tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN September 10, 2015 11:00pm-12:01am EDT
international community to maintain focus on iran's compliance and ensures that iran does not undermine regional stability through other pathways. to accomplish this, we must remain steadfast in our commitments to israel and all our regional partners. i ask all to constructively work to improve the security situation in the middle east rather than using all of their energy to undermine the agreement. we cannot rely on force of arms alone to bring lasting stability to any region of the world. in conclusion, i do hope that the exhaustive multilateral negotiations that led to this agreement will serve as a template for future u.s. and international engagement and other outstanding issues that have led to instability and violence in the region, i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yield back. the gentleman from california,
mr. royce, is recognized. mr. royce: yes, mr. speaker, i yield three minutes to the gentleman from texas, judge poe, chairman of the foreign affairs subcommittee on terrorism, nonproliferation, and trade. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for three minutes. mr. poe: i thank the chairman from california and his leadership on this critical national security issue. this iranian deal promises peace, peace in our time by guaranteeing a nuclear weapon ized iran in our children's time. anyone who has read the iran nuclear agreement act should support this legislation before s. 9 iran nuclear agreement act is to allow the representatives of the american people, us, to read what's in the deal before we vote on the deal. the nuclear deal with iran may be the most important
international agreement in our lifetime. and the coker bill is crystal clear when it comes to defining what the president needs to provide congress before the review period of 60 days begins . the president is obligated under the law, let me read a portion of the law, that the president signed. here's what it says. the congress is allowed to have the agreement itself, any additional materials related thereto, including annexes, apen december, codicils, side agreements, implementing peerns, documents, and guidance, technical or other understandings, and any related agreementses -- agreements. the logic behind this requirement is simple. congress cannot review an agreement without having access to everything, including the fine print. we need to see all the secret side deals, mr. speaker.
testifying before the foreign affairs committee, secretary kerry, who was making the deal for us, said that even he had not seen the secret side deals. these secret deals are not just technical formalities. and the deals i'm talking about are the iaea agreement to let iran inspect itself and the parchin facility. it is known as the place where iran has worked to build nuclear warheads. there's absolutely nothing normal about allowing iran to inspect itself. that's what this side agreement apparently does if we ever get to see the whole thing. i was a judge in texas for a long time. that's like a burglar coming on trial and say hey, judge, you want 12 burglars on my jury. we would never let that. but we will let iran inspect itself? we want to see the side secret deals, and these revelations may be only the tip of the iceberg. what else is included in these
secret deals, these side deals? we don't know because we haven't been furnished by law these deals. it's the legal right of congress to know all of those details before voting to approve or disapprove this nuclear agreement. we in congress and representatives of the people. isn't it about time we start reading all the information before we vote? i don't know that congress has learned that lesson. the citizens of this country have a right to know absolutely about these side deals. the president signs the corker bill. it's the law. he has to live by it whether he likes it or not. that's just the way it is. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. schiff. mr. schiff: mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield three minutes to the gentlelady from illinois, ms. schakowsky. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from illinois is recognized for three minutes. ms. schakowsky: in 2002 the president of the united states and this congress voted to address the perceived threat of a mushroom cloud coming from
iraq by going to war. a war that unleashed massive violence in the middle east and threatens the world even today. the obama administration faced with the actual threat of a nuclear weaponized iran has stood instead the path of diplomacy, the path of peace. i'm proud to support this historic agreement. as the president said, quote, this deal demonstrates that american diplomacy can bring about real and meaningful change, change that makes our country and the world safer and more secure. voices inside and outside the congress are calling for a rejection of this historic agreement. among them the same neocons who stampeded the united states into war with iraq. they were congress then and they are wrong now. iran is now two to three months from being able to produce a nuclear weapon, and yet the critics have offered no
credible alternative to a deal that blocks all the paths to a nuclear weapon. now, we know this deal is not perfect. iran's a bad actor. the president and all of us would have much preferred a deal that prohibits iran from enriching any uranium for ever and maintain sanctions until iran changes its behavior, becomes a responsible member of the world community, but that deal didn't happen because it never could have happened. but this deal greatly improves the outlook for peace by blocking all of iran's top tests with nuclear weapon. this is carefully spelled out in the agreement itself, often in very technical language around stockpiles of rich uranium will be reduced from enough for 10 bombs to less than one. the number of iran's installed centrifuges is reduced by over 2/3. far from trugs iran, the deal demands the most robust, intrusive inspections regime ever in an international agreement.
