tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN September 17, 2015 6:00am-8:01am EDT
issue of political points. this issue with iran is one of the most significant, if not "the" most significant foreign policy issue that we likely will deal with while we're here in the senate. and so i think it is important while this is before us to spend as much time as possible talking about this issue, focusing on this issue, debating this issue, making sure that everyone understands what the consents of this iranian deal are. but let me just walk through, if i could, for a few moments and and -- and lay out why we are where we are today. first of all, four times -- i know the presiding officer is
new here, brings a wealth of national security experience in previous posts that he had with the state department prior to serving here. but what brought us here really was us acting almost in unanimous ways to put sanctions in place four times. this body four times since 2010, working with the house of representatives, put sanctions in place because we knew that iran was -- was doing things in the area of nuclear development that were going to be damaging to the world. and so we sanctioned them, we punished them, we put crippling sanctions on their economy. and we did that collectively. this is something that very few people on either side of the aisle objected to. we acted in unison. and it's those crippling sanctions that we put in place together that really brought iran to the table. let's face it. their economy, the standard of living, people there were
becoming restless. and so finally iran said okay, it's time to talk. when these talks began, our president stated that what we would do in these talks is we would end iran's nuclear program. and just for what it's worth, i think people on both sides of the aisle celebrated that goal -- ending iran's nuclear program. and for people who may be just tuning into this, i might remind people that iran has 19,000 centrifuges right now, 10,000 of those are operating. they've built underground bunkers at a place called fordhow so that it's, you know, it's hard to get to it, it's hard to take those out with munitions, if you will. they built a plutonium facility called arak -- a-r-a-k. by the way, much of this was done in a clandestine way, all of it was done violating u.n.
security council resolutions. and let me just say, everyone here understands fully that iran has zero practical need for any of this. iran has one -- one -- one -- nuclear facility. one. and everyone knows that it would be so much cheaper for them just to purchase enriched uranium to fuel that one facility. but, you know, they say, no, we want to be leaders in medical isotopes. well, just for what it's worth, if -- if iran wanted to really develop the expertise around medical isotopes, they would have 500 centrifuges. 500. so we all know that the purpose of this program has not been for civilian purposes. it's been to cause them to be a threshold nuclear country. we know that. everyone knows that. they know that. we know that. every country involved in the -- in the discussions with iran knows that.
so, first of all, we know what their goals are and so when the president says that in these negotiations, what we're going to do is we're going to end iran's nuclear program, i think most people in this body would celebrate. and so he began the discussions. as he started moving along, it became very apparent to those of it became apparent to those ofof us paying attention, that what he planned to do was enter into an executive agreement. for people that don't do what we do on a daily basis, there's three ways to enter into an agreement. one is a treaty. it binds future congresses. but the president decided that that was not the route that he was going to take. a second route is congressional
agreement. it's not a strong as a treaty, it does create a wall that's binding on future presidents and future congresses. the president decided he was not going to gode that route. the president decided that he was going to do this through an executive agreement. as we know, it's something the president can do if he choses on his own. the problem with it is it doesn't survive presidency. another president can do something different. in this case, however, everyone understands that we use all of our leverage, we give it away. when people began to realize that we brought iran to the table or played a heavy role in bringing them to the table, and what we realized the president was going to use a national security waiver to waive away all the congressional sanctions
soe that he could enter into agreement without ever talking to us, we achieved something elsepo that was very important. matter of fact, it's the first time that i have been in the united states senate. there's a lot of misunderstanding. first time what congress did on a strongly bipartisan basis, we took power back from the president. we know that you can enter into executive agreement, but in this particular case since we put the sanctions in place that brought them to the table. by the way, over your objections, we want a chance to go through this agreement in detail and we want the right to approve or disapprove, but you have to present us with us and have to sit for 60 days, tomorrow, we want to weigh in
the substance of this deal. the substance is something that we believe is good for our nation. we have 98 senators in this body vote for that. one was absent that supported it, that's 99. that's pretty remarkable. again, in a bipartisan basis, 99 senators said no, we believe that this is one of the biggest foreign policy issues we are going to deal with. this is a vote of conscious and we believe that every senator and every house member, which is unusual with these kind of agreements, should weigh in and avoid their opinion, and so we've gone through the deal, what's fascinating about it, we uninimity on t the fact that we should be able to weigh in.
