After Sen. Kirk addressed the Naperville Chamber of Commerce, media members were asked to leave the room during the question and answer session. Later, Kirk explained the stroke he survived in 2012 makes question and answer sessions difficult.
“That’s just a Kirk thing. I’ll take the hit for that. Ok,” Kirk said.
…Adding… Kirk’s campaign explains that he has a tough time hearing in environments like that with a lot of background noise, glass clinking, people talking, etc.
Even before the Obama administration late last week said that a $400 million cash payment to Iran was linked to the release of a group of American prisoners, U.S. Sen. MARK KIRK R-Ill., like many Republicans, was calling the payment ransom.
The administration used the term “leverage” to say why it held back delivery of the money it said was owed to Iran because of an arms deal in the 1970s until hostages were released.
Kirk, talking to the editorial board of The State Journal-Register on Tuesday, was critical of the cash payment.
“We can’t have the president of the United States acting like the drug dealer in chief,” Kirk said, “giving clean packs of money to a … state sponsor of terror. Those 500-euro notes will pop up across the Middle East. …. We’re going to see problems in multiple (countries) because of that money given to them.”
In a conference call with reporters, two senior administration officials intimately involved with the financial and prisoner negotiations sought to refute what they described as false reports about what happened. They weren’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter and demanded anonymity.
There was no way that Washington could have avoided repaying the money to Iran in the short-term, one of the officials insisted.
The 1981 Algiers Accord between the U.S. and Iran that set up the tribunal made repayment mandatory, and allowed for either claimant to seize assets in international courts if the other reneged on a ruling, the official said. Iran had lived up to its commitment by repaying $2.5 billion awarded for claims by U.S. citizens and companies.
A ruling on the military fund was expected soon, the official said, as Iran asked last year for the tribunal to hear its case and Tehran and Washington had been negotiating proposals for a hearing. Given that interest rates in the early years of the fund were as high as 20 percent, the official said Iran stood to receive a much more substantial award than $1.3 billion in interest. As a result, the U.S. opted to settle with Iran.
Republican Senator Mark Kirk has been endorsed by Americans For Responsible Solutions, an organization started by former U.S. Representative Gabby Giffords (D-Az.) and her husband, Mark Kelly, that encourages elected officials to stand up for solutions to prevent gun violence and protect responsible gun ownership.
“Senator Mark Kirk has been a steady voice for bipartisan, responsible change that helps keep guns out the wrong hands, saves lives, and makes Illinois a safer place to live. He has stood up to the gun lobby and worked across the aisle for plans that reduce gun violence and protect the rights of law-abiding Americans,” said Peter Ambler, Executive Director of Americans for Responsible Solutions PAC. “We need more Republican leaders in Congress like Mark Kirk, and that’s why we are endorsing him for re-election in 2016.”
Senator Kirk was one of two Republican Senators to receive an endorsement from Americans For Responsible Solutions.
“In the wake of tragedy at Sandy Hook, Republicans Sens. Pat Toomey and Mark Kirk broke from the gun lobby and supported a bill to help prevent felons, domestic abusers and the dangerously mentally ill from obtaining firearms at gun shows and online,” Giffords and Kelly wrote in a CNN op-ed. “This week, they are earning our organization’s endorsement.”
Senator Kirk has been a leading voice on common-sense, bipartisan gun reforms and legislation. Last year, the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence honored Senator Kirk with the Lincoln Award for his efforts in combatting gun violence in Chicago- he was the first Republican Senator to receive this honor.
“I’m honored to have former Rep. Giffords’ group’s support, not only for our campaign but for our effort to make streets, neighborhoods and schools safer,” said Senator Mark Kirk. ” The only way to break through the partisan gridlock in D.C. is by working across the aisle to reach bipartisan solutions, and I remain committed to working with Republicans and Democrats alike to get the job done and end the cycle of gun violence.”