we have heard yesterday many of us from the ambassadors from five of our allies in the p5+1, these ambassadors said if the united states walks away, iran would be without any constraints to move ahead with its nuclear weapons program. all paths would be open. there would be no inspections whatsoever. no insight into iran's activities. the ability of the united states to build meaningful international coalitions would be eroded for the foreseeable uture. i view this upcoming vote on iran as one of the most important of my career. and my colleagues, i would say that is true for much. one of the most important of my life. and for me the choice is clear. diplomacy over war.
and colleagues let's remember nothing is off the table. but why wouldn't we choose peace and give peace a chance? i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. royce. mr. royce: mr. speaker, part of diplomacy, part -- i yield myself two minutes. part of the diplomacy is making certain that you have verification. and our problem here is that the iranians are boasting right now that the u.s. is not going to have access or any other international i.n.s. spectors are going to have access to their -- inspectors are going to have access to their military sites where they do this work. the problem is that inspectors don't get 24 hours notice, they get 24 days notice. and then they go through a process in which iran and china and russia can block and the former head of the c.i.a., michael haden, testified in front of the foreign affairs committee, that we never believed that the iranian -- that the uranium at iran's
declared facilities would ever make its way into a weapon. we always believed that that work would be done somewhere else in secret. . o again, if you cannot get international inspectors into parchin, where they did that work, what makes us believe that in the future we'll have international inspectors, once that's the established premise, go anywhere else? go anywhere else. as haden said, requiring consultations between the world powers and iran takes inspections from the technical level and puts it at the political level which we he lls a formula for chaos, obfuscation, ambiguity, and doubt. and we do not even know how bad the capitulation was in the side agreement a kitchlation that
will undermine the ability to catch iranians cheating. that's why we're concerned about the way this was negotiated. but i'll reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california eserves. the gentleman from california. mr. royce: let me go now and yield three minutes if i could, mr. speaker to the gentleman from kansas, mr. pompeo, the author of house resolution 411. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. pompeo: thank you, mr. speaker, and thank you, chairman royce. a great deal about what we have learned about this deal has come out of your committee. thank you for all the hard work the foreign affairs committee has done relating to this agreement. there's lots of things to say about the iranian deal that this president has set up but this bill is very narrow and very simple and very straightforward. it's aimed to establish a simple precedent, which says if the president signs something into
law, he's going to fulfill the obligation which he has made for himself. i've listened to the debate so far today, i can tell you that we've not had any member of this house stand up and tell you that they have read the entire agreement. i suspect that we will not. that's because there is no american who has read the entire agreement. that's right, not the president of the united states, not the secretary of state, no undersecretary sherman new york member of congress, no member of the public, no american citizen has read this entire agreement. and yet we've got members who say, this is a great deal and i'm excited to vote for it. i don't know how one could feel that way about an agreement that one has not read. we have members of congress stand up and demand that they see -- that they've seen the text of bills that rename -- that they see the text of bills that rename post office, yet this is a historic agreement and many of my colleagues will vote for it without knowing what the details are about important
components of how we're going to verify this the iranian regime has complied with this agreement. i think that's deeply troubling. i think as representatives we have a moral obligation to understand what it is we're voting on. i think we have a constitutional duty to require that the president comply with his obligations. and i know there's a legal obligation for the president to turn over every element of this deal. mr. speaker, in july, i and senator cotton traveled to vienna, where we were informed by the deputy director of the iaea of these two secret side deals he looked us straight in the eye and said he'd read them but i wasn't going to get to. i think that's wrong. i think it makes it impossible for a member of congress to support this agreement. he informed me that iranians had read these two secret side deals. but senator cotton and i weren't going to get to read them. i have spent the intervening 50 days asking, cajoling, demanding, praying that this president would do what he's
required to do under corker-cardin and what every member of congress is entitled to have, that is provide us with the deal. we don't have that. and h.res. 411 simply says we as members of congress are going to demand that this president comply with what corker-cardin sets out. show us the terms of the deal. allow us the opportunity to read the agreement so that we can form judgments and the american people can form judgments about its scope. in the absence of that, h.res. 411 makes clear that the president can't lift sanctions. that was the deal. in exchange for not demanding that this be a treaty, corker-cardin said what we want is simple transparency. just show us the simple terms of the deal. and this president couldn't do it. i ask all of my leagues to vote for h.res. 411 and demand that the president show us the secret side deals. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expire. the gentleman from california reserves, the chair recognizes the gentleman from california
mr. schiff. mr. schiff: i'm pleased to yield to the gentleman, mr. becerra. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. becerra: i thank the gentleman for yielding time. the goal of america and the international community in our negotiations with iran is and has been to prevent iran from producing and possessing nuclear weapons. by all accounts iran had already reached a point where it was perhaps just months away from crossing that nuclear threshold. i repeat, months away. not years, not decades, months away. so few votes can be taken more seriously than one intended to halt the spread of nuclear weapons. that's why this congress and the american people should support the agreement negotiated to prevent iran from producing and possessing nuclear weapons and we should vote in this congress against any of these congressional measures
attempting to thwart its implementation. the negotiate aid greement provides for inspection and verification a regime which iran had to consent to and it must now submit to. that regime for inspection and verification is not just credible, it's enforceable. and those who have conducted nuclear inspections will tell you that, as those who deal with knew -- ask those who deal with nuclear materials and they'll tell you that. and those who have butted heads and had to negotiate with iran will tell you that. our ability to respond as well should iran decide to regress from its obligations is real and it's robust. nothing in this negotiated agreement is based on trust. the inspections, the penalties, they all are mandatory and unambiguous in their terms. no deal is perfect. we can always think of ways of making a deal better. but thinking is not doing.
