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tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  September 16, 2015 2:00pm-4:01pm EDT

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that chaotic sticky situation means you need to intensely that they. we don't want to be in a position of training and equipping individuals that may not share our goals. so that is a time-consuming effort as well. and then you are essential asking these individuals to take up the fight against a brutal terrorist organization. that is renowned or at least has received worldwide condemnation for their inhumane tactics. and violence. that's a tough assignment. i think that's not an excuse but it is a fact. and that is why the department of defense, the thank you the generals credit come on shore was not easy to sit in that
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chair and recite these facts, judy biggert i think it reflects certainly the president's desire and the desire of every number on his national security team to understand the facts and to make decisions rooted in an active assessment of what is exactly is happening. it's important that's what the department of defense but what else is involved in policymaking process face up to the significant difficulty that this train and equip program has encountered to make the necessary changes and to make sure that the difficulty of this work is factored into our overall strategy. i were remind you this assortment was and is one component of our strategy, but so are the military airstrikes that have been used to important effect to support the efforts of other fighters on the ground inside of syria that have succeeded in driving i sold off some important territory inside of syria. we have seen other strikes and
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other military missions carried off by the united states that have resulted in the capture and killing of senior isil officials, including the second-in-command was taken out by u.s. air strike and month or so ago. to say nothing of her efforts to try to counter radicalism through social media, to try to stop the flow of foreign fighters to shut down the efforts of isil to find their terrorist activities. this is a comprehensive strategy, and we have talked and acknowledged, talked about and acknowledged the difficulty that one component of the strategy has encountered. >> ask about the budget and funding of planned parenthood. what would the president think of funding other medical facilities that may provide similar services but not planned parenthood as an alternative? would that be something the president would be silly -- would be willing to sign speak with we've been forthright about
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the president's opposition to a wholesale defund planned parenthood. what has injected this issue into the political dialogue of late other graphic videos that emerged only in the last couple of months, and the planned parenthood has apologized for the content of those figures come and they showed. they were shocking. but it would come into certain not appropriate for republicans in congress, in fact it is even cynical for some republicans in congress to try to use of those figures as an excuse to take away basic health care for millions of them across the country that rely on it everyday. >> want to ask about the poverty rate, still around 14.8%. why hasn't the president able to move the needle on the? >> well, we are servicing a lot of abstraction from members of congress, republicans, for efforts to try to address this particular issue. that said i think there was some
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good is included in the report that when it comes to child poverty we have seen the largest two-year reduction child poverty in nearly two decades. so that's an indication that there's some progress that's been made. the president believes there's a lot more we can do to try to address poverty rates. the first thing that comes to mind is raised the minimum wage. one of the things we talked about is the fact that given the current level of the minimum wage, if you want head of household and you and to trying to raise, trying to provide for a spouse and two children baseds and working full-time at the minimum-wage, then you are raising a family below the poverty line. if you're interested in trying to do something about poverty, let's wage raises for those hard-working americans trying to do the honest thing. that would be one place to start and would have put you in fact are the numbers you just cited. >> let me ask you really quickly
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while we're on that. so anything interesting stories in is what often ask you about, president doesn't comment on them. why did you decide to get involved with this? >> well again, i think like many of us who saw this online our saw this online or something in his vivid a company we we are struck by this story. look, there are millions of teachers all across our country that dedicate themselves on a daily basis. many of them are underpaid. but they dedicate themselves on a daily basis to trying to nurture the intellectual curiosity of the students. that is, does heroic work, it is work to be critical to the long-term success of our country but a lease in this instance, at least some honest teachers failed them and that's a shame. i think it tugs the heartstrings a little bit.
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we at the white house and the president himself recognized that could be an opportunity to try to reach out to this young man and give them a unique opportunity to nurture the intellectual curiosity. and i think he is going to fit in quite well with the other young people who will be at the white house on astronomy night, learning from some of the, you know, some of the most informed, cutting-edge scientists in the world about the wonder of the stars and the planets and to be tremendous opportunity for him and we hope he will be able to attend. [inaudible] -- wasn't specific that he wanted to spark a larger conversation about this? >> well, i mean, i think you heard me say that i do think
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that for all of us, that this has the potential to be a teachable moment, the search our own conscience for biases that might be there. the reason that we should do that is because this is an instance where you have people of otherwise dedicated their lives to trying to teach our children, who failed in that effort because, potentially because some things in their conscience and because the power of stereotypes. there's certainly more that than needs to be learned about this particular situation, but even the potential of that i think is a good reminder to all of us. i think at the end of the day the president weekend invitation from the white house are rooted in a desire to try to reach out to a 14 year-old boy who at
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least based on what we know from law enforcement was wrongly handcuffed in his own school yesterday simply for bringing in a clock speed of if i could follow-up on kevin's question and others about the u.s. trained anti-isil forces. understand what you said about some of the successes against isis and the responses yesterday by the general, i'm just wondering given the cost involved, there are two parts. one party is security issue, the of the parties a cost-benefit analysis you have to drink of it all the time. given that the pentagon and michelin spent about $36 million on as an initial cost was about hundred thousand dollars per training, and that's based on a much larger class than the number of fires were actually
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there is the president angry, disappointed? >> i think this administration has long understood that training and equipping members of the syrian opposition would be difficult undertaken. it has turned out to be more difficult than we anticipated. i think those who might observe -- >> we talk about initial plans of 50 -- 100 per year and you look at just four or five. that's more than just something to be anticipated or turned out to be more difficult in the end, don't you think? >> i think it raises legitimate questions about what kind of changes need to be made in this program and that's exactly what general austin suggested today that he would do. that certainly seems appropriate, but again, over the last year many of you have understandably asked the question about the claims of our critics who suggest that the administration should invest more deeply in training, equipping members of the syrian
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opposition, but that was the recipe for success. general austin went before congress today at acknowledge that this is a more difficult endeavor and we assumed and when you can make changes to the program. but i think it is also time for critics to fess up in this regard as well. they were wrong. >> but we did make this investment because critics pushed him spent i'm not saying that i think general austin to his credit, indicative of the kind of character shown throughout his military career, he sat before the committee, testified under all of any face the music program that is not perform nearly as well as we would've liked. we have not seen that kind of character on display from her critics have suggested this is a recipe for success in syria. overhead, peter. >> you are suggesting the idea was wrong. maybe jackie was too late. why would that be an indictment of the idea? wraps an idea of -- perhaps an
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indictment of -- >> i was a little bit of hearing that i did hear a lot constructive advice to general austin about how the program could have been more effectively implemented. which are a lot of complaints from people who are disappointed in the performance despite the fact that this is that it was the recipe for our success. >> what it was done four years ago, would that have made a different? >> we would still -- [inaudible] by waiting so long you all allowed it to metastasized in a way. >> i think we would call into question that adding standard estimate to do something in the space of four years that might prevent them from being included in that group -- vetting. i don't think there's a particularly strong case to be made, that in earlier and more significant investment in a
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program that is shown not very good results, to put it mildly, is a recipe for success but i haven't heard anybody make that argument. maybe there's some event is believed that if we done this to fully we would've got a different outcome but that is not what we've heard from our critics. i would welcome them of making that case. >> on monday in des moines the president talked about pashtun use the term artificial caps to describe it. what did he mean by artificial? >> the president was referring to the supposed or from this policy jargon that refers to across the board budget cuts without regard to the effectiveness or the importance of a particular program. assent to the president described them as artificial because their programs the window are working on enjoyed strong bipartisan support budget that they are being cut. and that is why the president has continued to urge
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republicans to address this problem in the same way that they did two years ago. the way that this problem was addressed to years ago was after a two and a half week government shutdown that was engineered by republicans, democrats and republicans got together and hammered out a bipartisan budget agreement that found a bipartisan path to raising those artificial caps, whereby a bipartisan agreement could be fun. that is an effective way for the budget of the greatest country in the world to be managed. preferably before the government is shut down and not after. and so that's why using democrats for months now urge republicans to come and negotiate some bipartisan common ground with republicans. but we have not seen republicans accept the offer. instead what we have seen is republicans going type has budget on issues of partyline votes. but those votes have failed to