it's my belief that -- my strong belief that in lieu of the president achieving the deal that she did t goal that he made to end iran nuclear program, obviously, we've done anything but that. what happened is we have squandered an opportunity to unit this nation and others around ending their program and instead our nation, our nation with others, other, quote, great nations, have agreed to allow iran not only to not end their program but to industrialize, develop intercontinental missiles, research and development with centrifuges, we
are going to allow to develop in r-2, r-6's which we know are multiple times faster. we lead to conventional weapons embargo, the ballistic embargo, for some reason just throwing it in forn good measure, we are allowing them for the first time to begin testing. and so what's happened is, now in this body there's some support, i see my friend from michigan over there and i have other friends. i haven't heard anybody say, this isou a good agreement. well, not necessarily the senator from michigan, others are saying, we are where we are. we are where we are. this iswe not a very good agreement. it's flawed. even though 200 times sent
agreement back, 200 times. in this case we are where we are. our friends in russia -- anybody see what our friends in russia is doing right now. china, third air script, people are saying, well our friends and allies, what would we do about our friends and allies. here is where we are. i could go on and on. i just cannot believe that our nation, our great nation with, quote, our friends from great britain, germany and franz -- france and friends from russia, boot on its neck. we squandered the opportunity
and now with our approval they can industrialize their program. they don't have to violate the terms of this deal. they canea just honor the deal. it's hard for me to believe this, but most people understand that we are giving them backs $00 billion -- $100 billion of money. we are doing that without us even asking them to do much. i mean, we, you know, from that point on, by the way, the leverage shift from us to them, we are very concerned about what they are doing in syria. by the way, they double-down since the agreement. we are very concerned about what they are doing with hezbollah and lebanon. we are concerned what they are doing with amaz and yemen, we
are concerned about what they are doing. we have thousands of men and women from uniform trying to keep it straight and open. we are very concerned about that, i in nine months if we express our concern, what are they going to do, we have all our money f you press against us forft terrorism, human rights or violations in this agreement that are minor, we will start nuclear program again. it's just kind of unbelievable that we ended up in this place. what happened on the floor, just to explain to the american people, we have a process which says that at the end -- we've had a lot of debate. we had 12 hearings, officers formed inth the officers committee. we've had hearings as a body, personal meetings.
as a matter of fact, i would say that this body knows about this international agreementth than y international agreement. as a matter of fact, thanks to us pushing back against this administration, the american people know more about this agreement than any agreement in modern times. it's an amazing thing. thank goodness we passed the iran nuclear review act, otherwise none of this would be known. none of us. we all said this was one of the biggest foreign policy issues to come before us. we want to american people to know where we stand on the substance of the deal. for people tuning in, this is the way the senate votes, when a bill comes before us, now there's a strong bipartisan majority of people that oppose this deal, the two most knowledgeable democrats on
foreign policy issue, the member and the former chairman and ranking member who know more about foreign policy than p any democrat in this bod, both oppose the deal. a strong bipartisan majority, we have a group of people that thinks we can do better, just like the 200 times plus that we sent agreements back, hey, do better. we are saying, we think we can do better. this is what's happening. when a bill comes before the united states senate, we have these rules and those are rules that say that clochure vote. we heard enough about this, we believe it's time to take a vote now, i just heard the senator from illinois that we talked about it too long. it's time to move beyond it.
