Tea Party leaders, Democrats unite for Kurdish independence

“There’s overwhelming support in Congress” for Kurdistan.

Posted September 29, 2017 02:18 PM by Jordan Schachtel

In a congressional atmosphere where bipartisanship is hard to find, Republicans and Democrats are coming together to support an independent Kurdistan, as the executive branch struggles to define its position on the issue.

On the Republican side, Tea Party leader Trent Franks of Arizona introduced legislation this week expressing that “the people of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq have the right to determine their status as a sovereign country.”

In supporting Kurdish independence, Rep. Franks called the Kurdish people a “historically proven ally against tyranny and terror, including against Saddam Hussein’s regime, and terror groups such as al Qaeda.”

This week, two House Republicans — Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, and Rep. Ralph Lee Abraham, R-La. — co-sponsored the bill. “The Kurdish fighting force, the Peshmerga, have been effective in the fight against the radical Islamic terrorists that comprise the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS),” Rep. King said in announcing support for an independent Kurdistan. “The Kurds are a proud, independent people who have long been persecuted and who have earned the right to form an independent state. They would be a long-term ally of the United States.”

Another Republican Congressman, Rep. Glenn Grothman of Wisconsin, has affirmed his personal backing for Kurdish independence. “The Kurds have been a staunch American ally in a region sadly lacking in allies,” Grothman said during a radio segment earlier this week, claiming that “there’s overwhelming support in Congress” for an independent Kurdistan.

Some Democratic congressional heavyweights have come to side with their colleagues across the aisle.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., released a statement this week in favor of Kurdish independence. “I believe the…

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