speculation won't stop iran from reach agnew clear weapons capability. it should escape no one's notice that every measure, every economic sanction in place today against iran has failed to stop iran's lurch toward a nuclear weapon. remember, perhaps only months away from that nuclear threshold, it was time for america and our international partners to take this to another level before the only alternative available to all of us was the use of military force. this is why the u.s., great britain, germany, france, russia, and china join together to force and drive iran to the negotiated agreement. how often these days can we utter the names of those six countries together, working for he same cause. -- cause this -- cause? back in july when this agreement but reached, estated that it, quote, must constitute measurable progress in halting
nuclear proliferation, driving the region and the world further away from nuclear arm fwed don. the fwoshte aid greement meets that test and with the support of great britain, germany, france, yes, even russia and yes, even china, we will hold iran to that test and that is why we should support the negotiated agreement. i yield back the balance of my ime. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the gentleman from california. mr. royce: i yield to the gentlelady. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. >> this deal represents a direct threat to the united states-israel -- to the united states, israel and the world. recently i visited israel and met with prime minister netanyahu. this is a very bad deal and could result in grave consequences for the world. first, this deal allows iran to continue to enrich uranium that can be used to develop a nuclear
weapon. second, this deal is ban -- this deal abandoned the president's promise of any time, anywhere inspections to a process that allow ice ran to delay up to 24 days. mrs. walters: third, this agreement would result in the comprehensive lifting of sanctions that have stifled their quest for a nuclear weapon. it still presents far too many risks for the u.s. and far too many rewards for iran. when the ayatollah chants death to america heck means it. -- that should cause serious concern for every american. it's time for america to wake up and understand the danger and threat this deal presents to our national security. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields. the gentleman is recognized. mr. schiff: i yield myself two minutes. i want to address briefly the strained interpretation my
friends are giving the corker legislation. to accept the arguments of the opposition to the deal, you would have to accept the proposition that the corker legislation requires the administration to provide an agreement between the iaea and iran to which the united states is not a party, which the united states has no obligation, and to which the iaea is precluded from providing to the administration. that seems to me a very farfetched interpretation of the corker legislation. what's more, if you accept the argument that we can't have a vote on the agreement until we have this document between the iaea and iran, then why has the majority scheduled a vote on the agreement for tomorrow? so it's inconsistent with what their own majority has scheduled. but finally, i don't think anyone is fooled by the nature of this procedural motion or bill. no one expects in the least that
anyone who has voiced their opposition to the agreement is somehow going to change their opinion if they have access to this private document between the iaea and iran. what's more, as we know, the iaea enters into these agreements with individual nations around the world, this is not at all unique to the situation with iran. one final point i would like to make. we are now well into the debate on the agreement. and for all the arguments that have been advanced as to why we should have concerns about provisions in the agreement or concerns about iranian behavior, many of which i share, there's one thing we have heard precious little about. from the opposition to the deal. and that is, what is the credible alternative? so i ask the question, what is the credible alternative? and the answer from what i am able to divine from the scarce attention that the opposition
pays to this, i yield myself an additional minute -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is reck rise -- recognized for an additional minute. mr. schiff: the answer as far as i candy certain to the deal is this. this is how the alternative would work. congress rejects the deal. congress -- the administration then somehow goes out and persuades the rest of the world to maintain sanctions even when we rejected an agreement adopted by the other major powers and even when those other powers tell us explicitly that there will be no new negotiation. but somehow we maintain the sanctions regime under this theoretical alternative. and what? iran gives up all enrichment and comes back to the table prepared to capitulate everything? that seems so fanciful, so far removed from the reality of the situation, that it is no surprise that the opposition devotes very little, if any time, to discussing a credible
