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tv   U.S. House Legislative Business  CSPAN  September 8, 2015 2:00pm-4:01pm EDT

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as to me, when they write the history of these times, lindsey graham who is from the redest of red states can say the following -- i refuse to break up families for my political benefit because i know what it's like to have your family destroyed. i hope the party wakes up and will have a more sensible approach to immigration. if we don't we will lose and we will deserve it. john: how about a round of applause for our speaker? [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> senator lindsey graham of south carolina, presidential candidate. we will leave at this point and go live to the u.s. house as members are about to gavel in since the first time since the summer break. consideration. nuclear agreement for iran will be set tomorrow. though there could be discussion about it today and possible debate. reporter jake sherman is reporting that illinois peter
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roskam will introduce a privileged resolution calling for the halt on the house vote on the agreement. now live to the house floor. a communication from the speaker. the clerk: the speaker's rooms, washington, d.c. september 8, 2015. i hereby appoint the honorable steve womack to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, john a. boehner, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: the prayer will be offered by our chaplain, father conroy. chaplain conroy: let us pray. dear lord, we give you thanks for giving us another day. as the members of this people's house return from a lengthy time in their home districts, in the wake of a great american holiday we ask your special blessing upon american workers. those fortunate to have jobs during these difficult economic times and those desiring work.
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may they know and be confident of the nobility and sacredness of their labor. lord, the task facing the nation's congress is a difficult one which will call upon each member to consider what is best for american workers first. it is the challenge facing all americans. give the members wisdom in their work that our economy might continue to rebound and our country men and women throughout these united states be able to provide for their families and to build lives we have all come to expect for our citizens. may all that is done this day be for your greater honor and glory. amen. the speaker pro tempore: the compare compare and announces to the house his approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1, the journal stands approved. the pledge of allegiance will be led by the gentleman from
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texas, mr. burgess. mr. burgess: our guests in the gallery please join us in a pledge to the flag an our country. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the speaker pro tempore: the chair lays before the house sundry communications. the clerk: the honorable the speaker, house of representatives. sir, pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-h of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house of representatives the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on august 5, 2015, as 9: 18 a.m. that the senate passed without amendment h.r. 1138. that the senate passed senate 1297. senate 267. signed, sincerely, karen l.
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haas. the honorable the speaker, house of representatives. sir, this is to notify you formally pursuant to rule 8 of the rules of the house of representatives that i have received a grand jury subpoena issued by the united states district court for the middle district of georgia for testimony and documents. after consultation with the office of general counsel regarding the subpoena, i will make the determination required under rule 8, signed, incerely, timothy, legislative assistant kong height. the honorable the speaker house of representatives, sir. pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-h of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house of representatives, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on august 6, 2015, at 9:06 a.m. that the senate passed without amendment h.r. 212. that the senate passed house concurrent resolution 72,
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senate 1523. signed, sincerely, karen l. haas. the honorable the speaker, house of representatives. sir, pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-h of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house of representatives, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on august 6, 2015, at 9:28 a.m. that the senate passed with an amendment h.r. 720. that the senate passed without amendment h.r. 2559, h.r. 2131, h.r. 1531. that the senate passed senate 1707, senate 1826, senate 1596, senate 1362, senate 1576, senate 1347. sipped, sincerely, karen l. haas. the honorable the speaker, house of representatives. sir, pursuant to the permission
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granted in clause 2-h of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house of representatives, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on august 7, 2015, at 10:59 a.m. appointments, commission on care, congressional executive commission on the people's republic of china, signed, sincerely, robert f. breed, eputy clerk. the speaker pro tempore: the chair will entertain requests for one minute speeches. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. poe: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman from texas is recognized for one minute. mr. speaker, friday in the blistering heat of houston, texas, 11,000 people, including the governor, attended. many more stood outside. he ceremony was broadcast live
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on all four local tv stations. helicopters were overhead. peace officers from the united states, canada and united kingdom were there. the city and state gave their final tribute and respect for one of its fallen, harris county deputy sheriff darren gopher. he left behind a widow, and children. he was assassinated the week before while he was putting gasoline in his patrol car. apparently targeted because he was a peace officer. he was shot in the back of the head 15 times. an individual was quickly captured and charged with capital murder. darren was a happy guy. he loved his family. he loved his second career as a lawman. and working on old cars. everyone liked darren. even a local thief posted on social media that he was his favorite police officer. darren loved his kids and
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recently bought his son and himself captain america t-shirts. ryan, his son, wore his t-shirt at the funeral. the deputy was buried in his underneath his uniform. police officers are a rare breed. they rush to emergencies and dangers while most flea from them. their -- flee from thefment their life is dedicated to serving and protecting others. they are willing to sacrifice everything for the rest of us. darren was that type of peace officer. mr. speaker, when the funeral was over and the back pipers had played "amazing grace" and the buglers had played "taps" it started to rain. as if the angels above were shedding tears for a remarkable guy. deputy sheriff darren gopher. that's just the way it is. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from arizona seek recognition? without objection. the gentleman from arizona is
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recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, monday marked the 122nd year we have honored the men and women of america on labor day. it's also an occasion to reflect on the tremendous progress that the labor movement has made including the lives of working families. from pay and working conditions, to fighting for fair health care, retirement benefits, unions have and will always play a critical role in growing the american middle class. however, we still have a long way to go. mr. gallego: that's why i support raising the minimum wage, and fighting for fair trade agleement so we can lift up the millions of working families in america still struggling to make ends meet. mr. speaker, it's simple. those willing to work should be able to find good jobs and through their hard work they should be able to improve their family's dwife -- quality of life. that's the core of the american dream. this labor day let's recommit ourselves to building a nation and economy with where that
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dream is within reach for every american. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. burgess: i rise to ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from texas is recognized for one minute. mr. burgess: early last month the negligence of the environmental protection agency caused the release of over three million gallons of wastewater at the gold king mine near silverton, colorado, causing arguably the biggest environmental disaster of this year. while over the congressional august work period, i was able to visit the spill site and with elected officials was able to view for myself. as you can see there is still considerable affluence coming out of the mouth of that mine as of two weeks ago. mr. speaker, i would just ask has anyone been fired? has anyone been held accountable at the environmental protection agency for this disaster?
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no they have not. what would have happened had a private company been responsible for a disaster of this order of magnitude i shudder to think where those people in charge of that company would be today. the e.p.a. did not follow its own procedures. it did not have proper communications equipment at the site of the disaster. they had no satellite. they had no rodeo radio. as a consequence they did not notify local officials until a day later of what had occurred at the mine. they have also refused to answer questions about the potential health risks in the polluted water to human and animals down river. the long-term effects of the e.p.a.'s negligent -- neglect will be unknown, but i submit they will be significant for years to come. mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from new york is recognized for one minute. >> i rise today to commemorate francis bellamy, one of the
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most influential individuals from mount morris, new york. francis is the author of pledge of allegiance. today marks the 123rd anniversary of the pledge of allegiance which was first published in a magazine called "the youth companion" on september 8, 1892. the pledge was initially written as part of a campaign to put american flags in every school in the country. in its original form it read, i pledge allegiance to my flag and the republic for which is it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. in 1923 the words "the flag of the united states of america" were added. in 1954, congress added the words "under god. creating the 31-word pledge we say every dafmente mr. collins: bellamy's words are recited millions of times every day and
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are ingrained in our society as an expression of national pride and patriotism. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? >> unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, the summer months provided us with an excellent opportunity to get outside and take advantage of the natural parks, natural resources great parks, and public lands in our communities. in southeastern pennsylvania, we are fortunate that we do not have to go much further than our own backyard to enjoy a wide variety of landscapes and public lands. in an effort to prioritize the conservation of our public lands, waterways, and natural resources and public policies related to same, i recently established the bipartisan congressional land conservation caucus with representative joe pitts, earl blumenauer, and mike thompson. i appreciate their willingness to support this effort and i urge my colleagues to join our caucus.
