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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  September 9, 2015 8:00pm-10:01pm EDT

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quorum call:
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mr. lee: mr. president? the presiding officer: the
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senator from utah. mr. lee: i ask unanimous consent to suspend the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. lee: mr. president, last month before the august recess the senate took up legislation introduced by my friend, senator joan knee ernst, that would have ended federal funding for planned parenthood. unfortunately, the bill failed on its first vote. but the questions raised by the planned parenthood scandal and the challenges it presents to congress and to the american people have only grown since then. at issue are undercover videos released over the last few months that provide an unprecedented, behind-the-scenes glimpse inside america's leading abortion provider. these undercover videos were captured by a pro-life organization called the center for medical progress, and they
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contain i am annals and conversations -- images and conversations unlike anything ever before submitted for public scrutiny. so far, mr. president, c.m.p. has released 16 hours of footage depicting what appears to be the routine mutilation of american children, born and unborn, the harvesting and sale of those children's body parts for profit, the means by which planned parenthood avoids public detection of and perhaps criminal prosecution for their actions, and, finally, in many ways the most terrifying of all, the nonchalant, blood-chilling amusement planned parenthood personnel seem to derive from all of the above. to date, no one has rebutted the evidence contained in these videos. planned parenthood's friends and political clients gamely try to change the subject. they take umbrage and they shoot
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the messenger. they deflect and distract as best they can the political equivalent of a checkmated lawyer banging his shoes angrily on the table. even the guilty deserve a defense, after all. but they are guilty, mr. president. we all know it. hyou only have to watch the videos for five minutes and you know it is true. the subjects of these videos are sincere and candid sharing the secretsecrets with people who ty think are their co- conspirato conspirators. planned parenthood really does these horrifying things and planned parenthood makes money at it. and laughs about it over lunch. but aside from the primary evidence, mr. president, do you know how else we know it's true?
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because if it were false, we would know, for sure, that it was false. the mainstream media, you see -- big abortion's loudest shoe banger of them all -- would be thundering planne planned parens vindication from every home page, every notewor every netwo. if these videos were false, mr. president, if a pro-life group fabricated this cruelty, it would be a story. who are we kidding? it would be "the" story, a career-making scoop with fame and pulitzer prizes and lucrative book deals and speaking tours awaiting the journalist who broke the story. and yet, if you open a newspaper, click on the legacy media sites and turn on the
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news, nothing -- you see nothing. the major networks have gone dark one on the videos and major newspapers have scrubbed the scandal from their front pages. why the silence? simple -- they know it's true, too. the media looked for the facts and they found them, and then they turned away. in the case of the planned parenthood undercover videos in the court of public opinion, as they taught me in law school, the media silence indicates the media's consent. everyone who has watched these videos knows that they have the power to change minds, and in only one direction. so the pro-abortion news media is doing everything they can to suppress the videos' exposure. so tightly have the wagons been
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circled, mr. president, that the media can't even attack the center for medical progress as much as they would surely like to because doing so would require context. that context would be exceedingly painful here. even describing these videos, even mentioning them to a wider audience can only lead to curious google searches, then tweets, then facebook shares, and spand youtube shares and puc horror. this planned parenthood's friends and the media cannot allow and so they ignore the undercover videos, just like they tried to ignore the case of hermet goznell. portion birtpartial-birth aborts
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past. everyone knows that the greatest throat abortion on demand is the truth about what it entails. as alexander sole citizen nighten put it, violence is necessarily interwoven with falsehood." so the immediate why hides the truth about planned parenthood and about big abortion even at the expense of their own credibility, even at the endangerment of vulnerable women and the the enrichment of monst. they must protect the precious. i'm not a reporter, mr. president. nor am i an editor or a produc producer. i'm certainly not a network news anchor, a job for which i lack the skills and experience and alas the hairline necessary for that position. i am a lawyer by training and
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now a senator. therefore, i cannot make leading newspapers, news sites and televisions tell the story. but it occurs to me that i can try to tell it myself here on the senate floor. and more than just tell that story, mr. president, i can make the case to our colleagues and to our fellow americans. and so for the next several weeks, for as long as it takes, i will come to the floor of the senate, the american people's great deliberative chamber, and make that case. the public deserves to know the truth about planned parenthood, the inhumanity it practices, the laws it may be breaking, and the lies it tells. taxpayers deserve to know what their money, more than a half billion dollars last year alone, is paying for, and how their taxes might be more conscionably spent. americans deserve to know what evil is brad i is broad in theid
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and what good can be done to overcome it. in the struggle between planned parenthood and its victims, president obama and his party have sided with our rich and violent special interest group over the innocent women they exploit, the tiny children they mutilate, and the vulnerable communities they poison. i who are beer no illusions about softening such weaponized extremism with a few floor speeches nor do i believe that the are 45 senators who voted in august to reaffirm planned parenthood's eligibility for hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding will change their minds. at least not yet. but, mr. president, the history of our nation is the story of a good and loving people who stubbornly, if sometimes slowly, overcome narrow, prejudicial
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legacies. when presented with the truth, americans have always come to see and defend the inate dignity of our once overlooked brothers and sisters and welcomed them out of the shadows and into our hearts in our society. indeed, the gradual embrace of our youngest americans is well under way, and in fact it's gaining momentum all the time. with every instagrammed ultrasound and every advance in embryology and obstetrics, americans move closer and closer to the truth about the unborn. and at the same time every new undercover video released by the center for medical progress is bringing us closer to the truth about planned parenthood. in coming weeks, i hope these speeches might hope my colleagues and anyone else who might be listening come a little
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closer to the truth about both. as i make the case against using taxpayer funds to facilitate, protect, and promote planned parenthood's deceptions and violence, i hope my colleagues on the oer side of these questions will join me from time to time. a good debate is always more fruitful. than a montana i.o.u a monologu. but as long as planned parenthood's friends remain mute, i will endeavor to improve upon our inadequate legal protections for the dignity of human life. as i said, even the guilty deserve a defense. but so do the innocent, mr. president. so do the innocent. for however vulnerable they may be, both children in the womb and mothers in the waiting room, however forsaken, however
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afraid, the innocent are never defenseless. their defense, you see, is the truth. and i'm going to do what i can to tell it. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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a senator: mr. president, i ask that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. fischer: thank you, mr. president. i rise this evening to discuss the recent nuclear deal with iran. i join my colleagues in opposition to this deal and i agree with many of the arguments that have been put forward.