alternative because indeed there is no credible alternative. and so again, this is why i think it's so important for us to focus on how we can strength then constraints in the agreement, mitigate the risks that we will face, and that is a much more constructive path forward than rejection of this, seeing iran going back to spinning its centrifuges, picking up where they left off at 20% enrichment and going beyond, picking up where they left off with 19,000 more centrifuges and thousands of kilos of uranium, is that really the path we want to go down? i think not. i reserve the balance of our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: but there was a credible alternative. i yield myself two minutes. there was a credible alternative that this body passed by a vote of 400-20. bipartisan legislation which the administration blocked in the senate. legislation which would have put that additional pressure on the regime in iran, knowing that the
united states is the 800-pound gorilla, knowing that countries do not have the option and companies around the world do not have the option of making a choice when they have to make that choice between doing business with the united states or doing business with iran, they have to do business with the united states. we put that bill into the senate, the administration blocked it. that legislation would have ensured the type of pressure on iran that would have forced the ayatollah to make a choice between real compromise, real compromise on his plan to nstruct a weapon or economic collapse. economic collapse for that regime. and we would have had that leverage in this agreement -- in this negotiation, that leverage was given up by this administration by blocking that bill in the senate in the last
congress and frankly, that option is still available to us but i will yield two minutes to the gentleman from ohio, mr. chabot. . mr. chabot: i thank the gentleman for yielding. tomorrow's september 11. a solemn day in our history, when thousands of americans lost their lives in the worst terror attack in our history. it's disturbing that we happen to be debating whether a state sponsor of terror should have a glide path to nuclear weapons at this time. but we are. i've been a member of the foreign affairs committee for a long time. almost 0 years now -- 20 years now. i chaired the subcommittee on the middle east. i can tell you, without any reservation, that this deal with iran is a disaster. it will weaken the security of our allies in the region and it will make americans less safe here at home. if this deal goes through, iran will receive up to $150 billion
, that's 25 times what iran currently spends on its entire military, does that seem like a good idea? we're talking about the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism here. this money will fund more and more terror across the globe and here. my district is the greater cincinnati area. g.e. aircraft engines is headquartered there. an air force base is just up the road. that's been top potential targets for icbm's since the cold war. this deal allows iran to get more sophisticated icbm technology from russia, which will allow them to target not only tel aviv, but washington and new york and cincinnati. this is just nuts. and what happened to the any time, anywhere inspections?
gone. and it will take months to get the inspectors in. by that time they'll have removed the incriminating evidence elsewhere. the bottom line is, the obama administration wanted a deal, any deal, more than the iranian mullahs did. this administration was willing to sell out israel and our allies in the region and make us less safe here at home. this is a lousy, lousy deal and it ought to be rejected. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: thank you, mr. speaker. just to take a brief moment to respond to my colleague from california, i wish it were so simple that a credible alternative was the passage of a bill in congress that had not passed before that we could pass now. mr. schiff: and through the mere act of our legislation, compel the rest of the world to join us in a new negotiation and a stronger rounleds of sanctions. -- round of sanctions. we simply don't have that power . what's more, to imagine that a new sanctions bill will somehow
come back to the table ready to concede its entire enrichment program is simply not credible. if that's what we're left with, we're really left with no good alternative. again, i think that is precisely why we need to move forward with the agreement that has been reached between the world powers and iran. at this point i'm pleased to yield three minutes to the gentlelady from minnesota, ms. mccollum. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from minnesota is recognized. ms. mccollum: thank you, mr. speaker. the iran nuclear agreement is fundamental to the national security of the united states. and i applaud the tremendous efforts of secretary kerry and secretary moniz, who worked in concert with the world's most powerful military, economic nations to reach a verifiable agreement that will deny iran the ability to develop a nuclear weapon. in past eras, when politics was civil and foreign policy was bipartisan, this diplomatic agreement would have been
championed by republicans and democrats as a nonproliferation triumph. as it is today in great britain, our greatest ally. this agreement will prevent iran from developing a nuclear weapon. as an israeli intelligence analysis said, and i quote, this is not about trust or goodwill between states -- sides. it is strict inspection and verification regimes that will ensure the success of this agreement. and if iran violates the agreement, sanctions will snap back and the international community together will take action. i strongly support this agreement and i'm grateful for president obama's unwavering leadership in the face of hostile and unprecedented attacks from republicans and israel's prime minister. "the new york times" calls the republican efforts, quote, a vicious battle against mr. unseemly spectacle.