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mr. costello: it's my hope that this group of members will focus on issues related to land conservation, protection of natural resources, and the preservation of open space across the country. i also want to thank michael and the daily local news for their in-depth observations on the past, present, and future of the chester county government-led efforts to protect open space. it's been a remarkably successful program over the last 30 years and another county in my district has followed in their lead as have many other counties in pennsylvania and across the contry. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. smith: mr. speaker, this much we know about the iran deal. the -- it permits iran to develop nuclear weapons in the future. it means $150 billion to iran, some of which will be used to export terrorism as president
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obama has admitted. it allows iran to buy weapons, such as intercontinental ballistic missiles. it gives iran weeks if not months of advance notice of any weapons site inspections. it includes secret side agreements, one prohibits other countries from inspecting a possible nuclear weapons development site. . it is being implemented even though many oppose it. it destabilizes the middle east, jeopardizes america's security and endangers the world. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois seek recognition? >> thank you, mr. speaker. pursuant to clause 2-a-1 of rule 9, i rise to give notice to raise a question of the privilege of the house. the form of my resolution is as follows. mr. roskam: whereas rule 9 of the house of representatives rules states that a question of
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the privileges of the house shall be first those affecting the rights of the house collectively, its safety, dignity and the integrity of its proceedings and, second, those affecting the rights, reputation and conduct of members, delegates or the resident commissioner individually in their respective representative capacity only. whereas the iran nuclear agreement review act of 2015 in this preamble referred to as the review act, was passed by the senate on may 7, 2015, by a vote of 98-1. whereas the house of representatives passed the review act on may 14, 2015, by a vote of 400-25. whereas the review act was signed by president barack obama on may 22, 2015, becoming public law 114-17. whereas section 135-a-1 of the atomic energy act of 1954 as
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enacted by section 2 of the review act states not later than five calendar days after reaching an agreement with iran relating to the nuclear program of iran, the president shall submit and transmit to the appropriate congressional committees and leadership the agreement as defined by in subsection h-1, including all related materials and annexes. whereas section 135-h-1 of the atomic energy act of 1954, as enacted by section 2 of the review act, states the term agreement means an agreement related to the nuclear program of iran that includes the united states, commits the united states to take action or pursuant to which the united states commits or otherwise agrees to take action regardless of the form it takes, whether a political commitment or otherwise regardless of whether it is legally binding or not, including any joint comprehensive plan of action entered into or made between iran and any other parties. and any additional materials related thereto, including
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annexes, append ises, side agreements, implementing materials, documents and guidance, technical or other understandings and any related agreements whether entered into or implemented prior to the agreement or to be entered into or implemented in the future. whereas on july 14, 2015, the director general of the international atomic energy agency in this preamble herein referred to as iaea, and the president of the atomic energy organization of iran signed the road map for the clarification of past and present issues out standing regarding iran's nuclear program which refers to two separate agreements between the iaea and iran. whereas the first of these separate agreements seeks to clarify long standing questions about the possible military dimensions of iran's nuclear programs including those identified in the iaea director neral report's report to
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gov-201/65. whereas section g-38 of that report states, since 2002, the iaea has become increasingly concerned about the possible existence in iran of nuclear activities involving military related organizations including activities related to a nuclear payload of a missile which the iaea has received new information. whereas the road map describes the second of these separate arrangements as an effort to resolve outstanding issues regarding the military facility at parchen and whereas in his november 29, 2012, report to the board of governors of the drector general of the iaea stated, they have information relating iran has a large containment vessel at the site to conduct hydrodynamic experiments, despite related --
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requests, they have not granted access to the parchen sites. including removal and replacement sizeable quantities of earth are at this location, i'm concerned they have seriously undermined the iaea's undertake verification. i reiterate that iran provide access to that location and substantive answers to the iaea's detailed questions regarding the parchen site. whereas on august 20, 2015, report by the associated press includes draft text of the parchen separate agreement which details a process by which iran will provide photographs, videos, soil samples and other materials in lieu of giving the iaea access to the parchen site. and whereas a 27-year-old veteran of the iaea and its former deputy director general and chief inspector stated, much of the current concerns arise from the reported
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arrangements worked out between the iaea and iran in the side documents to which the p.m.d., possible military dimension, issues. if the reporting is accurate, these procedures appear to be risky departing significantly from well-established and proven safeguard practices. at a broader level a verification standard have been diluted for parchen or elsewhere and limits imposed the ramification is significant as it will affect the iaea's ability to draw conclusive definitive conclusions with the requisite level of assurances and without undo hamplehaverpering of the verification process. whereas the self-information and verification of iran of its own nuclear weapons-related activities performed at the parchen military facility are inadequate and incapable of demonstrating iran's compliance with safeguards against nuclear weapons development and as established by the iaea or the international nuclear agreement with iran.
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whereas on july 14, 2015, the p-5 plus one, the united states, the united kingdom, france, the people's republic of china, the russian federation and germany and iran all announced that the parties have agreed to a joint comprehensive plan of action. whereas section c-13 of the joint comprehensive plan of action requires iran's parliament and the president to implement the additional protocol to iran's comprehensive safeguards agreement to the iaea. whereas section c-415 of the joint action plan requires them to fully implement the road map for verification of past or present issues regarding iran's nuclear program which was agreed to by the iaea. whereas the joint comprehensive plan of action is necessarily predicated on an interdependent with the two side agreements between the iaea and iran all of which are reinforcing and indivisible. whereas the state department
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spokesman issued a statement on july 29, 2015, today the state department transmitted to congress the joint comprehensive plan of action, its annexes and related materials. these documents include the unclassified verification assessment report on the jcpoa and the intelligence community's annex to the verification assessment report as required under the law. therefore, day one of the 60-day review period begins tomorrow, may 20. whereas the section of the atomic energy report of 1954 states it is critically important that congress have the opportunity in an orderly and deliberative manner to consider and as appropriate take action affecting the statutory sanctions regime imposed by congress providing to the house collectively and members of the house
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individually in their representative capacities to review the iran nuclear agreement as defined in section 135-h-1 of the atomic energy act of 1954 in order to determine what action, if any, to take. whereas section 135-h-1 of the atomic energy act of 1954, as enacted of section 2 of the review act, specifically requires the president to provide congress with the text of side agreements. and related agreements. including those agreements between iran and any other parties. and whereas the state department's transmission to congress did not include the text or materials relating to the two side agreements between the iaea and iran and was therefore incomplete as a matter of law, whereas on july 21, 2015, senate foreign relations committee chairman corker and ranking member cardin sent a bipartisan letter to the state department requesting the actual text of the two separate agreements between the iaea and iran. whereas on july 22, 2015,
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congressman mike pompeo and senator tom cotton, along with the speaker of the house and the majority leader of the senate, sent a letter to the president requesting the text of the two separate agreements between the iaea and iran. whereas on august 4, 2015, congressman pompeo sent a further letter to the president co-signed by the house majority leader and 92 other members of the house requesting the president to provide the text of the two separate agreements between the iaea and iran. whereas contrary to the law and these requests, the president did not provide the text of the separate agreements to congress or any of its members. and whereas on july 22, 2015, state department spokesman john kirby stated, there's no side deals. there is no secret deals between iran and the iaea that the p-5 plus one has not been briefed on in detail. whereas on august 5, 2015, letter to the -- to members of congress assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs,
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julia fryfield contradicted that claim saying the road map refers to two separate agreements between the iaea and iran. and within the iaea system, such arrangements related to safeguards, procedures and inspection activities are confidential and are not released to other member states. whereas on july 28, 2015, secretary of state john kerry told the house foreign affairs committee in responding to the statement that national security advisor susan rice has seen the actual text of the two side agreements said, i don't believe susan rice, the national security advisor, has seen it. whereas responding further to whether he has seen the actual text, secretary kerry said, no, i haven't seen it. i've been briefed on it. and whereas on july 29, 2015, secretary of energy earnest moniz stated, i personally have not seen those documents. whereas on july 31, 2015,
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white house press secretary josh earnest stated, our negotiators were briefed on the context of that agreement, a reference to the side agreements. whereas being briefed second or thirdhand, including by obama administration officials, who themselves have not read the actual text of the side agreement, is akin to a game of telephone and is not letting the members of congress to read the actual text of the agreements. and whereas the congressional review period described in section 135-b of the atomic energy act of 1954 as enacted by section 2 of the review act to review the iran nuclear agreement begins only if an agreement, including all materials required to be transmissioned to congress -- transmitted to congress pursuant to subsection 1-a is transmitted by the president to the congress for revufmente whereas on july 14 -- review. whereas on july 14, 2015, president obama stated, this deal is not built on trust. it is built on verification. whereas it is impossible for
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the president, congress and the american people to consider and determine whether to support or oppose an iran nuclear agreement without reviewing key inspection and verification details contained in the text of the two side agreements between the iaea and iran. whereas the determination by the parliamentarian by the house of representatives, acting as an officer of the house and that the president -- that the president has transmitted to congress the agreement and related materials as required by law. and therefore to become counting the lapsing of the congressional review period beginning july 20, 2015, deprives the house collectively and members of the house individually in their representative capacities of the right to review the nuclear deal with iran. and whereas the congressional record for the legislative day july 27, 2015, is incorrect, listing the under the heading executive communications the following entry -- a letter from the assistant secretary legislative affairs, department
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of state, transmitting a letter and attachment saving all requirements of section 135-a of the atomic energy act of 1954, as amended by the iran nuclear agreement review act of 2015, public law 114-17, as received july 19, 2015, jointly to the committees of foreign affairs, financial services, the judiciary, oversight and government reform and ways and means. and whereas the house of representatives is scheduled to vote on a resolution of disapproval on the iran nuclear agreement as soon as september 9, 2015, a procedure provided for under section 135-e-4 of the atomic energy act of 1954, as enacted by section 2 of the review act. d whereas such a vote is injurious as to the integrity of the house as it violates the process provided under section 135-4 of the atomic energy act
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of 1954, transmission -- transmittal of the iran nuclear agreement and all related documents, including side agreements and the observance of the congressional review period provided in section 135. and whereas in her august 5, 2015, letters to the members of congress, assistant secretary of state fryfield inaccurately stated the united states does not have a right to demand the side agreement documents from the iaea. . where as the former deputy director and chief inspector of the iaea, according to the rules and practices such documents could be made available to members of the iaea board. whereas he further stated the issue of confidentiality is an important matter for the iaea, however it should not be used as a blanket to stop legitimate questions particularly regarding verification methods at perfect chant.
