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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  September 18, 2015 2:00am-4:01am EDT

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much. you outlined a scenario by which these rules are announced. what is the basis for the prior jersey shen? is there something about these two rules that make them more significant or easier to pursue? what do we expect in the future? . .
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mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: mr. president, the democrats have chosen to
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deny the senate a final vote on the president's deal with iran. they made their choice, but that doesn't mean the discussion is over. today we'll have another opportunity to address the lifting of congressionally mandated sanctions as called for in the joint comprehensive plan of action. today we'll have an opportunity to vote on a question of policy policy -- should iran be left with a threshold nuclear program, one now recognized by the p-5 plus 1 and receive billions of dollars in sanctions relief without any linkage whatsoever to other aspects of this foreign policy adventurism. that's the question before us. i'll discuss that vote in greater detail in just a moment, but first a reminder of how we got to this point.
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here's what we know about the nuclear deal with iran. it's president obama's deal with iran, not america's deal with iran, because the president did everything possible to cut the american people out and to block their elected representatives from having a say. he refused to pursue a treaty because, as secretary kerry noted quite candidly, he wasn't interested in negotiating something an elected congress could support. he then had to be persuaded that resisting legislation to allow congress an up-or-down vote on it, just as he had to be persuaded when congress passed sanctions legislation that helped bring iran to the table in the first place would be futile. in other words, he didn't want the legislation that gave us an opportunity to respond to the president's deal with iran.
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it had so many supporters, he knew the veto would be overridden. then he finally convinced his party which had voted unanimously for the legislation that gave congress an opportunity to weigh in on the president's deal to then deny the american people the up or down congressional vote democrats had promised them. our democratic friends went to extreme lengths to protect the president politically. because they did, democrats ensured that this would be not just obama's deal with iran but the democratic party's deal with iran, too. it's a deal that allows iran to grow stronger in any number of ways -- diplomatically, militarily, in terms of trade and in terms of its enrichment
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program. it's also a deal that achieves hardly any of the obama administration's primary goals. secretary kerry once declared that an accounting of iran's military-related nuclear activities -- quote -- will be part of a final deal. if there's going to be a deal, he promised, it will be done, but it isn't. secretary moniz once declared that he expected we would have any time, anywhere access to iranian nuclear facilities. we won't. president obama once declared that the deal we'll accept is they in their nuclear program. it's very straightforward. or perhaps not quite so straightforward because this deal will not end iran's nuclear program. because the president made clear
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his desire to secure an agreement at any cost, it became easy for the iranians to exploit concession after concession after concession. it became possible for the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism to secure a deal that allows it to enrich uranium to maintain thousands of centrifuges and to become a recognized nuclear threshold state forever on the edge of developing a weapon. iran was even able to secure a multibillion-dollar cash windfall that will allow it to strengthen terrorist groups like hezbollah and hamas, along with assad's bloody regime in damascus. even the president basically admits as much.
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the administration is now so invested in this deal that it's likely to veto any additional sanctions passed by congress, even those against terrorism. presidents are able to secure stronger, better and more durable outcomes when they seek constructive cooperation on matters beyond the water's edge. republicans stood proudly for more international trade jobs just a few months ago. the president agreed with us on the policy. we all thought in the -- fought in the same corner as a result. it was disappointing to then hear the same president dismiss honest intellectual disagreements on the iran deal as reflexive opposition to him personally. what nonsense. the president made a choice to turn this into a partisan campaign instead of serious
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debate. he tried to cut out the american people and congress at every single opportunity. because he did, he's left his country and his party with an executive deal that has hardly any durability or popular backing. because he handled it this way, he's left his country and his party with an executive deal that has hardly any durability or any public support. the american people aren't sold on it. a strong bipartisan majority of the house has rejected it. a strong bipartisan majority of the senate rejects it, too.
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the deal can and likely will be revisited by the next commander in chief, but its negative consequences promise to live on regardless, and far beyond one president's last few months in office. those who follow in the white house and in congress will have to deal with an iran enriched by billions of dollars to invest in conventional weapons upgrades and further support to terrorist groups. many of us will be here in the future when we have the need to work with the next president to decide how best to deal with iran's ambitions and the future of this nuclear program.