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produce legislation to reach the president's desk. about is not a path to funding for government. the only path to funding the government is republicans being willing to work with democrats. we haven't seen that yet. >> at the business roundtable -- [inaudible] economic progress. isn't this a question of is partly responsible for a great deal of the reduction? looking ahead the next five, six, seven years, -- due to the sequester? >> i didn't bring my dream i should with me but we can talk about how much the sequester counts for deficit reduction. i think the point is the president believes that we can make critically important investment in our economy, things like job training and infrastructure and research and
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development, things we know will be good for our economy and we can do that in a fiscally responsible way. the president talked about this one example close in the carried interest loophole. this is a proposal the president advocated even as a candidate for president and drew the scorn of republicans in washington and around the country. now we find yourself in a situation where two of the leading republican candidates for president actually back that proposal. >> and we believe this as the senate is a gallon again. first former daily show host jon stewart is on capital meeting with senate democrats at their weekly lunch and rally for 9/11 first responders health bill.llr now live to the senate floor foe more debate on the iran nucleary agreement. this ban lifted. now, you have to go back in history 40 years, 1975, in order to find why that ban on imported
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oil is on the books. in 1975, we were at the height of the first oil embargo from opec. we were importing 30% to 35% of the oil which we consumed in the united states. so a ban was put in place for us to export our own oil if we were importing 30% to 35% of the oil that we were consuming in america, put us at a big disadvantage if we took that approach to our own oil. today the united states imports 25% to 30% of all the oil which we consume today. so mark twain used to say that history doesn't repeat itself, but it does tend to rhyme.
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so today is a lot like 1975 in terms of the amount of oil that we import into our country. we right now import five million barrels of oil a day. we import oil from iraq. we import oil from venezuela. we import oil from the persian gulf in order to fuel our economy. now the oil industry says let's start selling the oil we have and drill for in the united states out on the open market. now why does the oil industry want to do that? because when oil is drilled for in the united states, the price that is set is set in oklahoma. cushing oklahoma, that is where the price is set.
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on average that price is $3 to $6 less expensive per barrel than the oil that is on the open market that is called the brent crude price. but it's the world price. that's not our price. our price is $3 to $6 less. the oil industry in america wants to get our oil out on to the open market so they can sell it to other countries. what countries? well, first in line would be china. after that, most likely other asian nations. that makes a lot of sense for oil companies. it doesn't make any sense for american consumers. by keeping the ban in place, barclays bank estimated that all that oil here put pressure on prices and lowered prices for consumers by $11 billion last year. and you can see it when you look
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at the price at the pump when you go in to fill up. this year barclays bank estimates that there will be a $10 billion reduction in cost for consumers. you can see it at the pump. you can see the price coming down. the pressure works for consumers the oil industry the doesn't like that. they want to get that l oil out of america. they want to get a higher price on the global market. now, national security. does it really make any sense for the united states to be sending young men and women over to the middle east in uniform, into that highly unstable part of our planet in order to ensure that that stability leads to huge ships with oil in it coming from the middle east into america? while simultaneously having the
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oil industry saying let's export our own oil that we already have. it makes no sense. as long as we're exporting young men and women over to the middle east to fight, to protect ourselves, we should not be exporting our own oil domestically. it makes no sense whatsoever. and the department of energy, our own department of energy, says that our production in america is going to peek in the year 2020. peek, and then begin to de-- decline for the next 20 years. our oil production will peak in the year 2020 and then start to decline and the oil industry wants to start exporting our own oil. many of the advocates for that say you wouldn't have a ban on any other product being exported from the united states. probably right.
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we don't have a ban on the export of widgets, watches. but, on the other hand, we don't fight wars over widgets. we don't fight wars over watches. oil, that's different. oil has been at the center for 50 years of this powerful geopolitical battle that the united states has been drawn into over in the middle east. and let's not kid ourselves, we're living it every day, looking at the lead stories on every television network in our country. every day. in terms of what we lose, well, the domestic refining industry is totally opposed to this. that is the oil refining industry of the united states totally opposed to exportation. why?
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because they are investing in the construction of new refineries here to refine american oil here in refineries that are constructed and employing hundreds of thousands of people within our own country. the refining industry opposes it. it would be a $9 billion loss. and a reduction by $1.6 million million -- a reduction of 1.6 million of barrels of oil per day that could be refined in the united states. the shipbuilding industry is opposed to it. we're seeing a 40% increase in the amount of shipbuilding in america because here's what's happening. the oil is produced in the oil patches. it's put on ships and it's sent up to pennsylvania, sent up to new jersey, sent up to other parts of america. and you need ships to do that. and then that oil gets refined up in pennsylvania.
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it gets refined up in other parts of the country. that would end this incredible shipbuilding boom which we have seen. and where will these exports go? you know, we're not like russia. we're not like saudi arabia. we don't have state-run oil companies. we're capitalists. capitalists go for the highest price no matter where it is. you put the oil out on the open seas, our companies will head towards the highest price. who's going to pay the highest price? china is going to pay the highest price. other countries that are wealthy are going to pay the highest price. we can't prepare tend that itself going to go to where the geopolitical needs of the secretary of state or secretary of defense might want it to go. that's not how capitalism works. you go towards the highest price. that's the fiduciary
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responsibility that you have as a c.e.o. of a company. that doesn't get mixed up within our society. the hand on the tiller of those ships is heading towards the highest price. so who benefits? well, the oil companies will benefit. there are estimates that by 2025 they'll be making an extra $30 billion a year in profits. per year. makes sense for the oil companies. who are the losers? our consumers are going to be big losers. our national security, big loser. we're exporting our strength, our oil even as we need five million extra barrels a day. our domestic refiners big losers. u.s. shipbuilding industry big losers. and our environment, big loser. can you imagine the pope is
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arriving next week, and he's going to talk about the role that human beings are playing in the dangerous warming of our planet. what the oil industry wants us to do is to continue to engage in expanded fracking of oil on our own soil, even though we haven't fully figured out how to contain the methane that comes out of that bracing, and then put it on ships and send it around the world. well, where are the benefits for the american people? our environment takes all the risks, and the oil just goes out on to the open seas with benefit to the oil companies. makes no sense at all. and within ten years, they're making an extra $30 billion
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every single year from that additional profit that they get by selling it overseas rather than keeping it here and keeping the pressure on lowering the price for consumers here in our country. and many times you hear them saying we really should be able to drill off the coastline of the united states all the way up to maine, down fo florida, from san diego up through the top of alaska, right off the coastline. what about the fishing industry? could endanger it. what about tourism on those beaches if there is a spill? could endanger it. they say we must do it in order to ensure that we have the oil that we need here in the united states. you can't have it both ways. you can't say we have enough oil that we can export it out of our
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country. and say simultaneously but we must drill off our coastlines in dangerous conditions because we don't need the oil, because we can exploit. can't have it both ways. no one is allowed to do that. there is a pretty high contradiction coefficient in the argument being made by the oil industry, and we need to have this debate. the american people must know that they are going to run the risk of being tipped upside down at gasoline stations all across the country. and having money shaken out of their pockets as they fill up their tank because the oil industry just wants more. and so national security, let us know when we have produced the
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extra five million barrels a day here. let us know when they have the evidence that proves that the department of energy is wrong and our production doesn't start to go down after 2020. let us know when they've invested in the safeguards that ensure methane does not come up from the frac wells. let us know when we put as a priority those american young men and women that we're sending over there into the middle east. it makes no sense. it's a bad policy. they had it right back in 1975. we're still importing just about the same amount of oil as we were back then. and we want -- we don't want to invoke the first law, which is when you're in mud, stop digging we want to make sure that we abide by that rule, that we
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guarantee that we start to come out of that hole, that we use american oil here first before we sell it overseas and hurt consumers, the environment, our national security. this is the beginning of a very important debate in our country, and i'm looking forward to it. i think the american people are going to rise up and realize that this is very dangerous for them on so many different levels that it will be rejected on the floor of the senate before this entire process has ended. i yield back the balance of my time.
