PROTECTING VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTERS AND EMERGENCY RESPONDERS ACT; Congressional Record Vol. 161, No. 64
(Senate - April 30, 2015)

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[Pages S2545-S2549]
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     PROTECTING VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTERS AND EMERGENCY RESPONDERS ACT

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the Senate will 
resume consideration of H.R. 1191, which the clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       A bill (H.R. 1191) to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 
     1986 to ensure that emergency services volunteers are not 
     taken into account as employees under the shared 
     responsibility requirements contained in the Patient 
     Protection and Affordable Care Act.

  Pending:

       Corker/Cardin amendment No. 1140, in the nature of a 
     substitute.
       Corker/Cardin amendment No. 1179 (to amendment No. 1140), 
     to require submission of all Persian text included in the 
     agreement.
       Blunt amendment No. 1155 (to amendment No. 1140), to extend 
     the requirement for annual Department of Defense reports on 
     the military power of Iran.
       Vitter modified amendment No. 1186 (to amendment No. 1179), 
     to require an assessment of inadequacies in the international 
     monitoring and verification system as they relate to a 
     nuclear agreement with Iran.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Wisconsin.
  Mr. JOHNSON. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to set aside the 
pending amendment and call up my amendment No. 1149 to declare that any 
agreement reached by the President relating to the nuclear program of 
Iran is a congressional-executive agreement to be considered under the 
expedited procedure in both Houses of Congress.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Mr. CARDIN. Reserving the right to object, Mr. President, we have 
been proceeding now for about a week. We have had a good debate on 
issues. Many Members are working with Senator Corker and me to clear 
their amendments so they are consistent with the overall objective that 
was supported by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee by a 19-to-0 
vote, and we are going to continue to work on that process in the 
orderly consideration of amendments.
  For that reason, I must object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.
  The Senator from Wisconsin.
  Mr. JOHNSON. Perhaps if the Senator from Maryland will listen to my 
explanation of what this amendment does, he will withdraw his 
objection.
  During our debate on Tuesday, when I offered an amendment to deem the 
agreement between Iran and America--well, actually and the world--a 
treaty subject to the advice and consent of the Senate, the Senator 
from Maryland spoke about one of the objections to the treaty. He said:

       Secondly, I don't know how we are going to explain it to 
     our colleagues in the House of Representatives. The Presiding 
     Officer served in the House. I served in the House. Senator 
     Menendez served in the House. The last time I checked, we 
     imposed these sanctions because the bill passed both the 
     Senate and the House, and now we are saying that the approval 
     process is going to ignore the House of Representatives, 
     solely going to be a matter for the U.S. Senate on a 
     ratification of a treaty? That does not seem like a workable 
     solution.

  Now, Mr. President, I appreciate the fact that the Senator from 
Tennessee and the Senator from Maryland did not object to my raising my 
first amendment to deem it a treaty. And of course this body then voted 
on that, and I appreciate that fact. And I accept the verdict of this 
Chamber that they did not want to deem this agreement a treaty--fair 
enough.
  But I would like to quote, in addition to the Senator from Maryland, 
the Senator from Tennessee in arguing against deeming this a treaty. 
The Senator from Tennessee said: ``We think the President has the 
ability to negotiate things.''
  Well, first off all, I agree with that. Article II, section 2 states: 
``He [The President] shall have Power, by and with the Advice and 
Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the 
Senators present concur. . . . ''
  So that actually is the constitutional method for making agreements 
between nations--having the President negotiate that. I completely 
agree. We can't have 535 negotiators. But we certainly should have this 
body involved in those agreements. We should have a role. We should 
have a robust role. And, of course, I believe it is so important, that 
this has such an effect and that it risks so much for this Nation, that 
I believe it should be a treaty. But again, fair enough--this body 
deemed it would not be a treaty. The Senator from Tennessee went on to 
say:

       We had no idea this President would consider suspending 
     these sanctions ad infinitum, forever--no idea. I think even 
     people on the other side of the aisle were shocked.