i want to be crystal clear. i support our commander in chief. the republicans and israeli opponents of this agreement are the same neocons who sold the war in iraq to america based on lies, distortions and misinformation. and now what do the republicans offer us as an alternative? nothing. they have no plan. no plan other than to kill this agreement, which means that iran will either obtain a nuclear weapon or the u.s. goes to war to stop them. let me tell you, i am not interested in another republican war in the middle east. now is the time to put the national security of the american people first. let's reject this republican game playing and support a tough diplomatic agreement that will stop iran from gaining a nuclear weapon. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: i yield two minutes
to the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. shuster, chairman of the committee on transportation and infrastructure. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. shuster: i thank the gentleman. mr. speaker, i rise today to voice strong opposition to this fatally flawed iran deal. by signing the iran nuclear agreement review act of 2015, the president agreed to allow all documents, secret annexes and side deals, to be reviewed by the u.s. congress. but once again, president obama has not complied with the law of the land. and therefore does not have the authority to wave saxeson iran. by lifting sanctions on the iranian regime, a nation that finances the likes of hezbollah, hamas and other terrorist groups, will receive over $100 billion in as a ets and no doubt will continue -- assets and no doubt willen to fund terrorist organizations at greater levels than they're able to do today, terrorist organizations with the motto of death to america. have we learned nothing from our past mistakes? the same person that negotiated the deal with north korea also
led the discussions with iran. we must ask ourselves, is the world a safer place when unstable nations like north korea are testing nuclear weapons? the number one responsibility of the united states congress, charged to us in the constitution, is national security. this agreement jeopardizes our security because, i believe, as the prime minister of israel believes, that this will ensure that iran will get a nuclear weapon. for the security of america and our friends and allies around the world, weco. pell pell just one minute. the speaker pro tempore: -- ms. pelosi: just one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. ms. pelosi: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the gentleman for yielding and i commend him for his extraordinary leadership, ranking member on the intelligence committee. which has served us so well. his leadership has served us so well in this debate today and in our deliberations leading up to this debate.
has served us well on the ongoing, as we use intelligence to protect the american people. thank you, mr. schiff. i did not go to the well as usual for the leader, but i wanted to be here because i have some materials that i want to share with you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i think today and tomorrow, the next 24 hours, is a very, very special time. in the congress of the united states. members will be called upon to make a decision that affects our oath of office, to protect and support the constitution and of course the american people. this is a moment that we have prepared for and that's what i have this binder here for, to say that i commend my colleagues because they have spent thousands of hours reviewing the agreement, reviewing the annexes and the classified materials, speaking
with experts, gaining information, acquiring validation from outside sources , other than the administration and the agreement itself, conversations with each other, conversations with their constituents. all to have, again, a sense of humility that we all don't know everything about this subject and we have to get our assurances from those whose judgment we respect. as well as to support this agreement on the merits. it is a very fine agreement. i will take a moment just to talk about my own credentials because i see that people are doing that in their statements. i read with interest mr. menendez's statement in the senate where he talked about his service in the senate and i will talk about mine in the house. for over 20 years i have served as a member of the intelligence committee. both as a member of the
committee, as the rank -- top democrat on the committee, as the speaker and leader over the years. longer than anyone in the history of the congress. i went to the intelligence committee because i had a major concern, which sprang from my district, which was a very big interest there, in stopping the pro live ration of weapons of -- proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. an organization dedicated to that purpose was founded there. they absoluted president reagan -- saluted president reagan and the actions that he took when he was president. and they are very actively supporting this agreement now. i mention my credentials because i brought that experience to make a judgment on the agreement, after it was negotiated. of course we were briefed as members of the committee and as members of the leadership on the ongoing, as to the progress that was being made in negotiations. again, having been briefed all
along the way, i still was pleasantly pleased to see what the final product was. what the president negotiated was remarkable. it was remarkable in several respects. one was that the p-5 the permanent members of the security council, plus one, at would be germany, the p-5 nations americaed this agreement with iran -- negotiated this agreement with iran. china, russia, france, the u.k., the united states. this is quite remarkable, that all a of those countries -- all of those countries could come to agreement. and under the leadership -- an important part of that leadership was the leadership of president obama, to have that engagement sustained over a couple of years. now, president obama -- president bush took us a bit down this path and that is referenced in an op ed that was
