was the only member of the Maryland House delegation to vote against additional funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. She said in a statement at the time that she could not support a bill that "continues to fund the misguided strategies being implemented in the wars."
No matter how far her vote Tuesday goes toward mending relations, it remains to be seen whether the international issue will play large in the 4th District race.
For a comprehensive look at Edwards's voting record in Congress, click here.
December 15, 2009; 12:30 PM ET
Categories: 2010 Elections , Jonathan Mummolo , Montgomery County , Prince George's County
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