I’ve never known this country to be in a state of peace. I came of age under the presidency of George W. Bush and the Iraq War. My entire adult life, the U.S. has been engaged in some form of international conflict.

The result has been a record-setting deficit that has dominated political discourse for years, convincing Congress to cut funding for much-needed services for poor and working class families. We’ve seen our economy remain stagnant while the people most in need continue to struggle even as military spending surges. We are still suffering the consequences of the disastrous foreign policy decisions of the Bush Administration both at home and abroad, yet some would have us enter into another conflict in the Middle East.

The Obama Administration has reached an agreement between key international partners and Iran to curb that nation’s ability to produce nuclear weapons. The proposed deal requires Iran to retire the majority of its centrifuges, give up 97% of stockpiled nuclear material, and requires persistent monitoring for compliance. This deal virtually eliminates any prospect of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon in the next 25 years. However, many of the same lawmakers who supported the terrible foreign policy decisions that led to the war in Iraq are opposing this deal on the grounds that it is somehow bad for the American people. They have been effective in convincing some of their more progressive colleagues, many of whom have yet to decide how they will vote on the deal. We must act now to ensure the U.S. takes a path towards peace, not more war in the Middle East.

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