put forth by someone. when he supported this -- lation, he says that committing -- the deal ensures that this will be the case for 15 years and longer. but he talks about the fact that this has been a goal, is what ronald reagan did with the soviet union, arms control, and what president nixon did with china, it was a negotiation. and he talked about the fact that this particular agreement was one that was worked on under the presidency of president bush. actually, he says, a few places in time. let me read his comment. congress again faces a momentous decision regarding u.s. policy toward the middle east. the forthcoming vote on the nuclear deal between the p5+1
and iran, known as the joint comprehensive plan of action, will show the world whether the united states has the will and sense of responsibility to help stabilize the middle east, or whether it will contribute to further turmoil, including the possible spread of nuclear weapons. strong words perhaps, but clear language in helping in the can -- helping in today's media. in my view, he says, the jcpoa a, as the agreement is known, meets the key objective. shared by recent administrations of both parties , that iran limit itself to a strictly civilian nuclear program with unprecedented verification and monitoring by the atomic -- international atomic energy agency and the u.n. security council. he goes on for a couple of pages and with your permission, mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to submit this
statement for the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. pelosi: thank you. i also want to quote another epublican, who served in the administration of president george herbert walker bush. senator john warner joined carl levin, senator carl levin, two chairman of the senate armed services committee. one a democrat, but before him, a republican, john warner. . they talk about how they support this. the deal on the table, they say, is a strong agreement and it leaves in place the robust deterrents and credibility of a present military option. we urge our former colleagues not to take any action which would undermine the deterrent value of a coalition that participates in and would support the use of military option. the failure of the united states
to join this agreement would ave that effect. i submit karl levin and john warner -- carl levin and john warner's statement never record. and again, i refer to statements of my colleague, they're -- colleagues, they're thoughtful, they're serious and they're courageous in support of the agreement. i'd like to thank president obama and the entire administration for being , as members sought clarification, respond to their concerns. i want to thank secretary kerry, secretary moe these and so many others -- moniz and so many others for their availability to us in a bipartisan way and in our democrat excaucus. for years iran's rapidly accelerating capability and burgeoning nuclear stockpile has
represented one of the greatest threats to peace and security anywhere in the world. we all stipulate to that. that's why we need an agreement. and that's why i'm so pleased that we have so many statements of validation from people. the agreement is one of the great, as the experts say, this agreement is one of the greatest diplomatic achievements of the 21st century. it's no wonder that such a diverse constellation of experts have made their voices heard in support of this, again i use the word, extraordinary accord. on the steps of the capitol the other day, with our veterans and with our gold star moms who have lost their sons, we heard the words of diplomat and soldiers, generals and admirals, and dip will mats by the score. -- diplomats by the score.
democrats, republicans, nonpartisan. we heard from our most distinguished nuclear physicists. we heard from scientists and we heard from people of faith. and i would like to quote some of them. more than 100 democratic and republican former diplomats and ambassadors wrote, in our judgment, the jcpoa deserves congressional support and opportunity to show that it can work. we firmly believe, they said, that the most effective way to protect u.s. national security and that of our allies and friends is to ensure that tough-minded diplomacy has a chance to succeed before considering other, more costly and risky alternatives. that's the diplomats. the generals and admirals wrote, there's no better option to prevent an iranian knew career weapon. if the iranians cheat, advanced technology and inspections will reveal it. and the u.s. military option remain on the table. if a deal is rejected by
america, the iranians could have a nuclear weapon within a year. that choice, the choice is that stark. 29 of our nation's most prominent nuclear scientists and engineers wrote, we consider that the joint comprehensive plan of action the united states and its partners fwoshted with iran will advance the cause of peace and security in the middle east and can serve as a fwide post for future nonproliferation agreements. i quote that, and can serve as a guide post for future nonproliferation agreements. this is an innovative agreement with much more stringent constraints than any previously negotiated nonproliferation framework. they went on to say more. 440 rabbis urge congress to endorse the statement, writing that it has brought together
major international powers to confront iran over its nuclear ambition. the broad international sanctions moved iran to enter this historic agreement and they urge support. 4,100 catholic nuns wrote to congress stating that as will of faith, followers of the one who said, blessed are the peacemakers, we urge that you risk on the side of peace and vote to approve the iran nuclear deal. secretary -- treasury secretary jack lew woonched the hazards of rejecting the agreement, warning us that foreign governments will not continue to make costly sacrifices at our demand. indeed, and i say this in response to something that my distinguished colleague from california said, indeed, they would more likely blame us from walking away from a credible solution to one of the world's greatest security threats and would continue to re-engage with iran. ehe -- he went on to say,
instead of toughening the sanctions, the decision by congress to unilaterally reject the deal will end a decade of isolation of iran and put the united states at odds with the rest of the world. we certainly don't want to do that. today, something very interesting happened, mr. speaker. there was a statement put forth by the u.s. -- the u.k. prime minister, david cameron, french esident francois al mand and german chancellor angela merkel. they wrote an op-ed and said, this is an important moment. at a time of -- it is an opportunity at a time of global insecurity to show what we can achieve. this is not based on trust or any assumption about how iran may look in 10 or 15 years. it is based on detailed, tightly written controls that are