[[Page S2546]]


  We were shocked. Yes, we granted those waivers for national security. 
We did not believe those waivers would be abused the way they are being 
abused right now.
  The Senator from Tennessee also went on to say: ``This is one of the 
biggest geopolitical issues that will potentially happen if an 
agreement is reached in our lifetime here in the Senate.''
  Once again, I agree with the Senator from Tennessee. This is a huge 
geopolitical issue. And right now this administration deems that 
agreement on its own authority, an executive agreement, and really, at 
this point in time, we have no role. There is no involvement. The 
Senator from Tennessee went on to say: ``Look, I have strong agreement 
with the sentiment of our Senator from Wisconsin.'' Again, he is 
agreeing with the fact that this really should rise to the level of a 
treaty.
  He also went on to say: ``Without the bill that is on the floor, the 
American people will never see it.''
  Think of that. Think of an agreement between Iran, as it is being 
described--and, as I say, nobody really knows yet, but what I believe 
is being described to us--puts Iran on a path for a nuclear weapon. How 
many years has it been that Presidents from both parties and Members of 
Congress from both parties have stood and said very forcefully that we 
simply cannot allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon? Now we may be facing 
an agreement between this country, other nations of the world, and Iran 
that actually puts Iran on a path for a nuclear agreement.
  The Senator from Tennessee is correct. I hope he is not correct, but 
I think he may be correct that right now this President has no duty to 
bring that agreement to the American people. I do happen to believe 
that public pressure would be so great that the American people would 
not tolerate that level of brazenness, that level of arrogance on the 
part of any administration or any President to do a deal, to make an 
agreement of such import that before implementing that agreement the 
President of the United States would not bring that agreement to the 
American people and subject it to, in some shape or form, the advice 
and consent of either this Chamber or Congress as a whole.
  The final quote from the Senator from Tennessee is this. He said:

       Now, look, if I could wave a magic wand or all of a sudden 
     donkeys flew around the Capitol, I would love for us to have 
     the ability to deem this a treaty. I really would.

  Well, if the agreement that President Obama is talking about in its 
current framework is agreed to between this administration and the 
other negotiating partners and Iran, we better all hope that donkeys 
start flying around the Capitol, because that agreement, as it is being 
described to us, would put Iran on the path to be a nuclear power. That 
would destabilize not only the region, but it would destabilize the 
world. It would lead to an enormous amount of nuclear proliferation 
within the region. It is a very bad deal. It is very risky for this 
Nation. It affects this Nation.
  Let me just go through the three forms of international agreements. 
There are no set criteria in terms of what is a treaty, what is a 
congressional-executive agreement or what is simply an executive 
agreement. There are considerations. There is precedent.
  I go to the Foreign Affairs Manual at the State Department, and they 
lay out the considerations; what should be considered in determining 
what an agreement is--a treaty, a congressional-executive agreement or 
just an executive agreement. The first consideration is the extent to 
which the agreement involves commitments or risks affecting the Nation 
as a whole.
  The third consideration is whether the agreement can be given effect 
without the enactment of subsequent legislation by Congress.
  Well, the fact that we have this bill proves the fact that it needs 
subsequent legislation by Congress.
  The fifth consideration is the preference of the Congress as to a 
particular type of agreement. Well, that is what we are talking about 
here--the Congress weighing in, in the form of my amendment, to say we 
want a role, we want a more robust role than is currently offered in 
this bill.