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historically the iaea had not viewed such as confidential. they have disclosed much more detailed facility speask a proaches at regular safeguards sim posea. additionally, in 2007, the iaea iran work group addressing outstanding issues accumulated over several years was made available to all iaea member states and the board also received a 2012 document from iran related to very specific p.m.d., possible military dimension questions, which happened while the iaea was negotiating with iran for greater clarity and access. whereas part one section 5 of iaea information circular 153 provides that specific information related to such implementation of measures to safeguard nuclear materials in the state may be given to the board of governors and any such -- to such agency staff members as required such knowledge.
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and whereas article 6 of the statute of the iaea authorizes the board of governors of the iaea to direct the work of the iaea including and safeguarding nuclear materials and ensuring the peaceful end of a nuclear participating member states nuclear program, and whereas rule 18 of the rules of the board of governors of the iaea entitled circulation of documents in particular importance establishes procedures by which member states of the iaea board of governors may access relevant documents and re-- related to their duties. whereas the united states serves on the board of governors of the iaea and has both the need and the authority to access the actual text of the two side agreements between the iaea and iran, whereas on july 30, 2015, white house press secretary josh ernest speaking on behalf of the president of the united states stated i will acknowledge that i don't know exactly what the requirements are of the iran review act.
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so i'm not sure exactly what that means congress is acting for. whereas on april 6, 2015, white house press secretary josh ernest stated, we do believe that congress should play their rightful role in terms of ultimately deciding whether or not the sanctions that congress passed into law should be removed. whereas on april 7, 2015, white house press secretary josh ernest further stated, members of congress should consider the agreement and decide whether or not the president has achieved his stated objective of preventing iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. shutting down every pathway they have and making them cooperate with the most intrusive set of inspections that have ever been imposed on a country's nuclear program. whereas the joint comprehensive plan of action which was negotiated and agreed to by the obama administration fails to accomplish these objectives. whereas any recognition by the house of representatives of the transmittal by the president of
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an iran nuclear agreement does not include -- that does not include all of the materials required by law, including the text of the two side agreements agreed to between the iaea and iran violates the rights of the members of the house individually, in their representative capacity, impeding their ability to make a fully informed decision on how to vote on behalf of their constituents as conceived and provided for in the enactment of the review act. whereas the director of the national intelligence -- director of national spence james clapper has labeled iran the state's -- world leading state sponsor of terrorism. whereas the web shite whitehouse.depfment ov states that iran currentlyly has a two to three week break out time to build a nuclear bomb. whereas, legislative action on an iran nuclear agreement is one of the most important issues that will ever come before the house as it is directly affecting the safety and security of the members of the house and their constituents. whereas taking of legislative
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action without reasonable consideration and knowledge damages the reputation and cridibility -- credibility of the house collectively and its members individually in her representative capacities. whereas the president's failure to follow the law that he signed is an affront to the dignity of the house and cannot be ignored, now, therefore, be it resolved, that the house of representatives, one, reaffirms its legal right to obtain all materials, including the full text of all side agreements exricing the iran nuclear agreement as defined in section 135-h-1 of the atomic energy act of 1954 as enacted by section 2 of the iran nuclear agreement review act of 2015 in the section referred to as the review act signed into law by president obama. two, directs the parliamentarian of the house of representatives not to recognize for purposes of determining the date of the congressional review period prescribed in section 135-b of atomic energy act of 1954, as
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enacted by section 2 of the review act any agreement and related documents commit smithed by the president that do not include the actual text of two side agreements between the iaea and iran. three directs of clerk of the house of representatives and officers of the house to correct executive communication number 2207 appearing on page 5522 in the congressional record of the legislative day of july 27, 2015, to state the following. a letter from the assistant secretary of legislative affairs state department transmitting a letter and attachment which does not satisfy all requirements of section 135-a of the atomic energy act of 19534 as amended by the iran nuclear review act of 2015, public law 114-17, as received july 19, 2015, jointly to the committees on foreign affairs, financial services, judiciary, oversight and government reform, and ways and
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means. four, instructs the speakerer of the house to dispatch without delay a notification to the president on behalf of the whole house entitled failure to follow the law and stating that, a, the president's transmittal of that agreement to the house is incomplete as a matter of law. b, consequently the congressional review period provided in section 135 of the atomic energy act of 1954 as enacted by section 2 of the review act has not begun. and c, pursuant to section 135-b-3 of the atomic energy act of 1954 as so enacted in the end of the congressional review period the president nay not waive, suspend, reduce, provide relief from, or otherwise limit the application of statutory sanctions with respect to iran under any provision of law or refrain from applying any such sanctions pursuant to an agreement described in subsection a. five, instruct the speak every
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of the house of representatives on behalf of the whole house to return the agreement and related materials provided in the president's transmission of july 19, 2015, in order that the president may provide a full and complete transmission of all materials required by side luding the text of agreements. and six, instruct the speaker to take such actions as may be necessary to provide an appropriate remedy to ensure the integrity of the legislative process is protected and to report his actions and recommendations to the house. mr. speaker, if you didn't catch it, i'm happy to repeat it. the speaker pro tempore: under rule 9, a resolution offered there the floor by a member other than the majority leader or the minority leader is a question of the privileges of the house has immediate precedence only at a time designated by the chair within two legislative days after the resolution is properly noticed. pending that designation, the
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form of the resolution net nthsed by the gentleman from illinois -- noticed by the gentleman from illinois will appear in the record at this point. the chair will not at this point determine whether the resolution constitutes a question of privilege. that determination will be made at the time designated for consideration of the resolution. pursuant to clause 4 of rule 1, the following enrolled bills were signed by speaker pro tempore harris on thursday, august 6, 2015. the clerk: h.r. 212, h.r. 1138. h.r. 1531. .r. 2131, and h.r. 2559. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in reese sess
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>> earlier today former vice president dick cheney offered comments about the agreement. he warned the agreement was a
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historical folly and would only put the u.s. and its international allies at greater risk of danger. during a speech he was interrupted by a protester. this is just under 50 minutes. >> good morning, everyone. welcome to the american enterprise institute. i'm scholar here. just over a week congress will vote on a resolution of disapproval for the nuclear deal that president obama negotiated with iran. president obama says that the vote is a choice between war and peace and that there is no alternative to this deal and those who oppose it are making common cause with the hardliners in iran. that group is in league with the identifya toll yea khomeini includes chuck chumer, former democratic chearm of the relations commeem, bob menendez, ben cardin, and includes our speaker tonight, today, vice president dick cheney.