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now, one reason iran was able to negotiate so successfully because of russian support for a deal that would be antithetical to america's interests. no surprise then that just days after the deal was counted, the commander of iran's quds reportedly flew to moscow to secure russian support for their mutual ally in syria. no surprise then that as soon as the president had seemingly succeeded in securing the votes for a veto override, we heard that russia was constructing a forward operating base to help prop up assad. iran's negotiating partner, russia, will undoubtedly use its presence in syria to attempt to leverage the western powers to weaken sanctions crafted in response to the invasion of
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crimea. that, my colleagues, is diplomatic linkage. russia pursued it successfully. the obama administration did not. the administration attempted to negotiate this deal with a singular focus on ending iran's nuclear program. now, we already know it failed in that regard, but that myopia also had other consequences as well, leading the administration to ignore many issues that should have been linked to the negotiations in the first place. everything from iran's support for terrorism to its aggressive behavior across the middle east to its harassment of shipping vessels in the persian gulf, but, mr. president, not just those issues. the administration failed to
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negotiate to ensure the release of american citizens being held in iranian custody. the administration failed to negotiate to ensure iran's recognition of israel's right to exist. but we can do nothing to link the freedom of american citizens being held in iranian custody and the recognition of israel to sanctions relief, something that the administration should have done. we can say it has to be corrected before sanctions are lifted and billions more flow into iranian coffers to use for terrorism. and that's, mr. president, what today's vote is about. when it comes to american citizens being held in iranian custody, the senate voted unanimously just a few months ago to call for iranian leaders to release our american citizens. one is a journalist imprisoned for spreading -- quote --
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propaganda against the state -- end quote. another is a pastor who dared to attend a christian gathering. when it comes to israel, iran employs invective against israel at every turn. it has already demonstrated both the will and the capability to strike out against the west, and through proxies and cyber attacks at allies like israel and saudi arabia. what this deal won't do is alter iran's behavior. what it will do is give iran an even greater ability to follow through on these threats. so we cannot allow iran to be empowered as a nuclear threshold state with billions of dollars without something, some
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protection to israel first. without at least demanding the release of american citizens from iran after are years, first. let's at least agree on that. i understand there is strong division in this senate, the majority opposes and the favors on the iranian deal. but the very least, mr. president, the very least we should be able to come together over the vote we take today and so i would urge all my colleagues to vote for it. mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the democratic leader. mr. reid: the senate has already
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spoken, that the agreement with iran will stand. remember, it is an agreement to stop iran from having a nuclear weapon. that's what it's all about. these issues have been decided. but senator mcconnell has decided to waste an entire week on something that has already been decided, twice. first the mcconnell amendment that would prevent him from it unless all americans and recognize of the state of israel. all of them, all senators want them to come back home to their families as quickly as possible. we believe that iran should recognize the state of israel. we believe the other countries in that area should join along. and we are very happy with the arrangement between egypt and israel of many, many years and
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has been very good for some degree of stability in the area. but what the republican colleagues are doing right now is very, very cynical. they're taking serious issues and turning them into pawns in a political issue. yesterday a senator from michigan, and she has the person that is from michigan has been held in iran for some time. yesterday she said, the senator republican leader is playing with amir's life. the majority leader is trying to score cheap political points. no american should be used in this way. elaborating, she told me that his family wants us to stay out of it. progress is being made.
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please stay out of it, is what his sister said. this cynical tactic is a waste of the senate's time. we should be preventing a gown. senator mcconnell has amounted to vote three times on a situation that has already failed on two occasions. the result will be the same today. yet the senate is stuck, even with a looming government shutdown. with a few days before the government runs out of funding. we've seen this coming for months. the republicans should have seen it also. maybe they did but just ignored it. that's why we've called for budget negotiations and that's the statement. we told the senate that only so much before this, we're going to try to use it on serious proposals that have a chance of becoming law, close quote.