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mr. cornyn: mr. president? the presiding officer: mr. majority whip. mr. cornyn: mr. president, yesterday evening our democratic friends across the aisle, led by the minority leader, again refused to allow the united states senate to cast an up-or-down vote on a resolution that would make clear that the senate disapproves of president obama's nuclear dpeel with iran. it's clear that there is in fact a bipartisan majority of both houses that disaapproves, but using a procedural tool -- the filibuster -- our democratic friends are traig to deny the -- are trying to deny the american people an tunes to cast a vote -- an opportunity to cast a vote on this through their elected representatives and, indeed, i would suggest also to avoid the accountability that goes along with this, because this movie
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will not end well. this is the number-one state sponsor of international terrorism. this deal gives them $100 billion to continue to finance terrorist attacks and proxy -- and their proxy war against the united states and our allies. this has got a phony inspection regime because it requires the united states to ask 24 days ahead of time to be able to inspect various sites and, indeed, on some of their military sites we found out that the international atomic energy agency, the iaea, will not even be allowed access to those military sites but, rather, the iranians will do their own inspection and then turn over the samples to the iaea, waiting dutifully at the gate of these military compounds, where we know there is nuclear activity taking place.
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so this is really a lousy deal. i mean, assuming that we could somehow deny iran a nuclear weapon, which used to be american policy, i think you'd find a huge consensus. but, in fact, this also chaiption american policy -- changes american policy, which in fact rather than denying them a nuclear weapon, it would literally pave the way to 10 years, 12 years from now essentially giving them a free hand. we just observed the 14th anniversary of 9/11, september 11, 2001. it was only 14 years ago when we had a terrorist attack on our own soil. one of those airplanes headed toward the u.s. capitol, one hit the pentagon, and, of course, two hit the world trade center in new york city. so the idea of in 10 or 12 years paving the way for iran to get a
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nuclear weapon, when put in that context, it is certainly not very long. and what that means for the nations in the middle east is they are going to begin to arm themselves because they're not stupid; they realize a nuclear iran is a threat to the region, and sunni countries like saudi arabia and others, they're going to begin a nuclear arms race. and instead of suicide vests and improvised explosive devices, the prospect of a nuclear confrontation in the middle east ought to send chills up and down anybody's spine, but yet that is exactly what our democratic friends have embraced, along with the president. and the irony is that in trying to shield president obama from having to veto the resolution of disapproval, our democratic
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friends have also thrown away a chance to improve the legitimacy of this deal by allowing an up-or-down vote. and why in the world would they feel the pressure to protect the president from something he's proud of, which is this iranian nuclear deal? so it doesn't make much sense, and this deal on its own merits is indefensible. thankfully, there is a small silver lining because this is not legally binding beyond the presidency of barack obama. this is not a treaty. this is a political agreement. so i hope that the next president understands that he or she will have complete freedom to tear this deal up and negotiate a better deal and keep the pressure on iran and to deny them a nuclear weapon.
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well, you know, we've seen this happen before when -- whether it's things like obamacare or dodd-frank. anytime our democratic friends -- and i would say, if the shoe were on the other foot, were republicans to try to jam through legislation like this on a controversial topic on a purely partisan basis, it doesn't have much staying power because you haven't built the sort of political consensus that would give it staying power. and so the controversy continues. we've already spent a lot of time in the debate and discussion in highlighting the weaknesses of this deal and the dangers it poses for u.s. and world security. those weaknesses, ace pointed out -- as i pointed out yesterday, have been highlighted by the deal's supporters. the statements that were made by some of the senators who voted
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for this deal seemed to be completely at odds with their vote to filibuster the resolution of disapproval. so they're clearly nervous about this deal, as they should be. and the fact of the matter is, rather than making this a bipartisan consensus and making it purely a partisan matter, they will own the negative consequences of this deal because iran, at the same time they've been negotiating this deal, their leaders have been shouting "death to america" and saying that israel will not even be on the mo map in 25 years. so the chances are, i would think, of this deal turning out very badly. well, all of that responsibility will be in the laps of those
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that filibustered this deal. i pointed out iran is not giving up or disavowing its role as a foremost sponsor of terrorism. in fact, all you have to do is go to the state department's web site. that's john kerry's department, secretary kerry, who's negotiated this deal. right there on their web site it points out iran's role as a major sponsor of international terrorism. of course, iran's ties to hezbollah and its funding of hezbollah's efforts to attack american interests in the middle east, as well as in syria and lebanon, libya, iraq -- all of this is very well-documented, and almost all of the mischief and the violence and the killing and the threats to the security
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of the region that occur in that entire middle east region have iran's fingerprints all over it. we've found out as a result of some of the documents that were captured when osama bin laden was killed, there was a story -- i think it was in "the wall street journal" yesterday -- about records of open cooperation between al qaeda and the iranian regime in their attacks -- pursuit on american interests. and so these are facts -- more facts about iran's nefarious activities recorded in the administration's own public records. and, of course, the regime continues to not deny, not suppress but, rather, proud announce its support of violence in the region and propping up proxy groups, as i said,
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fighting from syria to iraq to yemen, further de-stabilizing an already vulnerable region. and in the in that mix, this des nuclear weapons. it is like pouring gas on a fishings except it ifire, exceph more dangerous. president obama and his national security advisors have admitted that terrorist groups supported by the iranian government will likely be the real benefactors of sanctions relief under this deal. so how would the obama administration work to keep the billions of dollars that will pour into iran as a result of this deal from being used to arm and otherwise finance the work of terrorists who seek to kill us and our friends and allies in the region? well, they simply don't have an answer for that, because they know that is a by-product -- or
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i should say, a direct result of this bad deal. as, as i pointed out a moment ago, even after the deal was announced, the supreme leader in iran and others continued their attacks on our closest ally in the middle east, israel. the so-called supreme leader of iran went so far to say that israel won't exist in 25 years. if they had their way, they would wipe israel off the map. so how does the administration plan to counter this theocratic theme that continues to call for the complete destruction of our nation's closest ally in the middle east, israel? as far as i can tell, they don't have a plan. but that describes so much of their foreign policy. witnessing the refugee crisis that we're seeing in europe and the heart-rending pictures on
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the news of a young boy's body being washed up on shore because he's trying to get from a war-torn region of the middle east, syria, to somewhere where it's safe, where he can grow up and have a productive and normal life. i mean, they're heart-rending pictures, but they are a result, again, of this administration having no policy, no real strategy in syria. and so really this is more of the same: no strategy, no clue about how to deal with the dangers that confront the region and the people in the middle east and its ripple effect on the rest of the world, including the united states. tomorrow, mr. president, we will vote on a piece of legislation that addresses some major omissions from the president's executive agreement with iran. our friends across the aisle have made their bed and they've
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decided to lie down in it, and they have blocked now two times an up-or-down vote on this resolution of disapproval. they've made that decision. so now it's time to have another vote and to fill in some of the gaps left by this bad deal. the bill we will vote on tomorrow will -- is pretty straightforward. it will bar president obama from lifting sanctions on iran until it meets two specific benchmarks. the this doesn't solve all the problems that i meninged a moment ago -- that i mentioned a 340e78moment, a but it will nila couple of important gaps. we will vote on whether iran must formally recognize israel's right to exist as a state. and if they don't, then the president will not be authorized to lift sanctions on iran.