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he's the author with his daughter, liz, of a wonderful new book called "exceptional, were the world needs a powerful america." he says plom has few accomplishments but there is one he has. this iran deal is so bad has into the only united arabs and israelis he's united chuck schumer and dick cheney. ladies and gentlemen, the vice president. vice president cheney: well, thank you very much, mark. i hadn't thought of that. probably the first time chuck schumer and i agreed on anything. he's welcomed to the club. 'm delighted to be here today. ai's been a home of sorts going back to the ford administration. i'm proud to serve on the board of trustees now and on occasion they provide a forum where we can discuss important issues. i come before you today not as
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a candidate for any office. my years in elective office are over. i come before you as a citizen who has also spent the better part of 40 years in public service. white house chief of staff, congressman, secretary of defense, and vice president. focused much of that time on national security issues facing our nation. i'm here because i have deep concerns about the iranian nuclear agreement that congress begins considering today. it will be up to members of the house and senate to vote yes or no on the joint comprehensive plan of action that president obama has signed with the government of iran. for every member of congress, no matter how many years they serve or foum votes they cast -- or how many votes they cast, this will be a vote that will be remembered. so much is in the balance for our own security and that of our allies. it's not a moment for appeals to party loyalty, for whip
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calls, or returning favors, or lining up against the president for its own sake or lining up with the president for its own sake. every man and woman in congress will have to stand alone on this issue. and they should choose with nothing else in mind but the america and the interest of their country, big their own best judgment to a decision that -- that is of theirs alone to make. i have come in that spirit today setting aside for now any broader disagreements with the obama administration, any stake in past debates, any concern of electoral politics. this vote in congress will have profound consequences. approval of this agreement will not prevent a nuclear iran. along with a pathway to a nuclear arsenal, president obama's agreement will provide iran with funds and weapons the regime will use for the support of terror, the dominance of the middle east, and the
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furtherance of tehran's effort to destroy israel, threaten arab regimes, and prevent the united states from defending our allies and our interest in the persian gulf and beyond. with the removal of restrictions on iran's ballistic missile program, this agreement will give iran a means to launch a nuclear attack on the u.s. homeland. a week before the deal was announced, president obama's own secretary of defense, carter, declared this should not happen. quote, the i in icbm, ashton arter coat nothed, stands for intercontinental, which means having the capability to fly from iran to the united states, and we don't want that. that was a week before he knew what was in the agreement. i know of no nation in history that has agreed to guarantee that the means of its own destruction will be in the hands of another nation, particularly one that is
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hostile. what president obama is asking the united states congress to do is unique. historically and dangerously unique. the results could well be catastrophic. the claims made by president obama, secretary kerry, and other members of the obama administration about this agreement have been robust. this deal will, they have said, and i quote, prevent iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. cut off all iran's pathways to boom, including the covert pathway. provide us in a certainty we will know what they are doing. in the nuclear arena. prevent nuclear proliferation. encourage stability across the middle east and prevent war. these assertions are simply false. take the president's assurance that the agreement will prevent iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. in a more candid moment a few months ago, he admitted that under this deal the iranians in
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13 years or so will have, and i quote, advanced centrifuges that enrich uranium fairly rapidly, and at that point the breakout times would have shrunk to zero. the president's own words make clear this agreement does not keep iran from nuclear capability. quite the opposite, it guarantees that in less time than has past since 9/11, a regime with death to america as a pillar of its national policy will have the ability and the material to produce an arsenal of nuclear weapons. and at that point what is to prevent them from doing so? well, president obama tells us they promise they won't. we are asked to rely on the word of a country that has cheated on every nuclear agreement to which they have been a party. once they have the means in place to become a nuclear power, they will do it. president obama came into
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office determined to engage the iranians without preconditions. beginning with his inaugural address offering them an open hand if they unclinched their fistment through his letters to the iranian supreme leader, through the secret negotiation established by secretary clinton with the iranians in oman in 2011. president obama's guiding principle has been convincing the iranians they can trust us f we walk away from this deal, secretary kerry recently claimed, the regime in tehran will learn, quote, you can't trust the west. a negotiation based on the premise that the united states had to gain the trust of the world's worst state sponsor of terror was never going to end well. the secret talks before the actual negotiations even began, the u.s. side appears to have made three key concessions. they agree to drop the long-standing demand of the
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international community that iran halt uranium enrichment. they agree to provide immediate sanctions relief and they agree to pay the iranians to negotiate by releasing $12 billion in frozen assets. these were just the concessions made prior to the negotiations. so much for negotiations without preconditions. there were, in fact, preconditions. they just weren't ours. the iranians are reputed to be excellent negotiators. for the american side that is not an auspicious beginning. it set the pattern of one concession to iran after another. hard deadlines declared and then ignored. a general air of desperation to get a deal. not on our part but on ours. not on our terms but theirs. the cave on enrichment wasn't just any concession. under the nuclear nonproliferation treaty signed
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by 120 nations, 190 nation nation, including iran, countries with peaceful nuclear programs do not have a right to enrich. agreeing to the demand that the united states recognize such a right for iran guts the fundamental principle at the heart of the m.p.t. and makes it much more difficult for the international community to deny such a right to any other state. it also in one swell swoop neutered six united nations security council resolutions passed to stop iran's nuclear program. including its uranium enrichment activities. president obama, who says he is submit committed to the international arms control regime to the united nations, and nuclear nonproliferation, it is now urging that the united states accept an agreement that will undercut the most effective multilateral arms control treaty in history and negate the previous demands
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of the international community expressed in those u.n. security council resolutions. the president says this deal will, quote, stop the spread of nuclear weapons in this region. in fact, by legitimatizing the iranian enrichment program, for the first time ever, the deal will likely accelerate nuclear proliferation as other nations demand the same right. america's friends and allies in the middle east including the gulf states know that their own security hangs in the balance. as the united states enables iran to aguirre nuclear weapons. -- aguirre nuclear weapons. they have watched iranians get the better of us in these egotiations. inaudible]
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vice president cheney: thank you very much. [applause] viewpoint they nowhere simultaneously withdraw from the region in making cuts to our own nuclear arsenal and defense budget. they are already assessing that the security guarantees long provided by the united states are increasingly meaningless. and that announced redlines are more likely to be abandoned than defended by the united states today. they are more likely in this
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environment and in the aftermath of this deal to determine that their own security requires that they possess their own nuclear weapons. the president says this deal will ensure the international community will be able to verify that iran will not develop a nuclear weapon. he has said the inspections regime is historic. that the agreement cuts off every one of iran's pathways to a bomb, including, magically, the covert pathway. let's look at the facts. after we were assured repeatedly by members of his administration, a disagreement would include any time, anywhere inspections, president obama has accepted a deal that gives the iranians anywhere from 24 days to many months to delay inspections at suspicious sites. inspections at military sites where the iranians have concealed suspect elements of their nuclear weapons program
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in the past are not covered by this agreement. the american people have been told not to concern themselves with this. there are secret side agreements between iran and the uaea. with you are elected -- which our elected representatives in congress cannot see it, either. that reportedly cover inspections at these sites. it's not clear any obama administration officials have these side l of deals, either. the iranians continue to insist, and i quote, there will be no access to any military sites and in at least some crucial cases, relating to past activities, the regime will be inspecting itself. that is historically misguided. the value of this agreement and the veracity of the president's claims about it rest on the inspections regime contained within it. inspectors need to know what iran has done in the past so they have a base line against
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which to assess whether the country is cheating in the future. secretary kerry seemed to understand this in april of 2015 when he said, the iranians would have to disclose past activity. quote, they have to do it, he said. it will be done. if there's going to be a deal, it will be done. that was john kerry in april. two months later in july of this year, secretary -- secretary kerry's position changed dramatically, quote. we are not fixated on iran specifically accounting for what they did at one time or another, he said, because, and i quote, we have absolute knowledge with respect to iran's past activities. if you're looking for a quick summary of secretary kerry's position on the need for iran to completely disclose all its past nuclear activity, you could say he was for it before he was against it.
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[applause] viewpoint the former director of the c.i.a. and the n.s.a. said he knows of no american intelligence official who would claim, as secretary kerry does, that we have complete knowledge of what iran has done in the past. detecting elements of a country's nuclear program and predicting lou howe close it is to breakout is a notoriously difficult intelligence task. it is one that we have failed at time and time again. the united states failed to predict the first soviet atomic test in 1949. the first chinese test in 1964. the first indian test in 1974. the first pakistani test in 1998. and the first north korean test in 2006. all of this should raise serious concerns about the claims president obama has made that the agreement guarantees a breakout time of at least one year.