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like so many nebraskans who have contacted me to express their opposition, i have a number of concerns regarding this deal. one of the difficulties when it comes to explaining opposition to the deal is the sheer volume of the problems with it. there is no simple and succinct way to package all of the deal's weaknesses, which range from highly technical questions about access to suspicions about sites to broad, overreaching problems. mrs. fischer: overall, i believe that while the administration claims this deal permanently prohibits iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, the plain language of this agreement simply does not support that claim. i am very worried that
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inspectors do not have access that they need to verify iran's compliance. moreover, there is no effective mechanism for punishing the low-level violations that iran is sure to attempt. however, if you put aside the technical questions and you see that the agreement will function exactly as it's intended, the fact of the matter is that all meaningful restrict on iran's nuclear program expire in 15 years. at that point, iran's program is legitimized and it is free to build an industrial scale enrichment program if it chooses. this means the one-year breakout time the administration has placed so much emphasis on is only temporary. in their analysis of the agreement, the nonproliferation
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experts at the institute for science and international security concluded that after year 15 of the agreement -- quote -- "iran could have in place a nuclear infrastructure that could produce significant quantities of weapon grade uranium rapidly. and turn that material into nuclear weapons in a matter of months. some may contend that even if it's not a permanent prohibition, as the administration claims, it's still better than the status quo even if we're right back where we started in 10 or 15 years, buying time, you know, that isn't a bad thing, they insist. but colleagues, we won't be right back where we started. we will be in a far worse position. iran's current program was built in violation of its nuclear
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nonproliferation treaty obligations and u.n. security council resolutions. the illegality of its programs served as the basis for international sanctions and it relegated iran to a pariah status in the community of nations. now, with this deal, iran's program is legitimized, it is welcomed as a member in good standing with the n.p.t. and the sanctions regime is repealed, not temporarily waived. thus, if the united states sought to limit iran's program after year 15, we would be attempting to rebuild a sanctions regime from scratch and to target a program that, under this agreement, is deemed to be acceptable. supporters of this agreement,
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many of whom argue that the sanctions regime is already on the brink of collapse, they need to ask themselves, how likely is it that sanctions could ever be imposed if iran rapidly expands its program after year 15 of this agreement. i think the answer is that it would be incredibly unlikely. is permanently giving up our ability to sanction iran in exchange for a temporary delay of its nuclear aspirations a fair trade? of course not. is buying 10 to 15 years' time worth agreeing to the perpetual instability of an unrestrained nuclear iran after that point? no. there are many other reasons to conclude that we will be in a worse position in 15 years
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despite the administration's claims to the contrary. not only will iran's nuclear program be able to proceed without limitations, it will be far richer with this agreement. there's some debate about how much iran will receive when the agreement comes into effect, whether it's $50 billion or $100 billion or $150 billion. there is no disagreement that iran stands to profit massively from this deal. moreover, as sanctions are repealed and trade resumes, iran's economy will grow, bringing further profit to that regime. although the administration argues that alternative restrictions can be used to hinder iran's support for terrorist groups, it's difficult to believe that relieving sanctions pressure and infusing
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iran with cash will do anything other than improve the positions of iran's proxies and the terror groups that it funds. the additional resources will also allow iran to increase its military capabilities which will further be enhanced by the negotiators' decision to end the u.n. conventional weapons and ballistic missile technology embargoes on iran. i find this decision to lift the embargoes particularly on the transfer of ballistic missile technology to iran, highly concerning. and a compelling example of just how this deal fails to advance our interests. rolling back iran's ballistic missile program has been a key objective of the united states for some time because, as the director of national
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intelligence clapper put it in his statement assessing worldwide threats before the armed services committee this year -- quote -- "tehran would choose ballistic missiles as its preferred method of delivering nuclear weapons." secretary carter, in his confirmation hearing, built on this and unequivocally stated that iran's ballistic missile development was -- quote -- "a threat not only to the united states but friends and allies in the region." last year i joined a number of my colleagues in sending a letter to the president urging him to use the negotiations process to achieve further restrictions on iran's ballistic missile program. the administration's response to our letter stated that iran's ballistic missile program will need to be addressed in the context of a comprehensive solution.
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this position was repeated by the united states negotiators. under secretary of state wendy sherman also stated on multiple occasions that iran's ballistic missile program has to be addressed as part of a comprehensive agreement. the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, general dempsey, weighed in at a july 7 hearing before our senate armed services committee, testifying that under no circumstances should we relieve pressure on iran relative to ballistic missile capabilities and arms trafficking. then a week later, news reports surfaced that negotiators had agreed to an 11th-hour iranian demand that the embargoes be lifted. indeed, when the deal was announced on july 14, the
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president revealed that after five years, conventional weapons embargo will be removed. after eight years, restrictions related to ballistic missile technology would also expire. let me repeat that point. instead of exchanging sanctions relief for further limitations on iran's ballistic missile development -- as many of us in this body had urged -- u.s. negotiators agreed at the last minute to relax those restrictions. these are the weapons that our intelligence community tells us will be iran's preferred way to deliver a nuclear weapon. and our most senior military officer testifies that we should , under no circumstances, relieve that pressure.
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when the administration said iran's ballistic missile programs would have to be addressed, few would have guessed that this is what they meant. now-secretary kerry has argued this concession won't have an impact because many other tools, such as the missile technology control regime and the proliferation security initiative are available to prevent iran from acquiring ballistic missile technology. but the united nations restrictions were imposed in order to bolster those measures, which were on the books long before the u.n. measures were passed. removing them will give our counterproliferation efforts one less tool to limit iran's military development and, in
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particular, its ability to build an icbm that's capability of hitting the united states. the administration has also argued that keeping the embargo on conventional weapons in effect for five years and eight years with respect to those ballistic missile restrictions, that that's a victory. after all, they claim, iran and russia and china, all they wanted was to have those restrictions removed immediately watering down last-minute demands of a minority of negotiators is not a victory for the united states. any attempt to argue that we were lucky to avoid complete capitulation to the demands of iran and russia and china, well, that admits a negotiating add
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moss fear so dysfunctional that no positive agreement could have emerged. i believe the repeal of the u.n. embargoes will foster iran's conventional weapons and ballistic missile development. thus, under this agreement and 15 years, we are likely to see an iran that has emerged as a threshold nuclear state with an advanced enrichment program. , has a more advanceed conventional army and a larger, better trained and better-equipped proxy force. it may even have an icbm with which it cab threaten to retaliate against any united states attack. all of this will be achieved
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without violating the agreement that's before us today which reflects how far short it falls of advancing united states interest. worst of all, legitimizing iran's nuclear program diminishes the chance that sanctions could ever be imposed on iran in the future, and fostering its military development undermines the threat of force should iran ever attempt to develop a nuclear weapon. mr. president, i believe that this vote will be one of the most important i will make as a united states senator, and it is worthy of a robust debate. i'm disappointed that more of my colleagues in particular those on the other side of the aisle not have come down to share their opinion, their position.