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and, second, iran must release american citizens that it continues to hold hostage. you know, i really -- this is the part i really just can't believe. we have this negotiated deal for months and months and months at the very highest level of the u.s. government, and yet under this deal, the leadership of the u.s. government decides to leave american citizens in prison in iran and doesn't use this as an opportunity to negotiate their release. so, mr. president, this chamber should wholeheartedly approve of these commonsense measures, one that calls for the safe return of our own citizens and affirms the right of our ally to exist. this is not a big -- this does not fix all of the problems with this bad deal, but it does address two glaring deficienci
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deficiencies, and so i think that vote is entirely appropriate. so, in conclusion, let me just say that this deal is dangerous, it is misguided, and, you know what? -- it's pretty darn unpopular. as i said earlier, bipartisan majorities in both houses of congress oppose it, and for good reason. when you look at the public opinion polls, only 21% of the public supports this executive agreement. tomorrow we have an opportunity to let the voices of our constituents be heard loud and clear. i hope our democratic colleagues will come to their senses, quit playing defense for the white house, and join us in seeking the release of our u.s. citizens held captive abroad and the future security of our unwavering ally, the state of
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israel. mr. president, i yield the floor. mr. sessions: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from alabama. mr. sessions: mr. president, iranian deal of this of executive agreement dealing with nuclear weapons and their policy in iran that's been executed between the president of the united states and iran's leaders -- not the congress, not in the form of a treaty that's binding over time, but a personal executive agreement -- i don't believe is a good one, and i think it's the predictable
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end, frankly, of a poorly initiated negotiation. i'll vote against it based on many of the arguments that our colleagues have heard over the last several days and will continue to hear. i do believe it is not the right policy for the united states. i'm not going to attempt to restate all of that. i remember distinctly being in the middle east meeting with a top official in one of the countries whose name is well known. president obama decided to intensify these negotiations toward this kind of end. he warned that talking could be a trap. he warned that the iranians are sophisticated negotiators. they have been recognized as such throughout the world and the middle east for decades. and he warned that you could be trapped into these negotiations.
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and once you get into them, you have to be able to extract yourself as soon as you realize a good result isn't in the offing. but i think that warning was not heeded. we've gone on, what, six years now, and we've reached a point where the president either had to agree to what they wanted or walk away and admit defeat. and he decided to reach an agreement. i think that put us in a bad position. he wanted to achieve this before he left office apparently, and we can only hope that somehow some way this turns out to be better than it appears at this time. well, the iranian acquisition and their drive to achieve nuclear weapons is just one aspect really of the complex middle east situation that results in -- results from the
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extremism that's arising in the middle east. i see my colleague, senator durbin. i had 2:45. is there any problem? okay, good, i'll keep on. so it is a part of the extremism that's been arising in the middle east. so i'd like to take this opportunity to go further than just discuss iran today. i think we need to discuss a need for a long-term strategy. bipartisan. republicans and democrats and our western world allies. the free world allies. and how we're going to deal with over a long period of time the problems of extremism in the middle east. it's clear that we are seeing a resurgence of militant islam. this strain of islam seeks to advance a theological and
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political approach to the world. it seeks to unify faith and politics and believers as such seek to advance and to advance what they think -- advance policies they think will honor allah. a religious command. this strain that's been in islam for years that advocates conversion by the sword, in fact, finds much support in the koran. i wish it weren't so, but it does. most muslims are truly people of peace, are faithful people in their daily activities. but there's a sizable minority that often times seeks dominance and achieves dominance, that find a basis in the koran for their violent jihad against those they describe as infidels.
