HIRE MORE HEROES ACT OF 2015; Congressional Record Vol. 161, No. 132
(Senate - September 15, 2015)

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[Pages S6617-S6644]
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                      HIRE MORE HEROES ACT OF 2015

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the Senate will 
resume consideration of H.J. Res. 61, which the clerk will report.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       A joint resolution (H.J. Res. 61) amending the Internal 
     Revenue Code of 1986 to exempt employees with health coverage 
     under TRICARE or the Veterans Administration from being taken 
     into account for purposes of determining the employers to 
     which the employer mandate applies under the Patient 
     Protection and Affordable Care Act.

  Pending:

       McConnell amendment No. 2640, of a perfecting nature.
       McConnell amendment No. 2641 (to amendment No. 2640), to 
     change the enactment date.
       McConnell amendment No. 2642 (to amendment No. 2641), of a 
     perfecting nature.
       McConnell amendment No. 2643 (to the language proposed to 
     be stricken by amendment No. 2640), to change the enactment 
     date.
       McConnell amendment No. 2644 (to amendment No. 2643), of a 
     perfecting nature.
       McConnell motion to commit the joint resolution to the 
     Committee on Foreign Relations, with instructions, McConnell 
     amendment No. 2645, to change the enactment date.
       McConnell amendment No. 2646 (to (the instructions) 
     amendment No. 2645), of a perfecting nature.
       McConnell amendment No. 2647 (to amendment No. 2646), of a 
     perfecting nature.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the time until 6 
p.m. will be equally divided between the two leaders or their 
designees.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum and ask 
unanimous consent that the time be charged equally.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. CORKER. 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the quorum call be rescinded.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. CORKER. Mr. President, as you know, today we are going to have a 
number of speakers coming down to talk about the deal that has been 
negotiated between the P5+1 countries--China, Russia, Great Britain, 
Germany, France, and the United States--and Iran. What is before us 
today is something called a resolution of disapproval. I know the 
procedures we deal with sometimes here on the Senate floor can be very 
confusing to the public. We are going through a process where we are 
trying to seek cloture. Cloture is a vote where people decide whether 
they are going to end debate on a topic and move toward the final vote, 
to cast their vote on the substance of what is before us.
  We had a similar type of vote before we left on Thursday. We had 58 
Senators--a bipartisan majority--who wanted to move to a final vote. As 
a matter of fact, we had Senators from both sides of the aisle on the 
floor for some time debating the issue. It was one of the most sober, 
respectful debates we have had since I have been in the Senate. But a 
minority of the Senators voted not to end the debate. In other words, 
that is what the general public believes is a filibuster. And it kept 
us from being able to move to a final vote.
  Because there has been some confusion, what I thought I would do is 
lay out what exactly is happening here and how we got to this process.
  Under our form of government, when the President enters into an 
international agreement, he decides as to whether that is going to be a 
treaty, which, as we know, requires a two-thirds approval by the 
Senate, or whether it is something called a congressional-executive 
agreement, which is a little bit lower threshold, or whether it is just 
a pure executive agreement, in other words, the President himself has 
the ability, if he so decides, to enter into an executive agreement. 
One of the problems with an executive agreement is that it doesn't live 
beyond that President's term.
  When you invoke an executive agreement, what you are really doing is 
bypassing the buy-in of Congress. As a matter of fact, last week on the 
floor, I thought Senator Flake made one of the most salient points that 
have been made; that is, since the President and his team decided to 
cut out Congress and to attempt to do an executive agreement, they made 
no attempt whatsoever to get the buy-in of Congress. That is why we 
have ended up in the situation we are in.
  When I realized that the President, through this process, was going 
to enter into this agreement solely by himself--an executive agreement, 
which he has the ability to do--but that he was also going to use 
something called a national security waiver to do so--again, this gets 
a little complicated, and foreign policy can sometimes be complicated. 
Congress, on four different occasions, passed overwhelmingly in this 
body and overwhelmingly in the House of Representatives something that 
puts sanctions in place on Iran to try to bring them to the negotiating 
table. We did it four times.
  I have to say that in almost every instance, the administration 
pushed back against us putting sanctions in place. They said, ``Oh, the 
other countries won't be with us, and this will create problems.'' What 
happened as a result of us saying ``No, we are going to sanction Iran; 
we are going to do what we can to bring them to the table to end their 
nuclear program'' was that the other countries fell in line. They put 
in place similar sanctions to the ones Congress put in place.
  When we passed those four sets of sanctions, we gave the President 
something that is common, and that is called a national security 
waiver, where, if a crisis came up, he had the ability to waive those 
sanctions if he thought it was in our country's national interest.
  So when he decided to enter into an executive agreement around these 
negotiations with Iran and bypass Congress, what he also decided he was 
going to do is to use his national security waiver to waive the 
sanctions Congress put in place.
  Some of us on this side of the aisle realized that was very 
problematic, that because we brought Congress to the table and because 
we put the sanctions in place, we thought it was inappropriate for the 
President to use the national security waiver.
  By the way, we realize now that he was going to put a national 
security waiver in place for 8\1/2\ years and come to Congress 8\1/2\ 
years down the road to waive those sanctions permanently. That would 
have been long after the essence of this deal was done and over.
  So we were able to work with the other side of the aisle and pass a 
bill that has put us in the position we are in today, and that is 
allowing Congress to weigh in before those congressionally mandated 
sanctions are waived. Of course, if those sanctions are not waived, 
then, in essence, the Iranian deal cannot go forward under the terms 
that have been laid out.
  A lot of people have said: Well, Congress gave away authority. They 
enabled the President to do this without entering into a treaty.
  That is totally untrue. The President has the ability to decide to 
enter into an international arrangement through an executive 
arrangement, as he has done, if he so chooses. Now, again, the problem 
with that is, it doesn't stand the test of time because the next 
President can come in and alter that.
  As a matter of fact, this is the first time I can remember that 
Congress has

[[Page S6618]]

taken back authority from the President because what we really did was 
said: Mr. President, no, you cannot go forward with this deal until we 
have all of the information, both classified and unclassified, and it 
is paused for 60 days while we go through this review process, which we 
know ends--it is debatable because we don't have all the materials, but 
they would say it ends this week.
  So this process wouldn't even be occurring if Congress hadn't taken 
back the authority that we took back from the President, put this pause 
in place, and given ourselves the ability to either approve or 
disapprove--disapprove in this case because many people believe the 
President squandered this opportunity. Here we had brought this rogue 
nation to the table, had a boot on its neck, its economy was suffering, 
and here we have this rogue nation that somehow has ended up in a 
situation where the President and others have negotiated to allow them 
not to end their program, which is what was said in the beginning.
  By the way, let me just say that had the President held to what he 
said on the front end, which was that we are going to end Iran's 
nuclear program, what we would be having today is almost unanimous 
support for this agreement. But instead they squandered that 
opportunity--squandered it--and instead have agreed to allow them to 
industrialize their program and a whole host of other things that had 
nothing to do with the nuclear file.
  Let me go back to the process. The President decided he was going to 
go straight to the United Nations. Congress said: No, you are not going 
to do that. You are going to come to us, and we are going to decide 
whether we approve or disapprove.
  So we have a lot of people out there. Some, I guess, just don't 
understand. Some, I think, do understand, but they are trying to 
somehow or another create this narrative that Congress is enabling the 
President. The fact is, we would have liked to have had more of a say 
in this. I would have liked for this to have been a treaty. But since 
the President determines whether these are treaties or executive 
agreements--and he decided in this case it was an executive agreement--
again, what Congress has done is said no and taken back a degree of 
authority.
  Unfortunately, what is happening is we have a minority of 42 Senators 
who have decided they are not going to allow an up-or-down vote. That 
is what has happened.
  What was dismaying to me was that during August the minority leader 
decided he was going to filibuster. I have a lot of respect--I think 
people know we have worked closely together in trying to make the 
Senate work here. But I was very disappointed that somehow or another 
this was going to take on sort of a Tammy Wynette feel to it, if you 
will, that, you know, ``We are going to stand by our man. We are not 
going to cause him to have to veto a resolution of disapproval.'' 
Somehow or another, instead of this being the sober, serious debate we 
thought it was going to be where a majority of Senators were going to 
be able to express themselves, in order to protect the President from 
having to veto something that the majority of the Senate in a 
bipartisan way disapproves of, somehow or another, we have this process 
underway.
  I do wish to say to the leader of the Senate that I appreciate very 
much the fact that up until this point, what he has agreed to do and 
has done is he has filled the tree--again, another term that I am sure 
sounds very unusual to people who are watching the Senate floor and 
don't understand the process. What he has done is he has said: No--up 
until this point anyway--we are not going to have a bunch of amendments 
that are tough for people to vote on; we are going to keep the debate 
to one topic, and that is the resolution of disapproval. That is what 
this is for.
  So tonight, in a second effort, beginning at 6 o'clock this evening, 
we are going to have a vote. The vote is going to be about whether--I 
mean, this is what the essence of it is--it is about whether we should 
end the debate and move to final passage. I think plenty of people have 
had their say. Others are going to be coming to the floor today to talk 
about the merits of this deal and the demerits of this deal. But I 
would hope, again, that the minority, which seems intent on trying to 
keep the President from getting a resolution of disapproval, which the 
majority of people in this body believe should be the case--in order to 
keep him from having to veto the will of the Senate, a minority of 
people here are keeping that vote from taking place.
  I close by thanking my friends on the other side of the aisle for two 
things. I actually want to thank everybody in this body. Since 2010, 
four times the Senate has weighed in to put crippling sanctions on 
Iran. Those sanctions brought them to the table. That was something 
which was done in spite of the fact that the administration was pushing 
back.
  Secondly, this body, with a vote of 98 to 1, passed the Iranian 
review act--in short, now called Corker-Cardin. We passed that on a 98-
to-1 basis knowing that the President was issuing a veto threat up to 
1\1/2\ hours before the committee vote took place. When they realized 
they were going to be crushed--I hate to use that word--overwhelmed in 
that committee vote, they lifted their veto threat about 1\1/2\ hours 
before that took place.
  But, again, on a 98-to-1 basis, this body said: No, we want to weigh 
in. We want to have the right to approve or disapprove. We want to 
pause. We want to see all of the documents.
  By the way, we have had 12 hearings in the Foreign Relations 
Committee--12--and all kinds of other one-on-one briefings. So we have 
had plenty of time to look at this. As a matter of fact, the American 
people know more about this deal than they ever would have had that 
process not been put in place. Again, it was put in place because the 
President decided he wasn't going to cause this to be a treaty; he 
wasn't going to ask for us to weigh in; he wasn't going to ask us on 
behalf of the American people to approve it; he was going to do it 
himself and go directly to the U.N. Security Council. As a matter of 
fact, he has done that. As a matter of fact, they moved the 
implementation date back so we could have our chance of weighing in in 
this way. Certainly, we would love to have much greater power and 
authority over this.
  So thank you to everyone here for putting the sanctions in place. 
Thank you for allowing us to weigh in.
  Let me remind people that if the President had achieved the goals he 
set out to end Iran's nuclear program--in other cases, he said 
dismantle Iran's nuclear program--what would be happening on the floor 
today is there would be an overwhelming, I would say unanimous vote in 
support of what the President did. But what is happening is we have a 
bipartisan majority that opposes this. And even those people who have 
come out in support of this have done so tepidly. They have talked 
about all the problems in the agreement. As a matter of fact, now there 
is a huge push to try to come up with a Middle East policy because we 
know we have none to push back against what is in this agreement.
  I am going to have more to say, but I realize my good friend Senator 
Hoeven is here. I wish I had known 4 minutes ago he was here. I have 
gone 4 minutes into his time, and I yield the floor.
  But I want to remind people in closing: Had the President done what 
he said the goal of the negotiation was--to end their program--we would 
have unanimous support. Instead, we have a bipartisan majority that 
opposes this bill, and we have a minority that has kept us, once, from 
being able to vote up or down. I hope with tonight's vote that will not 
be the case. I hope we will have the opportunity to send a resolution 
of disapproval to the President. I know he has said he would veto that, 
but I think it is important for us and the will of the body and the 
will of the country to be heard, and for it to reach the President's 
desk.
  With that, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from North Dakota.
  Mr. HOEVEN. Mr. President, I rise to voice my opposition to the Iran 
nuclear agreement and my support for the resolution of disapproval.
  Although there are many arguments related to President Obama's 
agreement with Iran, I would like to focus on the subject of sanctions. 
I think it is important to consider why we sanctioned Iran, what 
happens to our sanctions if the deal is implemented, and the prospects 
for snapping back sanctions in the future.

[[Page S6619]]

  First, we imposed sanctions because we wanted to dismantle Iran's 
nuclear program. Again, I want to emphasize that. We imposed sanctions 
because we wanted to dismantle Iran's nuclear program. As Secretary 
Kerry said in December of 2013, we imposed sanctions ``because we knew 
that it would hopefully help Iran dismantle its nuclear program. That 
was the whole point of the [sanctions] regime.''
  These were very serious and are very serious sanctions. According to 
the Treasury Department, sanctions reduced Iranian oil exports by 60 
percent--by 60 percent--from 2.5 million barrels per day in 2012 to 
just over 1 million barrels per day in 2015. In 2014 alone, the 
Treasury Department believes Iran lost $40 billion in oil revenue. 
Sanctions also blocked Iran from accessing most of its billions in 
foreign currency reserves. In short, Iran's economy today is 15 to 20 
percent smaller than it was projected to be back in 2012.
  We know these sanctions were having the desired effect because Iran 
decided to negotiate. The mullahs in Iran would not have come to the 
bargaining table if they are not feeling the effect of our sanctions. 
The opportunity to dismantle Iran's nuclear program was in sight, but 
then we let Iran off the hook. We agreed to a negotiations process that 
gave Iran room to maneuver.
  Instead of boxing them in with relentless economic pressure, we 
offered sanctions relief in return for mothballing Iran's nuclear 
infrastructure for a few years. The end result is that the deal 
undermines the whole point of the sanctions regime. We instituted 
sanctions to pressure Iran to dismantle its nuclear program, but this 
agreement provides sanctions relief and leaves the nuclear program 
intact.
  The terms of the agreement will give Iran access to more than $100 
billion located in frozen bank accounts. Some estimates put that figure 
even higher. The windfall Iran expects to receive from foreign 
investments will strengthen Iran's economy even further.
  But let us focus on the initial more than $100 billion in sanctions 
relief, which is an enormous number. It is equivalent to 25 percent of 
Iran's annual gross domestic product. For perspective, one quarter of 
U.S. GDP would amount to more than $4 trillion. So you can see what a 
huge sum this is to Iran and how much it means to Iran and their 
economy and, ultimately, to their military. One analyst even pointed 
out that $100 billion for Iran in 2015 is roughly equivalent to the 
investment the United States made across Europe over the 4-year 
Marshall Plan to rehabilitate Europe after World War II. So you realize 
what a huge impact this will have, what a huge benefit it is for Iran, 
for its economy, and for its military.
  In short, handing Iran $100 billion gives the mullahs incredible 
flexibility. It is hard to imagine that Iran won't divert billions of 
these funds to Hezbollah in Lebanon, along with a billion or two for 
Yemen, and another billion or two or more for operations in Iraq and 
Syria.
  Remember, Iran is the No. 1 state sponsor of terror in the world 
today. This agreement will provide Iran with money to spend on its 
aggressive agenda across the Middle East. So one thing is clear--one 
thing is clear--the world's foremost state sponsor of terror and one of 
the worst violators of human rights on Earth will receive a huge 
windfall of cash.
  It is also clear Iran's economy and its military would be 
strengthened. As I said previously, Iran's economy today is 20 percent 
smaller than it would have been without 4 years of sanctions. Four 
years from now, without sanctions, Iran's economy will be larger and 
the regime will have not only more financial strength but also more 
flexibility to carry out its agenda.
  That flexibility will come at a very opportune time for them. Five 
years into this agreement, the conventional arms embargo will end, per 
the agreement, and it should be clear to all of us that Iran will then 
have the money, the resources to buy arms at that point. Three years 
later, or a total of 8 years after the agreement is implemented, the 
ballistic missile embargo will be lifted. So in 5 years they can buy 
conventional weapons and within 8 years they can buy advanced missile 
technology. And restrictions on Iran's nuclear program will begin to 
disappear a few years later.
  Iran's leaders are probably very pleased with that timing. First, 
they get sanctions relief, allowing them to grow their economy. That 
growth will create the investment capital for conventional arms 
purchases, which the deal permits in 5 years. By then they will be 
ready to acquire advanced ballistic missile technology--ballistic 
missiles the agreement allows Iran to purchase in 8 years.
  In fact, because their nuclear program will remain intact, at that 
point Iran could opt out of the deal, finish developing a nuclear 
weapon, and mount it on a ballistic missile. In short, the President's 
Iran agreement actually allows Iran a path to finance and develop an 
advanced nuclear weapon.
  Further, the agreement is not only bad on its merits, it is a 
strategic mistake. It hurts our long-standing Middle East alliances and 
positions Iran to be the dominant power in the Middle East. We know 
what Iran will do from a position of strength. It destabilizes Yemen, 
Syria, and Iraq, foments terrorism against Israel, and opens the door 
for countries such as Russia and China to meddle in regional politics. 
Even if Iran never developed a nuclear weapon, the agreement will 
position Iran to further undermine regional security for years to come. 
Leaving its nuclear infrastructure in place only makes things worse.
  What if Iran violates the agreement? It is interesting to note that 
many supporters of the deal have argued we must approve the agreement 
because our allies are already lifting their sanctions and that our 
sanctions will not be successful on their own. Yet these same 
supporters of the agreement believe sanctions could somehow be 
reimposed if Iran cheats on the deal.
  Unfortunately, the procedures in the agreement make snapping back 
sanctions very difficult. Under the terms of the deal, it would take 
months to establish Iranian violations of the agreement and put new 
sanctions back in place. Suppose Iran begins to cheat on the deal in a 
year or two. Under the terms of the agreement, it would take months to 
establish that Iran had violated the agreement and approve those new 
sanctions. That is hardly enough of a threat to keep Iran from 
cheating, but more importantly, the deal permits Iran to withdraw from 
the agreement if sanctions are reimposed. So snapping back sanctions 
would effectively kill the deal. Remember, they could kill the deal 
after they have already gotten more than $100 billion.
  The agreement makes it in Iran's interest to cheat on the deal 
knowing sanctions either won't be imposed or will allow them to pocket 
the $100 billion in sanctions relief, jump-starting their nuclear 
program, before any kind of sanctions are reimposed. For this reason, I 
believe if the agreement goes into effect, it will very likely die 
slowly from a thousand Iranian cuts, leaving behind a richer and 
nuclear-powered Iran.
  Voting to support the deal essentially means putting faith in Iran. 
It means believing that Iran will allow the inspections to occur. It 
means believing that Iran does not have any nuclear facilities that we 
are unaware of. It means believing that Iran will keep its nuclear 
infrastructure without attempting to build a nuclear weapon.
  I don't believe any of these things. Why? Because over the last 15 
years Iran has blocked inspections, revealed the existence of secret 
nuclear sites only when forced to, and pushed for a nuclear weapon even 
when claiming they only wanted a peaceful program.
  But it doesn't have to be this way. We could seek a stronger 
agreement. We could make it clear that Iran does not have the right to 
nuclear weapons and cannot be allowed to obtain them. We could return 
to our original goal, which was the dismantlement of Iran's nuclear 
program, instead of negotiating away the leverage that sanctions 
created.
  For these reasons, I cannot support the President's agreement with 
Iran. Instead, I favor immediate additional sanctions to pressure Iran 
to dismantle its nuclear program, which was the objective when the 
negotiations began.
  We should not let Iran off the hook. We should not throw away the 
leverage we developed in recent years through

[[Page S6620]]

these sanctions. It takes time for sanctions to work, but the relief is 
immediate when sanctions are lifted. We need to keep our sanctions, 
keep the pressure on, and get a deal that actually dismantles Iran's 
nuclear program.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum but also request 
that the time be equally divided.
  I yield to the Senator.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Tennessee.
  Mr. CORKER. It is my understanding that we are equally dividing the 
time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The time is equally divided, but quorum calls 
are not equally divided unless requested.
  Mr. HOEVEN. I ask unanimous consent that the time during the quorum 
call be equally divided.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. HOEVEN. I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. CORKER. 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. CORKER. Mr. President, I have an inquiry relative to the 
remaining time.
  I am not understanding what the quorum call time is doing relative to 
the splitting of time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. By precedent, quorum calls are charged to the 
side that requests the quorum call, unless there is a request that the 
quorum call be equally divided between the two sides.
  Mr. CORKER. And my understanding was that request was made and 
granted; is that correct?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Yes, that request was made and granted in this 
particular request, but it only applies to the particular request 
unless it is made on the next quorum call request or unless the 
unanimous consent would apply to all quorum calls.
  Mr. CORKER. Mr. President, I know the public is greatly confused by 
cloture motions, and I will say, even as the person in charge of the 
bill, I am confused also, but I will let that stand, and I thank the 
Chair.
  I know the next speaker we are hoping to hear from will be Senator 
Cornyn at 2 p.m., Senator Scott at 2:20, Senator Blunt at 2:30, and 
then Senator Heller at 3 o'clock. I hope they will be down soon, and I 
will let the time be accruing against both sides by suggesting the 
absence of a quorum.
  I ask unanimous consent that during the period of time there is a 
quorum call, it be charged equally to both sides.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. CORKER. I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. CORNYN. 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. CORNYN. Mr. President, last week we experienced what I would 
think was a dark day in the history of the United States Senate where, 
on one of the most important national security issues that has 
confronted the country in the last 25 years--and perhaps longer--our 
friends across the aisle, led by the minority leader, decided to 
filibuster the resolution of disapproval on the President's nuclear 
deal with Iran.
  So everybody understands what that means. Rather than cast a vote 
either in favor or against the resolution of disapproval, Democrats 
banded together and decided not to have a vote. Presumably they did 
that for two reasons: One is they didn't want the personal 
accountability associated with having to cast a vote for or against 
disapproval because they know at some point Iran is going to continue 
its pattern of misbehavior and people might come back and say: Why did 
you vote for this deal when in fact all the evidence pointed toward how 
bad a deal it was?
  The second reason I believe our Democratic friends decided to 
filibuster the vote on the resolution of disapproval is they simply 
wanted to protect the President because they knew that had the 
resolution of disapproval passed, the President had threatened to veto 
the legislation. Having done so under that circumstance, the President 
would in fact own this bad deal.
  As I said, it is a sad day when a political party decides to put 
partisan concerns ahead of the national security interests of the 
United States. This is especially true in light of the fact that we 
voted just a short time earlier to provide a mechanism for there to be 
that up-or-down vote following debate and review. It also had the 
effect of freezing the President's ability to lift sanctions on Iran 
during that timeframe.
  This legislation, negotiated by the chairman and ranking member of 
the Foreign Relations Committee, was called the Iran Nuclear Agreement 
Review Act. This was not a partisan product, nor should any of this 
debate be a partisan activity. It didn't sneak through the Chamber in 
the dark of night. It wasn't the product of closed-door negotiations by 
one political party against another. Rather, it was a product of 
bipartisan concern over the President's deal with Iran and was 
specifically designed to make sure Congress had possession of all the 
relevant documents that laid out this agreement between the President 
and the Iranian regime. It would ensure a process by which the American 
people could be informed--and the Senate itself debate--through their 
elected representatives, whether this deal was a good deal or a bad 
deal in terms of the national security interests of the American 
people.
  Most significantly, that legislation which sets up that process 
passed overwhelmingly--as a matter of fact, I think it was nearly 
unanimously--with not one Democrat in the Chamber voting against that 
legislation.
  So having voted for legislation to create a process by which there 
would be transparency and accountability, and rather than partisanship 
the national security interests of the country would be elevated, our 
Democratic friends, listening to the White House, including the 
President of the United States, decided to block that very vote they 
had earlier agreed to have.
  Ironically, the same day the minority leader and his colleagues 
blocked the up-or-down vote on the resolution, he lambasted Republicans 
on this side of the aisle for ``slowing down the legislation,'' and 
suggested we ought to move on to other matters. We could be well on our 
way to finishing this resolution and moving on to other pieces of 
legislation that we need to consider if in fact our Democratic friends 
would, consistent with their earlier vote, just allow us to have an up-
or-down vote on the resolution of disapproval, but I think what our 
Democratic friends began to realize is this is an enormously unpopular 
agreement between the President and the Ayatollah in Tehran. As a 
matter of fact, only 21 percent of the American people have said they 
want to see this deal be turned into a reality. Many of them are 
concerned, as am I, that rather than a traditional treaty process that 
requires two-thirds vote of the United States Senate, this has somehow 
become more of a political document rather than a legal document, 
binding only this President and the Iranian regime, under some 
circumstances, during the remainder of the 16 months or so of President 
Obama's Presidency.
  Almost 80 percent of the country has said they are not sold on the 
deal. Their voices deserve to be heard, and Members of Congress and the 
Senate should be on record whether they are listening to the American 
people or whether they are listening to the siren song of the White 
House and a President who is focused on his legacy, to the detriment of 
the national security of the United States.
  Even supporters of this deal were some of its biggest critics. Yet 
these are some of the same people who voted to filibuster an up-or-down 
vote on this resolution of disapproval. Many of them made the case as 
well as or better than I could; that an agreement made with a 
theocratic regime that continues to call the United States the

[[Page S6621]]

Great Satan and threatens the very existence of our friend and ally in 
the region, Israel--there should be real reason for pause and certainly 
debate and an up-or-down vote.
  Here is just one example. The junior Senator from New Jersey, as a 
prelude to his announcement that he would vote against the resolution 
of disapproval, said:

       With this deal, we are legitimizing a vast and expanding 
     nuclear program in Iran. We are in effect rewarding years of 
     deception, deceit, and wanton disregard for international 
     law. . . .
  That is the junior Senator from New Jersey on September 3, 2015. Does 
that sound like somebody who is for this deal or against this deal? 
Well, miraculously, this is from a Senator who voted not just for the 
deal but voted to even prohibit us from having an up-or-down vote in 
the Senate. I couldn't agree with these comments more. Our colleague 
clearly understands the nature of the regime and the pattern of 
troubling behavior characterized by outright deception. Last week, 
although headlines emphasized the support of several of our Democratic 
colleagues for the President's deal, it was clear that many of them 
harbored deep reservations--and those reservations are entirely 
justified.
  Here is a comment of the senior Senator from Oregon, who said:

       This agreement with the duplicitous and untrustworthy 
     Iranian regime falls short of what I had envisioned. . . .