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i'm sure he should read that to himself today and maybe tomorrow. but after having made the statement of voting on this key priority that is funding the government, we're spending time on cynical show votes, even though everyone knows the result of these votes. despite the fact the government will be shut down in a matter of days, the world's greatest deliberative body is doing a show vote. the budget is the biggest responsibility of it was. it's an embarrassment to this institution. our leader and i don't see eye to eye on all political points but we both want to see a clear bill. that's what he said. i agree with him. it's the only way to prevent a gown, no riders, no tricky things at all.
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just yesterday the leader said sequester should be lifted. thank goodness he said that. i agree with him. i agree with senator mccain, senator lense graham about this on the republican side with us. we all know how this end. the senate will pass a cleaning continuing resolution. let's hope so because that's what we should see. by clean bill, no procedural loopholes, and no tricks. so for what are we waiting? why are we dragging the senate to the brink of another shutdown? there is nothing to be gained and much to lose. the reality is that the longer we wait, the more difficult the path forward will be. republicans in the past have not governed responsibly, like the
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junior senator from texas. every minute we waste, that one senator's objection can force the entire government to shut down. we're not making this up. it happened two years ago. people want nothing more than the republicans to twiddle their thumbs. every day it's more likely to shut down. we have seen this drama before. i repeat, two years ago. they need to invoke cloture two times if someone objects. we should start to process of bringing the bill to the floor by thursday at the latest. the time is really running out. next week pope francis will address the congress and perhaps half a million people to come here. and, three or four days of
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session next week at the most. we're -- it's time for republicans to skip the drama, push the bill today. for months, democrats have been clear about our priorities. first, any appropriation measure cannot have ideological matters. and second, it must be matched with a dollar for dollar increase in domestic problems. these are principles which should form the basis today. but republicans have refused to negotiate. they are now focused on scoring points. we've voted twice. why waste time again on another? only a few times in session next week, and only three days before a government funding
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expires. that's october 1. we should act now, passing a clean continuing resolution before government shuts down be and then negotiate a compromise. a short-term objection? without objection. mr. durbin: mr. president, we listened to the comments of senator mcconnell, the republican leader. he has given us a litany of horribles when it comes to the conduct of the nation of iran. he has given us fair warning that this is a country that we cannot trust because of past conduct. i think the point that needs to be made at this moment is i don't disagree with his premise or his conclusion, but i ask him and all others in his similar political position, how can iran with a nuclear weapon be a better thing for this world from the middle east or from israel? i think the answer is obvious.
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that's why the president in league with our major allies and some of our not so frequent allies has broke end an agreement to send inspectors, to destroy the centrifuges, to core -- concrete core in the plutonium and in iran, to stop so that they do not develop a nuclear weapon. that to me is an ultimate positive outcome. does it cure all the horribles listed by the senator from kentucky? of course not. but how does he imagine that iran with its record would be in a better position or we would be in a better position if iran had a nuclear weapon? i don't think so. that's i think the issue before us. i have to harken back to statement yesterday by the senator from michigan. she is in contact with the
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family of one of the prisoners out there. she is concerned, i am concerned that some of these are part of our political debate on the floor which the republicans have done with their amendment, is a risky process. we want these prisoners to come home safely. we voted that way overwhelmingly. to put them as part of a by the republicans is risky and i wish we other not take that as their risk. i would vote against the cloture motion coming before us at 11:00 to move forward on this particular amendment. i'll close by saying the press reports last night that explain why we're here wasting a week of the united states senate on the republican debate, and on the fact that even some of the republican presidential candidates reserved vile and venom to be used against the
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leader here, the majority leader of the senate and of the house, they're under immense pressure to show their manhood. that's what it's about. the presiding officer: the senator's time is expired. the senator from maryland. mr. cardin: we'll vote on something that will fundamentally change the issue before us. the iran review act gives congress three options. approve the agreement, disaproductive or take no action. this would be approval of the agreement. now, let me just make it clear to my colleagues. the flamework of the agreement is to provide a framework for iran stopping the nuclear state.