he left out a minor detail. it takes 60 members to say we heard enough about it, it's time to vote. what happened is 42 members all of one party that are in the minority, 42 senators that are saying, no, we are not going to allow this to move to a final vote. we are not going to do it. we know it's not about debate, we know that -- as a matter of fact, the second highest officer on the democratic side says we need to move onto other business. it's time to move onto other businessan and vote cloture and letste vote. it's taken on kind of a tammy
wanett, flavor, let's standby our man, let's stand by our man. we want to protect him from that. we don't want to embarrass that there's a bipartisan -- by the way, the smartest, well adverse ed agreeing with the vast majority of the senate saying this is not good for the nation. this does not end the program. if thisog ended the program, you know what would be happening, we would have 100 senators. but since that isn't the case, what we want to do is send a resolution of disapproval to the president,pr but we have 42 senators on one end, let's move on and l deal with funding
government, but on the other hand, are not agreeing to a final vote. we have one more chance. i just want to say this. we have a lot of partisanship that happens here. i have it. it happens. i'm going to say in this case, majority leader, has allowed me to work with my friends on the other side of the aisle. he's allowed me to move this through in an appropriate way. in every juncture when my friends on - the other side of e aisle felt that something that was occurring that was added unnecessary temper or maybe something was getting out of line a ond we needed to alter or course of action, at every juncture, the majority leader said corker if you think this is the best way to keep with
bipartisanship with mend -- menendez, have at it. the leader filled the tree. what it means is he kept there from any inflammatory amendments after two times, the minority will not let us move to a final vote. if it's tough or not to vote on thursday, but the fact is that the purpose has been for u us to move to a final vote and we have 42 senators over here that will not allow us to have that vote of conscious. and i want to say again, the process vote of any debate that's not a vote of conscious.
the vote of conscious is when you take the final vote, do you that this iran deal, the president's iran deal is somethingg that's good for our country or creates stability in the region and certainly will keep them from getting a nuclear weapon. of us don't think so. actually i have a believe just listening to the comments of f y friends when they talk about how flawed it is, i think there's a whole lot of concern, they don't understandwh this. i got that. i understand the pressures that come to play when that happens. but where we are american people and where we are my fellow senators is, we want to move to a final vote, by the way, the rules of the senate as a majority vote, we want to move to that. we have 42 senators who are keeping us from that.
and what i hope is going to happen in the course of 48 hours, look, we did vote 98-1 to register our feelings about the substance of this most important agreement. we did, we really did do that. and maybe it is appropriate that we on behalf of the american people might get stuck on this procedureoc issue, this cloture vote. wead have debated this presente. -- plenty. i am thankful. i want to thank people on both sides of the aisle to put sanctions to get them to the table. thank you. both sides of the aisle, by the way led by senator menendez and
circumstance. -- kirk. i want to thank to have the documents, to know what this is about, to be able to weigh in and also one more time had the president donee what he said wht he would do is negotiate. but he didn't. we all know that. everyone knows that's not what has happened. we agreed to industrialize their program, let them do research and development, let them create mechanisms to make sure they can send the nuclear warheads. i don't know whyo we did that, but we did. and so now we just want a chance to vote yes or no.