  The seventh is the proposed duration of the agreement. We are going 
to be living with the impact, the effect, the results, the collateral 
damage of this agreement between Iran and the other negotiating parties 
for a very, very, very long time. So based on those considerations, 
based on the fact that in the State Department's own Foreign Affairs 
Manual in determining whether something is a treaty or an executive 
agreement or a congressional executive agreement, there should be 
consultation with Congress. I consider this amendment consultation with 
Congress.
  Again, all I am asking in this amendment is to provide a minimal--a 
minimal constitutional threshold, a minimum constitutional role for 
Congress in affirmatively approving a deal between Iran and the rest of 
the world and America.
  So all this amendment really does, in effect, is just asks the 
President to bring the agreement before the American people, before 
this Congress, allow us to have input, to affirmatively approve this in 
both Chambers, both the House and the Senate, with a mere majority vote 
of both Chambers. Because what is currently on the floor in this bill--
and, again, I have a great deal of respect for the Senator from 
Tennessee. I know in his heart he believes this Senate, this Congress, 
should have a far more robust role and involvement in such a 
consequential agreement, but I also realize the challenge he has had 
dealing with our friends on the other side of the aisle and how very 
little involvement they are willing to agree to for this Senate and for 
this Congress.
  If the bill is passed, we need to clarify what that means in terms of 
approval. Probably the best way for me to point that out is I had a 
third amendment I tried to offer. It was an amendment that was going to 
specifically describe what this bill does with a vote of disapproval, 
what that threshold really means in terms of approval of this very 
consequential deal. So I offered an amendment: I called it a very low 
threshold for approval of a congressional-executive agreement. It would 
have allowed the agreement between Iran and the rest of the world to be 
approved by this body, by this Congress, with a majority vote in the 
House and a vote of only 34 Senators in this body.
  Now, very appropriately, that amendment was ruled out of order. It 
was ruled unconstitutional by the Parliamentarian, as it should have 
been, because that is not approval of a process. That is not the way 
Congress should weigh in, have input, be involved in such a 
consequential agreement. But that is exactly--in a very convoluted 
process of votes of disapproval, that would have to be, first of all, 
voted on by 60 Senators. Then, of course, if that is vetoed, we would 
have to override that veto with 67 Senators and two-thirds majority in 
the House.
  Again, what this bill does, it will allow a very bad deal--
potentially very bad deal--between Iran and the rest of the world and 
America to be approved with a majority vote in the House and a vote of 
only 34 Senators in this Chamber.
  Again, with that reality, with that clarity of what this bill does, 
the minimum role, the minimum role that this bill allows, I would urge 
all of my colleagues to support my amendment that provides for what 
should be the minimum involvement of Congress: a majority vote, an 
affirmative vote of approval in both the House and the Senate to any 
deal this administration concludes with Iran.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Rounds). The Senator from Tennessee.
  Mr. CORKER. Mr. President, I thank the Senator from Wisconsin for his 
great service on the Foreign Relations Committee.
  I think he knows there is another amendment offered by another 
Senator, the Senator from Texas, that I think is very similar to this, 
and we are working right now with the other side to try to bring that 
up.
  Mr. JOHNSON. Will the Senator yield?
  Mr. CORKER. Sure.
  Mr. JOHNSON. The difference between the two, as I understand them, is 
the amendment of the Senator from Texas would actually have a higher 
threshold. I think it would rise to a 60-vote threshold. I am not 
asking that. I am actually asking something less than that, to again 
clarify what this

[[Page S2547]]