  This statement was made on September 8, 2015, by somebody who said 
they were going to vote against the resolution of disapproval but in 
fact filibustered our ability to have an up-or-down vote on the 
resolution itself, and I couldn't agree with the statement quoted from 
the senior Senator from Oregon any more. This is not exactly a 
resounding endorsement.
  Then there is the senior Senator from Connecticut, who said, on 
September 8, before he announced his agreement with the President's 
nuclear deal:

       This is not the agreement I would have accepted at the 
     negotiating table. . . .

  I presume by saying that, that means he would have rejected it. But 
yet, again, deferring to the President and deferring to the leadership 
of the Democratic leader in the Senate, not only did the Senator who 
made that statement indicate his approval of the deal, this Senator 
voted to block an up-or-down vote on the deal in the Senate--in other 
words, participated in the filibuster of this vote.
  (Mr. SCOTT assumed the Chair.)
  This debate is one the American people deserve to hear. I know the 
press, as they typically do, likes to keep score and move on to other 
things, but this is one the American people deserve to hear, and it is 
one they have demanded--and, frankly, from what they know so far, they 
don't like this deal. Twenty-one percent have said they approve of it.
  Rather than listen to their constituents, our friends across the 
aisle have decided to essentially block a vote that prevents the kind 
of accountability our constituents deserve and move on to other issues. 
But with the future security of our country hanging in the balance, we 
can't just move on, and we can't disregard the will of our own 
constituents or what common sense or our own investigation and inquiry 
tell us; that this deal is an unenforceable deal. It ignores the fact 
that Iran remains the primary state sponsor of international terrorism. 
It releases about $100 billion of money that is going to help finance 
that proxy war against the United States and our allies that has been 
going on since 1979, when the Iranian regime came into power.

  Then there is the bogus verification process. First of all, under the 
agreement, 24 days' notice along with various--the appeals process, 
which is a process that only Rube Goldberg would have been able to 
devise. And then there is the self-monitoring process. It is sort of 
like a selfie stick that the Iranian regime is going to carry around, 
where they conduct their own test on their military sites, and then 
they turn that over to the IAEA--the International Atomic Energy 
Agency--at the front gate because the so-called independent monitoring 
agency will not even have access to the military sites where breakouts 
in violation of this agreement are most likely. It is hardly one that 
gives you confidence that is going to be conducted with any sort of 
integrity. Then there is the dramatic change in U.S. policy.
  When Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke to a joint session of Congress a 
couple of months ago, he said it used to be U.S. policy to deny Iran a 
nuclear weapon, but this agreement, as he correctly points out, paves 
the way to a nuclear weapon. Again, this is not a rational actor on the 
international stage. This is an extremist regime--a theocratic regime--
driven by a desire to wipe Israel off the map and to conduct this proxy 
war against the United States and our allies as the primary sponsor of 
international terrorism. But then there is the final insult to injury. 
Just as our Democratic colleagues filibustered the opportunity to have 
any real accountability with an up-or-down vote in the Senate, we 
learned that the Supreme Leader in Iran has insisted that the Iranian 
Parliament have the final vote and say-so on the deal in Iran.
  Try to fix that picture in your mind. The Iranian regime--the main, 
principal state sponsor of international terrorism, a theocratic regime 
determined to wipe Israel off the map and conduct war against what they 
call the Great Satan, the United States--will have a chance for an up-
or-down vote, but our Democratic colleagues have blocked an up-or-down 
vote in the U.S. Senate. That ought to be deeply troubling to anyone 
who cares about the Senate and any sort of sense of democratic 
accountability.
  It is beyond irresponsible for our Democratic colleagues to again 
deny the Senate the very same thing the Ayatollah has said the Iranian 
Parliament will have a chance to do--especially when they all supported 
this process by which an up-or-down vote would be facilitated.
  Later today my colleagues and I will have another opportunity to move 
this bill closer to an up-or-down vote on the merits of the President's 
agreement with Iran. I hope the same senders who clearly supported a 
thorough review of this deal will join me in moving this bill forward 
so the American people can get the sort of debate they deserve about 
the No. 1 national security threat affecting this generation of 
Americans, and the American people can get the kind of accountability 
they deserve when it comes from their elected officials casting a vote 
on their behalf on such an important agreement.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Portman). The Senator from South Carolina.
  Mr. SCOTT. Mr. President, I watched in absolute amazement as the 
Obama administration attempted to justify what is clearly a misguided 
gamble and a bad deal with Iran. We saw the signs of how bad this deal 
was almost immediately, as during the same speech in which he announced 
the deal, the President threatened to veto any legislation that opposed 
it. I have been a business owner. When you lead with threats, you 
typically are covering for a very bad deal, because when you are 
building support for your product--in this case the Iran deal--you 
don't tell the folks you are talking to who disagree with you that they 
are crazy. That is simply something you don't do when you have 
confidence in the deal.
  If you are leading with threats, you are showing your hand. The 
President is trying to bluff by holding a 2, a 5, an 8, and a 10, and 
we didn't even bring a fifth card to the table. I use a poker reference 
because that is exactly what the President of the United States is 
doing--gambling with our security, gambling with Israel's security, 
and, frankly, gambling with the future of the Middle East. He was also 
gambling that his National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, would not 
admit that the Iranian Government would use resources from lifting the 
sanctions to fund terrorists, but as we saw on CNN with Wolf Blitzer, 
she did. He was gambling that his own Press Secretary would not tell us 
that we should trust the Iranian Government because they would use 
``common sense'' and use sanctions relief to help their economy and to 
help the Iranian people, but he did--even though we have seen no signs 
whatsoever previously that the Iranian Government cares about actually 
helping the Iranian people, and their horrific record on human rights 
has only worsened in recent years.
  The President is gambling that he could use international pressure to

[[Page S6622]]

convince people he was on the right side of the issue, along with 
Russia and China, and by bringing the deal to the United Nations before 
the U.S. Congress, that would somehow show Congress the deal was 
acceptable--another bad gamble, but it didn't work. The longer we have 
to study the deal, the worse the deal gets. The longer the American 
people have to learn about the deal, the stronger their opposition 
becomes to the deal.
  There is not much good news as we look at this deal, as we look at 
the polling information 2 to 1 in opposition to the deal, the American 
people. Yet the President refers to those on the opposite side of the 
deal as crazies--referring to the American people, the vast majority of 
those folks around our country, so many of us, almost unanimously on 
the Republican side and even some good friends on the left.
  As I said earlier, the President gambles with our security, and we 
have seen how bad his hand truly is. As I suggested, he has a 2, a 5, 
an 8, and a 10--a 2 because Iran will be able to double their oil 
exports and therefore double their oil revenues, increasing by more 
than 1 million barrels a day--in other words, $15 to $20 billion of 
additional revenue to fund nefarious behavior in the Middle East. That 
is more terrorism in the Middle East; a 5 because, without any 
question, in year 5 of the deal they gain access to more weapons as the 
weapons embargo is lifted; an 8 because in year 8 of the deal Iran will 
be able to purchase ballistic missiles; and a 10--yes, a 10--because in 
year 10 Iran can begin installing advanced centrifuges for enriching 
uranium. Simply put, this deal legitimizes Iran's nuclear program and 
guarantees a timeline for Iran to secure the bomb.
  If Congress signs off on this deal, we can all take a big red pen and 
mark on our calendars almost the exact day that Iran will have a 
nuclear weapon. This isn't a Republican or Democratic issue. Just 
listen to some of the quotes from my friends on the other side of the 
aisle: ``The JCPOA, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, legitimizes 
Iran's nuclear program.''
  Another quote: ``Whether or not the supporters of the agreement admit 
it, this deal is based on `hope'--hope is a part of human nature, but 
unfortunately it is not a national security strategy.''
  And, finally, ``To me, the very real risk that Iran will not moderate 
and will, instead, use the agreement to pursue its nefarious goal is 
too great.''
  In what the administration would call an exchange for this, we see 
the economic sanctions will be lifted, arms embargoes will be lifted, 
and Iran will have more money and more dangerous weapons to route to 
groups like Hezbollah and insurgents in Iraq--both groups responsible 
for the deaths of many American soldiers. That is not a gamble; that is 
the wrong direction at the wrong time, the wrong deal, and absolutely, 
positively, unequivocally not in the best interests of this country.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Missouri.
  Mr. BLUNT. Mr. President, I am glad to be here and hear the comments 
from my friend from South Carolina, Senator Scott. It made me glad that 
I get to sit by him on the Senate floor and hear the reasons--and they 
are good and they have been repeated many times--about why this is not 
a way forward for the United States. It is not a way forward for the 
Middle East. In fact, Senator Scott did a great job talking about what 
was in the deal, but what wasn't in the deal was what the President 
said would be there when the negotiations started.
  When the negotiations started, the administration said Iran would 
never be allowed to have nuclear weapons, that we would find out 
everything Iran had ever done to try to develop nuclear weapons, that 
we would have anywhere, anytime inspections, and the sanctions would 
only be lifted when real progress was made in those first three areas. 
That was the framework. That was what we were negotiating for. None of 
those things happened. None of those things are in this agreement.
  I think the question that you, I, and others in the Senate are 
hearing from people, when we are home and when we are talking to people 
about this agreement is, Is the Congress giving away its power? How is 
it possible that something like this could happen and the majority of 
the Congress couldn't do anything to stop it? Of course, the other 
question is, Is the President giving away the power of the United 
States of America to lead?
  I think it is as clear from this agreement as it is so many other 
things that leading from behind doesn't work. A view that the United 
States of America is just any other country in the world is not a view 
that leads to a peaceful, more stable world. In fact, our friends don't 
trust us and our enemies aren't afraid of us in a world where there is 
vast agreement there are more potential bad things that could happen 
from more potential places than any time ever before. That is not just 
Republicans; that is the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that is 
the Director of National Intelligence, and that is the head of the CIA. 
They all come up with that same conclusion.
  We look at the President's foreign policy, that this is just one 
symptom of--remember the redline in Syria that if the Syrians do this, 
we are going to do that? The Syrians did what we said we wouldn't allow 
them to do. Basically, we didn't do much of anything. In fact, what 
happens is that when the United States of America takes that kind of 
position and does not move forward, Assad is emboldened. I think the 
latest number of Syrians who have been killed by Assad is now around 
250,000 people, from chemical weapons to barrel bombs, to every way 
they can think of to massacre their own population--a population that 
has been displaced in the millions, both inside and now outside the 
country--so an emboldened Assad. Putin looked at this. Before you know 
it, Putin took control of Crimea, and Putin has Russian troops in 
Ukraine. And this week Putin put Russian troops and tanks in Syria.

  Every American President since President Truman--I am standing at one 
of the desks President Truman used as a Senator on the floor, and it 
has his name carved in it. In 1946 President Truman did whatever was 
necessary to force the Soviets out of Iran. Every other President until 
now has done whatever was necessary to keep the Russian influence in 
the Middle East to a minimum. The Russians are building a base and 
unloading equipment right now. Why are things happening now? Because 
they think they can get away with it. That is the Russian reset. The 
Chinese--the Asian pivot--are building an island on an atoll in the 
South China Sea that is within striking range of the Philippines. Why? 
Because they think they can get away with it.
  The more we look at the consequences of the agreement, the more we 
wonder about it. Why aren't we able to stop it? No future 
administration is bound by it. For weeks now on this floor and around 
the country, people have talked about the destabilizing impact this 
agreement will have on the Middle East and the world, and the only 
administration that is bound by it is this one. It is not a treaty. If 
it were a treaty, as it should be, we would be voting in the Senate on 
a treaty and two-thirds of the Senators would have to approve the 
treaty and the next administration would be bound by it as well.
  When Presidential candidates say ``I will reverse this the first 
day,'' they absolutely can reverse it the first day. What kind of 
policy is that to put in place, a policy that has this kind of 
destabilizing effect without even a sense that the United States for 
the long term is committed to it?
  I am sure the President believes that by the time he leaves, every 
other President would surely want to keep this agreement. But I don't 
know how one could listen to this debate and think that. It does 
dramatically change the Middle East. Neighboring countries don't trust 
Iran, and they will want to have whatever weapons Iran has.
  Senator Scott just made the point--and made it well--that you can 
circle the date on the calendar of when Iran is likely to have a 
nuclear weapon if this agreement goes forward, and more importantly, 
the hope that maybe the government would change--it might, but that 
won't keep the neighbors from deciding they have to defend themselves.
  As if the 1994 agreement with North Korea wasn't bad enough--they had 
a missile announcement today, I believe,

[[Page S6623]]

and said they have a better delivery system for the weapon they were 
never going to have--we have truly let the nuclear genie out of the 
bottle here. Their neighbors will believe they will have to have a 
weapon when Iran has one, and they also all believe Iran will cheat.
  Even though Iran is theoretically on a 12-month clock, it might not 
be 12 months from the day they say: We are now going into full weapons 
mode and 12 months from now we will have one. So even if Iran were to 
change its mind, we will have three or four countries in a very short 
period of time, in my view, that will have nuclear weapons and nuclear 
weapons capability that don't have it right now.
  We met with Secretary of State John Kerry at the Munich Security 
Conference in 2014--a conference a handful of Senators normally go to, 
and I went to that conference that year. John Kerry said: We will be 
able to know everything the Iranians are doing. We will be able to 
monitor this with such detail that there is no way they will be able to 
do anything we don't know about.
  At the time, I said to Secretary Kerry: Even if that is true--and I 
said I don't believe that will be true--you won't be able to contain 
enrichment. Once you let Iran do this, other countries that are 
perfectly happy with where they are right now will feel as if they have 
to do the same thing. There are well over one dozen countries that have 
nuclear power that don't do what we are about to allow Iran to do. We 
have been able to control this because the world has understood that it 
needed to be controlled, but we are now at the beginning of letting 
this get out of control.
  What is the vote all about? It is not a treaty. Why are we voting at 
all if it doesn't bind the next administration? Why are we having a 
debate if the administration would like to have the Congress involved 
in about 2023? That was another great comment that was often made 
before the law was passed to allow us to do what we are doing today. 
They said: Well, Congress will eventually have to be involved because 
eventually they will decide whether to extend the sanctions regime.
  By the way, the one that went into effect in 2013 is on the books 
until 2023. So the ideal day for the Congress to be involved was about 
7 years after the administration left office. That would have been the 
involvement we would have had if Congress had not stepped up and said: 
We are going to insist that we get involved.
  In 2006 Congress took back some of the authority--this is not the 
first Congress to lose authority to the President--the President had, 
and we put into law the sanctions that had been imposed by the 
President at that time. We made them not just President Bush's idea but 
a law. I was there when that was negotiated, and one of the things we 
did when we negotiated that was to insist that that be codified and 
become the pattern--and it did--for all the sanctions to follow.
  But the pattern that Congress followed was also a pattern that had 
been followed since World War II, which is, here is what we are going 
to do and here is what we believe the President and the country should 
do, but we are going to give the President national security waiver 
authority. That is the authority the President has decided to use 
without congressional approval, without changing the law. He has 
decided he is going to waive these sanctions and the Congress could 
weigh in again in about 2023--if the President had totally had his way.
  What are we doing here? The President of the United States is about 
to prop up the No. 1 state sponsor of terrorism in the world. That is 
an inarguable point. Nobody argues that Iran is not the No. 1 state 
sponsor of terrorism in the world. They clearly look stronger at the 
end of this deal than they did at the beginning because they are 
stronger.
  The President of the United States is about to release billions of 
dollars that the No. 1 state sponsor of terrorism in the world can use 
for terrorist causes, with the support of a minority of the Congress--
not only a minority of the Congress, but that minority happens to all 
be on one side. There is nothing like this in the post-war history of 
the country where the country stepped forward in this way on this big 
of an issue. Not only is a majority against it, but a bipartisan 
majority is opposed to it. A partisan minority is blocking the Congress 
from even having a vote while a bipartisan majority wants to vote, and 
they want to vote to disapprove this deal. Even then the President 
could still veto the disapproval, but the President doesn't want to do 
that. The President doesn't want this on his desk.
  I think I read the stories the other day when we for the first time 
couldn't get the 60 Senators necessary to have the vote. The White 
House announcement was something like this: The congressional vote 
today ensured that the President's Iranian deal would go forward. The 
whole time, my concern about this process is that by not stopping it, 
somehow it would look as if the Congress was for it. We may not be able 
to stop it, but I can guarantee that Congress is not for it, and 
anybody who has been paying attention knows that.
  A question I think we can ask ourselves: Would Congress and the 
country be better off without this poor substitute for overseeing a 
meaningful foreign policy? This is clearly not producing the kind of 
result a democracy should produce in foreign policy. I think one could 
argue that it is a weak response. But why did it have to happen?
  I cosponsored the initial bill that required Congress to approve the 
deal, but, of course, a piece of legislation has to be signed by the 
President. Senator Corker and Senator Cardin finally came up with a 
piece of legislation that the President would sign, but it was almost 
always guaranteed to ensure that the debate would go forward. So would 
we have been better off without it? I have had people ask me: What are 
you guys doing? Why can't you get the foreign policy of the country 
under some control?
  I have wondered several times whether we would have been better off 
going forward without it. As I have thought about that, it does seem to 
me that the Corker-Cardin bill has produced a number of things, and one 
of those is that we have 60 days of debate that we wouldn't have had 
otherwise. When would the Congress have gotten to weigh in? Eight years 
from now. We would have had the debate 8 years from now. We have had 60 
days of debate. Well over 50 percent of the people in the country are 
opposed to going forward with this deal. Only about 21 percent are for 
going forward.
  This process has produced bipartisan opposition to a bad deal. 
Senator Cardin, a top Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Committee, and 
Senator Menendez, the other most knowledgeable Democrat on foreign 
affairs, Senator Schumer, and Senator Manchin voted with the 54 
Republicans. So 58 Senators don't want this to happen, and 60 percent 
of the House of Representatives are opposing this agreement. The White 
House would have liked to have Congress have a say almost a decade from 
now.
  We have had our say, and we should have our vote. We should be 
allowed to put this bill on the President's desk, and if he wants to 
veto it and defend that veto, that is how this process should work.
  I hope there is still a chance that two more of our colleagues will 
step forward and say: While I am going to be on the other side of the 
final vote, I think the Congress should vote. We had 98 Members vote 
for this bill that said Congress should vote to either approve or 
disapprove this agreement. Let's have that vote, and let's have that 
vote today.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Mississippi.
  Mr. WICKER. Mr. President, I agree with the distinguished Senator 
from Missouri in every respect, and I hope we get our wish to have that 
meaningful vote later on today.
  I thought I would take a few moments to explore a history lesson. 
Edmond Burke once famously said: ``Those who don't know history are 
destined to repeat it.'' I think most people agree with that statement, 
which is why we find so many variations of that quote. One of my 
favorite variations is by Mark Twain: ``History doesn't always repeat 
itself, but it does rhyme.''
  I think the history of events leading up to World War II is an 
appropriate

[[Page S6624]]

period for examination during today's Iran debate, and I believe it is 
important to explore the question of whether the disastrous history of 
the Munich Agreement can be instructive to Americans and even to our 
allies during the current debate. Munich has been cited numerous times 
in opinion pieces about the Iran agreement, and it has been mentioned 
on both sides of the debate in this Chamber. Furthermore, we have been 
cautioned, even scolded by various opinion-makers around the country 
that we dare not make comparisons between Munich and the current 
situation. In this view, even uttering the words ``Neville 
Chamberlain'' or ``Munich'' brings to mind such painful memories from 
the dark past that we simply should not go there. I do not agree. If 
history does rhyme, perhaps it is helpful to examine history and look 
for parallels today.
  For those who may not have recently studied the years leading up to 
World War II, let's review the Munich Agreement. In September of 1938, 
Hitler's aggression was fully underway. In his sights at the moment was 
Czechoslovakia. Leaders met in Munich, Germany, in an ostensible effort 
to avoid war. Those leaders were Adolf Hitler himself, French Prime 
Minister Edouard Daladier, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, and 
Britain's Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain. The agreement they 
announced with much fanfare at the end of September 1938 was that Nazi 
Germany would be given control of the German-speaking portion of 
Czechoslovakia, known by some as the Sudetenland. In return, Hitler 
agreed to stop his advance and to not make war. Against the backdrop of 
all of Germany's aggression to date, of its violations of the 
Versailles treaty, the Fuhrer gave his solemn assurance in writing that 
there would be no more expansionist activity.