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they see in the hedonism in parts of the west and other actions that occur in the western world, for example, as totally destructive and contrary to what they believe is right, and they don't accommodate to it. so we're thus seeing a spasm and eruption of aggression that has occurred before over the centuries, but is certainly reaching a high pitch today, exacerbated by the technology of weapons of mass destruction, nuclear weapons and other dangerous weapons. so the nature of what this eruption is complex. it is different in every region, in every country, and the area is different among sects, tribes and traditions and is shaped by economic conditions, security conditions and tribal and human conditions in the various regions of the middle east,
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spanning from afghanistan, pakistan on to syria, to yemen, to egypt, to morocco and into africa today. so this crisis occasioned by iran's religious determination to obtain a nuclear weapon is just one aspect, though a huge one, that has arisen as a result of this extremism. the world is surely presented with a deep and complex problem that requires the most wise and consistent response over years. and the surge of terrorism will not end quickly. we are most likely talking about decades. our response to such violent actions cannot be based on short-term political partisan factors. president bush had in his mind a vision for a good future for the middle east. i supported him. he believed all people wanted
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peace, freedom and education and prosperity. he reached too far perhaps and made some tactical errors as he sought to advance his vision. but by 2011, after much bloodshed, iraq had achieved stability of a kind and some real political progress. a did -- a democratically elected government has been formed and even prosperity seemed possible. our new president, however, was not impressed, did not share the depth of this vision. president obama did not consider the bush vision as a part of an established, bipartisan, long-term strategy of the united states. he, thus, felt little loyalty to that vision, and he started to execute his different vision in the middle east. i was with some british
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parliamentarians recently and noted that someone had said that president obama's complete withdrawal from iraq in 2011 was the greatest error of the 21st century. to date, one of the experienced brits responded, well, some say it was a disbanding of the iraqi army after the victory in iraq. so whenever great nations act, things don't usually go smoothly, and failure of great nations to act often has its own consequences. enemies do not desire to be defeated. they do not desire to be killed. enemies adjust to whatever tactics are used against them. so the point, colleagues and friends, military actions are fraught with danger. inaction is fraught with danger. the world is very complex. the very best minds know well the specific countries that are at risk and in turmoil must be
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involved when plans are made and plans are evaluated. long-term, even very long-term consequences of action and inaction must be considered at the beginning. the world is a dicey place indeed. so on my heart and mind today is the concern that this spasm of islamic extremism and terrorism will be with us at least 40 years, perhaps more. experts have told us this. dr. pollack at the brookings institution testified before our armed services committee recently, and he said it's going to be a long time. i said, dr. pollack, you said that problems -- that these problems are long in the making and will be long in solving. just briefly, would you say with a spasm of extremism and
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violence and sectarianism in the middle east, that we have a long-term policy problem? i mean 30, 50, 60 years, to try to be a positive force in bringing some stability to that region? and history tells us those states, violence tends to cool off but often take decades to cool off. and i remember very distinctly, got an answer that you don't often get. he looked up at me and he said, "yes, that's what i'm saying." well, ... so, this terrorism, unfortunately, is often focused on the united states. who the extremists see as the
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great satan. and this represents a direct threat to the security and prosperity of our people. thus, we should seek to act in a statesmanlike manner, considering the threats and interests of the people we serve in the near and long term. that means making wise decisions that may not be popular in the 60-second sound bite world. in the late 1940's, the famous george kennan, a state department official, penned a long telegram, they called it. it formed the basis for a long-term cold war policy that became known as the containment doctrine. it was the basis for resisting the expansionism of communism, totalitarianism and atheism that was part of that movement, that was clearly contrary to western values. so his paper became a bipartisan
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policy of the united states. as we confronted the enormous threat of totalitarian communism that had a goal, as does radical islam, of world domination. while there were vigorous and usually healthy debates over the years over tactics and techniques and procedures, there was a consistent and bipartisan support for the overarching strategy that communism cannot be allowed that dominate ever-growing portions of the world, that it must be contained. the nation -- our nation, indeed the entire free world, become united in that goal. the strategy held until the blessed collapse of the soviet union. so once again we face a totalitarian threat to the free world, this time it's from ideological and apocalyptic
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slaism. like communism, its goals are incompatible with the laws and freedoms we see as central to our liberty and prosperity. there can be no compromise with this form of radical islam. it just will not merge with and accommodate with the freedom that we believe is essential in the western world. theologically based sharia law fundamentally conflicts with our magnificent constitutional order that separates church and state and that considers free debate in the senate as a way to a better world. we believe in debate and dissent and the right of freedom of religion. thus, this threat has to be resisted. it just has to be. to do so obviously means that we and our allies have to agree on an effective strategy. not just the tactics of iran today, isis tomorrow, egypt the
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next day, yemen the next day. seven years into this presidency, president obama has failed in this regard. we must accept that fact. the result of that failure is instability, violence and displaced persons. would we have had none with a good, effective strategy? no, i can't say that. but i believe with confidence we've had much less difficulty. one wise european leader told me recently -- very sophisticated -- that the immigration crisis, as a result of refugees from the middle east, is the greatest challenge to the european union since world war ii. what a dramatic statement. i know many of my democratic friends are concerned about
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where we are and are willing to discuss the kind of strategy we need. the question of iran and its sponsorshipship -- sponsorship of terrorism and acquisition of nuclear weapons is a dramatic and extremely important development. that's why it engaged all of our attention lately. i chair the subcommittee in armed services and have been on it for 18 years that deals with strategic forces, nuclear forces. it has has been the unified position of the entire world that there not be a proliferation of nuclear weapons and particularly not in the middle east. and so the acquisition of nuclear weapons by iran is a dangerous event, because they have ideological apocalyptic, theological views that are
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scared. and in addition, we have been told by the best experts it is accepted worldwide that if iran gets nuclear weapons, egypt, jordan, turkey, who knows what others -- egypt, saudi arabia rather than jordan, but maybe jordan in the future would want those, too. an idea that we would have multiple nations in that volatile world with nuclear weapons has been a fear that has unified the u.n., unified the nuclear antiproliferation groups worldwide for decades. but the middle east presents even more and broader complex issues in addition to that. was the world and the people of syria better off with assad, bad as he was, in power? was libya doing better under qadhafi than it is now? one european official said a million people, mostly libyans,
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are on the north african shore seeking to enter europe or the united states. is egypt under their new military regime a more secure and positive force for good for the egyptian people and the whole world and middle east than it was under the ousted muslim brotherhood? and other extreme parties that were part of that coalition. how would our discussions and actions have been different if our nation had established a sound long-term policy that guides our overall approach to this entire region? our involvement in each of those situations and others was, it seemed to me, far too ad hoc, far too reactive to a certain event. our actions have not been consistent. they have not been predictable. they have not advanced a unified strategy. they have not been a part of a coherent strategy designed to reduce tensions and strive to
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reduce our direct involvement in the regions. our policies have not resulted in a containment and a reduction of terrorism and extremism. i asked a historian a few weeks ago for the armed services committee about this and -- quote -- how we should be approaching the middle east. professor meade, william russell meade, i asked -- i mentioned george kennan and the containment strategy and asked do you think what we need as a nation is people like some of the experts from the last two panels seriously analyzing the future of the middle east, the nature of the extremist ideology that's there and developing a long-term, sophisticated policy to rebut it and tried to diminish it over time. this is -- he replied and said a
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number of things. he said what we are also hearing in the background is a kind of universal confession of a failure of strategy. what is our strategy for isis? are we fighting assad first, then isis? isis first then assad? neither? both? something entirely different? i think i have rarely in my lifetime, although i certainly have heard moments of strategic incoherence, i have rarely seen american policy on such a wide scale on so many issues in such a vital region seem to be so incoherent. i'm still waiting to see what our strategy is in libya. so why we intervene. which goes on to say so we -- we do, i think, need as a country
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to have the kind of discussion about the middle east that we had about soviet expansionism in the 1940's and to try to work our way toward some kind of general bipartisan agreement or confidence in an analytical approach to really a very vital part of the world. we're not close to that. we have got a presidential election going on. people are making statements and promises based on the latest developments. it makes me uneasy. so our policies have not resulted in containment and a reduction of extremism. the policies have not resulted in an improvement of conditions for the people in those countries or the security of the american people. statesmen, as henry kissinger says, requires wisdom, insight
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and a willingness of officials to understand the complexity and history and choices the nation faces and then to provide leadership, leadership to the american people first that produces support for policies that may not seem clear or understandable or even positive at the time they are announced, because the world's a complex place. so in conclusion, i'm certain that the foreign policy of our nation is too reactive. i'm certain we have not adopted on a bipartisan basis a policy to confront islamic extremism that provides direction for actions and can build confidence in our people and in our allies. i'm certain that this is a failure that must be remedied. so let's get together, colleagues, and commit to developing a wise and sound strategy, outside the rush of
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daily politics, using the great insights and talents of people that are available to us. this nation is unfortunate to have persons of loyalty, experience, experience in the middle east, judgment, knowledge, history, who can help us in its basic form a good strategy must be simple and understandable to how officials and everyday americans. this is not an impossible task. a good strategy will provide guidance and produce consistency in our policies over the long run. importantly, it will reduce the adverse impacts of politics on our foreign policy. the american people will respond positively. i pledge to do my part in this effort. we have developed such strategies before. most dramatic was the kennan containment strategy, but there have been others, monroe doctrine, and other policies, and we can do it again.