bill allows in terms of approval by this Chamber.
  So even though we discussed this earlier, I don't believe I can 
combine the two because I think it is important to clarify the issue 
with an amendment that requires what I really do believe--truly 
believe--should be the minimum, the minimum role, the minimum 
affirmative approval of disagreement: a mere majority vote in both 
Chambers. That is so reasonable. That is the minimum role the American 
people ought to have in terms of having a say in this.
  I have never insisted on an amendment in 4 years in the Senate. I 
feel so deeply about this that I really ask both the Senator from 
Maryland and the Senator from Tennessee, please, just allow a vote on 
this one amendment.
  Mr. CORKER. If I could, Mr. President, the Senator is right; he 
doesn't offer many amendments, nor do I. But the very first amendment 
we voted on was the amendment of the Senator from Wisconsin.
  We had a conversation yesterday which I thought led to us considering 
combining this request with the request from Senator Cruz, and I know 
we are working on that particular issue. But I understand, and we are 
trying to process these. I think he knows we are trying to process 
votes, and the very first one we processed was the one from the Senator 
from Wisconsin.
  I do appreciate his concerns. I think he knows I share his concerns 
about this agreement. I am trying to get done what is possible. Again, 
if I could wave a wand and cause the national security waivers that 
Senator Johnson, myself, Senator Cardin, and others voted for years ago 
when we put the sanctions in place--if I could wave a wand and those 
would go away, then we would be in a position where we would actually 
need to have an affirmative vote.
  But I do appreciate his concerns. I think he knows we are trying to 
work through amendments down here, and I appreciate his patience as we 
do so.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maryland.
  Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, I join Senator Corker. Senator Johnson is 
a very valued member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. I enjoy 
working with him on U.N. issues. The two of us are the Senate 
representatives to the United Nations this year and I know his passion 
on these issues, but I just want to underscore a couple points.
  Right now, as of last night, there were 66 amendments that had been 
filed to this bill that came out of the committee 19 to 0. The number 
of Republican amendments were 66; the number of Democratic amendments 
were zero.
  I point that out because we are trying to maintain the bipartisan 
cooperation we have had through this process so the Senate can speak 
with a united voice, because that gives us the strongest possible 
message as to the congressional role.
  I must state, this is a delicate balance how we brought this bill 
forward. I don't think I am underestimating the surprise we received 
from our colleagues when they heard there was a 19-to-0 vote in our 
committee.
  There are so many Members who are working with us who have filed 
amendments--and I thank each one of them--trying to find areas where 
we, as we worked in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, can find a 
common spot to be able to advance those amendments. I am optimistic and 
Senator Corker is optimistic that we are going to be able to deal with 
many of the issues the Republican Members have brought up and the 
amendments they have filed.
  But in direct response to Senator Johnson, let me point out, the 
sanctions were imposed by the U.S. Congress, by votes of the House and 
the Senate, and the signature of the President. What is being 
negotiated between our negotiating partners, the United States, and 
Iran, is an agreement--if they are successful, if the deal is struck--
that will prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear weapons state and will 
provide, over time, relief from Iran from the international and U.S. 
sanctions that have been imposed. That is the framework.
  We know the sanctions brought them to the table. We all understand 
that, and we are very proud of the role we played, but it is Congress, 
and only Congress, that can permanently change or modify that sanctions 
regime.
  We are going to have to act. So I just take exception with Senator 
Johnson's view that we are not going to act. We are going to act 
because only we can permanently change the regime. But what this bill 
gives us is an orderly way to consider the congressional review of this 
agreement or deal when it is finally reached.
  I just wish my colleagues would not prejudge this. I have heard so 
many people say something is going to happen. We don't know what the 
agreement is going to be. We don't even know if they are going to be 
able to come in with an agreement, but I will say this about the Obama 
administration. When they came out with the framework agreement, there 
were many Members of this Chamber who said Iran will never live up to 
the commitments in the framework agreement; that they would break out, 
they would not pull back, as they are committed to doing, and the 
sanctions regime would not be able to stay in effect. And guess what. A 
year later they have complied with the framework agreement, and they 
have in fact--the sanction regime has held tight during this period of 
time with our negotiating partners.
  Do I share many of the concerns of my friend from Wisconsin? I do. I 
do share those concerns. I am concerned as to whether the agreement 
will, in fact, be strong enough to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear 
weapons state. That is what we are going to look at in our committee, 
if we can pass this bill in the same bipartisan manner in which we did 
in committee--if we can do that, the Senator from Wisconsin, the 
chairman, the ranking member, all of us in the Senate Foreign Relations 
Committee are going to get all the documents, we are going to have time 
to review it and be able to answer those questions. The vote we are 
having on the floor this week is whether we are going to have that 
opportunity.
  I know these amendments are well intended. I understand that. I 
understand the deep feelings each Member has. But the bottom line, if 
the amendment my friend is talking about got on the bill, we are not 
going to get that review, we are not going to have that orderly 
process. That is the fact.
  So I think the debate on the floor is critically important. We have 
been debating this bill for a week. We started last Thursday, 19-to-0 
vote in committee, not a single Democratic amendment. We think it is 
time to move this bill forward to the United States House of 
Representatives.
  And, yes, Senator Corker and I are going to accommodate the 
suggestions that have been made by Members. We are finding a way to do 
that, and we are going to continue to work that path. But at the end of 
the day, this is a very serious issue, and I agree completely with 
Senator Graham and the comments he has made. This is an extremely 
important issue. It has to rise above our individual desires so, 
collectively, we can achieve something for the American people. That is 
what they want us to do. We have it in our grasps.
  I applaud the leadership of Senator Corker. He has to work with all 
the Republican amendments that have been filed. Believe me, there is a 
lot of frustration on the Democratic caucus, also as to why this bill 
is still on the floor and hasn't passed by now. But if we get 
everybody's patience, I am confident Senator Corker and I will be able 
to work together so we can accommodate the reasonable requests of our 
Members and get this bill moving to the United States House of 
Representatives.
  But let us maintain the balance that the Senator Foreign Relations 
Committee did, and let us do what the American people want us to do and 
that is to listen to each other. We have different views. I understand 
that. But the way we can reach common ground is to listen to each other 
and reach a reasonable compromise that doesn't compromise the 
principles of what we are trying to achieve. That is exactly what the 
Senate Foreign Relations Committee bill does. I urge my colleagues to 
exercise some restraint. Let's get this bill to the House of 
Representatives.