  We all know that upon his return to London, Chamberlain announced 
triumphantly that there would be ``peace for our time.'' The bold 
headline across the top of the Daily Express displayed the word 
``peace'' with an exclamation point.
  Of course, a number of wise people immediately saw the false dream 
for what it was. Soon after, Winston Churchill rose in passionate 
opposition on the floor of Commons. He first made it clear that he held 
the opponents of the agreement in high personal regard, as many of my 
colleagues have also done already during this debate. Then he launched 
into a scathing denunciation of the bad deal, characterizing it as a 
total and unmitigated defeat for Britain and France, not to mention a 
betrayal of defenseless Czechoslovakia. He went on to predict correctly 
that rather than preventing war, the Munich accord would assure war.
  Sadly, for millions and millions around the globe, Winston Churchill 
was correct and Neville Chamberlain was tragically mistaken. Within 
months, Hitler was at it again, annexing the rest of Czechoslovakia and 
setting his sights on Poland and beyond.
  I think it is appropriate to ask ourselves: What would Churchill have 
said about today's debate? And what would Chamberlain be saying if he 
could speak to us today?
  Let's look at the parallels. At Munich, Britain and France abandoned 
a steadfast ally. Similarly, today's agreement has been reached over 
the strenuous objections of Israel, our most reliable partner in the 
Middle East. I must emphasize that this opposition comes not only from 
the current Prime Minister and his Likud governing majority, but also 
from his opponents in previous elections--from virtually every point on 
Israel's political spectrum, from labor and from center-left voices. 
Here is the near unanimous outcry from our Israeli friends: Iran poses 
an existential threat to Israel, and this bad deal makes matters worse. 
It makes us less safe. It makes our friends, our neighbors less safe.
  As the whole world watched, the Munich agreement sent a chilling 
message to the rest of Europe and to the rest of the world about what 
could now be expected from France and England. Today, our Sunni Arab 
friends in the Middle East are mystified and dismayed by this Iran 
deal. Understandably, their public reaction has been guarded and even 
muted. Most are hedging their bets, but make no mistake, this is not 
the strong anti-proliferation nuclear agreement they had hoped for.
  This current deal and the Munich deal are also similar when we 
consider the history and behavior of the parties to the agreements. 
Like Hitler, the current Iranian regime has repeatedly demonstrated 
that they have evil motivations and that they cannot be trusted. 
Consider the most recent activities and pronouncements of the Iranian 
Supreme Leader and his team.
  This deal has been made with a regime that still leads cheers saying 
``Death to America'' and believes in the destruction of the Jewish 
State. The mullahs, the ayatollahs, and the people in charge of Iran 
have shown no indication that they are trustworthy. Ayatollah Khamenei 
last month published a new book that once again makes it explicit that 
it is Iran's foreign policy to obliterate the State of Israel. Just 
last week, he called America the Great Satan and said Israel would not 
exist in 25 years. Israel would not exist in 25 years, according to the 
other party to this agreement.
  Under this agreement, embargoes on arms and ballistic missiles will 
be lifted in 5 and 8 years respectively, allowing the biggest exporter 
of terrorism to build up conventional weapons. And have we forgotten 
the fact that Iran has been cooperating with North Korea on ballistic 
missiles for years?
  Of course, the scene in 1938 is not entirely similar with that of 
today, as has been pointed out. Seventy-seven years ago, Nazi Germany 
at least gave lip service to leaving the rest of the world alone. Wise 
people knew this to be a lie, but at least the Nazi dictator signed 
such a promise. Today, the Iranian dictatorship makes no pretense of 
abandoning its goal: the complete elimination of Israel from the map. 
And this bad deal gives them the wherewithal to do just that: a $100-
billion stimulus. The lifting of sanctions, which the United States and 
our eager European allies have agreed to, will expand Iran's gross 
domestic product by roughly one-fifth, not to mention relief from 
sanctions on deadly conventional weapons and ballistic missiles.

  In 1938, Chamberlain said, ``Peace for our time.'' We may wish he had 
been correct, but such an outcome was so unlikely, the deal so risky 
and ill-advised, that it was merely a wish, albeit a dangerous and 
deadly wish.
  In 2015, Secretary John Kerry has called the current deal ``a plan to 
ensure that Iran does not ever possess or acquire a nuclear weapon.'' 
Did my colleagues hear that: Not just for our time or for a decade, but 
never, according to the distinguished Secretary of State.
  President Obama says this agreement marks ``one more chapter in this 
pursuit of a safer, more helpful, and more hopeful world.'' Such 
statements have a familiar and troubling ring. Such words could have 
been uttered in 1938. And I wonder if Mr. Chamberlain's followers ever 
said, in defense of the Prime Minister's action: This isn't a very good 
deal, but what other agreement is out there? What other choice do we 
have? I am willing to bet some people actually said that. The other 
choice might have been to stand up against a murderous bully, to stand 
by a friend.
  This resolution of disapproval is not just an opportunity to sound 
off. It has not been about sending a message. This procedure was 
designed, as the distinguished Senator from Missouri said before me, as 
the only way to prevent a bad Iran deal from actually going into 
effect. We always realized it would take a bipartisan majority to 
succeed. There are currently 58 Democrats and Republicans who are 
willing to say officially to the President: Start over and get our 
Nation a better deal. We, frankly, need nine more courageous Senators 
to step forward and say no to this deal. We are told the die is now 
cast, that the votes simply are not there. But I will say to my 
colleagues today, there is still time to do better for the American 
people. The doubts have repeatedly been expressed by Senators who have 
said they will nevertheless vote with the President.
  Senator Booker, in announcing that he will support the President, 
said: We are legitimizing Iran's nuclear program and rewarding years of 
bad behavior. Yet, he will vote to support the President.
  Senator Coons: I am troubled and deeply concerned.
  Senator Bennet: None of us knows . . . and I have deep concerns.

[[Page S6625]]

  Senator Wyden: It is a big problem, having to deal with Iranian 
leadership that wants a nuclear enrichment program.
  Senator Peters: Enrichment of uranium is a stark departure from 
America's nonproliferation policies. Indeed it is. Senator Peters goes 
on to say: The agreement could set a dangerous precedent.
  We need these Senators to change their vote and to vote for the 
resolution of disapproval.
  Senator Blumenthal said: Not the agreement I have sought.
  Senator Merkley said: Significant shortcomings.
  According to Senator Gillibrand: Legitimate and serious concerns are 
there.
  Senator Franken acknowledges it isn't a perfect agreement.
  Alan Dershowitz, a Harvard law professor emeritus and expert on the 
Middle East--and hardly a neo-con--summed up the President's deal with 
Iran in his book, ``The Case Against the Iran Deal.'' He said this:

       Hope is different from `faith,' though neither is an 
     appropriate basis on which to `roll the dice' on a nuclear 
     deal that might well threaten the security of the world.

  ``That may well threaten the security of the world,'' according to 
Professor Dershowitz.
  He goes on to say:

       The deal as currently written will not prevent Iran from 
     obtaining nuclear weapons. In all probability, it will merely 
     postpone the catastrophe for about a decade, while 
     legitimizing its occurrence. This is not an outcome we can 
     live with.

  I appreciate people such as Alan Dershowitz having the courage to 
write a book and explain chapter and verse, page by page, the 
legitimate reasons why this threatens the security of the world and why 
America should not be willing to live with this deal.
  I say we should heed the warnings of people such as Alan Dershowitz. 
We should heed the warnings of history. There is still time to reject 
this ill-advised agreement. There is still time to get a better result 
for our people, to get a better result for our future.
  Thank you, Mr. President.
  Seeing no other speakers, 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. LANKFORD. 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. LANKFORD. Mr. President, I do have concerns as well. Typically we 
reward people for a change of behavior; that is good behavior, going 
from bad to good--not static, old, bad behavior. The concern I have is 
with Iran. We have seen no change in behavior. The same battles are 
happening in Yemen as they are leading a coup. The same issues are 
happening in Syria where Russia and Iran are working together to prop 
up Bashar al-Assad. They are causing trouble in Bahrain. There is the 
same behavior in Lebanon with Hezbollah. There has been no change in 
behavior. Yet, the administration is determined to make an aggressive 
nuclear deal to change the status quo on our sanctions on Iran based on 
the hope of some future new good behavior when we have seen no present 
change in the behavior of Iran.
  This doesn't line up with some of the statements from our own 
administration. For instance, in November of 2013, Secretary Kerry said 
that ``there is no inherent right to enrich. . . . We do not recognize 
a right to enrich.''
  In December 2013, President Obama said, ``we know [fully that] they 
don't need to have an underground, fortified facility like Fordow in 
order to have a peaceful nuclear program.''
  At the same time, in December of 2013, President Obama said, ``They 
don't need some of the advanced centrifuges that they currently possess 
in order to have a limited, peaceful nuclear program.''
  But under this deal, not only are we giving them the right to enrich, 
not only are we allowing them to have fortified underground bunkers, we 
are also allowing them to have advanced centrifuges that the President 
has stated there is actually no reason for them to have, unless they 
are not using them for peaceful purposes.
  I have heard over and over again for the last several days in this 
Chamber the conversation: If someone has a better deal, you should 
propose it, but this is the best deal that has been proposed.
  Well, let me just throw a few ideas out there as a better deal for a 
proposal.
  First, why don't we do this as a proposal: Why don't we actually have 
the opportunity to read the agreement? We would like to be able to see 
it. No one in this Chamber has seen all aspects of this agreement. No 
one in the House has seen all aspects of the agreement. It is not that 
we will not read it, we can't read it, because even the administration 
has said they have not read the entire agreement.
  Now, I will state that we don't allow secret side deals between a 
bank and a car dealer when one is buying a used car. We certainly don't 
allow secret side deals that no one can see between the U.N. and Iran. 
I am astounded that this body is OK with signing off on an agreement 
that absolutely no one has read in its entirety. In fact, the 
administration has said they haven't even seen it.
  The White House wants to have it both ways. They don't want to turn 
over the documents which the statute requires, but they also want to 
keep the part of the law that says Congress has only 60 days to review 
it. They want to say that by the end of this week it is done--but, no, 
we are not ever going to turn the documents over that the statute 
requires.
  How about this for a different idea of what we can do for an 
agreement: They don't keep the advanced centrifuges. Since even the 
President has said there is no peaceful purpose for those centrifuges, 
if we are going to have a good, solid agreement, they do not keep the 
advanced centrifuges. Not only do they keep them, they keep them in 
cascade, they keep them running, they keep them spinning. There is no 
change in behavior on those centrifuges other than the promise that 
they won't put uranium in them.
  How about this for an idea for a better agreement: We have onsite 
inspections that would actually allow Americans on the inspection team.
  How about this for a better agreement: We don't lift the ban on 
missile testing and research on Iran which allows Iran to start missile 
testing and R&D again on ballistic missiles. We don't lift the ban on 
conventional weapons sales to Iran, which will allow Iran to start 
buying large supplies of conventional weapons and surface-to-air 
defense systems.
  How about this change for a better agreement: Iran turns over their 
previous military dimensions of their nuclear program. They stated over 
and over again they don't have a nuclear weapons program or ambitions. 
What would be the problem, then, in inspecting their research 
facilities and their technology if nothing existed?
  How about this for a better agreement: We don't agree to defend Iran 
in case in some future time they are attacked in their nuclear 
facilities by Israel. I think that is absolutely absurd to have in this 
agreement.
  How about this: We at least allow Iran the opportunity to publicly 
acknowledge that Israel has the right to exist--and they currently 
don't acknowledge that Israel even has the right to exist--or we get 
our American hostages back, since we are lifting the sanctions on the 
individuals who personally killed hundreds of American soldiers. Those 
sanctions are lifted. Why can't we have our American hostages back?
  Here is one simple idea: Why don't we have the same nuclear agreement 
with Iran that we had with Libya? When we negotiated the agreement with 
Libya years ago, their program actually ended. They actually turned 
their centrifuges over. They turned their nuclear material over. They 
allowed anytime inspections. While this administration continues to say 
over and over again that what we are asking for is not possible, it was 
actually done by the last administration in Libya.
  This is not asking for something new or radical or different. This is 
asking for something enforceable and clear. Why can't we have the same 
nuclear agreement with Iran that we made with Libya and actually stop 
Iran from advancing toward a nuclear weapon?
  I am convinced we can do better--we must, for the security of the 
Nation as a whole.

[[Page S6626]]

  With that, I yield back.
  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. McCAIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Lankford). Without objection, it is so 
ordered.
  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to address the 
Senate as in morning business.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, a few hours from now the Senate will vote 
again on the Iranian deal. I think it is pretty well known that no 
votes will change. It is very unfortunate that that is the case. But it 
will give our colleagues, hopefully--they may have contemplated how bad 
a deal this is and possibly change, but obviously we know the 
likelihood of that is unlikely.
  The virtues of this legislation have been emphasized by my friends on 
the other side of the aisle. Those of us who have grave and serious 
concerns have also been articulated. But I think it is well to point 
out that this will be the first major agreement or treaty in history 
that is voted on on strict party lines. Not one single Senator on this 
side of the aisle will be voting in favor--not one--a degree of 
partisanship concerning an issue of the greatest importance, in my 
view, of any treaty or agreement since that agreement Neville 
Chamberlain made with Adolph Hitler in Munich in 1938. So that part of 
it, in my view, is a failure on the part of the President of the United 
States.
  I know many of us, including myself, were willing to listen and 
consider any agreement that was verifiable and enforceable that would 
have prevented the Iranians from acquiring nuclear weapons. In fact, it 
was stated by the Secretary of State that the object of this agreement 
was that Iran would never have nuclear capability. Now we all know it 
is a matter of time. Whether it is 1 month or 10 years or 15 years, 
whatever, we don't know. They notoriously cheat. That is one thing we 
do know. So the fact is that we went from preventing Iran from having a 
nuclear capability--and they came to the table not because of renewed 
zeal for that but because their economy was so badly hurt because of 
the sanctions which had been imposed on them and which after this deal 
can never be reimposed. Let's be frank and candid with our colleagues 
and with the American people.
  So here we are faced with an agreement that should have been a 
treaty. I know of no observers of the Constitution, both known as 
liberal interpreters and conservatives, who interpret the Constitution 
who agree that this is anything but a treaty of transcendent 
importance, and we, of course, are treating it as an ``agreement.'' 
Well, the bad news, I say to my colleagues on the other side of the 
aisle who will be voting for this, is the next President of the United 
States can repeal this, can negate it. That would not have been the 
case if it was a treaty because then it would have been ratified by the 
Constitution and the Congress, specifically the Senate.
  So, in the short term, apparently the President and his minions have 
succeeded. In the long term, this will cause a grave threat to the 
security of the United States of America.
  I say to my colleagues, you know, this is an agreement that we are 
discussing, and I will talk about the failings of it as I see them, but 
far more importantly, the President of the United States and the 
Secretary of State treat this as if it were in a vacuum. It is not in a 
vacuum. You cannot consider this agreement unless you look at what is 
happening in the entire world today.


                 Refugee Crisis and American Leadership

  Mr. President, according to anyone who is an expert on national 
security, including people such as Henry Kissinger, Madeleine Albright, 
Brent Scowcroft, and the list goes on and on, the world has never been 
in more turmoil than it is today. That does not take a great deal of 
intelligence or study; all you have to do is watch television or read a 
newspaper. The United Nations head of refugees has said: There have 
never been more refugees in the world since World War II than there are 
today. You can't turn on the television without seeing the terrible 
plight of these refugees who have had to flee their country because of 
the brutality and genocide committed by Bashar Assad. You can't do that 
without seeing it.
  Some in the media and some of my friends on the liberal side treat 
this as if it were a hurricane, an earthquake, a natural disaster that 
just sort of happened. It did not just happen, and it did not have to 
happen. What has happened with these refugees is a direct result of the 
failed, feckless policies of this administration in general and this 
President in particular.
  This is the President of the United States who overruled his national 
security team when they said that we should arm and equip and train the 
Free Syrian Army to go in there and fight against Bashar Assad. This is 
the same President who said: It is not a matter of when, it is a matter 
of whether Bashar Assad leaves office. This is the same President of 
the United States who announced to the world that Bashar Assad had 
crossed the redline and we were going to retaliate--only, of course, to 
hear that the President decided not to.
  I tell my colleagues, you cannot overstate the impact the President's 
decision had after he warned Bashar Assad, after he said that if they 
crossed the redline we would act and we did not. I am not sure many 
Americans are aware that the Saudis had aircraft on the runways ready 
to join in those attacks and they found out on CNN. Is it an accident 
that we have seen the Saudis visiting Moscow? Is it an accident that 
for the first time in its history we see the Saudis buying Russian 
equipment? Is it astonishing to our colleagues and friends that the 
Saudis have taken it upon themselves, along with UAE and other Gulf 
States, to intervene in Yemen against the Houthis, who are Iranian-
backed, Iranian-trained, Iranian-equipped? No, it is not an accident. 
None of these things have happened by accident.
  Now we see a nation called Syria with over 230,000 killed and 
millions in refugee status. The surrounding countries, particularly the 
small ones, particularly Jordan and Lebanon, are literally overwhelmed 
with refugees. Today, I tell my colleagues, there are more Syrian 
children in school in Lebanon than there are Lebanese children in 
Lebanon. When you look at the size of the influx of the refugees into 
those two countries, some wonder in some ways how they have maintained 
their stability.
  All of it did not have to happen. It did not have to happen.
  The President of the United States decided to withdraw every single 
one of our combat troops in Iraq, saying at the time: We are leaving a 
prosperous, free, democratic Iraq. Does anybody believe that? Of 
course, so many of us argued: Please, leave a sustaining force behind--
which they could have. Anyone who says we couldn't have is lying. I 
don't use that word casually because Lindsey Graham and John McCain 
were in Baghdad when Maliki said: OK. He said: OK. I will keep troops. 
I will keep American troops. How many? How many and what mission?
  That answer never came from this administration until the Chairman of 
the Joint Chiefs of Staff testified before the Senate Armed Services 
Committee that it was down to 3,500--in his words, it cascaded down to 
3,500.
  So now here we are with the greatest humanitarian crisis, again, 
since World War II, 70 years ago. Here we are with this situation, and 
Americans' hearts are going out to these people. Can any of us who saw 
the picture of the drowned little baby on the beach ever forget that? 
It did not have to happen. It was because this President and this 
administration and its minions refused to exercise American leadership 
when we refused to arm and equip and train the Free Syrian Army, 
overruling his then-Secretary of Defense, Panetta; overruling his then-
Secretary of State, Clinton; overruling his Director of the Central 
Intelligence Agency, GEN David Petraeus. It is well known that they all 
recommended arming the Free Syrian Army. At that time, Bashar Assad was 
in serious jeopardy. So what happened? The Iranians--the same Iranians 
we are concluding this deal with--called in 5,000 Hezbollah, had 
Soleimani in charge of the Iranian

[[Page S6627]]

Revolutionary Guard while tens of thousands have been slaughtered--
well, 230,000 is one estimate--with barrel bombing.
  Do you know what barrel bombing is? It is a huge cylinder. It is 
filled with explosives and shrapnel. They drop it. It explodes, and it 
spreads shrapnel everywhere. It is a terrible weapon. It is a terrible 
weapon. Bashar Assad has been using it continuously. Who is giving him 
that stuff to use? The Iranians. The Iranians are the ones who are 
doing it.
  It is the Iranians who are supporting the Shiite militias in Baghdad. 
It is the Iranians who are supporting the Houthis, who have taken over 
a great part of Yemen and would have taken over all of it if it had 
been up to us as we sat by and watched. The Saudis and UAE have decided 
to go in because they could not afford to have--look at where Yemen is 
on the map--they could not afford to have Yemen under the control of 
the Iranians.
  So here we are. So here we are. Now the news of the last few days 
is--guess what. The Russians are now building bases--a serious military 
buildup in Syria. Why? Because they have to prop up Bashar al-Assad. 
This misguided, delusional administration thinks that only they can 
attack ISIS and not attack Bashar al-Assad and his killing machine.