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accurately assessing how far the iranians are from obtaining a nuclear weapon would require a full and complete disclosure of their past activity. inspectors need a baseline. if we don't know how much progress iran has made towards obtaining a nuclear weapon, we cannot accurately assess how much farther they need to go or how long it will take them. iranians were unwilling to make such a disclosure which tells us something in and of itself. and president obama and secretary kerry dropped this essential requirement. under president obama's agreement, there will be no anywhere, any time inspections, and no inspections of military sites. those are covered in the secret deals that we cannot see. there will be no access to the regime's nuclear scientists, no full disclosure of past activity, no full access to documents pertaining to iran's nuclear program. and iran will be doing some of
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the inspections themselves. we are essentially leaving it up to iran to let us know when and where they might have engaged in illicit nuclear weapons activity. the president also expressed firm resolve on a matter of sanctions. they would be lifted when and only when the iranians had first met their obligations. it worked out a little differently, of course. they got that $12 billion and other sanctions relief right away. soon, the regime will be a player again in the financial markets. finally something on the order of $150 billion will be coming their way in the assets released under this deal. we were told and are still being told that at the first sign of cheating sanctions will suddenly snap back on the regime. in reality, the deal makes it very difficult to reimpose sanctions or impose new ones. it enables iran to walk away from the agreement completely
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if any attempt is made to sanction them anew. discoveries of violations by the iranians would be followed by long international debates over every last technical point . and who doubts what the refrain would be from the obama administration when confronted with obvious violations. we would hear that it's bettory overlook the offense than to risk losing the agreement. that's how we came to this point in the first place. it's the same week ackquiesting and ultimately dangerous mindset that led us so far down the wrong road to a deal so completely tailored to the demands of the iranians. president obama has agreed to iranian demands to remove restrictions on key elements of the infrastructure tehran uses to support global terrorism, including the irgc force. he agreed to lift restrictions on iran's icbm program and on
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its ability to impose and export to -- to import and export convengal weapons. in this agreement, if it's approved, these concessions will further iran's efforts to achieve one of its main objectives in the middle east to drive the united states out. former undersecretary of defense ambassador eric adelman recently testified that under the that under the jcpoa the united states will not be able to rely on the assumption that it will have unimpeded access and control other all domains of warfare in the persian gulf. a recent study co-chaired by commormer marine commandant james conway and former general charles waled put it this way. the jcpoa will allow iran to improve its unconventional capability, challenge the
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strategic position of the united states and its allies in the middle east. iran will be able to revitalize its defense and industrial base in the short-term even if it devotes nl only a fraction of the $100 billion or more that will be unfrozen as part of the agreement. more than the iranian government's entire budget for the current fiscal year on military spending. other the medium term, the removal of economic sanctions and the united states arms embargo will allow the regime to acquire other advanced technologies and weapons from ibroad. and once sanctions against its ballistic missile program sunset, iran could more easily develop weapons capable of reaching targets in the middle east and beyond, including europe and the united states, end quote. this agreement will enable iran to mornedize and expand its military capabilities while the united states military suffers from the devastating obama-era
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defense cuts and the effects of sequestration. contrary to claims made by the president and secretary of state, the united states will be in a far worse position to defend our interests and prevent a nuclear armed iran when the obama agreement sunsets than we are today. in addition to facile taiing iranian access to advanced weapons, aiding the development of its icbm program, providing cash wind fall and tremendous economic benefits to the regime and tehran oba ha-iran agreement lifts sanctions on the iranian revolutionary guard corps, the irgc force and the force commander suleimani. under commizz conditioned -- under his command the force has been responsible for terror, fomenting violence, advancing iran's goals of regional dominance and killing of american service members in iraq
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and afghanistan. by lifting sanctions on these entities and on suleiman himself, the obama iran deal aids the efforts of america's enemies. imagine for a moment a world in which this deal has been implemented. iranian-backed forces will receive additional aid and support as they work to ensure that yemen remains a failed state, a theater in which al qaeda in the arabian pens laz as effectively operated. and they've operated in the sharia province. iraq will see an influx of wrepsened -- weapons and resources for iran's proxies, leading to increased violence and bloodshed as isis is able to recruit more sunni to their cause. conflict will intensify in syria as iran floods its most important ashe foothold with weapons and fighters.
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the european refugee crisis will likely grow as thousands more flee the rising terror and chaos. hezbollah, iran's main proxy, will also benefit in its operationses across the middle east and particularly in its ongoing attacks on israel. in the meantime, the removal of restrictions on the irgc force will give that group the ability to move freely throughout the middle east as they oversee this brave new world. it isn't just hezbollah and the hue tees and assad who will benefit from the lifts of restrictions on iran. iran's ties to terrorist groups are extensive. that's why republican and democratic administrations alike have identified them as the world's leading state sponsor of terror. in 2011, president obama's own treasury department designated six al qaeda terrorists for their involvement in a network that moves money and terrorists
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across the middle east including into iraq and afghanistan. that network was headquartered in iran. in the words of david cohen then undersecretary of treasury and today deputy director of the c.i.a., quote there is an agreement between the iranian government and al qaeda to allow this network to operate. there is no dispute in the intelligence community on this point. former director of the defense intelligence agency general michael flynn has said that documents captured with osama bin laden incruded, quote, letters about iran's role, influence and acknowledgment of enabling al qaeda operatives to pass through iran as long as al qaeda did its dirty work against americans in iraq and afghanistan. since that initial designation, president obama's own treasury and state departments have repeatedly pointed to iran's agreement with al qaeda, noting
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that iran is, quote a critical transit point for funding to support al qaeda's activities in afghanistan and pakistan and home to a quote corps pineline through which al qaeda moves money and operatives from across the middle east to south asia this pipeline exists, corkt the obama treasury department, as part of a formerly secret deal between iran and al qaeda. as recently as last year, while the nuclear talks were under way, treasury staid that iran had let al suri, identified as the leaders of the network in july of 2011, let him out of his temporary detention so he could resume control of the network. the president said he understands that iran's support for terror continues. he has said that should not stop congress from approving his nuclear deal he seems willfully blind to the fact that the
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benefits conveyed to iran in this agreement, the money, the conventional weapons, the sanctions relief, facilitate and enable the iranian regime's support for terror and terrorist groups. including those who have attacked the united states and are today threatening our security, our allies and our interests. the united states congress stood ready to approve a strong, serious agreement to prevent the threat of nuclear armed iran. instead, it has been handed as i wantry -- handed an intricately crafted ka pitlation. though president oba -- -- capitulation. though president obama has spoken of, the said the consequences are on me, that is beside the point. what happens after the deal is not on him. it's on all of us. this deal gives us a chance to launch an attack on the homeland that threatens the security of
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our allies across the northeast, threatens the security of europe and should not be forgotten this deal has vast implications for the future security of the jewish people. charles craut hammer has written hat it -- -- krauthammer has written that it took nazi nermny six years to kill a million jews, it would take a nuclear weapon one day. every president has been arms in to no nuclear the middle east until now. the president is saying you can enrich rureyain -- uranium, you can have icbm's, and here's $150 billion which we implore you, please do not share wit your terrorist friends. the bill -- to build a deliverable nuclear weapon is a
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mercifully difficult enterprise but when the world wakes up one day to find the news that iranian radicals have done it, new lines of force come into view with all further terms to worked out under the threat of the first use of a nuclear weapon since nagasaki. when a former ranking democrat on senate foreign relations says he fears that iran will gain such a weapon and he doesn't want his name on it, his colleagues should pay very close attention. that man is dealing with reality. the best assurance against these things coming to pass is a decisive, bipartisan majority in congress that will vote against this deal and gather still more strength to override a veto. some have suggested the white house recognizes the difficulty members of the president's own party are facing as they are pressured to cast a vote in opposition to the interest and views of their own constituents, not to mention the nation.