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i find their silence deafening. as i have looked around this chamber today, i have wondered where are the supporters of this agreement. why are they not on the floor to defend the substance of this deal? forget the politics, forget the false choices, the straw men, and the bluster. we should be here to debate substance. mr. president, in conclusion, i cannot support an agreement that attempts to trade inadequate short-term limits for dangerous long-term concessions concessions, and nebraskans and all americans and their families are depending on us to ensure that their nation's security is
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protected. this deal should not be approved. i yield the floor. i would suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mrs. fischer: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from nebraska. mrs. fischer: i ask unanimous consent the call of the quorum be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. fischer: i ask unanimous consent the senate be in a period of morning business with senators to be able to speak therein up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. fischer: tunes shall you i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to immediate consideration of s. 3419. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: s. 349, a bill to entitled the social security act and so forth. the presiding officer: is is there objection? without objection, sentence will proceed to the measure. mrs. fischer: mr. president, i
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ask unanimous consent the bill be read a third time and passed and that the motion to reconsider be considered and made upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. fischer: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of calendar number 196, s. 1603. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 196, s. 1603, a bill to actively recruit members of the armed forces and so forth. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to consideration of the measure. ms. mrs. fischer: i ask unanimous consent the bill as amended be read a third time and passed, and that the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid on the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. fischer: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the consideration of senate resolution 250. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: senate resolution 250, relative to the death of
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richard schulze schweiker, former representative from the commonwealth of pennsylvania. mrs. fischer: i ask unanimous consent the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to and the motions to reconsider be made and laid on the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. fischer: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today it adjourn until 9:30 a.m. thursday, september 10, following the prayer and pledge, the morning business the deemed expired, the journal of proceedings be approved to date and the time for the two leaders reserved for their use later in the day. following leader remarks, the senate resume consideration of s. 261 with time until 4:30 p.m., and the time for the debate be structured with alternating one-hour blocks by the two leaders or their
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designees until 4:00 p.m. and that the majority control the first hour starting at 10:00 a.m. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. fischer: if there is no further business to come before the senate, i ask that it stand adjourned under the previous order, of s. res. 250 in a further mark of respect to the former representative mark schweiker. the presiding officer: the senate stands in recess under the previous order, as a further mark of respect
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the president pro tempore: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: are we in a quorum call? the president pro tempore: we are in a quorum call. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the quorum call be dispensed with, and, mr. president, the senate is not in order. the president pro tempore: the senate will become in order. mr. mcconnell: colleagues, before the senate is a resolution that would disapprove of the joint comprehensive plan of action agreed to by the united states, china, france, germany, the russian federation, the united kingdom, the european union and the islamic republic of iran. i've long said the senate should i've long said the senate should
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islamic republic of iran. will it further, or will it harm the national security interest of the united states and her allies? by that measure, i believe senators must vote to disapprove of the deal.t th i really wish that were the case. but it is a predictable outcome when it considers the mindset with which the administration appeared to approach these d negotiations. wit the president's overall foreign policy has been guided by policies, with draw conventional military power from powers, tod reduce america's commitment andr capability, and rely upon
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organization to uphold international order. that is the type of mindset that guided the administrations negotiators on this deal. as a result it is a flawed deal among the majority of congress j and through the m where can w people. that is a bipartisan majority. n the american people were led toe believe that negotiation with ir program. d that is not what the deal before us would do. ira instead, presidents deal would fulfill internationalna recognition upon iran's nuclears program by the most powerful nation on earth. there is no question that iran's nuclear program is designed to
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develop a nuclear weapon area nd question. y this is not about peace or nuclear energy. yet, the pres. steele steel would leave iran as a nuclear threshold state forever on thens edge of developing a nuclear weapon. it would allow iran to maintain thousands of centrifuges. 1044 ir one centrifuges and 5060 centrifuges as long as advance research and developmentiteral program.e pres the presidents deal with iran would give the regime access tah literally billions of dollars. the president himself has acknowledged that at least some of that cash windfall is likelyn
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to be used to support terrorism. it is clear that iran is meddling in bahrain, yemen, like lebanon, and in afghanistan.en the president steel will only strengthen the terrorists.. iran is working to pop up and ii fact besides regime. under shiite militias in iraq to expand influence even further, just as i ran once applied long weapons to maim and kill our soldiers. agast iran has a long history of employing terrorism as a tool for defending the regime. not just against his neighbors, not just against israel, alson
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against america. on september 20, 1984 theng aint direction from iran, they carried out a suicide car bombing against the bombing. has i want all your colleagues to know he is sitting with us in this gallery right now. he is listening to this debate. so i asked my colleagues how can we supported deal to strengthen terrorist groups but also would effectively subsidize the activities of the revolutionary guard corps, it is helped shield
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the militia attack. $100 billion in iran and it will undoubtedly strengthen the hand of the revolutionary guard. the council has referred to the group as the regimes money machine. because of its varied business it with iran. as the council noted, the guards estimated to have ties to more than 100 companies, controlling $12 billion dollars in construction and engineering capital. one of it linked to companies connected to nuclear technology. the administration has attempted
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to make light of the benefits of iran's economy and military, and terrace arms from lifting of the sanctions. secretary carey observed $100 billion is, nothing, nothing compared to what gets spent in the region. iran's military budget is $15 billion he said part of the golf status 130 billion. what is lost on secretary loss on secretary carries the fact that iran has pursued asymmetric capabilities against the united states, not to mention israel. iran is carefully studied the capability brought to bear by our forces. in desert storm, operation enduring freedom, operation iraqi freedom and other campaigns. because it has, the the regime has decided to invest in anti-
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access, cyber warfare capabilities, espionage and ever their means to avoid fighting directly against our strength. the jewish institute for national security affairs and assessment expanded on that point. here's what they had to say. iran has acquired and developed various capabilities to execute this asymmetric strategy, including any access, aerial denial that possesses the region's largest arsenal of missiles as well as cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles who target military and energy installations throughout the golf, including u.s. ships. it also has a submarines and large numbers of torpedoes and
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naval mines for choking off and attacking after mention targets. the s300 air defense system could complicate any strike on iran's nuclear facility. that is from the jewish institute of national security. now there's another worrying aspect of the cash windfall from the steel as well. it will serve to advance the efforts from the various allies who helped us bring iran to the table in the first place. as as iranian trade expands with the other country, they will grow even more reluctant to hold iran accountable for the inevitable violations of the deal.
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so mr. president, we need not ended up. we didn't have to be in this place. the president had the opportunity to declare a policy and iran nuclear program. and to announce additional sanction to iran's war economy was ailing. but no, that is not what he did. instead the administration attempted to rely on the ambiguity of its military policy by planning at every stage that is thought to keep quote all options on the table. that was never a policy. it was a talking point. the talking point was not going. as i alluded in a speech delivered at apex a few years ago, the only way the administration is going to be
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able to persuade iran to decease the pursuit of a nuclear weapon is to prepare to make the supreme leader of iran believe the survival of his regime was actually at stake. in other words, the only way the iranian regime would be expected to negotiate on its own survival, rather than simply delay, is if the administration impose the strictest sanctions while having a policy that reflected a potential use of force if that became necessary. but the administration chose to do the negotiations and sanctions consecutively.
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thus, while the president had an opportunity to exercise political leadership and work with a congress for stronger policy for iran that would have better served our national security, he chose the path of concession instead. indeed, the administration allowed for a series of concessions throughout these lengthy negotiations. rather than any time, anywhere inspections the deal creates the process for which iran can delay inspections for at least up to 24 days. rather than dismantle their capability and some put in storage, and research and development will go on. all legitimized by the president steel. now, at the end of the ten and 1515 year milestones, iran's breakout time will reduce to nearly zero.
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concessions are made on the weapons band and the ballistic missile technology embargo too. despite the fact that the international agency reported in 2011 that iran has carried out activities relevant to a nuclear device, the administration made further concessions with their program. assessing the steel strategically, it can only be understood as part of a broader strategy strategy to complete a larger spear of influence for the iranian regime, while weakening our commitment to our sunni allies and israel. that is just fitting within the overall administration's view of reducing america's overseas commitment, its reliance on international organization, and its determination to withdraw
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our former employed presence. but as far strategy makes no sense at all. as iran's capability of power will be stronger in every single regard. in the wall street journal to sechrist terrace of they observed that absent linkage between political restraints and traditional allies will conclude in the u.s. traded temporary nuclear cooperation for acquiescence to irene. it will take look to sustain their integrity. does america still hope to or
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doing now except this is the immediate aspect of regional balance. so we could credibly, it appears the ministration has traded the appearance of nuclear cooperation for acquiescence to iranian. now the president suggested that countries like iran were willing to unclench their fists, they find an extended hand. from that hand the iranian took concession, after concession, after concession. on un security council resolution, on centrifuges, on missiles, on the conventional arms embargo, and on sanctions. sanctions sanctions on every one of those issues. under the president steel with iran every deal of their
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national power will be strengthened. economic power, diplomatic power, espionage power, conventional warfare power, and the power iran derives from countries like hamas, and the sad regime. so supporters of the deal asked what is the alternative, there is a simple answer. political leadership, it is the next president and the next congress will have to deal with the consequences of the steel. we are united in ending the nuclear program we can make it clear that is simply unacceptable. remember, it was the sanctions enacted by congress, over the objections of president of obama.