  My friends, in the name of human decency, in the name of the 
tradition of the United States of America helping those who are being 
slaughtered, we should tell Bashar al-Assad: You cannot fly those 
helicopters and those planes anymore and drop these terrible weapons. 
We are going to shoot you down if you do it. We are going to establish 
a free--safe zone on the Turkish border. We are going to have the 
refugees go there, and we are going to feed them, we are going to 
clothe them, and we are going to take care of them. And don't you fly 
an airplane over here or we are going to shoot it down.
  That is the message we should have to Bashar al-Assad. And now, what 
is happening now? The Russians have decided they are going to intervene 
militarily on the side of Bashar al-Assad.
  Now, my friends, it has been Vladimir Putin's practice and ambition 
to expand the ``near abroad.'' That means moving into Ukraine, taking 
Crimea in violation of the Budapest agreement, it means putting huge 
pressure on the Baltics, and it means propaganda campaigns and other 
pressures that are even on countries such as Sweden and Norway in the 
Arctic. All these things Vladimir Putin is doing is sort of an 
expanding influence from Russia.
  Now, my dear friends, you see him leapfrogging over to Syria to 
maintain his base on the Mediterranean and that is a somewhat radical 
departure. But not to worry, my friends, the Secretary of State called 
the Foreign Minister, Lavrov--the old Stalinite apparatchik that he 
is--and expressed his concern. So the American Government expressed 
their concern. Well, that ought to pretty well take care of it.
  Meanwhile, what about China? In the last day or two, there was a 
meeting, and a Chinese admiral, sitting between an American admiral and 
another admiral, stated: ``The South China Sea belongs to China.''
  A few days ago, the President of the United States went to Alaska to 
rename a mountain. I guess that is a reason for a trip. I will leave 
that to others to judge. So he goes to Alaska and guess what happened. 
By coincidence--by sheer coincidence--for the first time in history, 
five Chinese warships showed up off the coast of Alaska, penetrating 
the 12-mile zone--the first time in history. Now, I am sure that was 
just a coincidence that the President of the United States happened to 
be in Alaska at the time that these Chinese ships showed up off the 
coast of Alaska. Every time we turn around, we are seeing nations react 
to a lack of American leadership.
  And so we are going to, of course, now vote--not to approve this 
agreement, because if it was a straight up-or-down vote, it would be a 
disapproval. It would be a significant disapproval, as a matter of 
fact--just not 60. I believe it is 57 or 58 Senators who will vote that 
they do not want to have the sanctions relieved that have been imposed 
by the Congress.
  It is a sad day. It is a sad day. Just as briefly as possible--
because we have been over all of these before--there is no doubt there 
are almost no enforcement and verification procedures. In fact, again, 
this is for the first time I think that the Senate of the United States 
is being asked to approve of an arms control agreement--which is 
basically what this is when you get right down to it--without knowing 
the verification procedures. It is a deal between the IAEA and Iran. I 
still don't get it how anybody can support an agreement that we don't 
know the most vital elements of. That is still beyond me.
  Obviously, in the place where we found most of--some of their real 
secret activity buried in a mountain, that inspection will be conducted 
by the Iranians themselves. Remarkable.
  Of course, the past nuclear activities, so-called PMD, one of the 
requirements--one of the interesting aspects of this is to see what was 
said at the time in the beginning and what actually happened, such as 
the Secretary of State saying: We must know what their previous 
military activities were. We must know that because otherwise we 
cannot--guess what. We are not going to know that. Particularly, 
though, the aspect of verification bothers me about as much as anything 
else.
  So now we have the Iranian Revolutionary Guard sustaining the Shia 
militias in Iraq. We have the Iranians funding Hezbollah, which is now 
the major problem for the Bashar al-Assad regime. We now have the 
Iranians supporting the Houthis, who, as I mentioned, are trained and 
equipped by the Iranians in an attempt to take over Yemen. The Iranians 
are now providing weapons to the Taliban in Afghanistan.
  If they are doing all those things, and they are not changing their 
behavior, what in the world do you think they are going to do with $100 
billion? Spend it on growing poppy, maybe building a YMCA? Of course 
not. They are going to continue their activities of supporting 
terrorist organizations throughout the Middle East with another $100 
billion. This is what troubles me more than anything else. Has anyone 
in this body seen any indication of a change in Iranian behavior? If 
so, I would be more than eager to grasp that straw because everything I 
have seen--and the statements in just as short a time as 2 or 3 days 
ago--the grand Ayatollah says in 25 years Israel will no longer exist.
  Is that the background, is that the atmosphere of some kind of 
agreement of this nature, where they are going to get $100 billion? It 
is confounding, and it can only be explained by this incredible 
delusion on the part of the President and the Secretary of State--whom 
he has had for the last 6\1/2\ years--that if we somehow get an 
agreement with the Iranians, there will be an arrangement in the Middle 
East, and Iran and the United States will be partners against radical 
Islam--yada, yada, yada. That is impossible in light of Iranians' 
stated ambitions, and of course the Israelis--of course the Israelis 
are deeply disturbed.
  All I can say is this is not a good day. This is not a good day. This 
is a day when votes are taken--again, for the second time--on one of 
the most impactful situations in the history of this country post-World 
War II; that is, that this agreement will allow the Iranians, to a 
degree of latitude and a degree of capability, to spread their terror 
and their acts of terror throughout the Middle East in a far more 
effective fashion.
  Yes, we are war weary. Yes, Americans don't want to be involved. Yes, 
we know all of those things, even though it is 1 percent of the 
American population who actually serves in the military, but the fact 
is that sooner or later, as a result of this, the United States of 
America, unfortunately, will have to be engaged militarily.
  I hate to make that prediction, but I have been a student of what is 
going on in the Middle East for a long period of time. I have seen 
Iranian behavior, and I have watched what they have done--not just the 
rhetoric but their behavior. They are propping up a guy who has killed 
230,000 of his country's men and women and driven millions into exile. 
Now we are feeling the effects of it in Europe and soon in the United 
States of America.
  It is shameful--it is shameful--that we allowed this guy to slaughter 
so many hundreds of thousands of people. And who supported them, who 
backed them, and who bailed them out when

[[Page S6628]]

the President of the United States said: Oh, it is not a matter of 
whether Bashar al-Assad leaves, it is a matter of when. The President 
of the United States said: It is time for Bashar al-Assad to leave. 
Bashar al-Assad will be in office after this President of the United 
States. So it is not a good day.
  There have been other times in our country--there was a good book 
that was written about America before World War II called ``While 
America Slept.'' There was another great book by a professor at Texas 
A&M about how unready we were prior to the Korean conflict. We thought 
we were never going to be in another war, and we were totally 
unprepared when North Korea attacked South Korea.
  Now here we are--with blame on both sides of the aisle--continuing to 
cut our military, continuing to reduce our capabilities, and continuing 
to reach a point where the retiring Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army 
says we can no longer adequately defend the Nation against some of its 
threats, and, to cap it off, we are now going to see an agreement which 
will unleash the furies of Hell.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Illinois.


                         Tribute to Dena Morris

  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, I wish to take a moment to thank an 
important member of our staff. Her name is Dena Morris, and she is with 
me on the floor today. Dena has worked for me for 12 years. The last 8 
years she served as my legislative director, and she is going to be 
leaving soon for a new professional opportunity.
  When she first told me the news, my first reaction was: ``Say it 
ain't so,'' but Dena had an offer she could not refuse. Next week, Dena 
Morris will join the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as 
the Agency's Washington Director. Her new position, I have to admit, is 
a perfect fit. It will allow her to combine her exceptional management 
skills, her deep understanding of public policy, and her strong 
commitment to public service in ways that will benefit America's 
families and businesses.
  I already know Dena is going to do well because she has done so much 
for me, for the people of Illinois, and for our Nation.
  There is one thing that really tells you a lot about Dena's 
commitment to public service and the public good. Dena Morris came to 
me 12 years ago. She left a K Street law firm and came to the Senate to 
work as a staffer. She took a substantial pay cut to do it. She started 
in my office as a legislative assistant handling education issues. Her 
portfolio quickly expanded to include public health and then all of the 
health care issues. By 2007, it was clear to me she was the right 
person to direct all the legislative activity in my office. Even with 
all the promotions and the new titles, Dena still earns less today than 
what she earned at that law firm she left 12 years ago.
  So when I hear my fellow Senators come to the floor and talk down our 
staffs and talk about denying them basic things such as health care 
coverage, I think about Dena and the hundreds just like her who make 
the Senate work. They do it not for the money, not for the benefits but 
because they want to leave a mark. Dena has done that. You see, instead 
of making mountains of money, Dena chose to help and to help the Senate 
make history. For that I am ever grateful.
  It will take too long to recite all the things she has worked on, but 
I can list a few: the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act--it was 
the economic stimulus that was initiated by the Obama administration to 
bring America out of the great recession after the 2008 economic 
crisis--her work on the Affordable Care Act, which has brought 
affordable, reliable health care to 16 million Americans, including 
800,000 people in my State of Illinois, and reduces the national 
deficit. Dena was my legislative director when Congress passed the 
first Wall Street reform act in 7 years. She helped steer legislation 
to cut the cost of student loans, to help save the American automobile 
industry, and to give the FDA, at long last, the authority to regulate 
tobacco.
  Her contributions extend beyond the historic laws that she has helped 
to pass. Probably her greatest contribution, from a very selfish point 
of view, is that Dena Morris assembled my team. She took the time to 
bring together an extraordinary group of bright, committed public 
servants, just like herself, who reflected my values, her values, and 
her work ethic.
  Lots of people think about Sunday morning as a time to kick back and 
relax. My staff, and Dena knows this personally, lives in fear of 
Sunday morning because that is when I have the time to leisurely go 
through the newspapers, to watch television, and to get on my cell 
phone and e-mail my staff about all the new ideas I have for the coming 
week. It is a drill Dena knows well and which she handles with skill 
and does so effectively. I think it is her daily yoga practice that 
helps her maintain her even keel.
  I want to thank her husband Peter Rogoff, who has joined us. He is a 
former longtime Hill staffer, and I want to give special thanks to 
their kids, Niles, now in high school, and Lulu.
  It was about a year after Dena joined my staff that she brought Niles 
and Lulu to the office for a take-your-children-to-work day. They were 
about 6 and 4 years old at the time. So I met with all these kids from 
my staff members, and I said: Do you have any questions? Niles raised 
his hand, and he looked at me and he said: How come my mom has to work 
so late?
  It was a funny moment, an embarrassing moment in a way, but I think 
Niles and Lulu know now what the answer is. It is because their mom 
cares so much about what she does and cares so much about the people 
she can help.
  That is a bit of a story of Dena Morris' career. When she worked for 
that K Street law firm, she specialized in advancing legal and civil 
rights for people with disabilities and their families. She started 
that work just 3 years after the Americans with Disabilities Act became 
law. She was on the leading edge of one of America's great civil rights 
struggles.
  Two other things worth mentioning: Dena's first job in Washington, 
before the law firm, was working as an intern for her home State 
Senator, Dick Lugar of Indiana. It was an unpaid internship, as most of 
them are. So to pay the rent Dena had to work five nights a week on 
Capitol Hill at another unique Washington institution--the Hawk and 
Dove--which happens to be a local popular Capitol Hill watering hole.
  Finally, Dena is one of six children. Her dad is a Baptist minister. 
In her whole family of origin--parents and siblings--Dena Morris is the 
only Democrat. She is a brave woman, and she tells me they do not 
really talk a lot about politics at family gatherings. Her parents may 
not share her politics, but I know they share our pride in the work she 
has done for America.
  I have no doubt she will continue to use her talent and her energies 
to move our Nation forward.
  Dena, thank you for your service.


                       Syrian Humanitarian Crisis

  Mr. President, I listened to my friend, the Senator from Arizona, 
Senator McCain, and this is the second time I have heard him on the 
floor talking about the tragedy, the humanitarian crisis associated 
with Syria. I couldn't agree more.
  I also take note of that heartbreaking photograph of that 3-year-old 
boy who drowned as his family tried to escape Syria, ultimately bound 
for Canada. In the crossing of a body of water, their boat capsized, 
and the mother and two children were lost, and the lifeless body of 
that infant washed up on the shore.
  When I think back, and people ask, what do you remember about the 
Vietnam War, I remember a lot of things, but the image I remember is a 
photograph of a little girl stripped naked, burned with napalm, running 
down the road screaming. I can't get that out of my mind. Vietnam--I 
think of that photo.
  When I think of Syria, and what is going on with this humanitarian 
crisis, I think of the photo of that little boy. It is heartbreaking. I 
get emotional thinking about little kids who I love in my family facing 
that kind of tragedy.
  There are two things I would like to say. I think it is fundamentally 
unfair to blame the Syrian crisis on this President. This is a crisis 
which reflects the Arab Spring, it reflects changes in the Middle East 
that have been going on for 30 years plus, and no country has really 
come up with a good solution to stop the bloodshed and killing in 
Syria.

[[Page S6629]]

  I am sorry my colleague from Arizona is not here, but I would 
acknowledge and remind him there was a time when the President came to 
us and said: I want to do something. President Obama said: I want to do 
something about chemical weapons in Syria. The Senator from Arizona--
and I might add the Senator from South Carolina--joined us in the 
Foreign Relations Committee in moving this issue forward to give the 
President the authority to do something to stop the use of chemical 
weapons in Syria, and it died before it came to the floor because there 
was no support--no support on the floor from the Republican majority in 
the House or the Senate.
  So to say this President has not taken action, he has. And you cannot 
overlook the fact the United States of America, through the generosity 
of its taxpayers and the leadership of this President, leads the world 
in humanitarian relief in Syria. We believe we have invested almost $4 
billion--more than any other nation on Earth--for these poor people who 
are suffering there.
  Can we do more? Should we have done more? Of course, in hindsight, 
things look so much clearer. I pushed for--and this administration is 
working on something the Senator from Arizona has also endorsed--a 
humanitarian safe zone. There ought to be a piece of Syria where people 
can go for medical care and know they are not going to be killed by 
these barrel bombs and attacks. I know the administration is working on 
that with Turkey. It has gone very slowly. I wish the pace would pick 
up.
  A friend of mine, Dr. Sahloul in Chicago, a Syrian American, has made 
a dozen trips to Syria, to Lebanon, to Jordan giving free medical 
treatment to the Syrian refugees, and he tells the story in graphic 
terms--and many times brings back heartbreaking photographs--of what 
these barrel bombs are doing. I hope we can find some diplomatic or 
military solution in Syria.
  In the meantime, here is the question we must ask ourselves: What 
will we do about these millions of refugees? We will give money, of 
course, to our allies that are creating camps for them. I visited one 
of those camps in Turkey, and I have to say I was really a great 
admirer of the leadership of that country in accepting at this one camp 
10,000 people--one camp. And there are many more, hundreds of thousands 
all over the Middle East, fleeing out of that region. So now what will 
we do about the refugees?
  The Senator from Arizona reminded us last week these are refugees, 
not migrants. They are the people who are victims of war who are 
fleeing with their families.
  On Friday I was in Chicago and met with four of these Syrian families 
who are now refugees in the United States. They told heartbreaking 
stories of losing members of their families and fleeing from one city 
to another in Syria without any success, then finally leaving, going to 
refugee camps and trying to come to the United States. Even after they 
applied for refugee status, it took this one family over 14 months to 
make it here to this country.
  We have a rich history in the United States of being there for 
refugees. We can point with some pride to the fact that when Cuba was 
going through its upheaval back in the 1950s and 1960s we accepted 
Cuban refugees who have become a major part of America today. In fact, 
the three Hispanic Members of the United States Senate are all Cuban 
Americans. At least two of them were the product of that exodus--the 
product of a refugee status that brought their families to the United 
States. They are making great contributions for the States they 
represent.
  We did the same thing in the Soviet Union. When the Jewish population 
there was facing persecution, we stood up and said: We will accept them 
as refugees. Thousands and thousands of Soviet Jews came to the United 
States and have become an important part of America today.
  The list goes on: Somalians, Bosnians, the Hmong population out of 
Vietnam. So we have a rich history of responding to these humanitarian 
crises. We need to do it again. What the administration has proposed is 
modest--10,000--too modest, as far as I am concerned. I believe we 
should be prepared to accept 100,000--100,000 Syrian refugees.
  Yes, each and every one of them needs to be carefully checked and 
vetted so we know we are not inviting someone in who is a danger to the 
United States. The people I have met in Chicago--the refugees there--
are just desperate people trying to find a roof over their head, trying 
to find some little work to do to keep what remains of their family 
together. Each and every one of them said something interesting. All 
four of them said they couldn't believe how welcoming America was, how 
friendly people in America were to the refugees and their families. Mr. 
President, that is who we are. That is what America is about. We 
shouldn't be afraid when people who are desperate for some refuge find 
our shores and ask: May we come and join you?
  I have already had friends in Illinois calling my wife and asking: 
What can we do? Can we adopt a Syrian family of refugees to help them 
get started in the United States? I think that story can be replicated 
over and over again, thousands and thousands of times.
  So I would say to my friend from Arizona, yes, it is outrageous, the 
death, the violence, the circumstances in Syria which has forced so 
many millions of people to move and many of them to lose their lives in 
the process. And it is heartbreaking to read the stories as they 
desperately try to find some safe place to live with their families and 
are rejected by countries, some in Europe, that want no part of them. I 
want America to do its part so that when the future generations look 
back and ask our generation: What did you do when you faced the 
greatest humanitarian crisis of your time at this moment in history, I 
want them to be able to point with pride to the fact that we carried on 
the great American tradition of opening up this country to refugees who 
are looking for a safe place to live with their families.
  Mr. President, we are in the midst of debating again--again--the Iran 
agreement, an agreement that was brokered by the President with five 
other nations--an agreement to accomplish two things: The agreement was 
to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon and, secondly, it was to 
create a safe enough environment that the United States does not have 
to commit military forces or go to war again in the Middle East.
  I voted for it, and 41 other Democrats joined me. We had this vote 
last week. It was historic and widely reported. At the end of the vote, 
Senator McConnell, the Republican leader, stood up and said: We are 
going to do it again. We are going to do it again next week--today--
Tuesday night.
  I don't know why we are going through a replay of this. There is a 
suggestion he may do another vote in another few days. Members of the 
Senate have stood up to a person and announced where they stand on this 
issue. Nobody is trying to run away from this issue. It is a 
challenging issue and a historic vote, and we are all on the record. We 
are there.
  I don't know why we have these repeat roll calls. I don't know why we 
are going through this again, but that is Senator McConnell's choice. 
One would think he might want to spend some time on the floor of the 
Senate dealing with some other issues, but he sticks with this one.
  What happened over in the House of Representatives is hard to 
describe. We came together because of a statute passed by the House and 
the Senate calling for a vote of disapproval of the Iran treaty. Now, 
it has been rejected--that vote of disapproval--here in the Senate. The 
House never took it up. The House, instead, had three separate votes, 
never going to the issue of disapproval. They had three separate votes 
on separate issues. The one they passed that might be sent our way is 
hard to believe.
  You see, what the House of Representatives said is that we will not 
lift any sanctions on Iran until we have a new President in January 
2017. Think about that for a second. Here is what we know. We know that 
Iran has fissile material capable of building ten nuclear weapons. We 
know that. We also know that Iran has the capacity within 2 or 3 
months--2 or 3 months--to create this nuclear weapon. We know that from 
our intelligence, and we know it from the pronouncements of Prime 
Minister Netanyahu of Israel.

[[Page S6630]]

  With the knowledge of that capability in Iran--to build a nuclear 
weapon, which would be a disaster in the Middle East--the House 
Republicans have said they want to put off any effort to stop the 
Iranians until we have a new President 17 months from now, which is 
more than enough time, I might add, for the Iranians, should they 
choose, to build a nuclear weapon. How does that make Israel any safer? 
How does that make the world any safer?
  Here is what we know. With this Iran agreement, within weeks the 
Iranians will start dismantling their centrifuges. They will start the 
process guaranteed by this treaty that will result in closing down a 
nuclear reactor that produces plutonium which can be used for 
weapons. They will start inviting inspectors into their country.

  There has been a lot said by the Senator from Arizona and others 
about the track record of Iran. I agree with many things he said. They 
are not to be trusted. That is why verification is part of this 
agreement. If there were no inspectors, it would be a foolish venture, 
but with these inspectors, we are on the ground inspecting Iran on a 
daily basis, through the IAEA, international inspectors sponsored by 
the United Nations. Are these inspectors good? I can say that many 
years ago when we voted on the invasion of Iraq, when the Bush-Cheney 
administration told us there were weapons of mass destruction, these 
inspectors told us there were none--after we had invaded, after the war 
had started. It turns out the inspectors were right and the Bush-Cheney 
administration was wrong. They have a good track record, and I am glad 
they are going to be on the scene to verify this agreement.
  But the question now is, How many more times will Senator McConnell 
want us to vote on this same issue? As leader, he can decide to do it 
over and over. Is this part of a debate prep for some of the Republican 
Senators running for President? They come to the floor and make their 
speeches or hear speeches and get to cast a vote before the CNN debate 
this week? I hope that is not it. We have made ourselves clear where we 
stand on this issue, each and every one of us. We cast our votes. We 
will do it again today. Now it is time for the Senate to move on.
  Looming just ahead of us in a matter of days is the potential of 
another government shutdown. The same tea party Republicans who shut 
down this government 2 years ago have vowed to do it again over a 
different issue. Somehow they believe that come October 1, if we start 
shutting down the agencies of our Federal Government, they will have 
made a political point. They are right. They will make a point that the 
majority in the House and the Senate--the Republican majority--cannot 
govern, cannot manage the budget of the United States to keep our 
government agencies open. I think they make that point 2 years ago; I 
don't know why they want to remind the American people of it again.
  So instead of voting repeatedly on the same measure, on the Iran 
agreement--where we already have a record vote--I would commend to the 
Republican leader: Take up the issues of the day. Some are compelling. 
There is cyber security for the safety of the United States. There is a 
transportation bill in the House of Representatives. We passed it, and 
it is time for the House to do the same. Let's fund our government. 
Let's not face a government shutdown.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. SASSE. Mr. President, as many of my colleagues, on both sides of 
the aisle, have noted, today's vote on the President's deal with Iran 
is one of significant consequence. The American people deserve an up-
or-down vote on the deal itself.
  I spent the day sitting on the floor of the Senate, listening to my 
colleagues debate the technicalities of the President's Iranian nuclear 
deal. This has been a lawyerly dispute, with arguments all over the 
map. I, like the vast majority of the American people, believe that 
this is a terrible deal.
  It has blown up the sanctions regime that brought Iran to the table. 
It floods Tehran's coffers with more than $100 billion that will almost 
certainly finance the killing of innocents around the world. The 
verification efforts place all of the burden on the United States and 
our allies, leaving Iran free to delay, disrupt, and deny inspections. 
The deal even allows Iran to advance its ballistic missile programs and 
to stockpile uranium. It is simply a bad deal and the American people 
know it.
  I went to Embassy Row and stood before the old Iranian Embassy to the 
United States, a building which was abandoned on April 7, 1980. And 
what the American people understand--and what Washington, DC, does not 
seem to understand--is that the technicalities of this deal, though 
important, are not the central question.
  The central question is this: Why was that embassy abandoned April 7, 
1980?
  It is because in 1979 there was an Islamic revolution in Tehran, and 
the mullahs that came to power are theocratic hardliners that believe 
they have a divine mandate. Their divine mandate is to export Islamic 
law and tyranny across the Middle East, across North Africa, and 
beyond. The tyrants who rule Iran today believe they have a divine 
mandate to annihilate Israel.
  For 36 years we have had a bipartisan consensus in our country that 
the world's largest state sponsor of terror should never be allowed to 
become a nuclear-threshold state.
  Sadly, the administration has abandoned that bipartisan consensus in 
the fanciful, imaginary dream that they are going to transform Iran's 
theocratic hardliners into moderates that will no longer oppress 
religious minorities, women, homosexuals, and others within their 
country. The administration believes that the Iranian regime will no 
longer try to spread destabilization and fund terrorism across their 
region and across the globe. And this presents dire, but foreseeable 
consequences.
  The administration's deal with Iran will set off a nuclear arms race 
in the Middle East--one of the world's most volatile regions. Billions 
of dollars in sanctions relief will be available to the Iranian 
Revolutionary Guard and its terrorist proxies to spill innocent blood 
and destabilize Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere. Either 
of these developments is serious enough on its own. Taken together, we 
have an unacceptably high probability for regional conflicts that could 
quickly spiral into nuclear events. We have to take this seriously; 
but, as the outcome of this vote is likely to demonstrate, we are not.
  The American people are more serious than Washington DC. The American 
people aspire to a day when that old and crumbling embassy is reopened, 
but not by the ruling theocratic mullahs. Instead, we can only accept a 
nation that believes in human flourishing and in the dignity of their 
own people, a government that repudiates the goal of annihilating 
Israel and the spreading their Islamic revolution across the Middle 
East.
  I am grateful that the American people are more serious than 
Washington DC, but, it is not too late. I urge you to vote against the 
President's deal with Iran.
  It is not in our national security interest, and it is surely not in 
the interest of our friends in that most dangerous region on the face 
of the earth.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Indiana.
  Mr. COATS. Mr. President, I came to the floor having spoken at great 
length last week outlining why I thought this agreement was something 
that ought to be fully debated and fully understood not only by Members 
of the Senate but by the American people. We had that debate. We were 
promised from the very beginning and it was enacted into law that 
Congress would be provided with all materials talked about and agreed 
upon before we had a vote to determine whether we would support 
approval or disapproval of this. We had a vote Thursday, which was 
procedural, to give us the opportunity to register our yes and no, our 
yea and nay. The American people deserve to know on the record where we 
stand on this. There have been arguments made on both sides of this 
issue.
  Personally, I think a close examination of this raises serious 
questions--so serious that it is not something someone can come to the 
floor and simply say: Well, that is over, that is done, and let's move 
on. There are more important things ahead. It is hard for me to 
understand what is more important than getting this right.
  I think the issues I laid out last week on Thursday before the vote 
are issues