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mr. president, i just would think it's important to raise some additional concerns about where we are today. i think the president took unacceptable risk in going deeply into these negotiations. he went beyond the framework that president bush was using to talk with iranians. iranians were in clear violation of a number of u.n. resolutions which restricted what we would do in our negotiations with them. we refused to participate with them. both secretary of defense ash carter and secretary of state john kerry have recently testified before congress that iran remains the number one state sponsor of terrorism in the world, and they do not con
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tend they are releasing this money to them, $100 billion or so, is being released on some sort of promise that they will seek to do that. they basically have said they're going to continue the same policies they have been advocating. this is a terrorist-sponsoring state. our own experts tell us that. our own officials tell us that. it's very difficult to enter into any kind of negotiation with a person who sees you as a great satan, who says israel will not exist 25 years from now and must be eradicated from the earth. so this p-5 negotiation did reverse cautious activities before based on the fact that iran was an outlaw state. so, mr. president, i won't
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continue to discuss this other than to say that we've entered into this, we've gotten down here to the end. i think it's a mistake. i'm going to vote no. it looks like it may somehow be processed any way. if that occurs, it is creating -- it will create instability even more so in the middle east and alarmingly could lead to the proliferation of nuclear weapons in multiple countries in the middle east, each one of which if their unstable governments fall could allow nuclear weapons to fall in the hands of terrorists who could use them at any time, place around the world, creating all kinds of ramifications that are too grim to think about. i thank the chair and would yield the floor.
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a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from maine. mr. king: what's the status of the session at this point? are we in a quorum call? the presiding officer: we are not in a quorum call. mr. king: i ask unanimous consent to address the senate as if in morning business for approximately ten minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. king: mr. president, one of the peculiar aspects of my service in this body is that i was sworn in as the united states senator 40 years to the day from the day i entered senate service as a staff member in january of 1973. consequently, it's given me an interesting perspective about the operation of the senate compared then and now. and i'm sure that some part of my memory of working here in the
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early 1970's and mid 1970's is colored by the rosy view of nostalgia looking back at one's youth and one's past. but even correcting for that bit of nostalgia, it's my observation that in those days we spent about 80% of our time governing and about 20% of our time on politics, and there were plenty of politics. this was during the watergate period. there was a democratic senate and a republican president. president nixon resigned during the period that i was here, so it wasn't as if politics weren't part of our life, but the work of the government continued, and the governing which was done by this body and the house of representatives continued even in an era of very intense politics in our nation's history. a friend asked me the other day what's the difference between
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then and now, and i said well, in those days, my recollection is it was about 80% governing and 20% politics. today it's reversed. it's 80% politics and 20% governing. and i want to talk a bit about governing. probably our most fundamental responsibility after national security is the little matter of the federal budget. it's something that we have to do every year. it's something that's in the constitution. it's one of our most basic responsibilities, and yet here we are ten legislative days away from the end of the fiscal year with no budget, no appropriation bills that have been passed in both houses, no conference committees, and as far as i can tell, no negotiations at the highest level in order to resolve what could be an impending shutdown of the united states government. in addition, we have the sequester facing us which was designed, mr. president, to be
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stupid. it was designed to be so unacceptable to both sides of the political aisle that a solution would surely be found. i remember being asked about it when i was running for this office in 2012. people said well, what do you think of this sequester that may happen next year? i said it will never happen. because it's so unacceptable to both to the defense and on the domestic, certainly members will come together and find a compromise solution. that happened with the murray- ryan solution two years ago. yet herer we are with the same problem and i don't have to enumerate the problems that creates, the problems with the national security, the problems of the effect on the economy, on the government itself.
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so here we are and we're not governing when it comes to a budget. the highway fund is a further enbecame. we have patched it up temporarily 34 times, most recently this summer. that expires in september. i have not heard a great deal of discussion about what the resolution of the highway fund is going to be and i make a bold prediction -- come september there will be some in this who say we're close to this solution, we need a few more and let's extend it to january and then we'll fix the highway fund once and for all. that doesn't meet the straight face test, mr. president. we have the highway fund in october, we have the tax extenders which last year we passed and the only -- only affected two weeks of the year. and yet we expect americans to
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meet plans and look ahead and they don't know what the tax code is going to be until the last two weeks before the year and they've come the point where they expect, well, they're going to take care of it but that's not governing and there's a cost to that. there's a cost to our economy. i've been in business and i know that one of the most important things to business is accountability. knowing what the rules are and what the tax code is and knowing what the regulations will be. people can deal with regulations or tax policy, the very difficult thing, however, is uncertainty and when you have uncertainty you have a lack of confidence and when you have confidence you have a lack of jobs. i don't think the metric, but the uncertainty,
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unpredictability of this in this institution have significantly put a damper on economic growth in this country. i don't know whether it's half a point of g.d.p., a full point or a quarter point, but it's a lot. because people don't feel that they can have confidence in what the rules of the game are and passing tax extenders for 2015 in the last two weeks of 2015 is just as i say, it's embarrassing. i think i said it was for the highway highway fund, but it is for both. then we have the bill in june. one that i don't understand. here's a government agency that 70 or 80 years old, provides businesses, very small businesses and matches a niche, and allows businesses to create
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in the united states. what's not to like? yet for reasons that i can't discern and seems to be something about ideology, heaven forbid that government this should work so we better put it out of business, isn't making any more loans. yesterday general electric, one of our most important national companies announced the losing of 500 jobs including 30 in bangor, maine thanks to the lack of support provided by the export-import bank which most countries provide some effort to exports, except us as of june june 30. a staff member in the other body that handles that, the comment was about the g.e. layoffs, 500 are a drop in the bucket for g.e. 400 jobs is not a drop in bucket
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for bangor, maine. these are real people. it makes a difference to our community and our economy. if there was some controversies i could understand it but the idea we don't like this agency even though it's effective in its mission and returns money to the treasury just doesn't make sense. so the budget we're not doing. the highway fund we're not doing. the tax extenders we're not doing. the export-import bank we're not doing. what are we doing? we're spending another week on the issue of iran which we thoroughly debated and voted on last week. and i understand we may spend another two or three days on it next week. for a series of amendments that can appear to me to be strictly designed to embarrass some members of this body and to create fodder for 30-second ads
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a year from now. that's not governing, mr. president. that's pure, unadulterated politics. and it's not dealing with the problems of this nation. we debated the iran issue thoroughly. i have never worked so hard on a single issue in my life. we all had the entire recess to work on it, to think about it, to talk to people and read the agreement. before the recess there were innumerous hearings and briefings and classified briefings. we've had two identical votes. two identical votes. yesterday one of my colleagues said we're in groundhog day. one of the exact same issue. now i understand we're going to have more votes. every member, i've never known an issue where every member of this body has expressed themselves on one side or the other. there's no question where everybody stands.