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to avoid this a filibuster has been discussed. that way no member need be on the record supporting this shameful deal. anyone unwilling to stand up and be counted on this deal should not be serving in elected office. the truth of the matter is that such momentous issues as national security should not be decided by a filibuster, a veto or by one third of the members of the united states senate. least of all by a president who justifies his actions with a false choice, deal or war. now as at other fateful turns in our history, the alternative to the nightmarish scenarios we all wish to avoid is not to make concession after concession after concession. the moment president obama conceded that the iranian regime had any right to ebb rich uranium he lost the possibility of securing a good deal. the moment he let up on
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sanctions, which were constricting the regime's power and influence, would only have gotten worse for them. pressure was lifted from the mullahs in tehran and they no longer needed a deal more than we did. and as soon as president obama went on israeli tv and effectively ruled out the option of force, the iranian knew they had won. a far better deal is still possible and it begins with reasserting our original objective on each of these matters. iran must halt its enrichment and reprocessing active thes. it must halt its ballistic missile activities. it must provide a full and complete accounting of its past nuclear activities. it must allow complete, go anywhere, any time access including at military sites. there should be no sanctions relief until iran has fulfilled these obligations. if iran chooses not to do so, they must understand that the united states stands ready to take military action to ensure
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they do not acquire a nuclear weapon. [applause] vice president cheney: preventing nuclear weapons is one of the most strategic challenges we face but there are lessons from the past on which we can draw. for decades, rogue regimes have been attempting to acquire nuclear technology and weapons. in 1981, the israelis launched an air attack against the iraqi nuclear facility out of syria, setting back saddam hussein's nuclear program. by 1991, he had reconstituted large portions of it which the united states destroyed with our military action in desert storm. in fwee, when we liberated iraq, muammar ibyan leader gaddafi contacted us days after
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u.s. forces captured saddam hussein he told us he wanted to turn over his nuclear program he had watched the fate we delivered to saddam and he didn't want to be next. gaddafi's nuclear materials are now in the united states. gaddafi's decision has two -- had two listening-lasting and important respects. first because he turned over his material they did not fall into the hands of militant islamic terrorists who today control territory inside libya. second, his cooperation enabled us to unravel the black market nuclear pr live ration network of pakistani scientist a.q. khan who sold to rogue regimes around the globe. we put him and his network out of business. there's also evidence that iranians halted a force of their program in 2003 in the aftermath of the u.s. envation -- u.s. invasion of iraq hoping to protect themselves from suffering saddam's fate. in 2007, we learned that the north koreans were build agnew clear reactor in syria's eastern
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desert. territory now governed by isis. when the israelis brought this information to us, president bush told them he would not take military action. the israelis decided to take action on their own. and destroyed reactor. in each of these cases, it was either military action or the credible threat of military action that persuaded these rogue regimes to abandon their weapons programs. iran will not be convinced to abandon its program peacefully unless it knows it will face military action if it refuses to do so. that's how a serious negotiation plays out. that's how a self-respecting power with with everything in the balance must serve its vital interests. insisting on key, nonnegotiable points and maintaining a credible threat of military force are the indir spenceable elements of serious diplomacy over the iranian nuclear program. that's what the administration
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should have done all along. instead, they have presented us with a deal that strengthens our adversaries, threaten ours allies, and puts our own security at risk. they have placed on the table for congressional review a deal that provides weapons and funds to a regime that has pledged to destroy israel and maintains death to america as a central pillar of its policies. arming and funding iran while simultaneously providing them a pathway to a nuclear arsenal is not an act of peace. it's not, as president obama claims, the only alternative to war. it is madness. the vote on the iran deal, on the nuclear agreement, is ahead. and the stakes are very high. every member of congress swears to defend the constitution from enemies outside our shores. i took that oath 10 times and every time i put my hand on the bible, i understood that we were also pledging to defend this
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great and good nation. a vote to reject this agreement ill do that. [applause] a vote to reject this agreement will do that, approving it will not. thank you very much. [applause] i think we're going to take a couple of questions. >> absolutely. can everyone hear me? the vice president has to leave but he's agreed to take a few questions. some of you have sent them up. the first question is from general david detwa. do you believe the timid
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approach to the assad regime is a reflection of the degree they were willing to assuage iran to change their nuclear agreement and has that spilled over to the current anemic effort against the islamic state which is averaging 18 air strikes addai compared to desert storm's average of 1,200 a day. vice president cheney: i think -- this is speculation on my part -- but i do think the administration's concern with respect to getting the nuclear deal led directly to the president's decision to stand down after he established the red line, said that if syria used chemical weapons he would take military action, and of course they used chemical weapons and he didn't. my own personal view is he was in that phase of the process where he did not want to offend iranians who are closely tied to syrians so i think it had -- the deal had a direct result of limiting the administration's actions with respect to syria.
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marc: this is from the iraqi ambassador to the united states. we sometimes hear some people say the contain. of saddam hussein would have been better than the policy of toppling him. what do you think about the people who talk about the containment of isil. vice president chaney: first of all, i a-- vice president cheney: first of all i disagree with the first assumption. we never would have issued or delivered the warning in terms of our military action against saddam, against libya, gaddafi. you can imagine what would have happened if, when isis took over or the radicals took over in libya, if they'd enhittered -- inherited a nuclear program. i don't buy into the initial proposition and i can't remember what your question was. marc: the people who say we can
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contain isil. vice president cheney: i don't see any way to contain isis. it seems they are work very aggressively to recruit and grow in size, include regular cruting people out of the united states here. i think they've already made remarkable progress for a terrorist organization, more success occupying, creating the caliphate, and occupying thousands of square miles of syria and iraq. they have continued to spread their influence and activities, we have seen them in libya, north africa, boko haram and nigeria -- in nigeria has agreed to align itself with isis. i think their prospect for growth and development is remarkable. and i don't think -- i'm not sure how you would contain them. i think ultimately they have to be defeated, they have to be destroyed. supposedly that's the objective the president's laid out but his
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military activity so far, i think, falls short of what's necessary. marc thmplet question from linda sachs. they surrendered treaty power to the president what do you think will get us back to the american exceptionalism of the constitution? vice president cheney: as i mentioned in my remarks, i think this should have been treated as a treaty. rather than the way it is being treated. of course if we'd handled it as a treaty, it would take a 2/3 vote of the senate to ratify it the traditional way of doing business. we've done a lot of executive agreements over the years this one is so important work such important ramifications, that failure to follow that regular procedure strikes me as -- it was a mistake. a negotiated arrangement, i guess, but as we look at it now
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you don't need a 2/3 vote of the senate to ratify it. they only need one third. one third plus one system of i think it was serious procedural mistake. marc: one last question. i ask everybody to please remain seated as the vice president exits as he has to catch a plane. the president has said he will confront iran's regional aggression after this deal is implemented. what steps should be take ton reassure israel and our sunni partners. vice president cheney: i'll believe it when i see it. i have serious reservations after you pour over $100 billion back into iran, you lift sanctions and embargos on things ike conventional weapons and icbm's, you take off the embargos on doing business, for
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example, with the irdc, i think you've given them an enormous shot in the arm in terms of their ability to pursue their terrorist activities and support for ill list regimes and then you're going to turn around and mount military operations somehow to take them down. it doesn't fit. it doesn't calculate in my mind. i think if the -- if the problems we have with the nuclear agreement in and of itself weren't enough, when you add to that the last-minute addition of lifting the sanctions and the embar goes ballistic missiles, on conventional weapons, then that in and of itself does enormous damage. i'm afraid that the idea that somehow we can contain iran afterwards is going to take an
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awful lot of effort, major effort. we may have no choice but to do that but as i mentioned in here, the state of the defense department's budget these days ray gnificantly depressed, odierno who just stepped down as army chief of staff said the readiness level in the army of the united states is the lowest it's been in the history of the army, that's over 200 years. we've got a situation where we badly need to rebuild our military capability, especially if we're going to be in the business of trying to contain the damage that iran is going to do with all of the relief that we've given them in terms of funds, in materials of lifting sanctions, in terms of reversing course on limiting their icbm force and so on. so i -- if you look down the road and think about where we're going to be once this is implemented, once we see the
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iranians exercise their part of it, given especially the continued iranian assertion that we're never going to see their military sites, the secretary of defense, the equivalent in iran, just in the last day or two held a press conference, i guess this week new york which he said the united states will always be the great satan for us. we'll continue to do everything we can to support their opponents. and to support those people who were hostile to israel. this doesn't mean any withdrawal or change in behavior on the part of iran. it's a statement of their defense minister. marc: this president is unlikely to do any of these things, what would your advice be if there's a republican president to succeed him in 500 or so days. vice president cheney: first of all irk hope it happens. [applause] most -- i think that
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significant thing we have to do, before we do anything else, excuse me, is rebuild our military. you've had every single member of the joint chiefs of staff in testimony before the congress over the last year or so testify that we no longer have the capacity or we're nearly to the point where we no longer have the capacity to execute the nation's national security strategy. the air force chief of staff recently said that the air force today has fewer aircraft and older aircraft than any time in the history of the air force, which was created right after world war ii in 1947-1948. you can go down chapter and verse. we've got to rebuild that apacity. every st an edge -- in area, whether it's stealth or others, that gap is rapidly
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close, we've got the chinese and russians actively and aggressively working hard to close the gap, you see what happens to the whole area of cyberwarfare here at home. at the same time congress was debated and adopting the measure to, in effect, take all of the data that we collected in the n.s.a. program and turn it back to the companies without any limits or restrictions on what they're to do with it that same week that that debate was going forward in congress and being passed, it was disclosed the chinese had hacked into our personnel database here and all of us who ever worked for the federal government, and i don't mean to take this personally, all of us, including a lot of mens -- including a lot of members of congress, their security background checks and so forth, their personnel records are in the hands of the chinese. the chinese were ripping us off as we were wringing our hands saying, oh, my gosh, we can't
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have the n.s.a. collecting call data on american citizens. nobody to my knowledge has yet produced one single instance where the civil liberties of an american citizen have been violated by that program. not one. but we spent enormous amount of time in the end shifted all the data back to the phone companies and significantly weakened our capacity to use that capability to intercept and block actions y al qaeda, isis, our enemies. marc: mr. vice president, thank you for joining us here today. vice president cheney: thank you. marc: if everyone can remain seated please. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] >> former vice president dick cheney on the iran keel.
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there will be more on the iran deal beginning tomorrow at the -- as the house begins debate on that agreement. earlier today we heard illinois republican congressman roskam introduce a privileged motion to block voting on that deal until the white house discloses all house is in of that recess, when they return, they're expected to debate stem cell research and infant health issues, among other items. that's at 4:00 p.m. eastern. earlier today, 41 democrat senators came to consensus on approving the nuclear agreement with iran. before that, senator harry reid spoke about it at the carnegie endowment. we'll show you as much of this as we can until the house returns at 4:00. >> good morning. there's a few people settling
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in. my name is george perkowitz, i'm vice president for studies here at the carnegie endowment. it's my pleasure to welcome you all back from the end of summer, lamentably, and the beginning of the work year here in washington but we have a great occasion we're honored to present to you to start it off, that's an address by senate minority leader harry reid, and to introduce senator reid we have a dear friend and former colleague of his, congressman howard vernon, also a friend of ours, we've had the pleasure and honor of working together on a number of issues when he was chairman of the house foreign affairs committee. he's still very active in foreign affairs. it gives us great pleasure to ask congressman berman to come up and introduce senator reid.