[[Page S6631]]

that still need consideration. But the real reason we are back here--
thank you, Senator McConnell, for giving us another opportunity--is 
because we fell two votes short of the opportunity to even take a vote. 
We took a vote on a procedural measure--a measure which, as we all 
know, you can go home and hide behind. I don't understand why my 42 
Democratic colleagues were afraid to put their names on a yes-or-no 
vote proposition so that everyone knows exactly where we stand and 
nobody can go home and make an excuse as to why they are for or why 
they are against it. It goes all the way back to the Scriptures: Let 
your yea be yea and your nay be nay. That has always been what I have 
believed to be the right way here in the United States Senate as well 
as the United States Congress so that when we go home, the people we 
represent know exactly where we stand.
  I think what we are witnessing today in terms of the debates that 
will be taking place tomorrow in terms of the Presidential nomination 
process is the public partly frustrated--frustrated in many ways, but I 
think part is the fact that there is a lot of procedural gobbledygook 
out there that elected Members can hide behind and not have a direct 
clarification of exactly where they stand on any particular issue.
  The purpose for delay was to hopefully give our Members the 
opportunity to go home and listen to their constituents about how they 
feel about this, and perhaps we could have had two of the minority 
group who voted to block us from going forward--we won the majority 
vote 58 to 42 on a bipartisan basis, including four Democrats, all of 
whom have significant foreign policy experience, some having more than 
the rest of us. So it was a bipartisan effort to move to this process, 
and we came up two short. We were hoping that over the weekend--I was 
assuming that many of my colleagues were receiving the same kinds of 
calls and input from their constituents as I was. Mine was running 10 
to 1 against this agreement. The more we disclosed from this agreement, 
the more the American people learned about this agreement, the more 
concerned they were, and hopefully they expressed those concerns to 
their Senators who went home over the weekend having blocked us from 
this vote.
  At the very least, we are pleading that we could have a vote so that 
our yes is yes and our no is no, so that we reach the threshold by 
which we will buy a little bit of time to hopefully expose more of this 
very flawed and I think fatally flawed agreement, more time for the 
American people to express their wishes.
  We are not talking about a normal process of moving legislation 
through the Senate; we are talking about a process, a negotiation that 
will have enormous consequences for the future, enormous impact on the 
national safety of this country, enormous impact on the world in terms 
of a rogue nation now having the pathway to development of a nuclear 
weapons capability and weapons, unimpeded after this period of time 
expires.
  The very first thing people ought to understand is that coming down 
to the floor--or listening to the President of the United States say 
that this prevents Iran from having nuclear weapons or nuclear weapons 
capability is false. It is absolutely wrong. This provides a pathway 
for them to get it. It just defers, but it legitimizes their becoming a 
nuclear-armed nation. This rogue nation, which is seething terrorism 
throughout the Middle East and cries ``Death to America'' and 
extinction to Israel, will have the wealth because of the release of 
well over $100 billion, will have the capabilities because even under 
this agreement their nuclear processing research and development goes 
forward--with our assistance. It is in the agreement, with our 
assistance.
  So this is not something we can simply say: Oh well, we had the vote, 
you guys came up short, and we will cease all debate because it is 
over. It was over for the President of the United States when he 
declared it an agreement, not a treaty. If ever something as 
consequential as this should fall under being a treaty and not an 
agreement, it is this agreement. Yet it was declared an executive 
agreement. The President obviously knew what he was doing because he 
has had a lot of practice basically saying: I can bypass the Congress, 
I can bypass the Constitution by simply declaring it an executive 
agreement, an executive order, whatever.
  In declaring this, it put us in a terrible position. Thankfully, we 
were able to secure and vote into law, on a vote of 98 to 1, signed by 
the President of the United States, an agreement that would allow us to 
play a role in this and to look at the agreement and anything connected 
with this agreement before we made a decision and the opportunity to 
vote on approval or disapproval.
  Well, all that has been denied, and the President now only says it is 
over. The minority leader on Thursday said: It is over. Get over it. We 
are moving on. Other things need to be done. We just heard that again 
from one of my colleagues here, the second in command on the Democrat's 
side. Let's move forward. Moving forward is a violation of the law. 
That will be tested in courts. But it is very hard to understand how 
the administration and the 42 who voted for this could ignore the very 
language they voted for, the very language they agreed on, the very 
language that allowed us to go forward and understanding what this 
agreement says.
  Let me quote from the law which was signed by the President of the 
United States, in nearly unanimous agreement by the U.S. Congress:


     TRANSMISSION TO CONGRESS OF NUCLEAR AGREEMENTS WITH IRAN AND 
        VERIFICATION ASSESSMENT WITH RESPECT TO SUCH AGREEMENTS

       The President shall--

  Not the President might, not the President could if he wants to or 
not if he doesn't want to--

     transmit to the appropriate congressional committees and 
     leadership . . . the agreement, as defined. . . . including 
     all related materials and annexes . . . and any additional 
     materials related thereto.

  Including all related materials and annexes--including appendices, 
including codicils, including side agreements.
  We have been told--we have learned that there are two secret 
agreements that have been made between Iran and the inspection agency. 
We have not been allowed to see those agreements despite our pleas. We 
have been told by Secretary of State: They don't matter. Don't worry 
about it. It doesn't directly affect you.
  Who possibly could enter into any contractual agreement, any binding 
agreement with the adversary and not require access to the side 
agreements? Who would lease a car, who would buy a house, who would 
enter into any contractual arrangement with someone who said: Oh, by 
the way, there is some secret stuff here, but I can't let you see what 
it is. But don't worry--it really won't affect this.
  I can't conceive of anybody.
  This doesn't take an Ivy League law school graduate or someone 
serving in the Congress who looks through this legislation and helps 
write this legislation to have people understand that this alone ought 
to be reason not to vote for this agreement until they have access to 
that material--as required by the law they voted on.
  So how can a Member come down to this floor and simply say: I know 
everything about this agreement, I like what it does, and I am voting 
for it. That is their privilege. That is their right. If they want to 
go home and explain that to their people, that is their right to do so. 
But how can they go home and explain to the people: I voted for 
something without knowing exactly everything that is in it. And by the 
way, yeah, I voted for the opportunity to know that, it is in the law, 
but the President said, ``Well, I am going to ignore that.''
  We have heard that from this President too many times, over and over 
and over: I am going to bypass Congress. I am going to game this thing 
so it goes my way and not your way. No input whatsoever.
  Here we stand. Why again? Because some of us--many of us--58 of us 
don't want to simply throw up our hands and say: OK, you have got us. 
Let's move on. What is next? Big deal. Not a lot of consequence here, 
but we will worry about that later.
  We are simply saying that we don't think it is over. The actions by 
the majority leader here have given us an opportunity to take another 
shot at this.

[[Page S6632]]

Yogi Berra said, ``It ain't over till it's over.'' And I think John 
Belushi in ``Animal House'' said: It's over? No, it ain't over. It's 
not over.
  So it is not over. We have a vote coming up this evening. This vote 
this evening will give the American people the opportunity to 
understand that this motion to this agreement is going to be killed 
through a procedural motion without those who oppose it--even though 
they are in a minority but having the procedural right to do so under 
the Senate rules by leaving us two votes short of getting to that 
particular point.
  What are they afraid of? You come down here and you tell people: This 
is a good agreement, but I don't want to put my name on it. This is a 
good agreement, but we can't keep talking about it. This is a good 
agreement, trust me, but, yeah, the side agreements--it is too bad we 
had to do that, but, you know, I guess we are not going to have access 
to that.
  I was surprised by what the previous speaker, the Senator from 
Illinois, said about the inspection agreement. Who could possibly agree 
to an agreement--concede to an agreement that, yes, we will have 
inspections, but you get to exclude the facility that did all of the 
nuclear research over the last decade. We are exempted--we need an 
exemption from that. And we gave it to them. Also, by the way, we are 
not going to let you look at any of our military facilities to see 
whether we have had any militarization of this process. Oh, by the way, 
if under the agreement you think we are cheating at some other 
facilities around or places where you want to have some inspections, we 
will think about that. If we disagree, we will go through a Byzantine 
process to get to the point where the clock starts running, and then we 
have 24 days to try to figure all of this out. And some will say this 
goes on much longer.
  Having said everything I have said, having done everything I possibly 
can do, I am here to ask my colleagues--those who think this is a good 
deal--I am here basically just asking one thing even though I have 
major reservations. I am not even asking them to change their vote. I 
am asking them to give us the opportunity to have a vote. Give us an 
opportunity so that we can hold our heads high and go home and say: 
This is exactly how I came down on this, and here is my yes or here is 
my no.
  Isn't that what the American people sent us here to do? We wonder why 
they are skeptical, why 70 percent of the people think they can't trust 
Congress on probably the most consequential, historic vote any of us in 
this body will have in our lifetime, with untold consequences--which I 
am going to be talking about sometime later this week--for the future 
of the world, let alone for the future of America. How can we hide 
behind a procedural motion so that we don't have a full declaration of 
where the majority of this body and where the outstanding majority of 
the American people stand on this agreement?
  I am pleading to my colleagues, have the courage to stand up for what 
you believe in and give us a vote. Don't hide behind a procedural 
motion. Any one of us has the capability of going home and confusing 
the heck out of our constituents by saying: Oh, well, there were 
problems with the agreement, and I think we can probably fix it, but 
this wasn't the right time to do it, and we needed to move forward. By 
the way, the end of the fiscal year is coming up, and we have other 
important business to do. Or, it is irresponsible for Senator McConnell 
to require another vote or more debate on this.
  They want to run from this debate as fast as they can because the 
American public--I can only speak for my own constituents, but I see 
the polls also. There is heavy opposition to this--10 to 1 in my State, 
at least what has been sent to me through all the means of receiving 
messages from people these days.
  I am going to end here. I see Senator Corker on the floor, who is 
totally responsible for this language, which was illegally violated. It 
uses the word ``shall'' and it includes the words ``side agreements'' 
and anything related to this. We owe it to the American people to 
understand every possible consequence of this agreement and then make 
our decision, which will go down in history. However Members vote, they 
will carry that. We will see what this rogue Iran regime will do with 
it.
  All I know is they are cheering in the streets of Tehran. They are 
declaring this a victory that did not cross any one of their objections 
and crossed every one of our redlines.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Tennessee.
  Mr. CORKER. Mr. President, I want to thank the Senator from Indiana, 
who served as Ambassador to Germany, who has been so diligent in the 
pursuit of truth and knowledge relative to this agreement and obviously 
is very concerned about its implications. He has been a stalwart. He is 
leaving the Senate at the end of this congressional term. We all are 
indebted to him for his tremendous concerns for our Nation's national 
security and the efforts of diplomacy to try to resolve the problems we 
have.
  I know we have another speaker coming to floor in just one moment, 
but really because of what the Senator just said, I want to reiterate 
one more time as to why we are where we are.
  Four times since 2010, the Senate overwhelmingly, working with the 
House, put in place sanctions on Iran--four times. That was met with 
tremendous pushback from the administration, which did not want to see 
those sanctions put in place by Congress. But those sets of sanctions 
are the very things that brought Iran to the table. The administration, 
along with Russia, China, Great Britain, France, and Germany, began 
negotiations with Iran because of the sanctions we overwhelmingly put 
in place in this body. Once they were about to reach a conclusion, the 
administration decided that instead of giving this to us in the form of 
a treaty--which is their choice. It is their choice under our form of 
government. I know we have a lot of people in our country who are very 
upset about this, but, in fact, it is their choice. They could have 
presented it as a congressional-executive agreement, which does live 
beyond that, but they decided instead that they were going to do it as 
an executive agreement and totally bypass Congress. That was their 
purpose. As a matter of fact, I wrote a letter to the President, and 
they responded very quickly: Yes, our plan is to bypass Congress and go 
directly to the U.N. Security Council. We are going to do this as an 
executive agreement. That obviously met with a lot of resistance here, 
but it is their choice. But the problem with that, of course, is that 
it only lasts while they are in office, and then the next Executive can 
change.
  Because all of us had brought Iran to the table and because the 
administration had planned to use a national security waiver to waive 
our sanctions--the ones that brought them to the table--we resisted. We 
began on our side of the aisle, saying: No, we want a voice in this. We 
brought them to the table. This is the biggest foreign policy issue 
that is going to occur while we are here, in all likelihood.
  We began pushing on this side of the aisle, and eventually we were 
able to get some support on this side of the aisle. Eventually we 
passed 98 to 1 a bill called the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, 
which, by the way, took back power from the President, basically 
saying: You cannot implement this for a 60-day period after it ends. 
You have to give us the materials. We have to be able to go through all 
the materials. Of course, we haven't gotten all of the materials. Then 
we have the right to disapprove or approve. But there is going to be a 
pause on behalf of the American people, we are going to go through this 
in detail, and then we are going to vote.
  That was actually a taking back of power from the administration 
which kept them from immediately being able to implement. We are in 
that period of time now. The administration has said the clock ends on 
Thursday. We are having this vote, but everybody has said in this body 
that this is a vote of conscience. Everybody has said that.
  By the way, I would add that overwhelming support for sanctions, 
overwhelming support for review--there would be an overwhelming vote of 
approval had the administration done what they said they were going to 
do when they began these negotiations, which was to end Iran's nuclear 
program. Had they done that, we would be seeing a totally different 
outcome here. There would be 100 people here voting in support of an 
agreement. But

[[Page S6633]]

what they did was they squandered that opportunity--squandered it. 
Instead, with U.S. approval, Iran will be industrializing its nuclear 
program. Research and development will take place. All Iran has to do 
is adhere to the agreement, and it will be an advanced nuclear country.
  Again, if they had just done what they said, we would be supporting 
them. So now here we are. The American people have difficulty. We are 
in a process right now. In the Senate, we have something called 
cloture. When both sides of the aisle feel as though the debate has 
ended, we invoke cloture and then we move to the final vote. We have 
had plenty of debate.
  By the way, in the Foreign Relations Committee, we have had 12 
hearings, not to count the informal meetings that have taken place. 
Every Senator in this body probably knows more about this nuclear deal 
than any international arrangement that has been agreed to in recent 
times. I mean, people have gone through it tooth and comb. So what is 
happening now is that we have a bipartisan majority that opposes this 
deal. What has happened--it is unfortunate, but Senator Reid--I don't 
know whether he saw this as a contest between himself and the majority. 
I don't know what happened. But in August, he decided he wanted to 
mount a filibuster. It is our understanding that the administration 
supported that filibuster. They wanted the Senate to block us from 
being able to vote our conscience.
  This next vote is not a vote of conscience. It is not. It is a 
demonstration of 42 Senators--at least that is what happened last 
time--42 Senators--a minority--refusing to let the majority, a 
bipartisan majority--the 2 most knowledgeable Democrats on foreign 
policy issues oppose this agreement. What they are doing is blocking us 
from having that vote of conscience. It has taken on a little bit of a 
Tammy Wynette kind of tone to me. It appears to me that this is about 
standing by their man. It is not about allowing us to vote our 
conscience.
  So, yes, people are upset. Almost unanimous support for sanctions to 
bring them to the table. Only one Senator disagreeing with our ability 
to weigh in. Now we are at a point where it is time to weigh in, and 
the minority leader, my friend from Nevada, has organized, with the 
administration's support, a filibuster, which is, by the way, put in 
place to make sure there is enough debate. We know there has been 
enough debate. But instead of allowing debate to end, tonight it 
appears. I hope there are some consciences in this body that say: Wait 
a minute, this is wrong.
  By the way, I know people say: Well, this is just the way the Senate 
operates. I will tell you this: I have voted for enough things I 
disagree strongly with to make the Senate work to be able to make this 
appeal to my friends. Look, 98 of us voted to allow us to vote up or 
down on whether we agree with the substance of this deal. It is totally 
inappropriate, from my perspective, that a minority of Senators, all on 
one side of the aisle--definitely a partisan act, a very partisan act--
appear intended to keep the President from getting a message of 
disapproval from the Senate. It appears to me that what they are going 
to do is do it again.
  I want to say to my friends on the other side of the aisle that our 
leader here has honored the request of the body--at least up until 
now. He has honored the request to be about a resolution of approval or 
disapproval. In this case, since a majority disapprove, it is a 
resolution of disapproval, but what we have seen him do is fill the 
tree. A lot of people don't know what that means, so I will explain. We 
could have had a lot of amendments--and up until this point we haven't 
had these amendments--that would have been pretty tough votes to make 
that are related to this arrangement, but not about the disapproval 
itself.

  What our leader has done--in order to keep the debate civil, sober, 
and focused on what we are here at hand about--he has actually filled 
the tree and kept those amendments from coming in place.
  We will have another vote at 6 p.m. We will keep it open for a couple 
of hours because it is a Jewish holiday, and we want to make sure that 
all of our colleagues can get back here and have the opportunity to 
register their vote.
  I ask my friends on the other side of the aisle: Is this really in 
keeping with the spirit of what we have done?
  I have had friends say: Well, we have known all along that it would 
take 60 votes. It doesn't take but a week here to understand that a 
cloture vote has to be overcome, and in the Senate that takes 60 votes. 
My friend from Virginia keeps saying: Well, we all know it takes 60 
votes. Look, I understand. The American people understand that it takes 
60 votes to move beyond cloture to get to a final vote, which, by the 
way, is an up-or-down vote at 51.
  So the American people understand what is happening: 42 Senators on 
the other side of the aisle, my friends, after voting 98 to 1 that we 
could weigh in, have decided that what they are going to do is keep us 
from being able to vote the majority, up or down, because they know if 
we do, a bipartisan majority--the two most knowledgeable Democrats on 
foreign policy disapprove it, making it 58 votes--would be able to send 
to the President the feelings of this body, and that is the majority 
believes that this deal should be disapproved and that the 
administration has squandered the opportunity that we helped create 
because they did not end the nuclear program. Instead what they have 
done with this deal was to basically legitimize it.
  As the Presiding Officer mentioned the other day, we are going to be 
helping them with technology. They will continue with research and 
development. We have lifted the ballistic-missile ban, the conventional 
ban, and we are going to agree to let them begin testing missiles 
immediately.
  As our Presiding Officer mentioned the other day: What do they need 
ICBMs for? Think about it. What do they need them for?
  I know it is time for Senator Moran to speak on the floor, so I will 
close with this: The American people know they have no practical need 
for this program--none. They have one nuclear plant. They could buy and 
enrich uranium much cheaper. We know this is about one thing, and that 
is them being a nuclear state, and, in essence, we are agreeing to the 
industrialization of their program.
  With that, I yield the floor to Senator Moran.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Ms. Ayotte). The Senator from Kansas.
  Mr. MORAN. Madam President, I appreciate the remarks of my esteemed 
colleague of Tennessee, the chairman of the Foreign Relations 
Committee. He has the knowledge and relationships in the Senate to make 
the case he just made.
  I wish to just briefly address what I see as terrible flaws in this 
agreement which was negotiated by the Obama administration with other 
countries and with Iran.
  I have previously outlined my objections on the Senate floor. I will 
restate that I strongly oppose the agreement and would hope that the 
Senate, on behalf of the American people, our national security, and 
peace around the globe, would make the same decision that I have made, 
which is that this agreement results in less stability, a greater 
likelihood of war, and a nuclear Iran--a country that is capable of 
delivering nuclear devices across its border, shouts ``Death to 
America.'' We are acquiescing by the action the Senate has taken to 
date that this agreement will take effect.
  I can't imagine a more significant vote that Members of the Senate 
will take than this one, certainly in the arena of national security, 
national defense, and international relations. This agreement concedes 
too much and secures too little.
  I serve on the banking committee. This is the committee that, because 
of our oversight over the Treasury Department, is responsible for 
legislation dealing with sanctions. I have participated in the debate 
in the committee and on the Senate floor about the sanctions that 
Congress has put in place against Iran. In my view, my colleagues and 
I--and I can certainly speak for myself--did not vote to put sanctions 
in place for the purposes of causing Iran to negotiate a path to 
nuclear capabilities. I voted for sanctions time and time again. I 
voted to increase them, encouraged by my letters and comments on the 
Senate floor, in my conversations with administration officials, and 
with my colleagues in the

[[Page S6634]]