do we believe that it's an agreement, that it's something that's goodry for our country ad we believe that if iran wishes to will keep them from building a nuclear weapon. with that, i yield the floor and look forward to comments of senator from michigan. >> senator from michigan. >> mr. president, we did come together on strong sanctions againstg iran that has brought s to the situation in a bipartisan basis. we did come together on the process that would create legislatively a way to make a decision, that was done on a bipartisan basis. what i regret that at this point that we are falling through, this this f has not become partisan, it's not good for america,
frankly the role to see this happen. while agreeing on part of the distinguished chairman said, i would have to disagree on many things. ii would not go into down. process used is no different than healthcare reform. we can try to make it partisan issue now. th ce reality is we have taken a position, we have voted. everyone knows everyone's position. now we areig just in the proces. unfortunately, ihi believe politics, which does not help us move forward for our country or for our allies. i want to speak about what i'm deeply concerned, which is the bill on thursday, and speak to an important young man who is an
american hero and is caught in the politics of what is happening right now. mr. president, he's an american hero and served the marines in iraq and afghanistan, he served with honor and awarded the ribbon and conduct metal. this morning aneal woke up in prison, he has been in that prison for father years and 19 days, during that time he had been tortured, the prison is not -- notorios for conditions. unfortunately, though, now today the senate republican leader is
also playing politics with amir's life. this veteran, this american hero is being used by the senate majority leader in a trance -- transparent effort and it's appalling. no american should be used in this way. none of our hostages. this is the young man whose parents are desperately worried about the safety and waking up every day for the last one thousand 479 days hoping this would be the day, this would be the day that they would learn that their son amir would be free. how does it show respectful amir mom and dad to use their life and possibly threaten with the negotiation of what's going on
now in order to make a bipartisan political point and jeopardize his release. i know from talking to colleagues and being in many meetings that on our side it has been h thoughtful and thorough d the chairman in coming to our positions and a very complicated situation. i spent many weeks like that one, we all have. meetings with nuclear experts, meetings with embassadors and personally calling each of those who were involved in the negotiations in the p-5 countries. meeting with constituents in michigan that feel passionate about this issue and i've made the decision, the decision that i believe is best for america
and for israel and for our other allies. i did not make the decision on the day the agreement was announced, before i had ever read it or even before it was announced regrettably as many republican colleagues in the house and senate did. so we've had a vote in the senate. we had two votes now on this issue, and today or tomorrow we will have a third vote not because the majority leader expected a different result, we've all taken our positions, but because he want to score political points and bring in as part of that vote for american hostages and what's happening to them. as those political points that we scored of the expense of amir
from michigan, who have served his country hon -- honorbly. anybody who has children can understand what they are going through. i personally talked with the president and other officials of the highest levels of the work who are working tirelessly to secure amir release and return him to his loving family along with the other americans held hostage. this is a diplomatic mission. it's a humanitarian mission. and yet, the majority leader is on a political mission. it is not going to help. i understand that.
i understand his position and others, but willing to use amir and other american hostage in the process, and that is wrong. this political stunt by the majority leader does not help bring amir home. it doesn't help bring the other three americans home. it just adds more politics to the situation. now, what's very disturbing to me after always having bipartisan -- one of the things that i could always say to my constituents that when it comes to the issues around israel in the middle east, we always have been together in a bipartisan basis untilis now and what's happened in thase last few mont.
unfortunately what's happening on this debate and the vote we will have tomorrow, bringing in the american hostages into this debate on iran is not the first time we are seeing partisan politics in this debate, and i still will never forget, never forget the 47 republican senators who wrote a leader to the supreme letter in iran, our enemy, to tell them not to pay any attention to the president of the united states. i have to say, mr. president, if it were reversed and it were 47 democrats, everything would have halted, there would be impeachment hearings, that we would be called traitors, it would go on and on and on.
it is shocking to me. if we had written a letter to saudi arabia when we were debating going into iraq and say, don't listen to the president of the united statesis or anybody else for that matter, any other president, that would be a national crisis and there would be outrage. somehow 47 republican senators can write to the itola to the middle of an international negotiation that was difficult, we know that within three months of having the nuclear weapon, right now, by the way, that we should all be concerned about. and i know we are accept, we act like we can go back to renegotiate now which isom going to take years, and so in the middle of all of that, in the
middle of all of that, all of those in this chamber -- by the way, president of the united states, don'ts, listen to him, don't listen to him. interestingly also in that letter, interesting in that letter senator said in that letter that, of course, it would take 60en votes to pass anything in w the senate, of course, we e debating and they acting like it doesn't, whoever wrote him, might want to check in with him. so here we are now. we are seeing the ultimate politics of members in this body writing to our enemies, saying don't listen to the president of the united states.