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preserving our options if iran participation and ballistic missile officials, and the bottom line whether iran is in better or worse shape to acquire a nuclear weapon under this agreement. i r -- i reached my judgment on it, as did 100 senators, and i opposed the agreement. but this amendment takes us in a different direction. this amendment says that if iran recognizes israel and releases four hostages, that sanction relief will be granted to iran. now, i hope iran does recognize israel, but i must tell you i would have no confidence in their statement or trust in their statement if they issued a statement recognizing israel. senator stabenow has already talked to whether this is the most effective way to bring back our hostages. one can challenge them. so this conditional approval gives up any of the disapproval resolution on the nuclear part of the agreement.
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that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. let me remind our colleagues that this is september 17. this is the 60th day of the congressional review, the last day of the congressional review. quite frankly, this is a political exercise, this vote. this issue was way too important for us to be engaged in a political issue on the review. we have worked very hard over 60 days to get information, the committee has worked very hard, very proud of the record of the senate foreign relations committee in this regard. we shouldn't be participating in this political battle. it's clear that this iran agreement will be implemented. now it's time for this body to stop taking show show votes. instead pivot to serious work of addressing the problems with the deal. this means making sure that we are working with the government of israel on a security package that will now enable israel to defend against conventional and terrorist threats from iran, and he is making sure we are working with our partners in the gulf
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cooperative council to make sure we are collectively prepared to counter destabilizing uranium activities. it means we need to counter ballistic missiles proliferation, human rights abuses. working effectively with our european allies to prepare for iran's potential cheating on the deal. let's turn to the serious work we have in front of us and recognize that we all need to be together to prevent iran from becoming a nuclear weapon state. we stand for israel's security. we stand for the return of our hostages. let's also make sure that we have the strongest possible decision to prevent iran from becoming a nuclear weapons state. let's do that together. i would yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from new jersey. mr. menendez: mr. president, i rise today as an opponent of the iran nuclear agreement, and i
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have set forth at length both on the senate floor and in a speech at seton hall university school of diplomacy my reasons why, but i am also an opponent to the mcconnell amendment that would support the deal if iran recognizes israel and releases american hostages. now, i have said on this floor and will say again that i have a problem with the underlying nuclear agreement, and as much as i would like to see the hostages released and have voted in a resolution of the senate past calling for iran to do so and have them come home to their families, and as much as i would like israel to be recognized as -- by iran as a sovereign independent nation, i am not certain that i would want to give my imprimatur to the agreement, even under those conditions which this amendment
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would do. this in essence makes the -- if adopted, a conditional agreement. we in the senate would be voting for to say the agreement can move forward if the hostages are released and if the -- if iran recognizes the state of israel as a sovereign and independent state. i must say i want the hostages back as does everyone in this chamber. i want israel to be recognized as a sovereign and independent state, although i believe that any such recognition by iran at this point in time would be temporal at best and can only be meaningful by actions, not just simply by such a declaration. so at the end of the day, for all the reasons i've heard my colleagues on this floor talk about the consequences of the nuclear deal, surely you cannot be of the thought that as
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desirous as the releasing of the hostages are or the desire to have israel recognized by iran as a sovereign state, that that would then give you a clear sailing for the underlike nuclear agreement. that in essence is what this amendment would provide for. now, we have many concerns as we move forward with iran. we already see that even as this agreement is being moved forward, iran gives its okay to russia to overfly iran and then iraq where we have spent so many lives and national treasure to send military hardware into syria to prop up the assad regime, which iran has also been a patron of and at the same time to maybe very well establish a military base for russia. so there's going to be a lot of concerns notwithstanding this agreement that we have with iran. but i for one do not want to
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give any idea that we would support this agreement, as someone who opposes it, simply because the hostages would be released and iran would recognize israel. now, some might believe that that will never happen so therefore the agreement wouldn't move forward, but if the agreement is as good as so many of my colleagues have said it is for iran, then it might not be a price that they would find too high to pay in order to have the agreement move forward. so in any event, whether iran thinks it's a good agreement for them and would do so, i just simply do not want to support the underlying agreement by virtue of a sleight of hand here on something that is desirable and independently this body would be united on, getting all of the hostages back and doing