Senate that we tighten the sanctions. I didn't ask that the sanctions 
be tightened. I didn't encourage the administration to be more forceful 
in their enforcement for purposes of creating a setting in which Iran 
could negotiate a way out of the sanctions for the purpose of 
developing nuclear capabilities. Those sanctions were put in place for 
the purpose of keeping Iran from becoming a nuclear power. Instead 
those sanctions have been the excuse by which this administration has 
negotiated a deal that is bad for the United States, bad for our 
European and worldwide allies, and particularly bad for our allies in 
the Middle East.
  One would think that any agreement that was negotiated would 
dismantle Iran's nuclear capabilities. This agreement does not do that. 
One would assume that any agreement negotiated would prohibit the 
dollars from flowing--particularly billions of dollars to Iran--until 
they had complied with the terms of the agreement. But, no, this 
agreement allows the dollars to flow nearly from the beginning.
  Iran will become a legitimized and enriched nuclear power, and they 
will become a wealthier, nuclear-capable country that supports 
terrorism in the Middle East and around the globe. As they have clearly 
stated, they will continue their effort to terrorize the world and end 
our way of life in the West as we know it with their continual chants 
of ``Death to America.''
  As perhaps an issue that ought to be raised, one would think the 
administration would negotiate the release of Americans held captive in 
Iran as part of this agreement, but, no, they said that was extraneous. 
Yet, they negotiated issues related not only to nuclear capability but 
other weapons allowing Iran to increase its weaponization outside the 
nuclear arena.
  I wish to now talk about the process. I came to the Senate following 
an election in 2010, and the frustration I immediately experienced was 
that this place was doing next to nothing. For most of my life, I have 
been encouraged when Congress wasn't at work because I thought my 
constituents were safer in the absence of congressional activity, but I 
came to the Senate with the intention of having a Senate that would 
work for the purpose of undoing many of the things that have happened 
over a long period of time that, in my view, are damaging to our 
freedoms and liberties and damaging to our ability to live the American 
dream.
  I learned in a matter of a few weeks of my arrival in the Senate, and 
after taking the oath of office, that in this place the plan was to do 
nothing. We have seen that time and time again. My reaction to that 
was: I want to go out and see if we can get a Republican majority in 
which we have different leadership of the Senate, in which the goal is 
to have a Senate that functions, and the opportunity is for every 
Senator, Republican and Democrat, to present their ideas on behalf of 
their constituents and make the case to the rest of us that those ideas 
are worthy of our support.
  The goal, in part, for a change in the majority of the Senate was to 
have a functioning Senate in which every Senator, Republican or 
Democrat, had the chance to present their ideas. I thought, as a result 
of a change in the majority, that when we all, Republicans and 
Democrats, had the opportunity to present those ideas on behalf of our 
constituents, we would see a change in the attitude and approach of the 
way the Senate operates.
  For much of my early life, what I discovered about America's 
Congress--about the Senate and the House--was that there were Senators 
who didn't care who the President was or what party the President 
belonged to. There were Republican Senators who would disagree with a 
Republican President and Democratic Senators who would disagree with a 
Democratic President. Somehow over time, the political nature of our 
country has changed, and it seems to me we put the party of our 
President above the well-being of our Nation. That is dangerous.
  I oppose this agreement not because it was negotiated by a Democratic 
President. I oppose this agreement because it is wrong, and it is bad 
for America. I thought the Senate--once the opportunities for all of us 
to present our ideas was available--would once again see the days in 
which it was not about party affiliation, but about the idea of 
presenting the best course and direction our country should go. 
Unfortunately, it seems to me, that the Iran agreement is the poster 
child for a Senate that is once again bogged down in support of a 
President on an agreement that is unworthy of that support.
  Our country desperately needs men and women who serve in public 
office whose decisions are made not because they are pressured by a 
President, not because their President shares their party and political 
affiliation. Decisions need to be made here that benefit Americans 
today but, more importantly, Americans in the future. What seems to me 
to be missing in my efforts to change the nature of the Senate is that 
we are still mired in the circumstance in which--in the absence of 60 
votes--the Senate's will on behalf of the American people cannot be 
expressed.
  The point I guess I failed to understand is when new leadership came 
into play that was open and receptive to Democratic and Republican 
Senators presenting their thoughts, amendments being offered, bills 
being considered, most of my Democrat colleagues would find that 
appealing because we all came here to do something we believe in, not 
to play a political game. Unfortunately, that does not seem, to me, to 
be the case today.
  This is the opportunity for us to change course and return the Senate 
to the day in which it was deliberative and in which Senators spoke on 
behalf of the well-being of the country as compared to the well-being 
of a President. It is very discouraging to me. We worked hard to make 
certain that the Senate became a place different than it was, and 
unfortunately we see in this circumstance it doesn't appear to be much 
different than it was a year ago.
  I have been a supporter of the rules that allow for a filibuster, 
that require 60 votes for the Senate to advance an issue. I always 
thought that protected the minority--people who have different points 
of view, people who come to Washington, DC, and may not be in the 
majority and may feel as if they would be run over in the absence of 
their ability to protect their constituents, their ideas, and 60 votes 
was designed to protect the minority viewpoints in this country.
  This becomes the moment, in my view, in which we can look at what has 
transpired on the debate on Iran and reach the conclusion that the 60-
vote rule is damaging to the future of our country because it is 
damaging to the ability of the Senate to work the will of the American 
people and to make decisions that advance a cause different from one's 
political party and political philosophy.
  In my view, the time has come for us to consider this issue of how 
the filibuster works. It is because this issue is so important and the 
outcome of this debate so valuable to the future of our country and the 
security of the world that in this case, we need to move forward with a 
majority vote to allow this agreement to be rejected.
  This agreement is not worthy of the protection it is being given by a 
minority of Senators. It is supported--the rejection of this treaty--
this agreement; it should be a treaty--the rejection of this agreement 
is opposed by a majority of Republican and Democratic Senators. Yet we 
will never have the opportunity--unless a couple of our colleagues 
decide to do what is right this evening--for the American people to see 
where we stand on this issue.
  These are serious times. Nothing is easy in the world. It is always 
difficult to know what the right answers are, but the path the Senate 
is on today and the path the Senate took last Thursday is a terrible 
mistake for the future of our country and the security of our citizens. 
I urge the Senate to allow consideration of this agreement, and I urge 
the Senate to reject this agreement for the good of America.
  I yield the floor to the Senator from South Dakota.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from South Dakota.
  Mr. ROUNDS. Madam President, I echo the feelings of my friend and 
colleague from the State of Kansas. He speaks with emotion and he 
speaks with a heartfelt sense of concern that many of us have with 
regard to this proposed agreement by the President.
  I rise to speak about the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or the

[[Page S6635]]

JCPOA, between the United States, Great Britain, France, China, Russia, 
Germany, and the Islamic Republic of Iran. Much has been said about the 
agreement over the past weeks and months. My colleagues have addressed 
a great number of concerns and deficiencies about the deal and many 
outside experts have testified before multiple committees of Congress 
explaining their views as well.
  In addressing these concerns, I wish to ask just a few simple 
questions: Do we believe that with this agreement the United States and 
our allies are safer today than we were 1 year ago and will we be safer 
when the nuclear limitations expire in 10 years? The answers to these 
questions are very important. They will dictate what we decide in one 
of the most important votes we will cast in the 114th Congress.
  After closely examining the agreement, the following can be 
concluded: Upon verification by the IAEA--the International Atomic 
Energy Agency--of Iranian compliance, supposedly within a few months if 
Iran is in compliance, they will, after payment of their obligations, 
receive around $56 billion that were frozen in overseas accounts. 
Further revenue will be generated because the European Union has agreed 
to lift its ban on the import of Iranian oil, thereby providing Iran 
with billions more in revenue with which to repair its oilfields and 
begin to repair its battered economy.
  According to the Wall Street Journal, Iran's Deputy Petroleum 
Minister recently stated that his country's oil exports would reach 2.3 
million barrels a day, compared with around 1.2 million barrels per day 
today. Iran would also gain access to 50 million barrels of oil which 
have been held offshore, and economists estimate that Iran's economy 
will grow up to 9 percent in the year after the implementation of the 
agreement.
  This verification that we talk about by the IAEA will be accomplished 
through protocols that Members of the Senate have not seen in writing 
and that the administration has not--nor will they--agreed to provide 
to us. This is in direct contravention to the Iran review act, which 
the President signed into law, agreeing to provide all documents and 
side agreements and, according to reports, will unbelievably allow the 
Iranians to provide their own inspections of their military work on 
nuclear sites to the IAEA.
  A robust inspection of a regime requires an anytime, anywhere 
inspection policy. Unfortunately, under the idea of managed access, as 
found in this agreement, if the IAEA requests access to an undeclared 
location, under this agreement Iran can delay access to the facility 
for 2 weeks or longer with the outlined multistep process for 
undeclared locations.
  U.S. sanctions against foreign firms for dealing with Iran in the oil 
and financial sectors, which have been the most effective sanctions 
enacted against Iran, will be suspended upon implementation of this 
agreement. Sanctions prohibiting U.S. firms from conducting business 
with Iran will remain in place, but with a large carve-out for non-U.S. 
entities that are owned or controlled by U.S. companies. Some sanctions 
will also be lifted against Iran's Revolutionary Guard, the entity that 
actually runs the military aspects of Iran's nuclear program. 
Furthermore, the agreement requires the United States to make certain 
that U.S. State and local governments comply with sanctions relief 
contravening their own sanctions placed on Iran.
  Now, this proposal, the JCPOA, also commits the P5+1--that working 
group of countries--to work to strengthen Iran's ability to protect 
against and respond to nuclear security threats, including sabotage, 
which we can presume would mean from even our allies who feel deeply 
threatened by this agreement which transforms Iran--a terrorist State--
into a breakout nuclear power and still a terrorist State.
  In year 5 of the agreement, Iran will be removed from the United 
Nations arms embargo. Yet as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 
GEN Martin Dempsey, told the Senate Armed Services Committee in August: 
``Under no circumstances should we relieve pressure on Iran relative to 
ballistic missile capabilities and arms trafficking.''
  In year 8 of the agreement, Iran will be removed from the United 
Nations ballistic missile embargo.
  Now, in July of this year, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter 
confirmed to me in a hearing that under this deal, he could not rule 
out Iran acquiring, within 10 years, an intercontinental ballistic 
missile that could hit the United States. This means Iran would have 
the capability of producing a nuclear weapon that could reach U.S. soil 
in a decade.
  These comments come after Gen. Paul Selva, now the Vice Chairman of 
the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told me during a separate hearing that Iran 
remains the leading State sponsor of terrorism, and resources gained in 
sanctions relief under the nuclear deal could be used by Iran to 
continue sponsoring terrorism.
  Under the agreement, the United States agreed to allow the nuclear-
related equipment to remain in Iran under lock and key, and Iran will 
be allowed to continue researching IR-4, IR-5, IR-6, and IR-8 
centrifuges. Iran will also be allowed to begin testing IR-6 and IR-8 
centrifuges in cascades of 30 at year 8 of the agreement. After 8 
years, many of the research-and-development restrictions are removed 
and Iran will begin to manufacture advanced centrifuges. All R&D 
restrictions end at 10 years.
  Finally, after 10 years, Iran will be free of the restrictions on 
enrichment and could become a nuclear threshold State--legally, under 
international law--only postponing the inevitable nuclearization of 
Iran.
  So with these facts established, I am left with what appears to me to 
be the undeniable answers to my questions: The United States and our 
Middle Eastern allies are absolutely not safer today than we were 1 
year ago, and we will all be left unquestionably less safe when this 
agreement ends in 10 years. I, therefore, oppose this deal. It is an 
agreement that will reward a violent terrorist regime. Instead of 
stopping the Iranians from ever obtaining a nuclear weapon, it merely 
delays it. This deal is shortsighted and dangerous for our security.
  Just a few days ago I was talking with my 8-year-old grandson. He 
asked me what I was working on in the Senate. I told him about the 
President's proposed deal with Iran. I told him what we were giving 
them. I told him about the money, the lifting of the sanctions, the 
access to weapons and, soon, the ability to make a very bad bomb. After 
all of this, he looked at me and he simply asked: ``What do we get out 
of it?'' If this third grader can see how bad this deal is, so should 
we.
  In conclusion, I urge my fellow Senators to vote not only to allow us 
to debate this issue but to vote in opposition to the President's deal 
with Iran. It is truly wrong for the United States and for the world. 
If my grandson understood that we truly are getting a bad deal--one 
that we should reject--most certainly we should understand as well.
  Madam President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Tennessee.
  Mr. CORKER. Madam President, I am moved by the comments of my friend. 
He told me the story regarding the discussion with his 8-year-old 
grandson.
  I wish to reiterate that had the President and those he designated to 
negotiate done what they said they were going to do--and that was to 
end Iran's nuclear program, something we all celebrated--and if the 
good Senator could say to his grandson that is what we got out of the 
deal, what we would have here today is unanimous support of approval.
  This body was so involved in bringing Iran to the table. It is 
unbelievable the way--in these days and times, since 2010, four times 
the Senate has voted almost unanimously to put sanctions in place to 
bring Iran to the table. It is also hard to believe the administration 
took the one issue that has caused us to almost have unanimity which, 
let's face it, is rare in these times--the one issue where we have had 
almost unanimity is to bring it to the table by passing sanctions and 
then give us a right to weigh in. They were trying to go around 
Congress by going directly to the U.N. Security Council. But what they 
did on an issue that the American people are solidly behind--and that 
is Iran not having nuclear weapons--what they did was squander--
squander--the one opportunity for this body to act in unison; that is, 
to approve what they have done.

[[Page S6636]]

  As the Senator just mentioned, what they have agreed to--what the 
partisan minority Senators on the other side of the aisle will not even 
allow us to vote on--vote our disapproval where a bipartisan majority 
disapproves--what they have agreed to, literally, is, with U.S. 
approval, Iran can industrialize their nuclear program, can develop 
long-range missiles, can be involved in research and development, which 
makes the IR-1 centrifuges, where all the focus has been, look like 
antiques compared to what they are going to be--what they are 
developing right now, and we are allowing them to do that. Again, this 
is in a country that has no need for a nuclear program--none.
  I mean, there is no practical need for the pain they have put their 
citizens through for the past several years under these crushing 
sanctions that brought them to the table that we put in place--no 
reason for that. They want to be a threshold nuclear country, and our 
government--our officials--has agreed to that. They have agreed to that 
at a time when we have no Middle East policy--none. We are watching on 
television refugees from countries that are the result of the fact that 
we have no Middle East policy. In that vacuum, this Nation--this 
administration, without this being disapproved and sent back--this 
Nation is going to agree to the industrialization of the No. 1 state 
sponsor of terror, which is propping up the regime that is causing all 
of these refugees to be flooding into Europe and other places.
  With that, I see Senator Cassidy of Louisiana who has been such a 
stalwart on national security issues, and I will yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Louisiana.
  Mr. CASSIDY. I thank the chairman of the committee.
  Madam President, the challenge in speaking after so many others have 
on this agreement is that almost every angle has been addressed. But 
the advantage is that I have been able to learn what others have to say 
and perhaps introduce new ideas.
  I am actually struck that Democrats and Republicans agree. We all 
agree that the Iranian agreement is flawed, that it does not achieve 
the objectives originally defined by President Obama, and everyone is 
worried that the Iranians will use a portion of the $50 to $100 billion 
they receive as a result of this agreement to advance the cause of 
terrorism.
  What we do not agree on is whether or not the administration could 
have and can get a better deal. Ironically, Republicans have more faith 
in the President than the President's fellow Democrats do. Republicans 
think that if Barack Obama and John Kerry called them back up--showed 
leadership among our allies--that we can do better and Democrats think 
not. I continue to have more faith in the President and Secretary Kerry 
than my Democratic colleagues because typically the stronger party in a 
negotiation gets the better deal. It seems as if the United States and 
our allies were the stronger parties.
  Iran's economy is in terrible shape. The regime's survival is 
threatened by dissatisfaction with 25 years of a corrupt bureaucratic 
autocracy, with economic mismanagement. Iran needs to get $130 per 
barrel of oil to meet the government's obligations, and oil is far 
below that. Iran's trading partners are limited, and aside from this, 
the Iranian people want freedom. There is discontent with the regime.
  But far from the stronger party prevailing, this agreement concedes 
on the very goals that it sought to achieve. We pursued this agreement 
with the intention of ridding Iran of its nuclear program. Instead we 
have agreed to lift sanctions that have crippled Iran's economy and 
give immediate access to $60 billion, essentially bailing out a 
struggling regime. It is fair to ask: In return for what?
  According to the President and my colleagues who support this deal, 
we get the opportunity not to go to war, and all Iran had to do was 
simply agree to continue developing and running their nuclear program 
in a peaceful manner. But to quote Leon Wieseltier, a Senior Fellow at 
the Brookings Institute:

       This agreement was designed to prevent Iran from acquiring 
     nuclear weapons. If it does not prevent Iran from acquiring 
     nuclear weapons--and it seems uncontroversial to suggest that 
     it does not guarantee such an outcome--then it does not solve 
     the problem that it was designed to solve. And if it does not 
     solve the problem that it was designed to solve, then it is 
     itself not an alternative, is it? The status is still quo.

  How can it be the claim that this Iranian agreement protects the 
American people from the dangers of war when we are also told that the 
United States must provide more military support to our allies in the 
region because of this deal increasing the likelihood of war?
  Secretary Kerry acknowledged in a September 2 letter that, indeed, 
war is more likely: ``Iran's continued support for terrorist and proxy 
groups throughout the region, its propping up of the Assad regime in 
Syria, its efforts to undermine the stability of its regional 
neighbors, and the threat it poses to Israel'' are real concerns. He 
goes on to say, ``We have no illusion that this behavior will change 
following the implementation of the JCPOA.''
  Why are we willingly, I ask, legitimizing a nuclear program of a 
country that we feel this way about or, worse yet, why are we willingly 
agreeing to lift sanctions, which gives Iran billions of dollars and an 
improved economy and therefore the extra resources with which they can 
buy and distribute conventional weapons, which Iran can now buy 
legally? Regarding the purpose of the conventional weapons, in the 
final hours of negotiations, the lifting of the embargo against the 
sale of conventional weapons and missiles was added to this deal. In 
just 5 years we lift the embargo against conventional weapons, and in 8 
years we lift the embargo against ballistic missiles. Secretary Kerry 
has declared that this provision is a win. The terrible thing about 
this deal is that it is full of wins such as this. Iran's interest is 
advanced, and the rest of the world is less safe.
  This does not add up. We have the administration claiming that the 
regime is weak underneath our sanctions--and for that reason Rouhani 
was able to persuade Khamenei to come to the table for negotiations--
yet stating that Iran's opposition to lifting the arms embargo was too 
strong to resist. The country cannot be too strong and too weak at the 
same time.
  Furthermore, knowing that the Iranians have cheated on numerous 
previous nuclear agreements, why don't we have a stronger mechanism 
with which to punish them should they cheat? All this deal puts in 
place is the snapback. The hope is that reimposing sanctions on Iran 
will once more cripple their economy. The same sanctions that have been 
implemented over many years are expected to somehow immediately return 
to full strength. What is to say that countries such as Russia or 
China, which were initially reluctant to impose the sanctions on Iran, 
would agree to snap back should Iran cheat? Especially considering how 
much stronger Iran will be once their economy is given the chance to 
rebound, it seems more likely that these countries believe the economic 
advantages of lifting sanctions on Iran far outweigh the implications 
of a nuclear Iran.
  It has been stated one way or another by others, but I will discuss 
something that has not been discussed in relation to the Iranian 
agreement but which I am surprised is not of greater concern to 
Democrats. In its environmental impact statement issued in February 
2014, the State Department estimated that the Keystone XL Pipeline, 
which would ultimately carry 830,000 barrels of oil daily, could 
increase emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases by 1.3 to 27.4 
million metric tons annually. Based on these calculations, President 
Obama has denied Americans a chance to expand our energy independence 
and to in turn create 40,000 direct jobs and many more indirect. If 
this deal goes through--the Iranian deal--the Iranian oil minister 
stated that Iran could send 500,000 barrels of oil per day to the 
market immediately upon easing the sanctions and up to 1 million 
barrels of oil per day within 6 months. According to an estimate by a 
DC think tank, if Iran increases their oil production by this much, it 
will release 156 million more metric tons of carbon dioxide per day. 
Wait a second. If we build the Keystone XL Pipeline, we may have 1.3 
million metric tons. We can't do that because of greenhouse gases. But 
the Iranian agreement, which the President said has to occur, will 
increase greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 156 million metric 
tons--over 100 times more.

[[Page S6637]]

  If climate change is the greatest threat to the United States, even 
greater than a nuclear Iran, it seems as though the President has said 
he is willing to accept that danger in order to give the Iranians this 
deal.
  Well, I return to where I started. I ask my Democratic Senate 
colleagues not to have such low expectations of the President and to 
demand a better deal for the American people. I stand by the assertion 
that the alternative to this bad deal is not war, but a better deal.
  I am confident that our Nation can stand from a position of power and 
negotiate the deal we set out to achieve.
  Thank you, Madam 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. RISCH. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. RISCH. Madam President, I am here to make a few remarks about the 
proposed agreement between the United States--our participation in the 
agreement with the Government of Iran. I am going to speak briefly 
because we have been through this. I just want to underscore a few 
points that are very important to me as to why I am going to be voting 
the way I am voting.
  I think, first of all, one of the things you always want to do when 
you are entering into an agreement is weigh whom it is you are making 
an agreement with. I always told clients when I was practicing law that 
more important than the words on the paper were the people whose 
signatures appeared at the bottom. I think, in this particular 
instance, we could not have a worse situation than what we have.
  The Iranians have shown us what they are made of for decades. We all 
know what they are made of. This is not going to be a good time as we 
go forward. Generally, when people make an agreement, and people make 
agreements every day, they agree on an objective and then both 
cooperate as they move forward toward that objective. That is not going 
to happen here. We have seen before the Iranians operate under similar 
circumstances. They cheat, to begin with, on a regular basis. But just 
as importantly, they will stiff-arm, they will drag their feet, they 
will misinterpret, they will challenge, they will do everything 
possible to avoid meeting the objective of the agreement.
  How did all of this start? You remember when this whole thing 
started, everyone was cheering about what a wonderful thing this is, 
and we are going to go forward with this, but we do not trust them, and 
no agreement is better than a bad agreement. Well, what has happened 
since then? There is not anybody saying this is a good agreement. This 
is a bad agreement. So why did we not stick with the proposition that 
no agreement was better than a bad agreement? Now the mantra that 
people are talking about is, well, it is not perfect.
  I would urge that with what we are dealing, the people we are dealing 
with, and because of the consequences for America, for the world, for 
the Middle East, it needs to be perfect, and it is nowhere near 
perfect. I want to underscore a couple things in that regard.
  The other thing we started out with was that the President promised 
us that we are going to have inspections anytime, anyplace. Nothing 
could be further from the truth now that this agreement has been put on 
the table. This is not an anytime, anyplace agreement. Indeed, the 
procedures--if you wade through the difficult and complex procedures 
for how you get to an inspection when there is suspicion or even when 
there is not suspicion, if you are just doing it to check, it is going 
to be very difficult to do that. In addition to that, there are places 
in Iran that are off limits. No American will ever set foot in there. 
No IAEA inspector will ever set foot in there.
  So why anyone would make this kind of agreement is beyond me. I am 
talking about Parchin. Parchin is a place where they have done the kind 
of work in the past that we want to stop. Indeed, by getting in there, 
by going through it, by inspecting it and doing an analysis, we would 
be able to tell what they did so we could expect what they would do in 
the future--and they will. In addition to that, the most likely place 
in Iran for bad things to happen is at Parchin. No one can get in 
Parchin. Why would the Iranians insist on a provision in this agreement 
that no one can get into Parchin? There is only one reason: They intend 
to cheat and they intend to do it at Parchin. They have gotten away 
with a lot of things at Parchin in the past, so they want to protect 
it.
  All of these things argue for no agreement being better than a bad 
agreement, which this is.
  Let me talk about a couple of the things. There has been a lot of 
time spent on them, but this situation regarding the money is just--I 
don't understand how people can talk about signing on to this 
agreement, when you are talking about what is going to happen with the 
money that is going to be freed up for Iran. There is $150 billion that 
is going to be freed up. Now, you will get people who say: Well, it is 
not that much because they owe this. It is dedicated here, what have 
you. So let's just take the 50 billion that everybody believes--I think 
they say 54 billion, but let's take $50 billion--$50 billion. In Iran 
this is not small change. Here in the United States, obviously, it 
would be a much smaller amount. But the statistics, when you compare 
what $50 billion means to the regime in Iran, it is very substantial.
  What does Iran do with its money when it gets money? Since the 
sanctions have been on, their economy has been ratcheting down and 
down. Life has become much more difficult there from an economic 
standpoint. The government has very little money to operate. But every 
country has national priorities. Every single country on the face of 
this Earth has national priorities. The only way can you judge it is 
how they have spent their money in the past. During this period of 
time, while they were in very difficult financial straits, they had the 
ability to fund and to finance the worst enemies America has, the worst 
enemies the world has--terrorists. They have funded Hamas, they have 
funded the Houthi rebels, they have funded Hezbollah, and others. Every 
problem we have in the world with terrorism has Iran's fingerprints on 
it.
  They have been able to fund that even when they were in difficult 
financial straits. What do you think is going to happen when they get 
this windfall of $50 billion? Those organizations are going to become 
flush with cash. They are going to be able do things they have not been 
able to do in the past. If you go to the hospitals here in America 
where our veterans are lying with missing limbs--arms and legs--almost 
all of them, almost all of them were caused by a device that Iran 
either made or financed. That is where this money is going to go. How 
can you go to bed at night saying, well, yes, I agreed to this because 
it is going to be a wonderful thing for the world, when you have 
actually put money in the hands of these terrorists who are going to 
hurt America's best who go out into the field? It boggles my mind. When 
you are sitting at the negotiating table, why did someone not say: Hey, 
if we catch any of this money going to terrorists, all bets are off, 
and we are going to pull back everything.
  It is not just the $50 billion. More important than that is Iran will 
now have a continuous cashflow because they are going to be able to 
sell their oil, and they are going to be able to generate substantial 
amounts of money. So it is not just the $50 billion. This money thing 
is a real problem. It absolutely boggles my mind that--I don't know how 
anybody who supports this is going to look these Americans in the eye 
who are hurt by these devices that are made and that are financed by 
Iran. It is going to go on. It is going to continue. This money is 
going to be used for that. That alone, to me, is sufficient reason not 
to vote for this. It should be sent back, saying: Look, we need a 
specific agreement that this money is going to be used for domestic 
purposes for you to help the people of Iran--the people who want to do 
good things--and not sent off to foreign terrorists who are going to 
use that money to kill Americans and to kill other people.