and now we are in a situation after voting twice on a very serious,ou difficult, emotional controversial issue where there aress people, serious thoughtful people on both sides because the vote is not going the way it wants. now they are bringing the four hostages from iran. now, president, there's a tradition in this country when it comes to issues of national security and the lives of men and women who serve america, a quote by quoted by former michigan senator, politics stops at the water's edge. it's right outside here in the reception room. very few united states senators have their portraits painted on
the wall in the reception group, and i'm very proud that one of those is a former republican senator from west michigan. senator arthur. he was against president fdr. he hated the deal. he went after president roosevelt on his domestic agenda. as chairman c of the foreign relations committee, when we were being attacked in pearl harbor he stepped up and said, politics stap at the water's edge. that's the way the united states of mearrg operated, that's the way the senate operated.
we had lost that and i am deeply concerned, not as a democrat but as an american as to where we find ourselves today on matters of such seriousness international threat to our country. we can debate them, we can have differences, yet someone loses the vote, it becomes time to come c back together and find a way to move forward to keep america strong. there are many opportunities for us to do that. many opportunities on this agreement to make it stronger, to focus on the nonnuclear sanctions and other things that we need to do together against iran to focus on bringing our world americans home, but this is not the way to do it.
this is not the way to do it. so i stand today to reject what i view as a political stunt and it's deeply concerning to me and to people in michigan who want to bring amir home. this isom not politics. this is somebody's life. it's about the future, national defense of our country and our allies and the world. the vote is the vote. we have taken our positions. it's time to come back together as americans. i yield the floor. >> senator from california. >> thank you very much,
mr. president. i want to thank my colleague for michigan for pointing something out today that i haven't heard before, whichea is that this voe that we are going to have tomorrow which iss a revote on the iran nuclear agreement adding, adding a couple of pieces regarding hostages and sanctions, regarding israel is actually a dangerous vote, a dangerous vote. and i agree with her completely, it's political vote. if you asked the people in the street what they think sought of very well because people see through this, they see politics. we have voted on this agreement. my friend senator corker, proud to serve with him, he says,
well, all we want is a vote on the agreement. we gave them a vote. we wanted a vote on the agreement, senator ried asked for that twice with a threshold. oh, no, every the years every single important vote is a vote threshold. suddenly this is an important vote. how well i remember, how well i remember a vote cast here on climate change legislation where we got -- counting to people that weren't here -- 56 votes. it would have been nice that i went to the floor and said this is outrageous, this is outrageous. let's add the 51-vote threshold. we knew w we needed 60.
we didn't play games with it. that's what we have here. we are playing games with an agreement which already has been voted on and we have enough people voting in favor of the agreement, if i could say, to derail the republican plan. now, derailing disagreement in my word means war. i see my friend on the floor, he was the one person who said it. let's just essentially say, we can bond this thing away. well, he is honest about it. other people say, just go back and get another agreement. that a is coword for no agreeme. that is cowords for war, and we have spoken out on this very clearly, and as if we don't have
other issues we need to deal with. enough senatorshe said they support to agreement to derail the efforts to stop it. grow up, accept the fact incident -- and move on. i don't think the people in this country want another war in the middle east and i feel very strongly this is a conscious vote. so bringtrth it up ten times, im not going to t change my vote, specially when i see playing politics has become the way my republican friends are dealing with this issue. now, if you look on the horizon we know there's a couple of real problems facing us. the budget, the budget runs out in 14 days. are we going to have a government shutdown because
people some don't think women should have a right to choose? are we? i don't know, but we have 14 days to deal with it. why aren't we dealing with it. we voted on the iran agreement. it's not going to change. it's just politics as usual. people are sick of it. now, let's l take a look at the republican budget, the proposed senate republican budget was cut over a half a billion dollars from the environmental protection agency. i just came from a very important hearing where we looked at a horrible tragedy in colorado, epa went in at the request of the state where an old mind hadn't been cleaned out and caused blowout, and when
theyt started to do testing, there was a blowout. epa was devastated with that. how are we going to move forward? we are not going to move forward when we cut half a million dollars out of the epa budget that could be use today clean up the mines. there was a devastating blowout where chemicals get in water and destroys community. why would we want to have a budget that cuts so much from the environmental protection agency that 80% of the people support, it's so popular, congress is so unpopular. people want a clean environment. you know, in all my years in office, mr. president, no one m has come up to me and said the
air is too cold, the water is too clean. they say the opposite. you know what, mickeyed has -- my kid has asthma, clean the air. instead of voting on something that we voted on, every member, we all came out, we were either for thean agreement or against . my colleague was wonder in explaining the position, and i was proud, but i'm not proud seeing us go back to the same thing. when we have all of these problems facing us, the republican budget cuts $400 million fromm community health centers preventing 620 new clinics from opening and keeping 2.6 million americans from a getting preventive and le saving care. that's right.