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what cause the concern within the regime to compel the supreme leader to allow the negotiation in the first place. that's why threat the previous congress and beginning of this congress, i attempted to pass additional sanctions and made a commitment to strong declaratory policy against iran. i did with some of my colleagues , to pursue through legislation given the terms of the nuclear deal with iran. congress alone cannot provide presidential leadership. a king provide the defense capabilities required to contain a threat like iran, it can reassure allies like israel that this is not a treaty, and when iran treats on this deal we can use the tools available to us to stop the nuclear weapons
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program. in short, congress can lay the groundwork for the next president but we need real presidential leadership too. just this morning, we saw reports that iran's appeared leader had rolled out any real with the u.s. after the nuclear deal. we saw the leader say his desire to see israel seek to exist in the coming years. and against that backdrop we have the presidency of iran before us. any objective assessment of the steel must conclude that it will strengthen the supreme leader's regime. no question about it. any objective assessment would also conclude that america and her allies would be made less safe by the president steel with iran.
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certainly that is the conclusion i have reach. this is the conclusion many democrats have reached. it seems to be the conclusion american people have reached as well. i wish this was a deal i could support. it isn't. i would urge colleagues to join me and many others in voting for the resolution of this approval. we know there is a bipartisan majority of the united states senate in opposition to this deal. we know that already. we know there is a huge majority of america who oppose this deal. we know every single democrat has come out for the deal has immediately started making excuses about how we need to get tougher with iran. every single one of them. so that is what is before us, mr. pres. and it will be before us until next week. and with that i yield the floor.
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>> mr. president. >> is the minority leader. i want to thank our leader and thank senator reid for allowing us to come to this about without a motion to proceed so we can begin this debate in a sober, and responsible manner. i want to thank the leader, i know many know many members on the other side of the isle were concerned about various amendments being a part of this debate. i want to thank you for the way you set this procedure up so that we are focused only on the resolution of disapproval. i know something the other side is wanted and i appreciate you setting it up in that manner. i want to thank other senators
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are being a partner on the committee itself, for his diligence in making a tough decision on the substance. i appreciate his lability and why he worked with us to insure we even have this debate, and we have this opportunity to bow. let me step back and refresh people's memory. another people's memory. another has been a lot of discussion, some who purposely try to confuse what has happened here. >> .. political commitment, nonbinding political commitment, and he was going to go directly to the u.n. security council for approval of that. as a matter of fact, he has already done that. in the course of discussions, we realize, just as the leader mentioned, that it was actually us that brought iran to the table. we had four tranches of severe sanctions that, as was mentioned in most cases, was objected to
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by the administration, but it's those sanctions and then the international community agreeing with those sanctions that brought iran to the table in the first place. and so we had discussions. we realized that we understand the president planned to do thi the president planned to do thi we realized that we understand the president's plan to do this was an executive agreement. and by the way, i think everyone understands that when the president does of that, it's only binding on his administration. it's not binding on future administrations were as a treaty which goes through a whole different process is binding on future presidents. has we have played such a role we ended up with the iran nuclear review act agreement. and this agreement has put us in a place now to debate this issue and to decide as abadi where we want to approve it or disapprove the. i want to thank senator cotton force efforts in making that happen. i want to thank all the senators in this body, 98 of them, one
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was missing that day that voted to put in this place. as medevac i think all of us in no if it were not for that we would be having no discussion. this would've been implemented. the president went to the u.n. security council and its this path that allowed us to wait and on behalf of the american people and to express what we approve or disapprove of this agreement. let me say this. when the president began back in 2012 and he said he was going to negotiate with the p5+1 august iranian nuclear deal to end their nuclear program, i thought that's the standard as medevac if the president can do that and get he hadn't done it we would've had 100 votes in favor of that. as a medevac another instances he mentioned he wanted to dismantle their nuclear program. and again as the leader mentioned, had he achieved that, none of us would be debating this issue. we would be thrilled with that
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outcome. but it was very evident that that was not the course of action that was being pursued we had the first agreement, jlpga. we had another round which further as you know -- with additional concessions and finally we got to the point where we all realized what was happening instead of a dismantling or instead of ending iran's nuclear program what this agreement does if we were to approve it, it agrees to the industrialization of their nuclear program. with a state sponsor of terror and this agreement is a greeting, approving the industrialization of the program. i think i going knows one of the great fallacies is not only without approval or are they industrializing the program at a nine month old to leverage shifts. in nine months the state sponsor of terror that has a gross domestic product, the country is
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a $409 billion economy, and in the next nine months this country is going to get about $100 billion. that's not been disputed. so think about it. 25% of their economy is going to be given to the mainland you. think about and $18 trillion country like ours if we were to get $5 trillion will we be able to do with those resources. over the nine-month period regardless of what they do with other issues, the rest of the big economic sanctions are going to be relieved. their economy will be growing. they will be cash-rich. they will be a much, much stronger country. i think it's probably important to talk about who we are dealing with here. i know senator cotton has eluded to this before as have many others but most of us would love it to baghdad to the year sat down with general odierno and on his coffee table you would have
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in front of him all of the devices that iran was using to kill and maim our soldiers do i think you remember there was a rush at one time to rush out on these to try to protect -- humvees -- protect our soldiers from having their limbs and body parts dismembered. once we did that what the iranians did, they develop another device and it was made of copper. when it exploded it would go to any type of metal. it was used to kill americans, it was used to dismembered and. as a matter oas a matter fact we people in tennessee or in wyoming or in kansas or in other places walking up and down the street with prosthetics, that was iran. i was iran that was responsible for the dismembering of so many americans. they are the same people by the way for supporting assad right now. an amazing thing where the irgc,
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which is the arm that directly supports to the supreme leader, they are mr. schock force. in syria right now that is keeping assad upload. the ranking member and myself went over recently to see a display by the holocaust museum. a gentleman named caesar had documented what assad with iran's support is doing to everyday syrians in the country. what they're doing is torturing people as we sit here. matter fact that we should see the pictures. they are actually amputating people's genitals as we're sitting here at this comfortable setting, iran is supporting assad's ability to get his own people. we see on the tv screens what's happening and people are flooding out from serious come flooding out from iran to get away from what's happening right now in the middle east. we know that hezbollah, another
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arm of iran to other proxies right now is destabilizing lebanon. we know that they are being suppliesupplied rockets, such ar rockets i might add from iran to be able to shoot into israel. we know go into bahrain where we of thousands of troops there to keep the strait of hormuz open can we know that in by rain air supply carries organizations there to disrupt that covered and cause harm to the people who are serving as. so this is who we are dealing with. the greatest state sponsor of terror that we know -- we only name three by the way. winning syria, we name sudan come and we name iran. -- we name syria. when we went to the first agreement and in the interim agreement where we agreed to enrich, that was quite a shock to most of us. and then they went through the first big round to reach this
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comprehensive agreement, and in that agreement addressed a number of issues that the leader just laid out. but prior to going to geneva they were still in his final round some issues that need to be addressed. i had one of those few calls with secretary kerry where i felt like he was listening. i talk to them at length. i told him secretary kerry, a lot of people will have difficulty ever approving a deal that allows iran to industrialize their program like this, but how you finish these last pieces, how you think that is going to say out loud qualitatively about how we really plan to implement this deal. and at that time of course we still have the issues of previous military dimension. some people call it possible to take images but we know you were developing a nuclear weapon. and as you know, i mean you certainly heard orally the