  I yield the floor.

[[Page S2548]]

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Wisconsin.
  Mr. JOHNSON. Mr. President, I wish to respond to the point frequently 
made by the supporters of this bill that this is the only way--the only 
way--that this body, the Congress, the Senate and the House, will 
receive the details of the deal. What the Senator from Maryland is 
saying is that this President, our Commander in Chief, will be so 
brazen, so arrogant as to negotiate and conclude an agreement of such 
import, of such consequence, and he would then keep it secret from the 
American people in this Congress. I hope that is not so. But if that is 
truly the belief, I would be happy to modify my amendment to require 
that same disclosure of the information of the details of the 
agreement. I would be happy to do that. I would be happy to work with 
the other side to do so. But barring that agreement, I am still urging 
my colleagues and I am urging this body to allow a vote on my 
amendment, to clarify what this bill is and what it is not. It is not 
advice and consent. It is the minimum--the minimum--threshold, the 
minimum involvement, the minimum input on the part of the American 
people through their elected representatives to pass judgment to 
approve affirmatively such a consequential agreement with a mere 
majority of votes of both Chambers of Congress. Is that asking so much?
  It is true that we passed this bill out of the Foreign Relations 
Committee with a unanimous vote, because we were granted assurances. I 
realize this is a delicate negotiation. I realize our friends on the 
other side of the aisle simply refuse to have what I consider a minimum 
involvement.
  Again, I appreciate and applaud Senator Corker for doing a bipartisan 
agreement, for reaching that agreement. But our understanding was that 
this would be a completely open amendment process.
  The Senator from Maryland points out that there are 66 amendments to 
1. Let's start voting on them. We will vote on the one Democratic 
amendment. Let's start voting on ours. Eventually, we will tire. 
Eventually, we will have made our points. Eventually, we will convey to 
the American public what this bill is and what it is not.
  Again, let me say, for a final time, what this bill provides. If 
passed, sure, we get the information which we should get, regardless, 
but it sets up a process--a very convoluted process--of votes of 
disapproval which would require 60 votes in this Chamber to pass. We 
assume it would be vetoed. Then it would require 67 votes in this 
Chamber to override the veto and two-thirds of a vote in the House to 
override that veto.
  In effect--let me clarify one last time--instead of requiring the 
bare minimum of an affirmative vote of a majority of Members of both 
Chambers of Congress, this bill would allow approval of this agreement 
by a simple majority in the House and only 34 Senators providing that 
rubber stamp of approval to a bill that could be incredibly 
consequential and of which we will live with the consequences--the 
results--for many, many years to come.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. CORKER. Mr. President, again, I thank the Senator from Wisconsin 
and appreciate his service and his support of this bill. I agree with 
him, and I wish it were different than it is. The fact is that we will 
have a right to vote whether to approve or disapprove the lifting in 
the normal way, but that will occur 4 or 5 years down the road. I think 
most of us want to weigh in now before the sanctions regime totally 
dissipates.
  I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Ms. COLLINS. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Ms. COLLINS. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that I be 
permitted to proceed as in morning business in order to introduce a 
bill.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  (The remarks of Ms. Collins pertaining to the introduction of S. 1141 
are printed in today's Record under ``Statements on Introduced Bills 
and Joint Resolutions.'')
  Ms. COLLINS. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. BARRASSO. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Rubio). Without objection, it is so 
ordered.
  (The remarks of Mr. Barrasso pertaining to the introduction of S. 
1140 are printed in today's Record under ``Statements on Introduced 
Bills and Joint Resolutions.'')
  Mr. BARRASSO. I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. COTTON. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. COTTON. Mr. President, I send two amendments to the desk, one for 
my own and one on behalf of Senator Rubio of Florida.
  Mr. President, I have said time and again----
  Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, has there been a unanimous consent 
request?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The quorum call has been vitiated.
  Mr. COTTON. Mr. President, I have said time and again that a nuclear-
armed Iran is the greatest threat this country faces. I have said time 
and again that the Senate needs to have votes on the merits of this 
agreement.
  The President has taken us down a very dangerous path. The President 
has backtracked on his own words. He said that Iran needed to live up 
to all of its obligations under international law. Yet Iran still has 
not disclosed the past military dimensions of its nuclear program.
  The President said, after this negotiating process began in December 
of 2013, that Iran has no need for a fortified underground military 
bunker in Fordow. Yet our negotiators have conceded the existence, with 
centrifuge cascades, of that underground military bunker.
  The President has said we have to have fully verifiable, anywhere, 
anytime access to all sites in Iran to ensure they are not cheating on 
any agreement--to include their military sites. Yet the leaders of Iran 
continue to say that we won't be able to access their military sites. 
There will be no intrusive inspections.
  I and the Senator from Florida, as well as many other Senators, have 
submitted multiple amendments to ask for votes on these points. We have 
been consistently blocked from bringing up these amendments for a vote.
  It is fine if you want to vote no. If you think Iran should keep an 
underground fortified military bunker with centrifuge cascades. It is 
fine if you don't think they should have to disclose the past military 
dimensions of their nuclear program, but we need to vote. We need to 
vote now.
  It is even fine if you agree with those points and that you think 
this is a delicate agreement that has to be prevented from being 
amended in any way. But we need to vote.
  If you don't want to vote, you shouldn't have come to the Senate. If 
you are in the Senate and you don't want to vote, you should leave. As 
the Senator from Florida said yesterday, be a talk show host, be a 
columnist. It is time we have a vote at a simple majority threshold on 
all of these critical points.
  We are talking about a nuclear Iran, the most dangerous threat to our 
national security.
  So the amendment I am offering first would simply take the language 
of the bill that came out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and 
add those three points. First, that Iran shouldn't keep its nuclear 
facility before it gets sanctions relief; that Iran can't get sanctions 
relief until they disclose the past military dimensions of their 
nuclear program. They can't get sanctions relief until they accept a 
fully verifiable inspections regime.
  We deserve a vote on this.