400 million from community health centers. how about the home program. eliminated with 93% cut. this means a loss of about 40,000 affordable housing units across the country. theth center for disease contro, we know how important they are when we have an epidemic. it would be slashed by the republican budget by $45 million hurting our efforts in protecting ebola and measlse. there's the export bank. we extended the life and attached it to the transportation bill, which is
great, but the export- import bank expired days ago. the transportation bill that i worked so closely with leader and senator durban and others, it's stuck in the house of representatives. and i don't know what to think over there, what they are doing, eed to get going and get that transportation bill into conference so we can do that. this is a bipartisan bill. but instead pushing on that, we ar ie voting on a issue that we already voted on. ge, general electric announced that it will ship 500 jobs overseas because of the bank's closure, anyone who tells you it doesn't have an impact. they're wrong. 500 families are suffering
because of the bank which we visit in the senate. it's stuck on the transportation bill in thes house and they have yet to mark their bill, and i hope they will. then we have something that ronald reagan warned us about. i want to remind everybody when bill clinton was president, we balanced the budget. that tells how how long i have been around. i didn't have gray harris. -- hairs. in those years we balanced a surplus. what happened after bill clinton? immediately we had tax cut for the rich and tax cuts from the president, george w. bush. thank god president obama has
cut it in half. we still have debt, that's because two wars were put on credit cards and tax cut to the rich. the debt kept climbing up. we have to raise the debt ceiling to accommodate and president reagan was right, don't play politics with the debt, even thinking that you will. the last time weye played these games it cost us a fortune and it caused huge uncertainty in the market. so we have the budget crisis, we have the republican budget with huge cuts to programs we need like the center for disease control, we have a transportation bill, the authorities which run out in
october, we've got all of these things. and yet, what are we doing today? wher -- we are voting today on iran. no one in my view is going to change their mind. i was thinking many some of my republican friendsid might come over to our side and favor the agreement since richard is for the agreement, john warner is for the agreement, and brent is for the agreement. these are all leading republican voices and others, many others. .. joined republicans against the agreement. not one republican -- not one -- despite all the leadership on
their side outside the senate, joined us. so the partisanship has been coming from the other side of the aisle. we're voting again on iran. and so maybe, i thought next week we could take up some of these serious issues that i just outlined, these pressing, pressing issues -- the budget, the debt ceiling, the ex-im bank, all these unbelievably important issues that are facing us. but, no, next week the majority leader has decided to take up abortion. abortion. and what we're going to be faced and what we're going to be faced >> and what we are going to be faced with is a bill that says to a woman, you cannot have an abortion after a certain. of time.
and i want to talk a little bit about that today. the bill as it is coming forward is extreme. it senator attack on women, on doctors, on the law of the land called ruby way. it's unconstitutional because it offers no health exception. it just bans abortion at a certain point in pregnancy with no exception. no health exception. no hope for a women facing cancer. no help for it when facing kidney failure. to help for the woman facing blood clots or other tragic complications during pregnancy. this is a war on women and that's what they are going to. they're not going to the debt ceiling. i'm not going to the budget, which must be -- even though jobs are leaving the country. this bill that they're taking up
next week will victimize survivors of rape and incest by assuming they are lying, enforcing women to go through multiple medical visits to prove that they have been victimized. it would throw doctors in jail for up to five years for helping a woman after a certain point in their pregnancy when the doctor knows she risks paralysis, infertility, a woman who has cancer whose life would actually be in danger if that pregnancy is continued. but you know, don't take it from me. taken from the women who have had to have these abortions, women who desperately wanted a child like the woman from california learned the 20 week ultrasound to there were multiple tragedies facing her babies heart and lungs.