  I wish to talk for a second about the secret agreements that are 
incorporated into this. Who--who--would sign a contract or an agreement 
where

[[Page S6638]]

you incorporated two agreements made by two third parties, you don't 
know what is in them--you will never know what is in them unless things 
go south and go south badly--but you will have agreed to that. Whatever 
happens as a result of these secret agreements--whatever happens as a 
result of these secret agreements--we are going to have to abide by it 
because we will have entered into this.
  Nobody enters into a contract to buy a bicycle where they have secret 
agreements. You wouldn't buy a consumer product for your home if at the 
bottom line it said: By the way, there are two agreements between so 
and so and so and so. Neither of them is a part of this, but by buying 
this and signing this contract, you are agreeing to whatever is in 
there.
  I don't understand that. No American has seen it. We get fairly good 
information in the Intelligence Committee, and we have had closed 
hearings on this. We have dragged in everybody. The closest I have come 
to is Wendy Sherman. She was the No. 2 negotiator behind John Kerry. 
John Kerry has not seen these agreements--and everybody tells you what 
is in these agreements.
  I cross-examined them:
  How do you know what is in these agreements?
  Well, that is what we were told.
  Well, how do you know it if you haven't seen it?
  Well, the Iranians tell us what is in there, and the IAEA tells us 
what is in there. So we are willing to accept that.
  But no American has seen it. Wendy Sherman admitted she was in a room 
with a number of people when the agreements were there, and they were 
being waved around, but she did not read those agreements. She cannot 
tell us what is in those agreements. She tried to tell us what is in 
those agreements. Others tried to tell us what is in those agreements, 
but nobody knows because they will not let us see what is in those 
agreements.
  Why is that? Do you think there are things in those agreements that 
show this is a good deal?
  They are hiding stuff. There are bad things in there for America. Yet 
people are willing to sign on to this and to endorse, to adopt, and to 
ratify two secret agreements that no American has ever seen or can 
vouch for what is in those two secret agreements.
  One of the things that is included in there that they have admitted 
is how Parchin gets inspected or, rather, isn't inspected. If they are 
willing to admit that in those secret agreements there is a provision 
that says Parchin will never be inspected, can you imagine what the 
rest of the matters are that are in those agreements? It is outrageous 
for someone to adopt, on behalf of the American people, provisions that 
they don't know what they are.
  Let me just say that I come back to where I started; that is, we need 
to have a full appreciation of whom we are dealing with. While this is 
going on, while the Senate is debating this, and while the American 
Congress is debating this, the leaders of Iran proudly stand, beat 
their chests, and say: We promise you that Israel will not exist in 25 
years.
  I don't believe much of what they say, but what I do believe is, 
because of the way they have acted, because of their history, that they 
will do everything they possibly can to make that promise come true.
  This is whom we are dealing with. They are going to try to eliminate 
our closest ally in the world over the next 25 years. This is whom we 
are dealing with. And we are willing to get in bed with these people 
and throw Israel under the bus? It is fantastic. It just does not make 
sense, but that is whom we are dealing with. They are promising, while 
all this is going on, that they will see that Israel does not exist in 
25 years.
  Well, it has been all over the media that the people who were 
supporting this are looking for a legacy. I promise you that the people 
who support this are going to get a legacy, but it is not going to be 
the legacy they want. When this thing goes south, the media and every 
American is going to be looking for the people who did this, who 
supported it, and who ratified it through this Congress.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Gardner). The Senator from Connecticut.
  Mr. MURPHY. Mr. President, I am back to the floor a second time to 
speak very briefly in favor of the nuclear agreement with Iran. I don't 
clearly understand why we are here again.
  When I was sworn into the House, I remember that one of the things 
people told me was a phrase that said that politics stops at the 
water's edge. The idea was we reserve our deep political, partisan 
disagreements for domestic issues, and we don't hesitate to disagree--
often vociferously--with each other on issues of national security that 
regard our relations with other countries, but we do that based on 
policy grounds. We don't do that in order to try to score political 
advantage with one another, because when you are playing pure politics 
with international relations, you are really playing with the security 
of this country.
  There is absolutely no reason to have this vote today other than a 
desire on behalf of the majority party in the Senate to try to gain 
some perceived political advantage over the minority party or over the 
President.
  We know exactly what is going to happen. There aren't the votes for 
this resolution of disapproval to proceed past the Senate. There 
weren't the votes last week. There will not be the votes this week. We 
know this agreement is going to go into effect and we, frankly, have a 
lot of work to do. We have a lot of work to do to keep the government 
open and operating. We have a lot of work to do to implement this 
agreement. I will mention in a few moments that we have a lot more work 
to do in the Middle East to try to secure those who are running from 
terror and violence.
  This is a waste of our time tonight. This is just about politics. 
This is just about trying to gain political advantage over an issue 
that is fundamental to the security of this country and to our allies.
  I continue to support this agreement for a very simple reason. I just 
think it is the best way, taking a look at the options in front of us, 
to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. I know there are others who 
are hopeful--by the moderates achieving a victory within Iran's 
political power structure--that there will be a willingness to try to 
come to the table and figure out some other very meddlesome issues in 
the region, but that is not why I support this.
  I support this because I believe we have negotiated an agreement that 
is going to make it much less likely for Iran to get a nuclear weapon 
than if we were to reject the agreement. We are dramatically reducing 
the number of centrifuges; the quality of the enriched material will be 
greatly reduced from 20 percent down to 3 percent; we essentially 
eliminate their stockpiles, reducing their stockpile materials by about 
97 percent; we get intrusive, unprecedented inspections on the entirety 
of the supply chain, so if they try to cheat--and they may try to 
cheat--we will have a much better chance of catching it with inspectors 
on the ground than if we rejected this agreement and had no inspectors 
on the ground.
  Then, importantly--and I think especially for many of my more hawkish 
Republican friends--we preserve the military option and make it much 
more effective and credible under this agreement. It is much more 
effective because we are going to have eyes on the program and on the 
supply chain so that if we did catch Iran cheating with those 
inspections, we would have more information than we would if we didn't 
have any inspectors on the ground. It is more credible because we will 
do it in the context of an international agreement, meaning that if we 
do have to strike militarily, we will have our partners, our 
international partners, by our side--which we frankly would not have if 
they all asked us to sign this agreement to try to put us on a 
diplomatic path to divorce Iran from a nuclear weapon--we alone refused 
and then asked them for help in a military endeavor, they wouldn't go 
with us and, thus, we would be on our own. We have just the last 10 
years to see what unilateral, U.S. military action in the Middle East 
looks like. We are better off when we have partners.
  But this has always been a choice between one set of consequences 
flowing from the adoption of the agreement versus a set of consequences 
flowing

[[Page S6639]]

from the rejection of the agreement. I have heard very little realistic 
talk from the opponents of this deal about what their conception of a 
realistic alternative would be because most serious foreign policy 
thinkers are of one mind when it comes to what will happen if Congress 
were to reject this deal--and we are not going to. We knew that last 
week.
  But what we know is that Iran's nuclear program would start back up. 
I don't think they would rush to a bomb--very few people do--but they 
would start their nuclear program back up, have more centrifuges 
spinning, and more stockpiled material piling up.
  The inspectors would get kicked out. I don't think there is any way 
they would allow for inspectors to remain in the country if it wasn't 
in the context of a deal. The sanctions would probably fray at first 
because the Russians and Chinese would not walk away, but they would--
over time--fall apart. The military option, as I mentioned, would get 
harder because we wouldn't have as much knowledge of their program, and 
we would have to go it alone with Israel, potentially, but probably not 
with our international partners who would feel badly burned by this 
rejection.
  Finally, U.S. credibility as an honest, diplomatic, negotiating 
partner would be greatly damaged if--with the unanimous support of the 
Security Council, the unanimous support of the P5+1--the Senate and 
Congress decided to walk away from this deal.
  This idea that there is a magical, better deal on the table is just 
fiction, plain and simple. There is no way to go back to the 
negotiating table if Congress were to reject this deal. The Iranians 
will not come back to the negotiating table. Our P5+1 partners have 
told us to our face that they will not come back to the table. So you 
are left, at that point, with an isolated Iran with a nuclear program 
restarting, with sanctions fraying, and with U.S. credibility damaged. 
I have no idea how that makes this country or that makes our allies in 
the Middle East any safer.
  I have listened to all of the arguments against it, and I listened to 
Senator Risch--who is a good friend--just make his secret agreement 
argument again. But it is amazing to me, having had so much attention 
over this AP article a few weeks ago on this supposed secret agreement 
between the IAEA and Iran, that there has been not even a whisper from 
opponents about the article this week correcting the AP story talking 
about how, in fact, the IAEA--according to this report--is going to 
have direct access to Parchin and is going to be able to take samples 
under the agreement they have with Iran.
  There is a lot of talk about the first article, but the second 
article that corrects the record, nary a whisper from folks who oppose 
this deal. The reality is that this secret agreement you talk about, 
this agreement between the IAEA and Iran as to how they inspect Iran's 
nuclear program is nothing new because the IAEA has this with every 
single country they inspect. It is the foundation of the IAEA's 
inspection regime, the idea that they could only have credibility--they 
can only have credibility if they don't disclose the secrets of the 
countries that participate in the program. The IAEA could not function 
if it weren't for these agreements.
  Now, we all sat in a room and were briefed on this agreement, so 
there is not a single Senator who cannot say they don't know what is in 
this agreement. There is not a single Senator who could say the AP 
story was correct. There is not a single Senator, if they were sitting 
in those briefings, who can say they were surprised by what we heard 
this week. The argument, especially after reporting that we have seen 
this week, just doesn't wash any longer.
  But as I said at the outset, the imperative to move beyond this 
argument is not just because we shouldn't be playing politics with an 
issue of this import but also because we have to come together on other 
issues that are vital to the stability of the region.


                         Syrian Refugee Crisis

  Mr. President, I just came back from a Syrian refugee camp with 
Senator Peters: 80,000 people living in this camp with 250 of them 
getting on a bus every day and going back to Syria. Why? Because they 
have been sitting in this camp in abysmal, unconscionable conditions, 
for 2 years, 3 years, 4 years, and they have no hope, no hope of ever 
getting out. So they are going back to Syria. They are taking their 
kids and almost accepting the potential for death because the 
conditions in these camps gets worse and worse and their hope just 
atrophies away. Those who aren't just going back to live in Syria, as 
we know, are pouring into Europe by the tens of thousands.
  When we were in the region, our partners in the Middle East told us 
two things. Our Arab partners in the Middle East said: Get this 
agreement done. It is vital to the security of the region. To a person, 
every single individual we met with in Qatar, in UAE, in Iraq, and 
Jordan said: Get this deal done.
  Second, they said: Step up to the plate and do more when it comes to 
solving this humanitarian disaster. Take refugees--like we are--in 
Jordan, Iraq, and Turkey. Make sure that the World Food Programme 
doesn't run out of money, as it is about to. Think about that, 1 
million refugees in Jordan are about to lose their food benefits 
because the United States and some of our partners refuse to put up 
money to continue to operate the program. And guess what. When they do 
not get funding from the World Food Programme, they go to see who else 
is offering them sustenance, and often it is the extremist groups we 
are trying to fight. When you stop funding the World Food Programme, 
you push thousands of individuals into the very arms of the groups we 
are attempting to take out, degrade, and destroy in the region. It is 
unconscionable that we are not feeding people in the Middle East who 
have fled violence, but it is terrible national security strategy to 
push them into the arms of the extremists.

  What we should be debating today is an emergency appropriations bill 
to allow for refugees to come to this country, as has been in the best 
traditions of America, and to fund humanitarian assistance so that 
people don't starve and die or get pushed back into Syria to be killed 
by Assad and others. But instead we are having another vote--another 
vote--on the Iran nuclear agreement when we know the outcome is 
predestined.
  We have some really important stuff to talk about here, and we need 
to move on from this debate so we can start to build on the credibility 
we have already grown by virtue of negotiating this agreement in the 
region.
  Mr. DURBIN. Will the Senator yield for a question?
  Mr. MURPHY. I would be happy to yield.
  Mr. DURBIN. I would like to ask the Senator from Connecticut a 
question through the Chair.
  First, let me thank the Senator for raising this issue. I have said--
and I think my colleague may share the feeling--that this may be the 
greatest humanitarian crisis of our time, and other generations will 
ask us: What did you do in the midst of the Syrian humanitarian crisis?
  I met with four Syrian families in Chicago who are now refugees. They 
made it, and they have these horrible stories of what they went 
through. But when we look back at the past and what we have done in 
America for Cuban refugees, and I believe at least one of our 
colleagues here was a Cuban refugee--his family was when they came to 
this country; refugees from the Soviet Union, Jewish people suffering 
from persecution and wanting to escape; refugees from Somalia; the 
Hmong people from Vietnam; and Bosnians who made it to the United 
States, it seems to me that in the sweep of modern history--since World 
War II, I would add quickly--that we have really established ourselves 
as caring for refugees, not only feeding them but accepting them, after 
careful vetting, in the United States.
  So I ask the Senator from Connecticut, when we hear what is happening 
in Europe, is he struck by the fact there are some countries opening 
their arms in extraordinary ways and others, sadly, going in the 
opposite direction with these refugees? I am sure the Senator has been 
struck by that as well.
  Mr. MURPHY. I say to Senator Durbin, I come from Connecticut, one of 
the Thirteen Original Colonies. We are proud of our role as part of the 
foundation, the fabric of America, and our

[[Page S6640]]

State's motto is ``He who transplants sustains.'' This Nation's 
existence is predicated on people coming here fleeing persecution, 
sometimes violence, and finding a home. It represents the best of 
America's traditions. Some 190,000 Vietnamese came here, and 180,000 
from the Balkan countries came here just a decade ago.
  The Senator is right--this isn't easy because we have to go through a 
substantial vetting process to make sure we are not bringing anyone 
here who even sniffs of potential violence or connection to terrorist 
groups. I was sitting in those Syrian refugee camps 2 weeks ago, and I 
was looking at 8-year-old kids digging ditches through the sand so the 
feces running out of their house has a place to go. Those little kids 
aren't terrorists.
  We can figure this out. We are going to need some additional 
resources to do it. I thank the Senator for taking such a lead in the 
caucus, and I am hopeful we will be able to move on to that debate in 
the Foreign Relations Committee and in the Appropriations Committee 
after today.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Tennessee.
  Mr. CORKER. Mr. President, I notice a discussion taking place. I wish 
to speak for approximately 10 minutes prior to the vote, assuming that 
is acceptable to the minority.
  Mr. DURBIN. I would advise the Senator from Tennessee that all time 
remaining is on our side of the aisle, but I would yield half of it--5 
of the next 10 minutes--to him.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Tennessee.
  Mr. CORKER. I thank the Senator very much. I will be very brief. I 
made these points earlier today, but I would just like to remind people 
as to why we are having this vote this evening.
  Almost unanimously, on four different occasions since 2010, Congress 
passed sanctions. Both sides of the aisle strongly supported sanctions 
being imposed upon Iran to bring them to the negotiating table. That 
was something which was very strongly bipartisan.
  When it came time to bring them to the table and begin negotiations, 
the President declared the goal was to end their nuclear program, and 
they began negotiations. And by the way, we celebrated that goal. I 
think there would be unanimous support for the agreement had that goal 
been achieved. But the President then declared that instead of bringing 
this as a treaty, which typically would be the case for an 
international agreement, or bringing it as a congressional-executive 
agreement, he was going to call this an executive agreement so that 
only he would be involved in it.
  That being known to this body, again in a very strong, bipartisan 
way--98 to 1--we voted for the first time since I have been here to 
take power away from the President and to keep him from invoking the 
national security waivers he had with the sanctions and to say: No, we 
want 60 days to go through this deal and we want the right to approve 
or disapprove and to vote our conscience.
  Let me say one more time that had the President achieved his goal, we 
would have unanimous support here supporting the deal itself. We would 
all be supportive of ending their program. But the administration 
squandered that opportunity and instead has agreed to the 
industrialization of their program, their development of 
intercontinental ballistic missiles, their development of even faster 
centrifuges to ensure they are a nuclear threshold state.
  What the public may not understand is taking place here now--we have 
had a debate. We had 12 hearings in the Foreign Relations Committee. We 
have had all kinds of Senators debating. As a matter of fact, Senators 
know more about the Iran deal than probably any international agreement 
in modern history. It has been studied and debated.
  So the minority, 42 Senators--I might say a partisan minority because 
they are all Democrats--a bipartisan 58 Senators--the 2 Senators who 
know more about foreign policy issues than any other Senators on the 
Democratic side oppose this deal. And now, in keeping with the Iran 
review act, the majority, a bipartisan majority, is wishing to have the 
opportunity to vote on the substance of the deal.
  What is happening is my friend the minority leader, who is here, 
began saying in August that he wanted to filibuster this, and my 
understanding is the administration has supported that. So what we have 
now is a partisan minority of people who are keeping the spirit of the 
Iran review act from coming into play by blocking our ability to 
actually vote up or down. That is what is happening. I want to make 
sure the American people understand that. I know Members of this body 
understand that.
  I want to close with this. Our majority leader, on every occasion 
where there has been an opportunity for this to devolve into something 
that was partisan and there was concern on the other side of the aisle 
about certain things that were occurring, at every point, the majority 
leader has acquiesced and agreed for things to progress in a way that 
the minority would feel that this was not a partisan effort.
  I wish to also point out that the majority leader, when we brought 
this resolution of disapproval to the floor, filled the tree. He filled 
the tree. My friends on the other side of the aisle did not want a 
bunch of amendments; they wanted only to vote on a resolution of 
approval or disapproval. In this case, since there is a bipartisan 
majority in support of disapproval, that is what we are hoping to vote 
on. But, unfortunately, what is happening again, it appears tonight 
based on the spirit, although I hope something changes--just last week, 
42 Senators blocked the ability of the Senate to end debate and 
actually vote on the substance of the deal. I hope that changes. I hope 
tonight at least two Senators on the other side of the aisle will give 
us the ability to express ourselves on the substance of the deal and 
not block a bipartisan majority of Members who want to express 
themselves through a vote of disapproval.
  I yield the floor, and I thank the Senator for the time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Illinois.
  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, the Senator from Tennessee is my friend. I 
respect him. I have said so on the floor and have said so privately 
among my colleagues. For the record, I want to make it clear, though, 
that Senator Reid and the Democrats said there will be no cloture 
necessary on the motion to proceed, no motion to proceed vote necessary 
last week on the floor to go to this measure. We had an opportunity to 
obstruct, to block, whatever you want to say, and we did not do it 
because we believed that what we had heard repeatedly--that this would 
be a 60-vote final passage--would ultimately be the standard. There is 
nothing in the statute that brings us to this measure that in any way 
eliminates the 60-vote requirement. It is just not there. There is 
nothing that does that.
  When my colleague's side discovered they did not have 60 votes, which 
was the beginning of last week, they changed the standard and said: We 
want a majority vote, and anything less than that is a filibuster. So 
that was a Republican decision based on the fact that now 42 Democratic 
Senators see this issue differently.
  I would just say this: We have had 8 weeks on this issue, and we 
should have taken 8 weeks on this issue. It is that important. And 
every Senator should stand up and say where they stand on this issue, 
and every Senator has stood up and announced where they stand on this 
issue. This has not been glossed over. We have not made light of it. 
People aren't trying to find some sneaky way to avoid responsibility. 
Each person is on the record. You know where I stand, I know where you 
stand, and that goes for every one of our colleagues.
  So what are we doing tonight? Why are we going through a replay of 
what we did last week, and now with the threat of amendments? Now we 
are going to have a run of amendments. They won't be on the Iran 
agreement per se, on the adoption of the agreement, which was the 
underlying statute. They could be on something else. We are just 
discovering what they could be.
  To say we haven't taken the time and dealt with this in a bipartisan 
way, dealt with it in a serious way, allowed open debate--we have done 
it, and we have cooperated in doing it. My colleague doesn't like the 
result. I happen

[[Page S6641]]

to believe it is a result that really reflects where we should be as a 
nation.
  I support the President. I believe we ought to have two goals here: 
Stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon and stop America from going 
to another war in the Middle East. That is what I want achieved, and I 
think we can achieve it through this agreement. But it is subject to 
inspection, it is subject to reports, and if the Iranians decide they 
want to breach this agreement, then we start back on the sanctions. We 
are back where we started from.
  I would say to the Senator from Tennessee, having, as he has, faced 
these conscience votes on the floor about war and about the deaths 
associated with them, I conclude: First try diplomacy. If diplomacy 
does not work, then you have to pursue whatever is necessary for 
national security. But I believe we have said--42 out of 46 Democratic 
Senators--we support diplomacy first.
  To argue that this is somehow partisan because four Senators see it 
differently--I think there may be some partisanship in the fact that 
not a single Republican Member of the House or Senate supports the 
President's position--not one. I think there may be some partisanship 
in the fact that 47 Republican Senators, on March 9, 2015, sent a 
letter to the Ayatollah in Iran and said, basically, stop negotiating 
with the United States of America. There is no point in it. That has 
never ever, ever happened in diplomatic history--that 47 Republican 
Senators would prejudge a matter under negotiation with the President 
of the United States. But they did. So the fact that all 47 voted 
against this agreement is no surprise. They announced in March they 
were against the agreement no matter what it said. I think that is the 
reality of what we face today.
  I don't know why we are going to keep repeating these votes over and 
over. There are a lot of things we should take up. We have nine 
legislative days left until this fiscal year ends and we end up closing 
down the government. I think it is time for us to move on to important 
issues that should command the attention of the Senate.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The majority leader.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I am going to proceed under my leader 
time.
  I want to start by congratulating the chairman of the Foreign 
Relations Committee for an incredible job in giving the Senate an 
opportunity to actually express itself on what the President has 
described as an executive agreement.
  It is an executive agreement. I think it is important for everybody 
to understand that the next President of the United States is going to 
take a new look at this because it doesn't have the force of law of a 
treaty. But the President didn't want us to have anything to do with it 
at all. And the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, Senator 
Corker, skillfully negotiated with the other side to give us an 
opportunity, as elected representatives of the American people, to 
actually express our views on his unilateral action with the Iranian 
Government. We proceeded, as the Senator from Tennessee pointed out, in 
a manner that respected the process and gave the Senate an opportunity 
to vote on that deal only, even though technically it was open for 
amendment. Yet we have been denied the opportunity to get an up-or-down 
vote on the agreement on which the Corker-Cardin bill gave us an 
opportunity to express ourselves.
  So I congratulate the Senator from Tennessee. It has been an 
extraordinary legislative performance. The Senator from Tennessee, as 
we all know, is someone who admires and respects and is willing to talk 
to the other side, and frequently good things come about as a result of 
it. But we are where we are.
  This evening, Senate Democrats will have one more opportunity to do 
the right thing and end their blockade of a vote on the President's 
deal with Iran. We know that a strong, bipartisan majority of the 
Senate would vote to reject it. But Democratic leaders are determined 
to do anything they can to prevent that vote from happening because 
Democrats know the deal is indefensible--indefensible--on the merits.
  The President's Iran deal would allow the world's leading state 
sponsor of terrorism to retain thousands of centrifuges, to enrich 
uranium, to conduct their research and development programs for 
advanced centrifuges, and to reap a multibillion-dollar cash windfall 
which would help it fund terrorist groups like Hezbollah.
  Here is what the Iranian Defense Minister said just last week:

       I officially declare that under no circumstances will we 
     refrain from providing material and moral support to 
     Hezbollah, or to any other group of the resistance to the 
     U.S. and Israel. We say this loud and clear.