verifiable and long lasting. they went on to say we condemn in no uncertain terms that iran does not recognize the existence of the state of israel and the unacceptable language iran's leaders use about israel. israel's security matters are and will remain our key interest too. we should not have reached the nuclear deal with iran if we did not think that it removed a threat to the region and the nonproliferation regime as a whole. we are confident that the agreement provides the foundation, will resolve conflict on iran's nuclear program permanently. this is why we do not want to embark on the full -- that's why we want to embark on the full implementation of the joint comprehensive plan of action once all national procedures are complete. and then our own president wrote to congressman jerry nadler, i believe the jcpoa which cuts off
every pathway iran could have to nuclear weapon and creates the most robust verification regime ever negotiated to monitor nuclear programs is a very good deal for the united states, for the state of israel, and for the region as a whole. many of us share the views that have been expressed by those in a position to make a difference in this agreement. tuesday night again after the vote here in this house, members supporting the nuclear agreement stood on the steps of the capitol. we are we were honored to be joined by military veterans, gold star families, men and womens who sacrifices remind us of the significance of putting diplomacy before war. they remind us of the significance of this historic transformational achievement. congratulations. these nuclear physicists congratulated the president on
this agreement. i congratulate him too. our men and women in uniform and our veterans and our gold star moms remind us of our first duty, to protect and defend the american people. i am pleased to say we achieved that with this agreement. i urge my colleagues to support the agreement, to vote no on the other items that are being put before us today. we all have to, as we evaluate our decision, ask ourselves if we were the one deciding vote as to whether this agreement would go forward or that we would fall behind, how would we vote? none of us has the luxury to walk away from that responsibility. i'm proud of the statements that our colleagues have made, the agreement the president has reached, and i know that
tomorrow we will sustain whatever veto the president may have to make. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: yes, i yield two minutes to the gentleman from north carolina, mr. mchenry, the deputy chief whip and a member of the financial services committee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. mchenry: i thank the chairman and thank him for his leadership on this important matter of national security. today i rise in opposition to this bad nuclear deal the president has negotiated. i don't oppose it because the president negotiated it. i don't oppose it because it was brought forth by this administration. i oppose it because it's bad for the security of america. it's bad for the security of the world. it's bad for the security of our most sacred ally, israel. it's bad for the nonproliferation strategies the
world has had to mean we have fewer nuclear weapons on this planet. now, you have to ask yourself a few base exquestions. has iran warranted the trust of the international community to enter into this agreement? the answer is no. it's very clear by their actions over the last 20 or 30 years that they should not be trusted. number two, we hear the supreme leader of iran saying time and again, death to america and israel. he's declared his nation as committed to destruction of israel. he's called america the great satan. now, how can we believe a country is fully committed to our destruction yet at the same time uphold their end of the bargain? we can't. so we must suppose this agreement -- we must oppose this agreement, based off what is best for international security and what is best for our nation's security. we also have to oppose this
because it wull mean during my lifetime or during my children's lifetime we will have more nuclear weapons, not fewer. this is a bad agreement and we should reject it. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. schiff: i'm pleased to yield the balance of my time and the ability to control time on our side to the gentleman from maryland, mr. cummings. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland is ecognized. mr. cummings: mr. speaker, i rise and claim time in opposition. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. cummings: i want to thank you, mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. cummings: since 1998, i've had the privilege of sending a
group of high school students each year to israel, where they are paired with israeli teens to learn about what life is really like in israel. when these students return, they have learned life lessons that stay with them forever. but just as important, they have made friendships that will also last a lifetime. so i'm a proud and strong friend and ally of israel and i have been for a very long time. this is why i believe we must support the joint comprehensive plan of action and why i'm here to oppose the resolution. the world cannot tolerate a nuclear armed iran. and i will not stand by as iran continues to gain ground toward that objective. this agreement puts real, con secrete steps in place to
prevent iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. steps that have already begun to degrade iran's ability to produce nuclear materials. according to the independent experts, this deal, and i quote, effectively blocks the plutonium pathway for more than 15 years, end of quote. these experts also assess that thout the deal, iran may shrink its breakout time to a few weeks or even days. the steps outlined in the agreement complement existing prohibitions on the development of nuclear weapons by iran. under this agreement, the international community will have unprecedented access to ensure that iran never gets one. this agreement will not be monitored merely according to the good will of iran.