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presentation regarding how we are dealing with parchin. actually a pretty amazing after the ap report came out how this has actually survived late-night comedy. we know that if the iaea gives a report on iran's previous military dimension i think you know iran is supposed to be supplying the iaea information and access to scientists regarding what they were doing, but regardless of what the quality of this is, if it's a d- report or in a+ report from the fact is they still get the sanctions relief that they're seeking over the next nine months. in addition to that, the inspections process, we've all had concerns about the fact that you have to wait 24 days -- by the way, there's a lot of misunderstanding about the 24 days. that is after the iaea raises a concern. that is after iran response to
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the. some people of written they can take as much as 40-45 days for this to occur, but then there's a 24 day period. our leader referred to the ir-1. iran has done a masterful job because they've gotten to p5+1 to focus on their ir-1 centrifuges. 19,000 of them they have. they are antiques, truly they are antiques. and what they have going on right now is a development of irq, ir for, ir-6, ir rate. i would ask you to go down and let some of our intelligence people tell you to speak up the difference between the ir-8, the ir-8 and ir-1. let me safety without waiting to classified information, in a room the size of our
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understanding to this back wall, iran, and actually much closer this way. iran could actually do the equivalent in a small room like that of 720 ir-1s. for our ability can with a 24 day inspection process to detect and respon but as the koran, a y large country, this type of thing is going to be very difficult. so i talk to secretary kerry about those two things come and isolate, i feel like we totally punted on this issue. and in for good measure, as has been mentioned many times, we threw in the lifting of the conventional arms worker. where did that come from? what that have to do with the nuclear while? we threw in the lifting of a list of testing in eight years. against what was that about? and it was a really special and peculiar language, meant i think they confused him with lifted immediately their ability to
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test ballistic weapons. so let me just say i didn't, all of this, all of this we know is being done with a country that has no practical need for enrichment. they have one nuclear reactor, one. they could buy enriched uranium so much cheaper on the market. they have absolutely no need for 19,000 centrifuges. they have no need for an underground facility to protect from bombing. had no need for the facility of arak that produces plutonium. many people have said will iran wants to have the ability to do with medical isotopes. they want to show to the rest of the middle east that they are sophisticated. deny many centrifuges they would need to do that? 500. so what has always been about? they put their people through
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such grief, such economic depravity. they been isolated from the world. they are a rogue community and they been all that great a program that has as we know only one need, and that is so that they can develop a nuclear weapon. so look, i'm very disappointed with where we've come up and i'm disappointed to read this as another problem. we are doing all this without a strategy in the middle east. i wrote an op-ed in the "washington post" -- not that anyone reads them -- to talk about my disapproval of this deal. and when you think about it, what other great tragedies, and begin we are seeing it play out on television. john mccain has been so good about talking about this issue, but what we are seeing play out right now is no strategy in the middle east. it's the greatest humanitarian disaster of my lifetime. and so what could happen without any strategy to push back against iran, to push back
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against what they're doing in syria, what they've been doing in lebanon, what they are doing in yemen, what they're doing in bahrain, what they're doing certainly against israel and hamas without a strategy, this'll be the de facto strategy. let me remind you again in nine months all the leverage goes away. right now we have leverage over them. in nine months but all their money, the sanctions are relieved. many of you have read statements that have been issued by the supreme leader and others that if we try to put the sanctions on them for their terror activity, for violations of human rights or other activities, you know what they're going to say? they will say i'm sorry, you are violating the agreement. remember, this president has tried to obligate not just us from putting additional sanctions in place, but he is trying to keep state and local
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governments from putting sanctions in place. so he's actually acting as a buffer against those people in good conscience that would want to push back against the terrible human rights activities that are taking place, and certainly that terrorism that is being exported. so i can this is going to be our strategy. think about it. in a year before the next president takes office, we want to push back because iran is supplying additional arms to assad as it appears rush is doing right now. we want to put sanctions in place to push back against that. what is iran going to say? we are just going to begin development of our nuclear program, or what if we say we know yo you are in violation of this program and, therefore, we will put their nuclear program and, therefore, we'll put the sanctions in place, what are they going to say? we are just going to resume the nuclear program. so in nine months literally the leverage chefs from us to them.
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we are going to be very reticent to challenge them on any violations of this agreement. candidly, we are going to be reticent to push back against the things that they are doing to destabilize the region. so let me just close with this. i appreciate the leader setting up this debate in this way. i appreciate senator reid allowing us to do this. i appreciate that 90 senators have said look, this is probably the biggest foreign policy issue that we're going to do with during our time here in the united states senate. and i hope you what is going to happen is we will continue over the course of the next several days to express our approval by some, our disapproval by more, a bipartisan majority, our disapproval and the reasons that some of through this. and at the end of the day what i hope is going to happen is that
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since all 90 senators in this body said that they wanted to debate it is and they wanted the opportunity to vote up or down on the substance of this deal, i hope will have enough colleagues in this chairman it will agreed that because it's the biggest foreign policy issue of our day, because 90 senators stood up and said no, mr. president, you cannot implement this deal until we express whether we approve or disapprove this deal -- 98. i hope will have far more than 60 that will agreed to allow us to get to a final vote so everybody in the senate can be accountable. this is an important issue. i think you for the time to be able to discuss it in this way, and with that i will yield the floor to i thought senator cotton but it looks as if maybe senator durbin. >> mr. president? >> minority leader.
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excuse become majority leader. >> mr. president, i was asking in wisconsin that the senator from arizona be recognized and i be recognized following his remarks. >> mr. president, preserving the right to object. >> -- reserving. >> senator from illinois. >> with the senator from utah advice visit if we are operating under unanimous consent as two-time allocations? >> at this time the times equally divided. >> between which hours? >> if i could? >> time until 5:00 it is equally divided. >> could you don't how much time has been used by the republican side since to 15? >> -- 2:15 p.m.? >> roughly 45 minutes. >> i do not object. >> if i could --
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>> without objection, so ordered. >> i'm really glad the distinguished leader of our armed service committee is going to speak next. he's got probably more knowledge of the middle east than almost anybody in this body. but it was my understanding we were going to rotate back and forth come and we actually have people who have come senator reid had asked to speak who decided not to do so. senator cotton was going to speak and we're going to rotate back between republicans and democrats. senators have signed up for time and that was the way to be. it wasn't going to be just republicans on for anything democrats but it made it. at the whip would like to alter that status spent we have senators on the democratic side prepared to speak whenever you are ready to yield. senator from arizona.
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>> i said i would be more than happy to yield to any speaker on the other side. i was under the impression that we're going to be going back and forth. i think that would contribute to the debate. so if the senator from illinois or the senator from hawaii over anyone wants to speak i would be glad to yield. >> mr. president? >> the senator from texas. >> i would ask unanimous consent the times equally divided between sites of the outcome, and the following the recognition of the speaker on our side, and opportunity given to the speaker on the democratic side to speak and we alternate back and forth using the time that is allotted for the debate. >> reserving the right to object. republican side is already as a 45 minutes so hope you're saying between 2:15 p.m. ad five the time will be equally divided and we will rotate from one side to the other. >> mr. president, as the senator
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and ends the request -- >> the senator from texas house the floor. >> mr. president, recognized speak with the senator from arizona. >> again, i would say to the senator from illinois, the usual way that i'd seen a renter for many years is one side and then argue, the other side, the senator from illinois wants to stack up all of his time on that side so there's no back and forth. i don't think that's the intent of what we were trying to achieve. >> i would say to my friend from arizona i told you, we have democratic senators prepared to speak. so when you are ready to give up the point we will be -- >> we have been incensed 2:15 p.m. -- >> we've been waiting patiently. >> i would hope maybe one of them wander over and speak. spend my friend from arizona come with a democratic senator prepared to speak at this moment.