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everybody has expressed themselves. everybody has announced their position. 100 senators have announced their position. and i have to say a little bit about 60 votes. to argue that this issue of such momentous import should not require 60 votes when virtually everything else we have done around here since i've been here for two years has caused 60 votes is preposterous. i remember a year ago one of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle talking about some obscure amendment to a bill and said this amendment should be subjected to the normal 60-vote requirement. and i said normal? when is it normal? it has become normal. it was the rule for the last two years. now sawed it was -- suddenly it was the bulk of democracy. i remember talking about the change in the rule, we can't do that, it's a bulwark of
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protects the minority, it's the essence of what the senate is all about. now all of a sudden it's not so important. and people said, well, this was a procedural vote. had you a filibuster, how you filibuster it? well, unequivocally, the proponents of the iran agreement are prepared to have an up-or-down vote on that agreement this afternoon. as long as the 60-vote majority is part of the agreement about the vote. the only reason there was a 60-vote on a filibuster motion on a cloture motion was that the majority would not put that issue on the table up or down vote with a 60-vote margin. yet everybody knew when this bill passed, the corker bill passed, it would require 60 votes. senator corker is on the floor of talking about, of course, it's going going to require 60 votes and the famous letter to the ayatollah in the second
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paragraph said, of course, the agreements like this are going to be subject to a three-fifths majority. everybody knew this was going to be a 60 votes and to express shock now reminds me of the casablanca where they say we're shocked, shocked to see gambling here. we're shocked there could be a 60-vote requirement. of course, there was a 60-vote requirement as there has been on a lot of substantive issue and a lot of not substantive issues in the last two and a half years. now we're going to start to vote apparently on other issues not in the iran agreement. bring home the hostages, recognize israel. those are desirable ends. i support them entirely but that is not what this agreement is about. this negotiation was to keep iran from getting a nuclear weapon now. it was to roll back their nuclear program. that's what the negotiation was. it wasn't about the hostages,
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it wasn't about israel, it wasn't about iran's maligned activities in the middle east. a member said iran is a maligned state, a rogue state. they're going to get money from the sanctions relief. yes, they are. but the only thing worse than a rogue state with money from the sanctions relief is a rogue state with money, as the sanctions erode, with nuclear weapons. and that's what this is all about. when president kennedy was in negotiation with the soviet union to get the missiles out of cuba, at the end of the negotiation he didn't say, by the way, castro has to go. or you, the soviet union have to swear your enmity to the west, and here we had them say death to america, the soviet
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leadership said we will bury you. the same thing. but just as today the threat is to keep nuclear arms out of the hands of iran. which we all agree is what we need to do. we've debated iran. we've taken two identical votes. the outcome are the same. i predict the result will be the same and every minute we spend on this that has been resolved is a minute we don't spend on things we need to resolve, the budget, the can export-import bank, the budget. and that's what this body should be doing. i hope my colleagues at some point in a very near future will decide it's time to attend to
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those issues and if we disagree with the policy and decisions made so far, be it, but if we continue to politicize an issue that should not have been politicized in the first place. these are weighty issues. the iran decision was the hardest i've ever had to make. but i've made it. we voted. it's done. we need to move forward and we need to move forward to meet the urgent needs for the people of this country. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor.
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a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from alaska. mr. sullivan: mr. president, i rise to express my deep disappointment that what has transpired at the end of a very lengthy debate with regard to the iran deal is that we have chosen as a body, a minority of this body, to filibuster the iran agreement. for weeks, weeks, we have been talking about how important this agreement is, how we've been debating it. my colleague from maine, i agree with him, all of us put so much time and effort into studying it, how it was one of the most important issues we've discussed, even some of us who have been here 10, 20, 30 years, the most important issues they will ever debate and study and vote on.
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that's all agreed to. and what happened? now we're filibustering them. mr. president, american foreign policy, our national security is strongest when the executive branch and the congressional legislative branch work together. that's the way the constitution gives powers to both branches of government to form policy. but every step of the way, every step of the way, on this iranian deal of the president's, the president and his team have been dismissive of the role of the american people through their representatives in congress. you have to remember, mr. president, where we began. because the only reason the
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iranians actually came to the table was because the sanctions that this body, democrats and republicans, put on the iranian regime, american-led sanctions throughout the world, two different administrations did this. senator corker talked about the role we had and how important that was. so we started these negotiations with playing the critical role, forcing them to the negotiations table and when we started negotiating, the president says no, we're going to do this elon. we'll go it alone. no need for the congress of the united states. no involvement of the american people through their representatives in congress to weigh in on one of the most important foreign policy issues in a generation. so this body acted. this body acted. again through the leadership of many people on both sides of the aisle, senator corker, senator cardin, we passed legislation
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98 senators. said no, congress has a role. congress should have a role. the president said i'm going to veto that. we don't want you involved. i'm going to veto that. this body came together and said we want to be able to vote on this, on this agreement. we are constituents -- our constituents want to be heard. there were more affronts, the united nations voted before the senate even started debating on this bill. both parties, democrats and republicans went to house white house, talked to senator kerry, don't do this, this would be an affront to the american people. they did it anyway. now wife come to this moment. the security council and its member states have voted on the deal. the iranian parliament will need a majority vote to pass this
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deal. but the world's greatest deliberative body won't. on one of the biggest foreign policy national security issues facing the united states, a partisan minority of the u.s. senate has decided to take a pass and even voting -- on even votinvoting up-or-down on the substance of this agreement. now, many of my colleagues have come to the floor over the last several weeks, both sides of the aisle, to explain why they're for or against the agreement. it's been a very good debate. people focused on this issue very intently. people of good will having a serious difference of opinion. i disagree profoundly with my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, but i respect them for explaining to the public why they are supporting a deal that so many americans oppose and
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oppose intensely. but, mr. president, that's been one debate. i'm not sure i've seen any of my colleagues who've come to the floor -- who have come down to the floor to explain why they voted to filibuster -- to filibuster a vote on the president's agreement with iran, why they voted to deprive the american people of a right to be heard through their representatives in the senate on the substance of the deal. not a procedural move, the substance of the deal. why they are letting the white house continually press to usurp their constitutional authority to weigh in and make foreign policy for our country, why they have done a 180-degree turn
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after voting for corker-cardin saying we need to vote on this. the american people and their voices need to be heard on the substance of this deal, and then voting to stifle these same voices by supporting a filibuster. mr. president, i've been trying to see what the rationale of this is. certainly there seems to be one that the white house said that they should be doing this in order to spare the president the embarrassment of having to veto a bipartisan majority resolution of disapproval of his iran deal. there are other press reports saying that the filibuster happened to protect president obama's legacy. well, with due respect to the president, you will be gone -- he will be moving on in little over a year and a half, but the security implications of this dangerous deal will be something
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that the american people, our kids, maybe even our grandkids, will be living with for years. mr. president, this issue is much bigger than any so-called obama legacy. today i've heard many of my colleagues come to the floor and say, the agreement has already been voted on. now, i'm a new member to this body, but i'm not sure that's exactly the case. the agreement has not been voted on. my colleagues have not held an up-or-down vet on this agreement. they're actually avoiding voting up or down on this agreement with their filibuster. they know it, and they should be clear on this point to the american people. mr. president, i think this body is making history during this debate. it appears that for the first time in u.s. history an immens
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immensely important u.s. foreign policy agreement will move forward with a partisan minority of support in both houses of congress. for the first time in u.s. history on an agreement that is critical to our national security, the agreement will advance, not on the basis of a vote on substance -- a majority vote on substance, but on the basis of a filibuster procedural vote. and for the first time in u.s. history, the president of the united states sought the vote of foreign nations, including the world's largest state sponsor of terrorism, in approving and implementing a major foreign policy agreement and then he fought the vote of the american people to weigh in on that same agreement. yes, the senate is making
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history on the president's iran deal, but it's not the history we should be proud of. it's history, i fear, that will be remembered for undermining our national security in the u.s-- and theu.s. constitution. i yield the floor.