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everything necessary to achieve that and at the same time making sure that israel is truly, truly recognized, not only in word but in deed. and that's why i will be voting against the amendment. there are far more serious things like renewing the iran sanctions act in the days ahead that i think are critical. many of the things that senator cardin has been talking about in his proposed legislation i think will be critical to having the type of response we want to in iran, against its hemogenic interests in israel as well as its nuclear provisions. for that reason, i will be voting against the amendment and i yield the floor. mr. carper: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from delaware. mr. carper: going back to the election from last november, there are three takeaways. number one, people want us to work together. number two, they want us to get things done. number three, they want us to find ways to further strengthen the economic recovery of our country. today the department of labor
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released the last weekly -- most recent weekly information on filings for unemployment insurance in this country. they do it every thursday. they have been doing this for years. today the number was 264,000 people. sounds like a lot. well, compared to what? the week that barack obama and joe biden were inaugurated as president and vice president, that number was not 264,000. it was 628,000. 628,000. any time that number is over 400,000, we're losing jobs. any time that number is under 400,000 per week, we're adding jobs. that number has been under 300,000 for the last 28 straight weeks. i don't know if there was ever a better time we have seen that number that low for that long. we are strengthening the economic recovery. we ought to continue to do that. there are a number of things that we ought to be doing on this floor to further strengthen the economic recovery. we need to avoid a budget shutdown. we need to put in place a responsible spending plan for the next year. our country's under cyber attack 24/7. companies, businesses, of all kinds and shapes.
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we need tax certainty. we need to put in place a tax plan for our country. we need to fully fund a secure transportation plan. sews are just some of the things we can do to further strengthen the economic recovery. are we dealing with those? no, we're not. we're coming back again to vote really on the same thing we voted on before. let me just say with all due -- with all due respect, do i want the hostages released? you bet. have i let the iranian senior officials that i know know that? you bet. i do that every time i meet with them. the best way to make sure the hostages are released, the best way to hasten the deal that israel has a good relationship with iran is to fully implement the plan that's before us, one that will make it very difficult for the iranians to develop a nuclear weapons program and ensure if they do we know about it. my message to the foreign minister of iran, who has been the lead point person on their negotiations for the last two
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years, here's my message to him and to the iranian officials. number one, you could have a stronger economy. number two, you could have a nuclear weapons program. you cannot have both. you cannot have both. there is a whole new generation of people who have grown up in that country. 78 million people, the average age is 25. does the revolutionary guard like the agreement? no, they don't. they want to kill it. how about the young people growing newspaper that country who like americans, want a better relationship with us? what do they want? they want us to take yes for an answer. i will take no for an answer with the measure before us today. thank you very much. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from arizona. mr. flake: i just want to say a few words about the vote that we're about to take and about this process. i do not favor this agreement. i've indicated that i will vote against it. i would like to get to a final vote on the subject and not just have endless cloture votes. it has been offered on the
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democratic side that we would go to a final vote if the margin was set at 60, that we had a 60-vote threshold. i say take it. let's get to a final vote. we've seen the end of this movie already. the president has sufficient votes to sustain a veto. therefore, this would simply be an exercise to send something to the president that he would veto and then have that veto sustained. i see no value in doing that. there is no value to our allies to see that there is a split here in congress or between congress and the executive on this issue. the president is in his last term. he's not hurt politically by this. there's no reason to do that. so i don't know why in the world we would want to go through that exercise or insist on going through that exercise simply to
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force cloture on this. i would like to send a disapproval motion to the president, that would be fine, but to not get to a final vote because we're insisting on doing that seems to me misguided. let's agree and go to a final vote and seven of the 60-vote threshold, that would be fine. we know the end of this movie already. and with regard to the amendment itself and the text of it, we're talking about our desire to have the hostages released that are in iran. everyone would like that. everyone would like to see iran recognize israel. but is the whole agreement -- should a whole agreement be based on those two items? no. there are a lot of other things that need to be done as well. like i said, i don't believe that this was negotiated well. i think it could have been better. that's why i will vote against
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it if i have the chance. but let's give the members of this body that chance. let's have a vote on the final product here, the process that we set up with the corker-cardin legislation and not insist on sending something to the president that would be sent back that we know the result of. so i just want to register my support for having a final vote, regardless of where that vote threshold is. with that, i yield back. mr. carper: would the senator from arizona yield for a moment for a question? mr. flake: i would yield. mr. carper: first of all, let me say thank you for a very thoughtful statement. it reminds me a little bit of what senator reid has been asking for by unanimous consent for a couple of -- for a week or two, and that is to actually forgo cloture votes and let's just go to a final vote, but we want a 60-vote threshold.