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are you prepared to yield? >> i yield to whatever senator -- >> mr. president? >> the senator from hawaii. >> the president of the united states once said other nations, nations enemies that we cannot wish away the differences between our two societies in our philosophies but we should always remember that we do have common interest in the form -- the foremost of them is to avoid war. in pursuing a cause, he said we'll be prepared to protect our interests and those of our friends and allies. but we want more than deterren deterrence. we seek genuine cooperation. we seek progress for peace. it was president reagan who seize the opportunity during the cold war and president george h. w. bush who carried it forward. together they achieved commitment from the united states and the soviet union, enemies through effort to reduce their stockpiles of nuclear weapons, bringing us ever closer to a world free of the threat of
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nuclear annihilation. it in green nsa tradition of fragmentation. the idea that even with countries we deeply distrust and his behavior we have more come we cannot ignore the opportunity to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons. the joint comprehensive plan of action that the united states negotiate with iran and the other members of the p5+1 preserves that tradition to seek progress for peace. this deal is not perfect as the chairman of the foreign relations committee so ably explained. we had to make concessions. that's because it was negotiated between sovereign countries pursuing diplomacy and not unconditional surrender. i hear complaints about one provision or another, and some of those criticisms are valid but we don't have the luxury of sending our negotiators back to dna. the unit if we do that things will fall apart. every ambassador from the p5+1
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has made clear that the multilateral sanctions that brought iran to the table will be upended. we will be isolated diplomatically. iran's nuclear program with the unconstrained him and iran would get most of its money, too. of course, we could levy harsher unilateral sanctions ourselves, and that would be emotionally satisfying to many, but they won't bite. they did that when iran went from only 300 centrifuges to more than 18,000, and they won't now. the question in this debate of whether to approve the deal were to dump it. there is no door number three. a we don't need you to resign because as a deal, it's quite a good one. experts in the nonproliferation space almost unanimously affirm that it's a strong deal. it blocks each one of iran's pathways to a bomb and places its nuclear program under strict international supervision.
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there is no alternative to this agreement, certainly no military option that eliminates 98% of iran's fissile material or two-thirds of its operating centrifuges. now i want to grant the critics make a few very persuasive arguments that have more to do with how we view iran and how we view this deal. first they say it places too much trust in iran but the opposite is true. this agreement is not based on trust or shared values and we have no reason to assume that iran will comply with its terms in good faith. that's why the agreement adopt a robust sections and faraday cage regime that will be in place for up to 25 years. we will be monitoring iran entire nuclear supply chain from uranium mining, building an enrichment to the manufacturing and replacement of centrifuges so we'll know if iran is devoted iranian or centrifuges to secret facilities.
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if iran does try to break out to acquire the bomb, all options remain on the table to stop including the use of military force. and because the agreement provides us more information about iran's nuclear program, our military options will be more effective and have the backing of the international community because we will have exhausted diplomacy first. the other concern that i think this is a valid one is that this deal should not be overstated in terms of its impact on our coyotes and alliances in the region. it's important on the nuclear issue by in october we will have many of the same challenges in the middle east that we had in september. iran is to the world leading state sponsor of terror, and nothing in this deal will deter us from working to detain iran's regional aspirations including its support of hamas and hezbollah. but our efforts can't occur with a nuclear-armed iran off the table. i want to personally offer some words to those americans who
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love israel with a personal passion and commitment that i share. there was skepticism is well earned and based in faith and history. based in familial relationships and culture. it is part of who we are. you want to know rightly what happens next. what is the united states prepared to do to protect loved ones in a dangerous neighborhood? whether one supports this deal or not we can all agree that america's commitment to israel remains unshakable and we will continue democrats and republicans united to stand with israel. even as we work to restrict iran's nuclear ambitions we will continue to force hamas and hezbollah. were committed to cooperating with israel on intelligence and secret at the highest levels ever come a continuing to ensure that israel's qualitative military edge is protected. with this debate is over we must find new ways to enhance our
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joint efforts to counter threats that endanger israel every day. mr. president, we are debating what may be the most important foreign policy choice of the decade. our decision will have consequences for the security and the stability of a new middle east. if congress chooses to oppose this group we will witness an unraveling of the international sanctions that brought iran to the negotiating table with iran moving ever faster towards the bomb and a country left with few choices besides another war in the middle east. we have shown as a country that with the will to protect ourselves, our allies and our interests using military force when truly necessary. we will continue to stand with israel despite whatever temporary disagreements our government may have. we don't under estimate or understate the challenges that we have in the role of our military, shaping events for the better. but in this instance with eyes
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wide open we are to pursue -- pursue peace first. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. >> i want to thank of conducting a debate on disagree with this recess and gravity that it deserves in doing so acting in the best tradition of the city. i think it. i think afford. i like to thank my colleague, the senator from tennessee and the chairman of the foreign relations committee who i believe just gave a very eloquent presentation of the situation as we are debating today. today, begins the culmination of the monumental debate in our nation is conducted for the past three months. this debate is not about whether we support diplomatic solutions to international challenges. or whether we are willing to negotiate with the iranian regime or whether we should go to war with iran. that's not what this debate is about. despite the president said parts
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in attempts to make it so. it's always preferable to solve international problems without resorting to military force but the ultimate test of any diplomacy is not merely whether it avoid the use of force but whether it secures our national security interests, put simply, i believe the joint company is a plan of action tales this test and it fails by the very criteria that the administration itself once laid out as a good deal. three years ago president obama's said quote get iran to recognize the needs to give up its nuclear program and abide by u.n. resolutions that have been in place. that's what the president said. the deal we will accept is that the end their nuclear program. is very straightforward. in reality the deal doesn't require iran to end its program.