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>> thank you very much, george. before i introduce the speaker, i want to let folks know, the folks at carnegie, how important your work has been to me during the 30 years i was on the house foreign affairs committee. congressman berman: issues like arm pross live ration, arms control, so many other issues, your writings and your testimony, your -- our conversations helped shape my own outlook on a lot of key foreign policy issues. i owe you a lot and a special shoutout to the brave people these days who are running your moscow senator. whenever i brought a group of members of congress with me, never went to russia without
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stopping there to get the analysis on those issues. but in any event, i am very honored today to be asked to introduce your speaker who has en my friend for 33 years, senate democratic leader harry reid. we worked together since he and i came to the house in 1983. we sat next to each other for four years on the house foreign affairs committee before he was elected to the senate in 1986. and as you know, the senator served as majority leader from 2007 through 2014. and he remains the democratic leader during this, his last term in congress. hat most don't appreciate is the skill that goes into garnering the mantle of leader and majority leader in the u.s. senate, and holding onto it.
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senator reid's commitment to a progressive agenda, his knowledge of the issues, and the parliamentary rules, his attention to detail and his ility to handle the outsized personalities of his colleagues are legendary. he fights tenaciously for that which he believes and produces compromise oduces when that's the only sensible course. senator reid through all his years, this day, has given special attention and focus to the u.s.-israel relationship. fighting as strongly as anyone in the congress for the survival and security of the state of israel. he, like i, believed that support for the joint comprehensive plan of action is not only in america's security interests but it is in israel's
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security interest as well. what's not well known is that the critical strategic work that then-majority leader reid played from 2009 through 2012 in ensuring that biting, far-reaching sanctions were enacted and were done so in a way that maximized president obama's ability to put together a far-reaching, international coalition in support of sanctions. he wasn't the author of these sanctions bills. his name doesn't appear in the newspapers and discussions about him. but he was seized with the critical importance of preventing iran from having a nuclear weapons capability and devoted great time and leadership to making this happen. it's not often a house member gets a call from the senate majority leader to discuss legislative strategy on a bill
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not authored by a senator or makes himself readily and easily accessible to a house member to ensure a positive outcome. on this issue, senator harry reid led, not in name, but in taking the steps that only a majority leader can take to ensure that the effort was successful. i'm very proud to introduce senator harry reid. [applause] senator reid: thank you very uch. we're going to try a little experiment this morning. as some of you may know, i hurt myself on january 1. and basically blinded myself in one eye doing my exercise.
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as senator mikulski said in our first meeting when i came back to the caucus, she said to everyone there, a simple, i told you, i've said it all my life, exercise will kill you system of anyway, here's the deal. i can't see out of my right eye but it does let light in. so i got some new glasses and we're going to try for the first time with my new pair of glasses. we'll see how it works. the like here seems to be just about right. so if i have to go back to my ark lenses, you'll know why. so. howard, thank you very much. howard and i are friends. we always will be friends. we bonded as freshmen in that very large class that tip o'neill had to deal with back in 1982. he's a superb legislate --
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legislator, he was noted as a great legislator in the california legislature but back here, when the history books are written, during these three decades he's served, howard berman will be part of that discussion. i'm so grateful he came from california to introduce me today, there's no one i would rather have introduce me than my friend howard berman. i also want to thank the carnegie endowment and your president, former secretary burns, for this meeting. he has a remarkable career and record and i'm grateful he's somebody that i speak to and somebody that i like a great deal. he is mostly out of the public eye, i understand that, but he's known around this city and around the world as someone that has worked really hard to keep the world safe from a nuclear 46 armed iran. -- from a nuclear-armed iran.
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thank you, bill, even though you're not here, and george, thank you for filling in so ably. when the senate gaveled into session in just a few hours a debate that's ignited passions from tehran to tel aviv, from beijing to berlin, and from coast to coast across our country will take center stage in the world's greatest deliberative body. the question at hand is no small matter. is the agreement between iran and the international community, led by the united states, the best pathway to peace and security for america, israel, our partners and interests. . -- and interests? i believe the answer is unquestionably, yes. and today i'm gratified to say to my fell he american -- fellow americans, our negotiating partners and our allies around the world this agreement will stand. america will uphold its commitment and seize its opportunity to stop iran from getting a nuclear weapon.
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the formal debate begin this is afternoon. the private negotiation that brought taos this point have been going on for years. and the public's review of the agreement has been going on for months. during that long period, president obama and secretary kerry were clear in their goals. above all, that the united states will not allow iran to obtain a nuclear weapon. the united states also would not sign any agreement that takes iran at its word or relies on trust iran has not earned. at the most difficult crossroads of this time concerning a technical negotiation, president obama and secretary kerry made clear the hard choices belong not to us but to iran. but now it's our turn. now the united states has a choice to make. we can enforce an agreement that force iran to walk away from any
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nuclear weapons program or we can walk away from the agreement and assume responsibility for the consequences. we can take the strongest step ever toward blocking iran from get agnew clear bomb or block the agreement. and all but ensure that iran will have the fissile material it would need to make a bomb. in a matter of months, they would be able to do that. but we can't have it both ways. make no mistake, blocking the bomb and blocking the agreement are two distinct choices. that lead to very different futures. i spent a lot of time talking, listening, and thinking about the various elements of this agreement. so have my colleagues. i've heard from nuclear scientists, intelligence community, military leaders. i've listened to diplomats and experts. i've been briefed by secretary kerry and undersecretary sherman
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by our secretaries, including one who is a nuclear physicist who understands the reality of this threat and the science behind the agreement and the agreement itself. i've heard from ar dent supporters and passionate opponents. i've talked with nevadans from all walks of life. i've spoke within israel's leader, prime minister netanyahu , ambassador dormer. and i've read the text of this agreement and read it thoroughly. in all my years, i cannot think of another debate with so much expertise, passions and good faith on both sides. it's clear to me and the overwhelming majority of my caucus that this agreement gives thus best chance to avoid one of the worst threats in today's world, a nuclear armed iran. in fact, i believe the agreement is not just our best chance to avert what we fear most. i fear it is our last best
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chance to do so. before i explain why, let me first acknowledge some of the people who helped us get to this historic moment. i mentioned president obama and his cabinet secretaries who achieved a remarkable diplomatic breakthrough. i want to acknowledge my colleagues, led by senator bob menendez who helped set the stage for those negotiations by rallying the senate and the world behind sanctions that brought iran to the negotiating table. i also acknowledge senators cardin and corker for their leadership. they did a great job. the legislation they wrote created the process to review the agreement in congress. i support this agreement. and the united states senate will support president obama and veto any effort to undermine it for two simple reasons. number one, this agreement will do a tremendous amount of good. and number two, blocking this
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agreement would lead to a tremendous amount of bad outcomes. he bottom line then is this. enforcing this agreement will prevent the things we most dread. undermining it would permit these same dreadful consequences. those consequences are in fact totally unacceptable. we all recognize the threat iran poses to israel. powerful weapons, hateful words, anti-semitic smears and pledges of jewish states' destruction. no one can underestimate this menace and no one should dismiss how much more dangerous iran would be in this regard if it were to have nuclear bomb. we also recognize the threat of
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iran's revolutionary guard corps, the threat from iran's support for hezbollah, assad, of -- my little nd teleprompter friend is slow there. of iran's brazen human rights violations toward its own people and the americans it holds political pressures and of course those who have disappeared. we recognize the danger that iran poses to our allies. our interests. and our own troops. and of course diplomats serving around the world are in peril every day of their lives, in the middle east, certainly. no one is blind to the threat iran poses. but again, no one should forget that iran would become a threat of an entirely different magnitude if it were ever to have a nuclear weapon. i can't think of a single challenge in the region that
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wouldn't get worse in that nightmare scenario. that's why our goal, first and foremost, must be to keep iran from getting its hands on one of those nuclear weapons, or building them. we have no illusions about the iranian regime which is why when we're presented with the best way to stop its nuclear ambitions, we must not let that chance slip through our fingers. we must enforce the agreement we reached. the agreement congress now assume responsibility to review does a better job than any other proposal of reducing iran's chances to get a bomb. when our negotiators came to the tablering they did so with andrew carnegie's advice in mind. the man who in 1910 gave his name and fortune to this institution once said, and i quote, our duty is with what is now practicable, now. with the next step possible in our day and generation. in our day, we know it's not