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i think the expectation has been for months there would be a 60-vote threshold. if the gentleman from arizona is comfortable with foregoing all this parliament procedure and going to an up-or-down vote with a 60-vote threshold, i think that's the way to do it, we ought to do this. and i just want to applaud you for what you have just said. mr. flake: well, thank you. i do think that this is a serious matter. this is an agreement that's important, that is going to last beyond this administration and beyond the next one. congress should be on record on this issue, with more than just a procedural vote. and i understand the desire to have a vote by a simple majority, that would be the preference, but if we can't get there and this is a body of compromise, then let's -- let's have a vote, a final vote on the subject. as to the matter -- let me just say with these amendments, i will vote with my colleagues on this side of the aisle on a cloture vote to get to a final vote on these amendments, but if it comes to it, i will vote
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against those amendments. not that i don't want hostages released or israel recognized, but the entire agreement should not be based on those two items. there are other important aspects of the agreement. and just to pick two as a way to -- to go forward here just doesn't make sense to me. so i will vote with my party on cloture to move ahead to a vote on the amendment, but if it comes to that, i will vote against those amendments. so with that, i yield back. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from georgia. mr. perdue: mr. president, i rise to speak today about president obama's nuclear deal with iran. i now cast numerous votes on the deal. however, congress has reviewed period ends today, even though there's controversy about that. i want to applaud the ranking member of the judiciary committee and the chairman, senator cardin is in attendance
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today and senator corker. for getting us to this point, a unanimous vote in our can committee, we brought to the senate floor and we had a 98-1 vote in effort to bring it before the american people. and with very small minority of americans actually support this deal, yet it's about to become law. this administration chose not to consider this as a treaty, but as a nonbinding political agreement. this means a little over a year our president can determine whether they will abide by this agreement. my question is, what can we do right now in the united states senate over the course of this president's agreement with iran. i speak to continue this fight if necessary. in the 14 months i have found ways to mitigate the effects of this agreement with iran. we need to ratchet up expansions
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on human rights and continue to be vigilant in terms of those areas. we need to be prepared with sanctions that can snapped back. we can decrease terrorism after they get over $60 billion payday from this deal. we need to plan ways to reassure our allies and this deal is sure to trigger. over the past, in the state department authorization of this bill to produce. i accept it in the hands of this regime. here is this administration's deal with the deal i'm thought of the clinton deal in 1984 -- 1994. he promised our country that
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this nonbinding would north korea would make the world safer. look at where where weiner today, mr. president. just 12 short years after the deal, north korea completed their first detonation test. and north korea has, and yesterday north korea announced it is bolstering its arsenal and nuclear weapons examine indeed against the united states of america. and we feel this will have similar results. we cannot let iran to obtain a nuclear weapon, not now, not in ten years, not ever. for the security of our children and our children's children, our country and our world, we need to absolutely make sure that iran never becomes a the presiding officer: without objection. mr. corker: thank you, mr. president.