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stey xi mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming. mr. enzi: mr. president, i want to supplement my remarks from last week with some insights from alan dershowitz's book "the case against the iran deal." all of us received a copy of this last week. i read it last week. and, incidentally, he's been a consulconsultant to several presidential commissions, and has advised presidents, prime
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ministers, u.n. commissioners and members of congress. he has sold millions of books worldwide in a dozen i languages and he is a law professor emeritus at harvard. he is an accomplished attorney and has been active in politics, and i make that point because he endorsed president obama in 2008. so i think his comments might be particularly telling. i want to start by discussing the point mr. dershowitz makes that i find the most intriguing: the president is not the commander in chief of foreign policy. mr. dershowitz notes that the constitution does not make the president commander in chief, period. rather, article 2, section 2, clause 1, of the constitution makes the president commander in chief of the army and navy of the united states and the militia of the several states, when called into actual service
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of the united states. mr. dershowitz points thiewt this language does not make the president commander in chief for purposes of diplomatic negotiations and his involvement in international diplomacy as a chief negotiator whose deliberations are subject to the checks and balances of the legislative and judicial branches. specifically, mr. dershowitz writes that the president -- quote -- "cannot mick a treaty without the approval of two-thirds of the senate." "he cannot appoint ambassadors without the consent of the senate. "requests and this is probably the most important one. "and he cannot terminate sanctions that were imposed by congress without congress change the law enforcement" our constitution separates the power of government, the power to command in three co-equal branches," end quote. mr. dershowitz goes 0en it describe the president's actual constitutional role as the head of the executive branch of our
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tripod government that stands on three equal legs. i would remind my colleagues that this argument is being made by a prominent scholar on the united states constitutional law. this point reminds me of what a former colleague who carried a copy of the constitution in his pocket said in june of 2004. when debating the 2004 omnibus appropriations conference report, senator byrd said, quote, "why so deferential to presidents? under the constitution, we have three separate but equal branches of government. how many of us know that the executive branch is but the equal of the legislative branch, not above it, not below it but equal." end quote. i wonder what the former senator from west virginia would think of the ways the president has sought to diminish the role of congress with regard to the iran deal? according to mr. dershowitz, those actions including
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declaring the iran agreement to be an executive agreement instead of a treaty or joint agreement, promising to veto any congressional rejection of the deal, agreeing to submit the deal to the u.n. security council before congress considered it or trying to marginalize opponents of the deal as politically motivated, and dribbing the only alternatives to the deal as iran quickly developing nuclear weapons or war with iran. another discussion i found interesting in the case against the iran deal relates to the president's assertion that if we don't accept this deal with iran, the only other option is war. mr. dershowitz argues that this -- quote -- "sort of thinking out loud empowers the iranian negotiators to demand more and compromise less because they believe and have been told by american supporters of the deal that the united states has no alternative but to agree to a
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deal that's acceptable to the iranians." end quote. he also writes that while numerous administration officials have said no deal is better than a bad deal with iran, he views the united states as negotiating on the belief that the worst possible outcome would be no deal. in addition, mr. dershowitz notes that the diplomacy is better than war, but bad diplomacy can cause bad wars, and points out that israeli, french, saudi and other leaders have expressed concern that the iranian leadership is playing for time, that they want to make significant concessions in exchange for significant reductions in the sanctions that are crippling their economy. mr. president, that leads me to israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu's 2013 united nations speech which mr. derschwitz argues was distorted by "the new york times." the prime minister said --
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quote -- "last friday iranian president hasan rouhani assured us that in pursuit of its nuclear program, iran -- and this is a quote -- "iran has never chosen deceit and secrecy. never chosen deceit and secrecy." well, in 2002, iran was caught red handed secretly building an underground sent tiewj facility in netanz. and then in 2009, iran was again caught ret handed secretly building a huge underground nuclear facility for uranium enrichment in a mountain year quam. what strikes me about the prime minister's words are is it gives us a full picture of who we're dealing with in iran. last week the ayatollah khamenei predicted that israel will not exist in 25 years and referred to the united states as the great satan. what level of trust can we have
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for this regime? even if this agreement were a good deal for the united states, what makes us think that iran will abide by the terms of the deal? in other words, do you trust iran? and to be clear, this is not a good deal. as mr. derschwitz writes. all reasonable thinking people should understand that weakening the sanctions against iran without demanding that they dismantled their nuclear weapons program is a prescription for disaster. mr. derschwitz goes on to ask if we have learned nothing from north korea and from neville chamberlain. for those who the chamber who are not history buffs, let me explain how i interpret mr. derschwitz' question. in 1994, the united states and
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north korea agreed to a road map for the denuclearization of the korean peninsula. several rounds of six-party talks were held between 2003-2009. but north korea continues nuclear tests and -- pardon me. but north korea continues nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches. the president seems to be heading down a similar path with iran. as for neville chamberlain, he was the british prime minister when england entered into world war ii. he is best known for his policy of appeasing germany in advance of world war ii, signing the munich pact that gave part of then chief czechoslovakia to germany.
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germany avoided that pact and then invaded poland. should we really think that the supreme leader who calls us satan will abide by the deal? he does so by pointing out the enormous deal between the -- difference between the deal that dismantles iran's nuclear arsenal for a period than prevents iran was never developing a nuclear arsenal. mr. derschwitz says if this deal is ever to prevent iran from developing nuclear weapons the president must clearly say so and the iranians must agree with that interpretation. that has not happened. how did we get to such a bad deal? mr. derschwitz says that the first mistake was taking the military option off the table when the administration declared they weren't militarily capable of ending iran's nuclear weapons
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program. he says the secretary mistake was taking the current sanction regimen off the table by acknowledging that many of our partners would reduce or eliminate sanctions. and lastly, he says, we took rejection of the deal off the table by indicating that rejecting a deal would be worse than accepting a questionable deal. mr. derschwitz writes that these three concessions -- mr. derschwitz writes that these three concessions left our negotiators with little leverage and provided their iranian counterparts with every incentive to demand more compromise from us. he adds that our negotiators caved early and often because the iranians knew we desperately needed a deal to implement president obama's world vision
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and enhance his legacy. mr. president, with this deal might implement the president's world vision in the near term, i question whether it would enhance his legacy because i do not think it makes the united states or the world more safe. mr. president, i'm disappointed the president didn't submit this deal to us as a treaty for our approval. i'm disappointed that the minority has filibustered even allowing us to vote on a disapproval of the deal. i wish that we had paid more attention to the fact that sanctions put in place by congress have to be terminated by congress. not by the president. i urge all of my colleagues to read mr. derschwitz' book because i think it provides some valuable insights and might change their thinking. and i think we need a different outcome. i thank the leader for the
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amendments that he's put up that will make a difference. i think that one of those should have been done before any negotiations and that's that the american hostages be released. that would have been a good starting point and they should have then walked away several times to show that the deal was in favor of iran rather than the united states. that had to be some of the world's worst negotiating. i hope everyone will read mr. derschwitz' book, "the case against the iran deal." we all got a copy. i yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:


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