the baby had no diaphragm which means her baby would have suffocated to death outside the womb. you would force that woman to go through a pregnancy. not to mention the impacts on the baby. then there's emily from south carolina, a 26 you old mother of two girls. during her third pregnancy she suddenly had extreme health symptoms including blurred vision and intense abdominal pain. after testing she was diagnosed with preeclampsia, which poses a serious threat to her health. under this bill she could not have been spared the risks to her health. so when we say there is a war on women, we mean it. we are not just saying words.
and, frankly, i'm confused with everything else facing us. we had such a bipartisan breakthrough on the transportation bill. i was so proud to work with the majority leader, so proud of the product that came out of the. i was proud to work with the democrats and republicans on the environment and public works committee, every one of whom was involved into supported the deal that went through. as a matter of fact, we had a majority of both caucuses. why can't we build on that bipartisanship? why do we have to go back to the usual corners. it's sad and unnecessary. but you know what? we are going to be voting on iran so i'm going to tell you what i am backing video. got to go through it again. i'm going to go through it again. the key points of this
agreement, one, it cuts off the uranium pathway to a bomb. it cuts off the plutonium path away to a bomb. it uses the most intrusive inspection regime ever negotiated. and when people say, oh, but they have 24 days to stall if somebody wants to look at their past program, let's be clear. not one country in the world who is a party to nuclear agreement has any deadline, even the united states. if there's a suspicion of a past program being hidden, you can install it off. but not this one. you've got to let them in in 24 days or they are in breach. there's a mechanism to require iran to provide the iaea with access to those suspicious sites, that 24 day limit.
that is not present in any of the agreement. it requires the ugliness of to disclose the past nuclear activities before they receive a penny of sanctions relief. and the u.s. and our allies, we have the ability to snap back multilateral sanctions. now, the bill that now will come before speak for another vote talks about how we cannot lift sanctions in this deal until certain conditions are met. but it ignores the fact that there's a whole other set of sanctions that are in place for iran's terrorist act committees. and those of sanctions are not touched. don't conflate the two and confuse people. the our sanctions or the nonnuclear activities, which include their horrific support of terrorism, and then their sanctions for their nuclear
activities, which we will be lifting if, if they agreed and carry out these agreements, particularly sense they will not have 1 penny lifted until the disclose every bit of the past activity. so let's see what else i can share with you as to why i support this deal. i have to say at a time when congress is not trusted, has the worst worst approval rating, i'm so embarrassed by it, i have come to the point were i to get third parties to make my case. 29 of the top of our nation's top nuclear scientists includes six nobel laureates say this is a good deal.
60 bipartisan national security leaders say this is a good deal. over 100 former u.s. ambassadors say this is a good deal. three dozen retired u.s. generals and admirals say this is a good deal. 340 u.s. rabbis say this is a good deal. 53 christian leaders and the u.s. conference of catholic bishops, and we are going to be seeing the poker next week, say this is a good deal. the religious leadership of the site of the deal for the most part is overwhelming -- seen the pope here next year. >> they don't want to see an escalation of war. we see what war brings. we lost in the iraq war more than 4000 of our people. i ask unanimous consent for one
more minute. >> is there objection? >> without objection. >> this is what our allies are saying. if the u.s. were to walk away from this deal, international unity would disintegrate, the hardliners in iran would be strengthenedcome and we would lose the most effective path to stop iran from developing a nuclear weapon. that is a direct quote from the uk foreign secretary. and he speaks for all of our partners in this, 100 nations who support this deal. 100 nations who support this idea. why would we want to stand with the hardliners in iran? i know my colleagues wrote to them, and to our partners with them, make no mistake. the hardliners here and the hardliners i in iran. >> the senator's time has expired. >> i believe if you're a moderate person, support this deal. i yield the floor.