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today we have a series of votes that i know may be difficult for the american people who may be looking on to understand. but in the senate we have a procedure called cloture which signify whether members are ready to end debate and move on to the vote on the substance of the bill that we're now discussing. and we've been on this for two weeks, we've had 12 hearings in the foreign relations committee, with senator cardin, our ranking member. we've had all kinds of debate on the floor, almost every senator has spoken, and yet we find ourselves in this place where a bipartisan majority of senators wishes to send a vote of disapproval to the president and yet 42 senators are keeping us from doing so. if i can just walk through where we are with a strong bipartisan, almost overwhelming
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matter since 2010, this body has put sanctions to cause them come to the negotiating table. and i commend folks on both sides of the aisle for making that happen. my friend, bob menendez together with all of us have made those things happen. when this body saw that the president after we helped bring iran to the table was going to negotiate a deal but cut us out, go straight to the security council to cause a deal to be implemented, i worked with my friend, senator cardin and others and put in place something called the iran review act which gave us this ability to have 60 days to look at the proposal, to go through it and to voice our approval or disapproval. and so we've had that debate,
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and, unfortunately, because we did not -- the agreement did not achieve what he said we achieve and incidentally, if he had, it would be unanimous approval. but the president said he was going to end iran's nuclear program. and, unfortunately, from my perspective, he squandered, squandered that opportunity. we had iran, a rogue nation, we had a boot on their neck, we had some of the greatest countries in the world to end their program and yet we capitulateed and we agreed to let them continue research and development so that they can do what they're doing and even more quickly manner. we've allowed them to continue to their ability to deliver a
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continental ballistic missile missiles, we all know that they have no need for a program other than to develop a nuclear weapon, we know that, they have no practical need. so a strong bipartisan majority of this body wants to send to the president a motion of disapproval. and today what's happening, i fear, for the third time, a minority, a partisan minority, by say, is going to stop that from happening. i understand about the procedures here. i understand about the cloture vote. i understand that we agreed to it under what's called a normal procedures. we agreed to that. i just want to remind people, though, that the gulf war, when this body decided to implement the first president bush, 41, when he didn't really need to come to congress
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but he came to us for the authorization of the use of military force, it was passed on a 52-48 vote. 52-48. what we have today, we have 58 senators here that disapproved of what the president, disapproved of what the president has negotiated. feeling that he squandered that opportunity given to him with our support. instead of ending their program, he's let it to be legitimatized. we have senators here wishing to express themselves and say to -- send to the president a matter of disapproval and we have on a procedural vote, 42 senators preventing us from doing that. we have -- they have said we have not debated it enough. almost every senator has said what he feels.
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all kinds of classified briefings. the armed services committee having hearings, and i just want to say that i know many people spent a lot of time, the ranking member i know looked at this backwards and forwards before he came to his own conclusion. but this is really to me taking on -- taking on a tone of members of this body protecting the president, protecting the president from having to veto something this body would send to him which is a motion of disapproval. so i'm disappointed that we are where we are, i'm disappointed that the senator functions if the way it does today so the majority of citizens -- of senators who have something wanted to happen cannot make it happen and we are here to keep the president from having to
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veto a majority of people in the senate would like to happen. so with that i hope that at least a couple of senators here will decide that we've discussed this long enough, that we will allow this body to vote on the actual underlying substance, that's what, by the way, the nuclear review act was all about. the 98-1 basis, members of this body said that they wanted the ability, 98 of us, you know, one was missing, we would have had 99. voted to allow the united states senate to weigh in on this topic and now that is not going to happen. my time is over. i understand the minority have about two minutes left and we'll proceed to a vote. i want to thank my good friend, senator cardin, who i think serves in a very distinguished way. i could not have a better partner and thank him for his
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cooperation. the presiding officer: south dakota. >> mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from maryland. mr. cardin: senator corker and i have been in agreement for 53 days of the review. and he is absolutely correct, that for 58 senators disapprove of this agreement, we are in agreement on that, that we both agree we could have done better and we should reject the agreement. 42 senators believe we should go forward. i thought this was the colloquy that took place a few minutes ago on floor between senator carper and senator corker was the way we should go forward, and i thought that's where we were headed. we have understood the process, and americans know where every member stands on this agreement. the 60-vote threshold in the united states senate and the 67 votes necessary to override a
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veto. this agreement is moving forward. we all know that. we should be talking about how to move forward on the agreement. what i don't understand is the next vote. i don't understand why the majority leader decided to bring forward an amendment to change the resolution of disapproval into a resolution of conditional approval. to me that's inconsistent with the act and for those of us who support or disapprove of the agreement, it's not fitting and not consistent with the work done in the first 53 days of the review, we worked very hard in the committee, so every member of the united states senate, every member could get as much information that is available to make their individual judgments whether to vote for or against the agreement. 43 voted for, and this i don't understand. i would urge my colleagues, fitting the agreement and the


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