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simply suspended for a couple, for a period of years as the president said in april, i ran is a quick is simply dismantle its program because we didn't get to do so. contemplate that. iran is likely to simply dismantle its program because we demanded to do so. unfortunately, the administration's concessions didn't stop there. on november 24, 2016, secretary kerry said there is the right to enrich. we did not come we are not recognized right to enrich. however, in the final deal the administration not only concede the right to enrich, it also allowed iran to maintain an industrial scale enrichment capability which will only grow in size and sophistication. on the issue of fordo, the once covert nuclear facility that was dug deep into a mountain, president obama said in december 2013 that iran had no need, no need for such a
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facility at fault it sought was peaceful nuclear energy. and get the final deal allows iran to make a nearly 1000 centrifuges in fordo at conduct nuclear related testing their during the entire life of the agreement on the issue of iran's breakout capacity, president obama said in december 2013 that ended the of he envisions the iranians, quote, as a practical matter did not have a breakout capacity. here to the administration reversed itself, conceding to a breakout capacity and establishing the arbitrary standard of one year. similarly on the so-called possible military dimensions, or pmd, of iran's past nuclear activities, secretary kerry said this april they have to do it. it will be done. it will be part of a final agreement. it has to be. two months later, two months
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later secretary kerry reversed himself saying, quote, we are not fixated on iran specifically accounted for what they did at one every in time for another. we have no debt. we have absolute knowledge. you know, my friends, this kind of hubris is astonishing. i know of no intelligence professional who would share that level of certainty, but perhaps secretary kerry's reversals because the final deal does not require iran to resolve the pmd issue prior to receiving sanctions relief. furthermore, the chief of iran's atomic energy agency has said sanctions relief will proceed regardless of the resolution of the pmd issue. that was the chief of iran's atomic energy agency. the mechanism to resolve long-standing international concern about the possible military mentioned of iran's
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nuclear program is contained in a side agreement between iran and the iaea, which neither the administration nor the congress have seen. get this. there's an agreement on inspection and verification that this congress, before we vote, will never have seen. the american people will never have seen. how in the world on the most important aspect of any improvement of verification, the provisions for which are not known to the members of this body. that alone, that alone is the reason to demand, to demand what other side agreements? maybe they are nothing. maybe there's something we would approve up. we don't even know what in the world we are. the administration provided a classified briefing on the big note to be in this side agreement and suffice it to say, i think most of us in a both
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sides of the aisle would agree that briefing from one of the more bizarre and disturbing aspects of this deal. they call it unconventional. that's generous. what's more come inspections of iran's facilities will be conducted by the iaea, the international atomic energy agency. to be no americans allowed on the ground in the details of how these marketing activities will occur are contained in an other side agreement between the iaea and iran. here's the problem. verifying that iran is not cheating on this deal requires a full accounting of the possible military dimensions of iran's nuclear program. to verify that iran has ceased its nuclear weapons or that activities necessarily requires that we know the full extent of the past activities, the personnel, facilities, equipment
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and materials to do this, and over what time period. we do not have that information. president obama has said this deal was based on verification, not trust, but the means of verification are in many cases suspect. this presents a major problem. we will vote in the coming days on the iran deal, but we cannot even read certain foundational documents pertaining to have that verification will occur, and our own government is not even a party to those agreements. i find that deeply troubling. it may accounts as more over pashtun majority of americans who do not approve of this deal. even more troubling, however, is the administration also conceded its long-standing and repeated promises that its diplomacy was limited exclusively to the nuclear file. for nearly a decade the embargo
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has hurt iran's ability to build and modernize its aging military. not long before the deal was announced, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff before our committee, general dempsey, told the committee on armed services, under quote, under no circumstances should we relieve pressure on iran relative to missile capabilities and arms trafficking. is there anything in this agreement that does not? in fact the opposite. in five years the international arms embargo against iran wouldd be lifted friend of the regime to acquire military capabilities such as fighter aircraft and air defense systems and anti-ship missiles. with billions of dollars in sanctions relief, iran is sure to find plenty of states that are eager to sell those weapons, especially russia and china. in ages. we would -- including icbms
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whose only conceivable military purpose would be to deliver nuclear weapons. this concession was made even as the director of national intelligence concluded earlier this year, and i quote, iran's ballistic missiles are inherently capable of delivering wmd -- that's weapons of mass destruction -- and tehran always has the largest inventory of ballistic missiles in the middle east. in this way, the administration's iran deal not only pays the islamic republic's path to nuclear capability, it also furthers that regimes emerges as the dominant military power in the middle east. this has a direct and dangerous implications for the united states, especially our armed forces. after all, the ultimate guarantee that iran will not get a nuclear weapon, it's not 109 page document. it's a keeper the of u.s.
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military to do what is necessary to prevent it if all else fails. the administration says the military option will remain on the table if iran violates the agreement, and that is true. yet the agreement itself would enable iran to construct the very kind of events military arsenal that could raise the cost of employing our military option, should it become necessary. in short, if this agreement fails and u.s. servicemembers are called upon to take military action in iran, their lives clearly would be at greater risk because of the terms of this deal. as we debate the technical details of this agreement and this is the bigger picture that we must stay focused on. strategic implications of this agreement for nuclear proliferation, regional security and the balance of power and an increasingly chaotic middle east. this has been the focus of our
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oversight in the committee on armed services. and from this perspective, is that iran deal only looks that much worse. iran is not just on arms control challenge. it's a geopolitical challenge. four years, many of us have urged the ministry should adopt original strategy to counter iran's malign activities in the middle east. the sender, chairman of the foreign relations committee pointed out what has been done by these ieds that sola manes into iraq to kill and maim our men and women who are serving in the military. unfortunately, such a strategy exists. it is the evidence that they. instead we've watched with alarm as events military and intelligence operated -- operatives have stepped up their destabilizing activity in iraq, syria, lebanon, bahrain, gaza,
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and elsewhere. iran did all of this under the full pressure of sanctions. now iran will receive tens of millions of dollars in sanctions release -- relief. to be sure. a good amount of the money will go to iran's priorities but much of it will also surely flow to iran's militia guards corps and quds force, groups that is the to the joint chiefs of staff also mention were responsible for the deaths of several hundred u.s. servicemembers. this will have enormous consequences for stability in the middle east and for america's credibility. for decades republicans and democratic administrations have sought to contain the malign influence of the every republican iran and prevent it from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability. our allies and partners have entrusted much of their own security to the united states because they believed that our commitments were credible. in this way america's role in the region has been suppressed
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sacred competition these between states with blockage of mistrust and to prevent competition from breaking down into conflict. i fear this agreement will further undermine our ability and willingness to play that vital stabilizing role. ouallies and partners in the middle east have increased i come to believe that america is withdrawing from the region, in doing so at a time when i ran is aggressively seeking to advance its geopolitical ambitions. now we've made it to with iran that will not only legitimize the islamic republic as a threshold nuclear state within industrial enrichment capability, but will also unshackle its regime and has long held her suit of conventional military power and actually consolidate the islamic republic's control in iran for years to come. the dangers result is that our allies and partners will be
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increasingly likely to take matters into their own hands. and, indeed, they already see evidence of that. these fateful decisions may well manifest themselves in a growing regional security competition. new arms races, nuclear proliferation and possible conflict all of which would demand more, not less, u.s. leadership and presence in the region. ultimately, this is what i find most troubling about the iran deal. it embodies and will likely exacerbate the collapse of america's global influence that is occurring under this administration and, indeed, has so often been catalyzed by its policies. just consider, just consider, my colleagues, how much more dangerous our world has become. from russian influence is expanding. vladimir putin is using 21st century weapons to further his
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19th century ambitions of russian empire. most dramatically in ukraine were putin seeks to annex the territory and a sovereign country. our present those to estonia, and days later russia abducts an estonian agent on estonia territory. what message does that send? china's leaders also appear to be -- in the next week china escalates tensions with the u.s. partner in the south china sea. our president visits alaska and five, for the first time, five chinese warships show up in the illusions of violating the 12-mile limited meanwhile, china continues its military modernization were building a military land features in international waters. again, there's no deterrence. cyber attacks against our nation are increasing in regular and severity in just the past year we've been attacked by north
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korea, iran, china and russia. and the administration does what? nothing. and there is no deterrence so attacks continued we watch the hard-won gains of our men and women in uniform belt away in a back. following the presence decision to withdraw all of our troops in 2011 over the objections of his military leaders and commanders on the ground. and, of course, there's the conflict in syria which claimed 220,000 lives and counting, spawned a large the most threatening terrorist army in the world from involved repeat use of weapons of mass destruction, destabilizing the entire middle east and lead to the largest refugee crisis in europe since world war ii. there is no one who is not deeply moved by the picture of the three year old baby on the beach. my friends, that is a direct
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result of obama's foreign policy, and have no doubt about it. amid all that is going threats for four years at the budget control act and sequestration of cut our military by hundreds of billions of dollars for no strategic russia whatsoever. congress has been complicit in this disaster but if the president showed as much personal engagement and women is to compromise with republicans as he did with iranians come we could repeal the budget control act and sequestration and fund the government tomorrow. and through it all come through it all, my colleagues, what have we heard from our president? we have been told that america's influence is limited. as it that is not always the case. we've been told that there are no good options to the challenges we face. as if there ever are in the real world. we've been told that we cannot solve every problem in the world, as if that absolves us from ever attempting to solve
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any problem. we've been told that the administration's worst failures are always someone else's fault and that no policy of theirs after six years in power is ever to blame. and we've been told that the only alternative to our current mess of a foreign policy is more. and that anyone who disagrees with this president, republican and democrat, they make no distinction come is a warmonger is a warmonger. again and again where there should be leadership and statesmanship, there is only a parade of truisms and defeatist rhetoric and strawman arguments and partisan attacks. this is painted in sheep in our national discourse as evidenced by the fact that unlike past landmark diplomatic agreements, this one will likely come into force on a partyline, minority
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vote. let me emphasize that. this iranian deal, the likely be rejected by a bipartisan majority of both houses of congress if there is a president in american history for such a thing, i cannot think of it. indeed, a recent pew poll found that only 21% of americans approve of the iranian deal. this is also diminished our standing in the world. our words ring hollow. our reassurances failed to reassure. our warnings were not heeded. our red lines are crossed. our moral influence is being discredited and tarnished. americans sense this, and so do our adversaries. they perceived as weakness, and it is provocative. we need leadership. strategy and policy to address this crisis and a foreign policy especially the broader threat posed by iran.