>> the senator from arkansas. >> i have eight unanimous consent request. they have the approval of the majority and minority leaders. i ask unanimous consent that these request be agreed to and these requests be printed in the record. >> without objection. >> i feel at times as if i've exhausted my words against a nuclear deal with iran. i ended against the wickedness of the ayatollahs, the responsibility of the deaths of hundreds of american troops in iraq and afghanistan. their support for terror and their attacks on israel and other american allies. it's the height of folly, weakness to give iran tens of billions of dollars in sanctions relief and to put them on the path to nuclear weapons. indeed, i feel as if i can say nothing more than i've already said. but for julie to democrats who
support the iran nuclear deal have supplied coded arguments against the deal. those rather than speak myself i will send let the democrats speak into her own astonishing worse. your other democrats on the expiration of the deal. i remain extremely concerned that after 15 years the restrictions on how much uranium iran can enrich and to what level will expire and iran will once again return to its current status as a nuclear threshold state with a breakout time of just a couple months, if not weeks. it isn't his concern that iran can achieve this status without breaking the rules are bringing the agreement. to be clear in 15 years, iran will be allowed to be a legitimized threshold nuclear state. my fear is that 15 you're somehow un-american the face and iran to cease its enrichment part legitimize, that is wealthier, and then i ran that is fortified with new weapons and air defenses as embargoes on
conventional arms and ballistic missiles expire five and eight years from now. senator peters. i acknowledge that legitimate concerns have been raised the iranian activities after the first 10 years of the agreement, sometimes referred to as the out years. during this time iran's breakout time could shrink substantially, senator reed of rhode island. when he restraint begin to expire in 10 to 15 years, a blink of an eye to a country that measures history in millennia, our country will still have to do with an iranian leadership wants to build an industrial scale nuclear enrichment program. that's a big problem, senator white. non-of us knows what lies 10 or 15 years on the horizon. i have deep concerns about what the shape of iran's nuclear program could look like beyond this horizon. senator bennet. here are the democrats on iran's
financing of terrorism. iran will be disrupted in the middle east and fund terrorist activities. this regime will continue to do not israel's right to exist. but quds force was to be listed as a terrorist organization at of and will continue to exacerbate tensions with allies in the region. senator gillibrand. let's be clear, iran is a sponsor of terrorism and an abuser of human rights. this deal doesn't change that. senator heitkamp. it is only possible, perhaps probable, that iran will use its additional resources and access to conventional arms to increase its support for terrorist groups. senator merkley. i do share concerns about parts of the agreement including how iran could use funds from sanctions relief to continue funding hezbollah and other terrorist around the world. it is clear they been funding these activities despite crippling sanctions and we're right to be concerned that additional funds from sanctions relief or any other sources from
other countries if this agreement is not approved could be used to continue these outrageous activities. senator stabenow. here are the democrats on iran's continued nuclear activity and enrichment. with this deal we are legitimizing a vast and expanding local program in iran. we are in effect rewarding years of deception, deceit and wanton disregard for international law by allowing them to potentially have a domestic nuclear enrichment program at levels beyond what is necessary board peaceful, civil nuclear program. senator corker. it is possible iran will use its nuclear research for nuclear energy programs to provide a foundation for future nuclear weapon program. senator merkley. here are the democrats -- iran is a bad and dangerous after, we all agree on that, senator boxer.
critics insist that america cannot trust iran. i agree. isolate the series of doubts about their government. senator carper. we need not and, indeed, should not trust the iranian regime. implementation of this group may be challenging and we need to be prepared for the possible the iran well violate the agreement. senator casey. when iranian extenze chant death to america and death to israel the first question we have is how in the world can we trust them to live up to an agreement? the answer is we cannot. senator stabenow. even under the deal we should expect the iran will cheat when it came, particularly at the margins. they don't continue our wrapup its these daily activities and sponsorship of terrorism. with additional resources provided but increased sanctions relief, that will seek to break that if the opportunity presents itself after 15 years with specialized