  That is the Iranian Defense Minister.
  The assault on Israel and the assault on the United States continues 
unabated. In other words, President Obama's Iran deal would likely 
entrench Iran's nuclear capabilities, essentially help subsidize 
terrorism, and threaten Israel--for what? For what? It is not as if the 
Iranian regime is about to change its behavior. The Supreme Leader 
crows that change ``will never happen'' as he rails against the Great 
Satan--that is us--and promises Israel's demise. The scary thing about 
this is that he is serious. He really means it. The scarier thing is 
that the President's deal could empower his regime.
  This is a gravely serious matter. The American people deserve to know 
where their respective Senators stand on the President's deal.
  Democrats seem to think they can end the discussion by blocking an 
up-or-down vote, then turn around and pretend they care deeply about 
Israel and human rights. Well, if they vote again to deny the American 
people a final vote, they will have a chance to test the theory.
  I will file an amendment that would prevent the President from 
lifting sanctions until Iran meets two simple benchmarks: It must 
formally recognize Israel's right to exist, and it must release the 
American citizens being held in Iranian custody.
  Let me say that again. If cloture is not invoked, I will file an 
amendment that would prevent the President from lifting sanctions until 
Iran meets two simple benchmarks: It must formally recognize Israel's 
right to exist, and it must release American citizens being held in 
Iranian custody.
  The President has so far resisted linking his deal--a deal that fails 
to end Iran's enrichment program, while leaving it as an American-
recognized nuclear threshold state--to other aspects of Iran's conduct, 
but linkage is appropriate, and in this negotiation it would have been 
wise to have linkage.
  Indeed, Senators say they understand the importance of standing up 
for an ally such as Israel in a dangerous region, and the Senate voted 
unanimously just a few months ago in calling for Iranian leaders to 
release these Americans.
  Here is what one American prisoner--this is an American prisoner in 
Iran, one of ours--wrote earlier this year:

       As a fellow American and combat veteran, I am writing to 
     bring to your attention my situation and that of a long list 
     of my fellow Americans. For nearly three and a half years, I 
     have been falsely imprisoned and treated inhumanely. . . . 
     While I am thankful that the State Department and the Obama 
     administration has called for my release and that of my 
     fellow Americans, there has been no serious response to this 
     blatant and ongoing mistreatment. . . .

  My strong preference is for our Democratic friends to simply allow an 
up-or-down vote on the President's Iran deal. I don't know what they 
are protecting him from. He is proud of this deal. As I suggested last 
week, he could have a ceremony down there while he vetoed the 
resolution of disapproval. He has convinced them to protect him from 
what he is bragging about. But if they are determined to make that 
impossible, then at the very least we should be able to provide some 
protection to Israel and long-overdue relief to Americans who have 
languished in Iranian custody for years.
  So let me just say this. Either way, this debate will continue. This 
is an issue with a very, very long shelf life. It will be before the 
American people for the next year and a half and will certainly be a 
factor in their determination of whom they want to lead our country as 
President in the next election.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Democratic leader.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, it is hard for me to comprehend how my 
Republican colleagues with a straight face can talk about ``Let's have 
an up-or-down vote on this.'' We agreed to allow

[[Page S6642]]

Republicans to have an up-or-down vote. I asked consent on this floor 
on two separate occasions, and I make the same request now. We are 
willing to have a 60-vote threshold. That is an agreement we made, and 
we are happy to do it. But for my friends now to say ``We want an up-
or-down vote,'' up-or-down votes on the magical number of 60 is what 
they created. We didn't draft this legislation. It was brought through 
committee to this floor. They thought they had--they, the Republicans, 
thought everything was fine until they realized they didn't have enough 
votes and suddenly they changed direction dramatically. Fifty votes 
wasn't good enough for trying to raise the minimum wage. Certainly a 
simple majority wasn't enough to do anything about the overwhelming 
debt that faces the American people. It is not credit cards, it is 
student debt. No, we couldn't debate that; we had to have 60 votes. 
Equal pay for men and women? No, we are not going to allow that to 
happen; what we want is to have 60 votes. That is the reason we had to 
file cloture more than 600 times, because the rule had been established 
by my Republican friend, the Republican leader, during the entire Obama 
administration that that is the rule.
  Here is what he said--and I have read on this floor all the multitude 
of statements he has given saying it would be 60 votes: We are not 
interesting in using floor time for get-well efforts. We only have so 
much time on the Senate floor. If this isn't a get-well issue, I don't 
know what would be. We had debate that took place over a long period of 
time with this issue. It was debated during the August recess, it was 
debated all last week on the floor, and the decision was made that the 
measures brought before this body did not get enough votes. It didn't 
get 60 votes. That is the threshold. We have agreed to have that vote, 
and suddenly the rules are suddenly attempting to be changed here, and 
they are not going to be changed.
  It is a situation where I wonder if the Republican leader has 
bothered to look at the calendar. We have 8 days now until we are at 
the end of the fiscal year--8 days. We have 32 Republicans who have 
written to the Speaker saying: We are not going to allow a bill to pass 
unless we get rid of Planned Parenthood--health care for women. We have 
had statements of people running for President over here who are saying 
there will be nothing done on paying the government's bills unless we 
do something about Planned Parenthood. Other people have made 
statements that they want riders dealing with EPA and on and on.
  Now, it would be different--maybe we wouldn't be as concerned, except 
you did it once. You did it once. They closed the government for almost 
3 weeks. Two years ago, the government was actually shut down for 
almost 3 weeks.
  We have staring us in the face the debt ceiling, which is going to be 
upon us quickly. But, no, we are told that what we are going to deal 
with next after this: We are going to do something that everyone knows 
has no chance of passing, and that is something dealing with abortion. 
I guess they want to do that before the Pope gets here. But it is not 
going to change the Pope, how he feels about the fact that Republicans 
have ignored poor people in America. It is not going to change the 
Pope, how he feels about what is happening to our great world that we 
live in, that we know, dealing with climate change. Republicans have 
denied that climate change exists. So they can have a fake vote on 
abortion. It is not going to change how Pope Francis feels about what 
is happening, and it is all being directed towards the Republicans, and 
he doesn't need--everyone knows what the problems are.
  So we can be threatened all we need to be threatened. The Republican 
leader has threatened us: We lost, and we are going to make you suffer. 
Just like we lost ObamaCare.
  We had over 600 votes to get rid of that. We may have more than that 
to get rid of this agreement.
  They have magnified this agreement. They have this agreement--oh, it 
is doing all kinds of things. The purpose of this agreement, everyone 
knows, is to stop Iran from having a nuclear weapon, and that is what 
it does. That is the sole purpose of this agreement. And it is an 
agreement that is so important. It is so important that we got Russia, 
we got China, and the others, our allies--Germany, France--to sign off 
on this, and Great Britain. To think, after all the years of 
negotiating this through all of our friends and allies, including the 
good work that has been done in this regarding Russia and China, to 
think that suddenly it is going to be back the way it was. Every one of 
these countries said: If you don't move forward on this agreement, we 
are through. Sanctions are gone.
  So this is not an intelligent debate because my friend the Republican 
leader is trying to change the rules he developed. He created these 
rules. He created the 60-vote threshold. We tried to change that 
hundreds of times, but no.
  Let's also remind everybody that we did not filibuster this bill. We 
let the Republicans go to this bill. We let them go to the bill. We let 
them go to the bill. There was no motion to proceed. And people 
watching may say: What is that? Well, what the Republicans did time and 
time again, even on measures they wanted passed, they would make us 
file a motion to proceed and have cloture on that. That ate up a week's 
period of time. In their mind, that was really tasty because it was 
good, because it stopped Obama from moving his program ahead. Anything 
to stall for time. Well, the 60-vote threshold was created by the 
Republicans. That is the rule of this body, and we are sticking by the 
rules of this body. It was created by the Republicans.
  So we can be--I repeat--threatened all my friend the Republican 
leader wants to threaten us. Whatever he wants to do, he has a right do 
that. We are not going to be stalling for time. If he wants to tear 
down a tree--remember the tree? Remember, Reid was the bad guy; he 
filled the tree. I can't number the times my friend the Republican 
leader has filled the tree--something he said would never happen. He 
said bills wouldn't come to this body unless there were hearings and 
they were reported out of committee. Of course, that is not true. Being 
majority leader is not as easy as giving speeches.
  What is going on tonight is a charade by the Republicans to try to 
change the rules in the middle of the game. The Republicans have lost. 
They have lost this measure. We should move on to something else. It 
should be the budget. It shouldn't be abortion.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Tennessee.
  Mr. CORKER. Mr. President, I do want to clarify, the bill 
specifically states regular order. It is not the rule of the Senate 
that final votes are on 60 votes. They are on a majority vote. I don't 
want anybody in the Senate or certainly the public to think that 
somehow we have a rule that bills pass on 60 votes. That is not the 
case. That has been a tradition on major issues, but that is not the 
rule. The bill specifically states we will settle under regular order, 
which means when cloture is invoked--which hopefully will happen 
tonight--we will have a simple majority vote, up or down.
  Mr. REID. Could I ask my friend a question?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Would the Senator yield for a question?
  Mr. CORKER. If it is brief. I know people have a meeting to go to.
  Mr. REID. Do you think this Iran issue is a major issue?
  Mr. CORKER. It is a major issue.
  Mr. REID. You answered your own question.
  Mr. CORKER. I am hoping we are going to be able to vote our 
conscience on this major issue by getting cloture invoked.
  I ask unanimous consent to waive the mandatory quorum call with 
respect to the cloture motions on amendment No. 2640 and H.J. Res. 61.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.


                             Cloture Motion

  Pursuant to rule XXII, the Chair lays before the Senate the pending 
cloture motion, which the clerk will state.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

                             Cloture Motion

       We, the undersigned Senators, in accordance with the 
     provisions of rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate, 
     do hereby move to bring to a close debate on Senate amendment 
     No. 2640.
         Mitch McConnell, John Cornyn, John Barrasso, Bob Corker, 
           Steve Daines, David Perdue, Tom Cotton, Susan M. 
           Collins, Deb Fischer, Shelley Moore

[[Page S6643]]

           Capito, Mike Crapo, Ron Johnson, Cory Gardner, Marco 
           Rubio, Lamar Alexander, James M. Inhofe, Mike Rounds.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. By unanimous consent, the mandatory quorum 
call has been waived.
  The question is, Is it the sense of the Senate that debate on 
amendment No. 2640, offered by the Senator from Kentucky, Mr. 
McConnell, to H.J. Res. 61, shall be brought to a close?
  The yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. CORNYN. The following Senators are necessarily absent: the 
Senator from South Carolina (Mr. Graham) and the Senator from Kentucky 
(Mr. Paul).
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Daines). Are there any other Senators in 
the Chamber desiring to vote?
  The yeas and nays resulted--yeas 56, nays 42, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 265 Leg.]

                                YEAS--56

     Alexander
     Ayotte
     Barrasso
     Blunt
     Boozman
     Burr
     Capito
     Cardin
     Cassidy
     Coats
     Cochran
     Collins
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Cotton
     Crapo
     Cruz
     Daines
     Enzi
     Ernst
     Fischer
     Flake
     Gardner
     Grassley
     Hatch
     Heller
     Hoeven
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johnson
     Kirk
     Lankford
     Lee
     Manchin
     McCain
     McConnell
     Menendez
     Moran
     Murkowski
     Perdue
     Portman
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rounds
     Rubio
     Sasse
     Schumer
     Scott
     Sessions
     Shelby
     Sullivan
     Thune
     Tillis
     Toomey
     Vitter
     Wicker

                                NAYS--42

     Baldwin
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Booker
     Boxer
     Brown
     Cantwell
     Carper
     Casey
     Coons
     Donnelly
     Durbin
     Feinstein
     Franken
     Gillibrand
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Hirono
     Kaine
     King
     Klobuchar
     Leahy
     Markey
     McCaskill
     Merkley
     Mikulski
     Murphy
     Murray
     Nelson
     Peters
     Reed
     Reid
     Sanders
     Schatz
     Shaheen
     Stabenow
     Tester
     Udall
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wyden

                             NOT VOTING--2

     Graham
     Paul
       
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. On this vote, the yeas are 56, the nays are 
42.
  Three-fifths of the Senators duly chosen and sworn not having voted 
in the affirmative, the motion is rejected.
  The majority leader.


                        Cloture Motion Withdrawn

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the 
cloture motion with respect to H.J. Res. 61 be withdrawn.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.


                        Vote on Motion to Commit

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I move to table the motion to commit.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on agreeing to the motion to 
table.
  The motion was agreed to.


                       Vote on Amendment No. 2643

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I move to table amendment No. 2643.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on agreeing to the motion to 
table.
  The motion was agreed to.


                       Vote on Amendment No. 2641

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I move to table amendment No. 2641.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on agreeing to the motion to 
table.
  The motion was agreed to.


                Amendment No. 2656 to Amendment No. 2640

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I have an amendment that is at the desk 
that I ask the clerk to report.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The bill clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Kentucky [Mr. McConnell] proposes an 
     amendment numbered 2656 to amendment No. 2640.

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, 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 as follows:

(Purpose: To prohibit the President from waiving, suspending, reducing, 
    providing relief from, or otherwise limiting the application of 
 sanctions pursuant to an agreement related to the nuclear program of 
                                 Iran)

       Strike line 3 and all that follows and insert the 
     following:

     SECTION 1. REMOVAL OF AUTHORITY TO WAIVE, SUSPEND, REDUCE, 
                   PROVIDE RELIEF FROM, OR OTHERWISE LIMIT THE 
                   APPLICATION OF SANCTIONS PURSUANT TO AN 
                   AGREEMENT RELATED TO THE NUCLEAR PROGRAM OF 
                   IRAN.

       (a) In General.--Notwithstanding any other provision of 
     law, the President may not--
       (1) waive, suspend, reduce, provide relief from, or 
     otherwise limit the application of sanctions described in 
     subsection (b) or refrain from applying any such sanctions; 
     or
       (2) remove a foreign person listed in Attachment 3 or 
     Attachment 4 to Annex II of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of 
     Action from the list of specially designated nationals and 
     blocked persons maintained by the Office of Foreign Asset 
     Control of the Department of the Treasury.
       (b) Sanctions Described.--The sanctions described in this 
     subsection are--
       (1) the sanctions described in sections 4 through 7.9 of 
     Annex II of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action; and
       (2) the sanctions described in any other agreement related 
     to the nuclear program of Iran that includes the United 
     States, commits the United States to take action, or pursuant 
     to which the United States commits or otherwise agrees to 
     take action, regardless of the form it takes, whether a 
     political commitment or otherwise, and regardless of whether 
     it is legally binding.
       (c) Exception.--The prohibitions under subsection (a) shall 
     not apply if the Islamic Republic of Iran--
       (1) has released Jason Rezaian, Robert Levinson, Saeed 
     Abedini, and Amir Hekmati to the custody of the United 
     States; and
       (2) formally recognizes the State of Israel as a sovereign 
     and independent state.
       (d) Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action Defined.--In this 
     section, the term ``Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action'' 
     means the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, signed at 
     Vienna on July 14, 2015, by Iran and by the People's Republic 
     of China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United 
     Kingdom and the United States, with the High Representative 
     of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security 
     Policy, and all implementing materials and agreements related 
     to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

  Mr. McCONNELL. I ask for the yeas and nays on my amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.


                Amendment No. 2657 to Amendment No. 2656

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I have a second-degree amendment at the 
desk.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The bill clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Kentucky [Mr. McConnell] proposes an 
     amendment numbered 2657 to amendment No. 2656.

  Mr. McCONNELL. 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 as follows:

       At the end add the following.
       ``This Act shall take effect 1 day after the date of 
     enactment.''


                           Amendment No. 2658

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I have an amendment to the text 
proposed to be stricken.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The bill clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Kentucky [Mr. McConnell] proposes an 
     amendment numbered 2658 to the language proposed to be 
     stricken by amendment No. 2640.

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, 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 as follows:

       At the end add the following.
       ``This Act shall take effect 2 days after the date of 
     enactment.''

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask for the yeas and nays on my 
amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.


                Amendment No. 2659 to Amendment No. 2658

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I have a second-degree amendment at the 
desk.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The bill clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Kentucky [Mr. McConnell] proposes an 
     amendment numbered 2659 to amendment No. 2658.


[[Page S6644]]


  

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, 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 as follows:

       Strike ``2'' and insert ``3''.


                Motion to Commit With Amendment No. 2660

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I have a motion to commit with 
instructions at the desk.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the motion.
  The bill clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Kentucky [Mr. McConnell] moves to commit 
     the joint resolution to the Foreign Relations Committee with 
     instructions to report back forthwith with an amendment 
     numbered 2660.

  The amendment is as follows:

(Purpose: To prohibit the President from waiving, suspending, reducing, 
    providing relief from, or otherwise limiting the application of 
 sanctions pursuant to an agreement related to the nuclear program of 
                                 Iran)

       Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
     following:

     SECTION 1. REMOVAL OF AUTHORITY TO WAIVE, SUSPEND, REDUCE, 
                   PROVIDE RELIEF FROM, OR OTHERWISE LIMIT THE 
                   APPLICATION OF SANCTIONS PURSUANT TO AN 
                   AGREEMENT RELATED TO THE NUCLEAR PROGRAM OF 
                   IRAN.

       (a) In General.--Notwithstanding any other provision of 
     law, the President may not--
       (1) waive, suspend, reduce, provide relief from, or 
     otherwise limit the application of sanctions described in 
     subsection (b) or refrain from applying any such sanctions; 
     or
       (2) remove a foreign person listed in Attachment 3 or 
     Attachment 4 to Annex II of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of 
     Action from the list of specially designated nationals and 
     blocked persons maintained by the Office of Foreign Asset 
     Control of the Department of the Treasury.
       (b) Sanctions Described.--The sanctions described in this 
     subsection are--
       (1) the sanctions described in sections 4 through 7.9 of 
     Annex II of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action; and
       (2) the sanctions described in any other agreement related 
     to the nuclear program of Iran that includes the United 
     States, commits the United States to take action, or pursuant 
     to which the United States commits or otherwise agrees to 
     take action, regardless of the form it takes, whether a 
     political commitment or otherwise, and regardless of whether 
     it is legally binding.
       (c) Exception.--The prohibitions under subsection (a) shall 
     not apply if the Islamic Republic of Iran--
       (1) has released Jason Rezaian, Robert Levinson, Saeed 
     Abedini, and Amir Hekmati to the custody of the United 
     States; and
       (2) formally recognizes the State of Israel as a sovereign 
     and independent state.
       (d) Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action Defined.--In this 
     section, the term ``Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action'' 
     means the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, signed at 
     Vienna on July 14, 2015, by Iran and by the People's Republic 
     of China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United 
     Kingdom and the United States, with the High Representative 
     of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security 
     Policy, and all implementing materials and agreements related 
     to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
       This act shall take effect 4 days after the date of 
     enactment.

  Mr. McCONNELL. I ask for the yeas and nays on my motion.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.


                           Amendment No. 2661

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I have an amendment to the 
instructions.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The bill clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Kentucky [Mr. McConnell] proposes an 
     amendment numbered 2661 to the instructions of the motion to 
     commit H.J. Res. 61.

  Mr. McCONNELL. 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 as follows:

       On page 3, line 22, strike ``4'' and insert ``5''.

  Mr. McCONNELL. I ask for the yeas and nays on my amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.


                Amendment No. 2662 to Amendment No. 2661

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I have a second-degree amendment at the 
desk.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The bill clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Kentucky [Mr. McConnell] proposes an 
     amendment numbered 2662 to amendment No. 2661.

  The amendment is as follows:

       Strike ``5'' and insert ``6''.


                             Cloture Motion

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I send a cloture motion to the desk for 
amendment No. 2656.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The cloture motion having been presented under 
rule XXII, the Chair directs the clerk to read the motion.
  The bill clerk read as follows:

                             Cloture Motion

       We, the undersigned Senators, in accordance with the 
     provisions of rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate, 
     do hereby move to bring to a close debate on Senate amendment 
     No. 2656.
         Mitch McConnell, John Cornyn, Roy Blunt, John Thune, Deb 
           Fischer, John Barrasso, Roger F. Wicker, Michael B. 
           Enzi, Shelley Moore Capito, Orrin G. Hatch, Rob 
           Portman, Mike Crapo, Richard C. Shelby, Pat Roberts, 
           Thad Cochran, Mike Rounds, David Perdue.


                             Cloture Motion

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I send a cloture motion to the desk for 
amendment No. 2640.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The cloture motion having been presented under 
rule XXII, the Chair directs the clerk to read the motion.
  The bill clerk read as follows:

                             Cloture Motion

       We, the undersigned Senators, in accordance with the 
     provisions of rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate, 
     do hereby move to bring to a close debate on Senate amendment 
     No. 2640.
         Mitch McConnell, John Cornyn, Roy Blunt, John Thune, Deb 
           Fischer, John Barrasso, Roger F. Wicker, Michael B. 
           Enzi, Shelley Moore Capito, Orrin G. Hatch, Rob 
           Portman, Mike Crapo, Richard C. Shelby, Pat Roberts, 
           Thad Cochran, Mike Rounds, David Perdue.


                             Cloture Motion

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I send a cloture motion to the desk for 
H.J. Res. 61.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The cloture motion having been presented under 
rule XXII, the Chair directs the clerk to read the motion.
  The bill clerk read as follows:

                             Cloture Motion

       We, the undersigned Senators, in accordance with the 
     provisions of rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate, 
     do hereby move to bring to a close debate on H.J. Res. 61, a 
     joint resolution amending the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 
     to exempt employees with health coverage under TRICARE or the 
     Veterans Administration from being taken into account for 
     purposes of determining the employers to which the employer 
     mandate applies under the Patient Protection and Affordable 
     Care Act.
         Mitch McConnell, John Cornyn, Roy Blunt, John Thune, Deb 
           Fischer, John Barrasso, Roger F. Wicker, Michael B. 
           Enzi, Shelley Moore Capito, Orrin G. Hatch, Rob 
           Portman, Mike Crapo, Richard C. Shelby, Pat Roberts, 
           Thad Cochran, Mike Rounds, David Perdue.

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to waive the 
mandatory quorum calls under these cloture motions.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.

                          ____________________