[[Page S2549]]

                           Amendment No. 1197

              (Purpose: Amendment of a perfecting nature)

  Mr. COTTON. Mr. President, I call up my amendment No. 1197 at the 
desk to the text proposed to be stricken by amendment No. 1140.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Arkansas [Mr. Cotton] proposes an 
     amendment numbered 1197 to the language proposed to be 
     stricken by amendment No. 1140.

  Mr. COTTON. I ask unanimous consent that the reading of the amendment 
be dispensed with.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  (The amendment is printed in today's Record under ``Text of 
Amendments.'')


                Amendment No. 1198 to Amendment No. 1197

  Mr. COTTON. Mr. President, I also call up for Senator Rubio a second-
degree amendment, amendment No. 1198 to amendment No. 1197.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Arkansas [Mr. Cotton], for Mr. Rubio, 
     proposes an amendment numbered 1198 to amendment No. 1197.

  Mr. COTTON. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the reading 
of the amendment be dispensed with.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The amendment is as follows:

     (Purpose: To require a certification that Iran's leaders have 
     publically accepted Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state)

       On page 3, line 20, of the amendment, strike ``purpose.'' 
     and insert the following: ``purpose; and
       ``(iii) the President determines Iran's leaders have 
     publically accepted Israel's right to exist as a Jewish 
     state.

