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Price Floor Remarks on Iran Congressional Review Bill

May 14, 2015
Speeches
Price Floor Remarks on Iran Congressional Review Bill

I thank my colleague from Minnesota, and I rise today in cautious support of this legislation.

Our nuclear negotiators, with the cooperation of a fragile coalition of longstanding allies and new partners, have made historic progress toward preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, a critical foreign policy imperative for our country.

We must continue to give diplomacy a chance and allow our negotiators to build on the framework agreement they negotiated earlier this spring.

Many of our colleagues in the House of Representatives agree, Mr. Speaker. Just last week, Congresswoman Schakowsky, Congressman Doggett, and I sent a letter to the President urging persistence in the negotiations, a letter that was signed by 148 of our colleagues.

Diplomacy isn’t just the best way of preventing a nuclear-armed Iran – it’s the only way. Opponents of the President’s efforts have yet to provide a single viable alternative to diplomacy short of military action, and military action, defense experts tell us, would only delay nuclear development for a few years.

While I can understand why some Members of the House and Senate insisted upon congressional review of a final deal with such historic implications, I have strongly refused to support legislation or other congressional intervention that was likely to drive Iran from the negotiating table or alienate our international partners.  We must not set impossible goals for these negotiations or insist that every outstanding issue that our country has with Iran is resolved before the core nuclear issue can be addressed.

The bill before us, which is the product of a thoughtful compromise between Senator Corker and Senator Cardin, Republicans and Democrats, does none of these harmful things. It is free of riders designed to undermine the negotiations, and it provides a reasonable path forward that allows for Congress to weigh in on a final deal without setting it up for failure.

So I rise in cautious support of this bill because I believe that it clears the way for the President’s negotiators to do their job – to work with our international partners to secure a comprehensive, verifiable nuclear agreement that will prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon and thereby make the world a safer place.