its enforcement mechanisms are verifiable and indeed transparent. under this agreement there will be more inspectors than ever in iran. these inspectors will have daily access to iran's declared nuclear sites and will be able to have access to undeclared sites that they suspect may be involved in nuclear activity. inspections will be regular and they will indeed be invasive. they will not be oriented around iranian convenience but around compliance. ensuring the international community remains safe and indeed, informed. if at any time iran is found to be in violation of the agreement, the full brunt of international sanctions will snap back once again hobbling the iranian economy. .
it is important to note that many sanctions will still be in place. relief will come only from those sanctions related to nuclear activities. bans on technology exports, restrictions against the transfer of conventional weaponry with w.m.d. technology, sanctions based on terrorism activities and bans on foreign assistance will all continue. without this deal, experts estimate that iran will have enough nuclear material for weapons in two or three months. during negotiations, iran stopped installing centrifuges, but they will resume if this agreement falls apart. potentially accelerating their timeline. the opponents of this agreement propose rejecting this deal and pursuing a stronger one but that plan could have grave consequences.
if the united states rejects this deal, iran will continue developing more sophisticated enrichment technologies. by the time any negotiations begin, iran would likely already be a nuclear state. there's also no guarantee that iran would return to the negotiating table after having wasted two years on this agreement. is this worth the risk? i do not believe that it is. we should support this agreement. this agreement accomplishes a critical goal, establishing a set of verifiable provisions to prevent iran from developing enough nuclear material to build a bomb. this deal does not change in any way our solemn commitment to protecting israel. nor does this prevent us from using any other measures if iran should violate the
agreement. including using the full force of the strongest military in the world. but the united states would lead not only with our military might, we have worked diligently to achieve a peaceful revolution to this issue. and it is time for us to show our integrity and values for which we stand. mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: i yield 2 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from texas, mr. sam johnson, a true american hero who served this country with distinction in korea and in vietnam and is a -- was a prisoner of year for nearly seven years. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for 2 1/2 minutes. mr. johnson: thank you, sir. i thank the chairman for yielding. at this grave hour, i come to express my opposition to president obama's deal with iran. o this day iran chants, quote,
death to america. in fact, iran is the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism. its regime has the blood of american service members on its hands. iran is our enemy. the president asked us to trust iran, but what has iran done to earn our trust? nothing. this is a deal of surrender and with it iran will go nuclear. the alternative isn't war, the alternative is to strike a better deal. i say this as one of the few members of the congress who has seen combat, who has fought two wars and who spent nearly seven years as a p.o.w., so i say to my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, do the right hing, put country above party. listen to the american people,
uphold your most sacred duty, safeguard our republic from those who seek to destroy it. vote this deal down. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas yields back. the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from maryland is recognized. mr. cummings: mr. speaker, i yield four minutes to the distinguished lady from the district of columbia, ms. norton. the speaker pro tempore: jeat the gentlelady -- the gentlelady is recognized for four minutes. ms. norton: i thank mood mayorga good friend for yielding to me on this important subject -- i thank my good friend for yielding to me on this important subject for our country. mr. speaker, while many republicans have been trying to find the way just this very day not to have a vote on the iran agreement, i've been searching for a way to represent my 650,000 constituents by voting on any version offered. five nations, whose systems differ from one another in
every conceivable way, and the united nations, have approved this deal. but the republicans are torn on whether to even vote on the deal at all. no wonder. left with no credible argue aments against the deal it -- arguments against the deal itself, republicans have changed the subject. even knowing that iran is close speak, ng the bomb as i and risking the loss of u.s. international credibility. instead republicans cite side agreements. however, they have all of the information available to any nation on all nuclear agreements. or they cite issues not under
negotiation at all. like iran's role in the middle east. here's what my constituents cite, mr. speaker. $12,000 in federal taxes per resident, the most per capita in the united states. but no vote on the iran deal or on anything else on this house floor. with statehood, d.c. would vote yes and be counted. just as uncle sam counts our taxes every single year. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from the district of columbia yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from maryland reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: i yield one minute to the gentleman from north carolina, mr. pittinger, a member of the committee on financial services. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from north carolina is recognized for mi