  Mr. COTTON. Mr. President, again, these amendments would do two very 
simple things: First, they would require a vote on whether Iran should 
get sanctions relief before it discloses past military dimensions of 
its nuclear program, before it closes its underground fortified bunker 
at Fordow, and before it submits to a fully verifiable, anytime, 
anywhere, no-notice inspections regime. Second, they would require Iran 
to acknowledge Israel's right to exist as a Jewish democratic state 
before they get nuclear weapons because they continue to say that 
Israel would be wiped off the map, and if they get nuclear weapons, 
they will have the means to do so.
  It is my intent to insist upon a recorded vote on these amendments at 
a simple-majority threshold. The Senate needs to vote. If you disagree 
with these policies, vote no. If you agree with these policies and you 
think this will upset a delicate compromise, then vote no and explain 
that. But we need to vote, and we should start voting.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maryland.
  Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, let me point out a couple things. There 
are now 67 amendments, all of which have been filed by Republicans, 
none by Democrats.
  This bill passed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee 19 to 0. 
Senator Corker and I have been working with Republicans who have filed 
amendments to try to accommodate them, and we have been making 
progress. We have been trying to schedule additional votes. I thank 
Senator Corker and those who are cooperating with us in a way that we 
can try to move this bill forward.
  We are prepared to have votes, but I think some of the tactics that 
are now being deployed are going to make it much more difficult for us 
to be able to proceed in an orderly way. It is every Member's right to 
take whatever actions they want to take, but I want to tell you that 
for those of us who want to get this bill to the finish line, it gets a 
little frustrating.
  We will continue to focus on a way forward on this legislation. But I 
want to make it clear that we have been prepared to find an orderly way 
to proceed with votes and to deal with the issues Members have been 
concerned about, but at times it becomes difficult with the procedures 
that are being used.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Tennessee.
  Mr. CORKER. Mr. President, I thank the ranking member and the ranking 
member's staff. I thank the minority leader's office for working with 
us on what was going to be a series of votes, tough votes. I have a 
sense that the context of this has just changed, and I regret that.
  I have been working with numbers of Senators on some really 
controversial votes that we were willing to make, as we already have. 
As a matter of fact, the only two votes we have had thus far were 
considered poison pill votes. My friend from Maryland was willing to 
have more poison pill votes--if you want to call them that--tough 
votes, but I sense the context of this may have just changed.
  I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. COTTON. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. COTTON. Mr. President, let's talk about poison pill amendments. I 
would say these aren't poison pills; these are vitamin pills. They are 
designed to strengthen this legislation and to strengthen the U.S. 
negotiating position.
  Who could object that Israel has a right to exist as a Jewish state 
and that Iran should not be allowed a nuclear weapon if they won't 
recognize that right? The President himself said they should close 
their underground fortified military bunker before they get sanctions 
relief. We are simply asking for a vote on what the President himself 
has said.
  If the Senator from Maryland wants to talk about procedural tactics, 
let's be perfectly clear what has happened here. The very first 
amendment brought to the floor on this bill was designed to stop any 
other amendments from being offered.
  For those of you watching, you should know that the only thing that 
amendment says is that any final agreement must be submitted in Farsi 
as well as English. That is a noncontroversial proposal which I am sure 
we could adopt by voice vote and move on in an orderly fashion to any 
other amendments. Yet, they continue to object to unanimous consent to 
bring up any other amendments, designed to stop the Senate from having 
to cast these votes.
  The amendments we have offered are no more of a procedural tactic 
than what the Senator from Maryland himself is doing--an amendment that 
could have been offered in committee, an amendment that could have been 
voted on easily on Tuesday when it was offered but is being used to 
block consideration of any other amendment.
  These are not tough votes. These should be easy votes. Again, if you 
want to vote no, vote no. If you want to vote no and say it is designed 
to protect a compromise, do that. But we should be voting.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mrs. Fischer). The Senator from Tennessee.
  Mr. CORKER. Madam President, I know the Senator from Arkansas knows I 
have no issue with taking tough votes, and I would take them all day 
long.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. CORNYN. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

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