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practical to erase the knowledge of how to build a nuclear weapon with sanctions. our negotiator said even though we cannot take away the recipe for how to build a bomb, we can take aagree -- take away the ingredients and the ability to cook one. that's what we're doing. but only if the united states upholds and enforce this is agreement. the good news is this agreement does more than take away iran's ability to build a bomb. it gives us the ability to watch very moment through strict limits, it takes iway iran's highly enriched material and takes iway iran's ability to make more of it. to kes away their ability build secretly and with impunity. the agreement forebids iran from building, pursuing or having a
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nuclear weapon ever. there's no expiration date on that commitment. that's not grounded in trust. this isn't a peace treaty with iran or a gift out of the goodness of our hearts. if we trusted iran we wouldn't need video cameras and inspectors and seals and all manner of technology to make sure iran complies. we're not asking iran to promise us anything and taking it at its words. we're commanding iran prove to us it's comply wevering last etter of this agreement. to get sanction reliefs, iran has to take specific actions. if it doesn't, sanctions will be imposed on iran. we've got every protection possible to make sure that if iran cheats we'll know quickly, immediately, and with the -- and react immediately and with the international community behind us. that makes us safer. it makes israel safer. it makes the world safer. that's what nuclear experts around the world know what
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diplomats know, and what the overwhelming majority of my caucus knows. that's why this agreement will stand. to make sure this agreement will succeed, congress must provide oversight to enforce monitoring and verification. at the same time congress must continue to hold the line against iranian arms trafficking, its funding of terrorism and demanding return of americans taken political prisoners and those who disappeared, priorities that were never meant to be part of this negotiation but must never, never be forgotten. this agreement offers a number of different ways to cover up iran's path to a bomb. there's, on the other hand, one surefire way to open iran's path to destruction. reject this agreement. as i mentioned. the second reason i support this agreement is because of what happens if we walk away from it. that would leave iran with no limitations on nuclear weapons programs and leave the united
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states with no leverage to do anything about it. if we walk away from an agreement we helped secure, think about what happens the very next day. iran gets to keep as many centrifuges as it wants and build as many more as it would like. iran gets to build its stockpile with the kind of uranium and plutonium you need to build a bomb. iran gets to test more advanced technologies to bring it closer to a bomb. to do so as quickly as it wants. when those weapons are ready, iran gets to point them at israel or worse, make good on its threat to wipe israel off the map. iran also gets to kick out inspectors and hide all this from the world. forget worries about 15 or 20 years from now, all of this would happen tomorrow. if we walk away from this agreement, the international sanctions regime will fall
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apart. meaning the tool congress imposed to bring iran to the table disappears from our arsenal. saxes -- sanctions don't work if it's our idea alone. the world has to be on the same page. here's why. america doesn't do business for i-- with iran. we haven't for decades. other countries made their own economic sacrifices in the name of pressuring iran and now they want to buy iran's oil and trade with it. so as much as we'd like for sanctions that brought iran to the table also bring iran to its knees, it's only with international cooperation that sanctions actually work. like it or not, we need our partners in this frlt and our partners have told us in no uncertain terms that the united states walks away, will walk away alone. sanctions have isolated iran and brought us to this moment. but if we squander it and turn our backs on our international
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partners, it is we, the united states, who will be isolated and worse, we would sur rend you are our leverage to negotiate in the future. put it all together, what does it mean if america blocks this agreement instead of blocking iran's pathway to a bomb? it means iran gets more money and more impunity to develop a nuclear weapon. it means we get far less scrutiny and far less security. it means we'll have to pull ourselves -- put ourselves at a disadvantage at the very moment we let iran become more dangerous. of course we still have the military option. president obama has made crystal clear that's a fact. but military strikes cannotsoever this problem nearly as effectively as the solution before us today. military options could come with significant costs and risks to israel and the united states. after all, that's why diplomacy
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is our first resort and military option our last resort. that's why i believe blocking the agreement would achieve the opposite of what opponents intend. instead of being tougher on iran, it's a vote against a smart international sanctions regime, against inspections, against the requirement that iran backs off its program in any way. blocking this agreement pushes iranians closer to a bomb rather than farther away. that's a fact. joan scowcroft -- general scowcroft, who served four republican presidents, said we would be sowing further turmoil in the middle east rather than seizing a chance to stabilize it. that would be a tragedy of our own making, one we cannot allow.
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i respect greatly the concerns i have heard about what this agreement means for israel. i believe this agreement makes israel safer and in no small part that's why i support it. over my decades in the senate, my support for the safety and security of the israeli people has been at the core of my view on the middle east. national security of they have united states. from dinners i attended a years ago with my rl friend, to my most recent trips to israel, my support of israel has been unimpeachable. i have not been afraid to disagree with the president on the question of israel. we must build on our firm commitment to make sure israel and -- can defend itself and take more money. more military support. but we must provide the one true
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democracy in the region and the one and only jewish state in the whole world with the resources it needs. the united states must also maintain its staunch support of israel. by using our veto in the united nations for resolutions that isolate israel and make it less secure. i've read the letter that secretary kerry sent to the senate in early september. it lay os out a number of important steps the united states would take to support israel's security. one of those steps is to take israel's qualitative military edge. another is invoking an understanding of military assistance. another step is to continue to work with israel in joint efforts as well as confronting conventional and asymmetric threats.
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after looking at the letter and senator cardenas' legislation, i plan to work with the white house and democrats and republicans to guarantee the united states is doing everything possible to protect the safety and security of israel. the administration has promised to continue funding the missile defense system that's already save sod many israeli civilian lives. we'll also grow our strategic relationship even stronger, collaborating to destroy those tunnels that have beenudes to terrorize israeli citizens. now, after all the good this agreement will do, after all the dangers rejecting it will do by letting iran grow more dangerous , after all the assurances that our commitment to israel's security is stronger than ever,
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after all that, some wail say they want a better deal. that there is no such thing as a better deal. there is no plausible alternative, there's no better deal. -- ding to this agreement the idea that somehow we can get a better deal is imaginary. diplomats, science, international counterparts tell us it's fantasy. the deal before us is the result of hard work. in the real world, this is the best option to keep iran from a uclear bomb. let me say a brief word about the details. the senate has an important role
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to play. three to consider possible outcomes no action at all. a resolution of apursuant to the rule. a resolution of disapproval. it's absurd to argue, as some are doing now that by voting for a process with three possible and very different outcomes, senators somehow obligate themselves to vote to advance a specific outcome. we did no such thing. i hope we can avote the usual and unnecessary procedural hurd lts. i've offered senator mcconnel the chance to go straight to a vote on passage of the resolution. of course everything of importance in the senate requires 60 votes. so passage will require 60 votes. there's no precedent in recent history for an issue of this
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magnitude not having to secure 60 votes. this is not how one leader manages the floor, this is precedent dating back for decades now. finally, one of the many important things at stake here, american leadership -- of the many important things at stake here, american leadership is one of them. having tough sanctions after negotiating and negotiating and negotiating some more, the way america acts now will ff the -- will inform the way we're viewed on the world stage and the crblet with which we can negotiate in the future. if america reneges on this agreement, we'll lose more than the compliance of our adversaries. we'll lose the confidence of our allies. now it is time for congress to reaffirm america's leadership by supporting this agreement. we cannot and will not allow iran to have a nuclear weapon.
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we're the united states -- neither the united states, israel, our partners or a volatile middle east can take that risk that danger. it is our responsibility to face that threat. let's heed andrew carn geese' -- carnegie's reminder of our duty to find pragmatic solutions, solutions like the one before us. he said, when the -- when a statesman has in his keeping the interest of his country, it is not with things as they ought to be in the future but with things as they are in the present, right now, close quote. the agreement on the table at present is a good one. it is our best chance to ensure iran never builds the worst weapon on earth. i'll do everything in my power to make sure it is enforced and effective, to make sure we are safer and more secure in our generation and in the days and
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generations to come. thank you. [applause] >> do we have time for more conversation? >> yes. >> that was very powerful brief for the agreement and the description of the process. if you now look out over the next few days, do off sense that ultimately, it's going to work out in terms of when the congress has its say that the teal won't be blocked, at least at this point? senator reid: as i said in my remarks, it's clear that the
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senate is going to reject this agreement. there are a few dissenting votes, we'll find out how many, we have four senator who was not made a public decision. i believe one will make a decision, may already have done it. so we expect to know very soon where everybody stands. but we, as everyone knows, we have enough votes to make sure that the president's veto, if necessary, will not be verridden. >> a lot of us who have worked on this are puzzled by what the theory is, if the congress were to -- >> senator susan collins the latest to announce her opposition. discussion in the senate, follow that on c-span2. the house coming in now to begin their legislative work. recorded


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