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this larger response should include among other steps increasing sanctions against iran for its malign activities in the middle east and its human rights abuses. new security assistance for our allies and partners in the region, and once and for all, eliminating the specter of sequestration. this congress could take up this ever with new legislation on public forward to working on wititwith my colleagues on boths of the aisle. that time will come. however, the question now before this body is whether to disapprove the administration's deal with iran. i would vote yes. i disapprove of this too because it would not cut off iran's path to nuclear weapons. if we paid a new one. i disapprove of mr. because it would legitimize the islamic republic as a threshold nuclear state with an industrial enrichment capability that will grow unfettered after the key terms of the deal and. i disapprove of this deal
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because it unshackle is tehran's pursuit of conventional military power. i disapprove of this deal because it rests on the assumption, a hope really, that in a decade or so we may be dealing with a better iranian regime. and yet the deal itself will likely strengthen the current iranian regime. this view is not in our national secret interest. congress and the american people should reject it. i yield the floor. >> mr. president? if i could just kiss the -- >> the senator from tennessee. >> okay. as has been from -- the time as they bequeathed by the republicans has been a great deal of time on the floor, the overtures for people on our site that are coming an and going on outside the window the next big as senator feinstein but with preagreed order of hatch, cornyn, barrasso and gartner, it's my understanding that we only have about 15-20 minutes of
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time left on our side until 5:00. and i just say that for the convenience of members. i don't have the, mr. president, if you chose how much exact time we have on this side? >> the republicans have approximately 10 and one half minutes remaining. >> i say that for the convenience of the people on our site you may come and go. that's the order, and i know -- how much time does the democrats side have? >> [inaudible conversations]
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>> the democrats have approximate one hour 15 minutes. >> so, so just based on the process that was put forward by the minority whip, obviously will have maybe one or speaker overeager i assume you'll have democrats to vote on your side in televised. just want to make that no two people. thank you. >> mr. president? spent the senator from california. >> try to i rise today to show support for the nuclear agreement in our brain. i do so because i believe this diplomatic achievement provides the only option that prevents iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. i would like to take just a moment to say thank you to our negotiating team and commend them on a job that i believe was well done. and to thank them for the concerted effort to explain the agreement to the congress over the past two months.
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i have been in this body for a long time. there've been many different agree with. i can never remember a time where to send it has been briefed more assiduously than it has with this agreement. and as you know, mr. president, we sat this morning for two hours and listen to the top heads of our intelligence agencies discusse discuss with e particulars of this agreement. american negotiators have worked with negotiators from the world nature powers, the united kingdom, france, germany, china, russia and eu. and reached an agreement that will prevent iran from developing a nuclear weapon for at least the next 15 years. and i believe longer. i can't emphasize this enough. the agreement represents the world coming together to put in and to iran's nuclear program. i contrast to get the senate
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disapproves this agreement, we are on our own. as of last night, 42 centers have announced their support for the agreement. in practical terms, that means that the congress will not -- the senate will not disapprove this agreement. we've conducted a full review, and the opponents of this deal have failed. but the opponents are still holding out the false hope that there can be a better deal. let me be clear. there is no better deal. no one, no deal, no later has proposed one. the only alternative to the agreement we now have is no agreement at all. should congress rejected his the court, the united states which led this effort would be deserting our allies and negotiating partners. that's because this is not just an agreement between the united states and iran. it's an agreement between the
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world's major powers. the largest most powerful nations in the world, and iran. and it is the one approved by the 15 members of the united nations security council. brent scowcroft, so i know well, i see annual, the former national security advisor to president george h. w. bush recently wrote, and i quote, there is no credible alternative were congress to prevent u.s. participation in this nuclear deal. if we walk away, we walk away a long, end quote. i think it may be helpful to remind my colleagues and the american people how we got where we are today. first of all, pretty iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon has been a long-standing and bipartisan national security objective.
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in 2003, europe lead the first effort to halt iran's nuclear program. the next decade saw five separate major rounds of failed negotiations, and an ever advancing iranian nuclear program. iran went from having a few centrifuges spinning to being a threshold nuclear power are following the revelation that iran was installing centrifuges at natanz last decade and disclosure in 2012 by our government and allies that iran was turning a mountain into a deeply buried centrifuge chamber, iran has seen sanctions escalate and felt international isolation. but its nuclear enrichment continued an advanced. the united states with strong support from this chamber led an effort to install devastating
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multilateral sanctions, with the goal of bringing iran to the negotiating table. those sanctions were effective because they were supported by the world's powers, and importers iranian oil. in fact, that united states doesn't do much business with iran. we don't import iranian oil. and the united states banks to process iranian financial transactions. unilateral united states and sanctions are of little value by themselves, unless we are willing to sanction allies banks. indeed, multiple u.n. resolutions, eu sanctions and the cooperation of our partners and allies successfully pressured iran over its nuclear activities. over time, the international sanctions that we helped build and continually enforce reduced iranian oil exports from
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2.5 million barrels a day to less than 1 million. reduce the number of countries that import iranian oil from 23 to six. prohibited iran for repatriating more than 100 billion in foreign currency. reduced iran's gdp by nearly 6% in one year, caused major inflation and basically ended international investment in iran's economy. and the sanctions worked. iran elected a reform government with the new president to negotiate an end to the sanctions and revise its economy. and despite it's about, iran said a negotiating team to meet with the government of the p5+1 nation's. in november 2013 we signed an agreement that froze and even
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reversed iran's nuclear program. according to the iaea and verified by u.s. intelligence, iran has abided by the in agreement for more than one and a half years now. as we all know in july 2015, the p5+1 signed the final agreement, officially known as the joint comprehensive plan of action. the agreement is the result of years of careful diplomacy among the world's powers. it was only possible because other nations abided by our sanctions at their own economic sacrifice. they believe that he sanctions worked, have achieved a result, and now should be suspended as iran dismantles much of its nuclear infrastructure. these countries which were so critical to our ability to
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impose sanctions have told us directly they won't go back to the table to negotiate a new deal. to my colleagues who plan to vote in opposition to this agreement, i hope they have thought long and hard about what message this would send to the world. the consequences of rejecting this carefully negotiated deal would reach far beyond iran. it would signal that the united states isn't willing or able to lead the world in confronting global challenges. since the agreement was reached, i've spoken with many diplomats and statesmen. they are scratching their heads, wondering why the united states congress is lining up with iranian hardliners in opposition to this agreement. instead of fighting -- of siding with the uk, france, germany, russia, china, along with other
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members of the u.n. security council. last week, saudi arabia announced its support for the agreement. foreign minister who is known to many in this body concluded his country support by saying this -- this agreement will contribute to the security and stability in the region by preventing iran from acquiring a nuclear capability, end quote. ..and said to me, ,"you know, we are one of the nations you trust the most. we follow your leadership. we've agreed to the deal and now your congress wants to back out. why should we ever follow you again? many diplomats i've spoken with have echoed p


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