Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor earlier today on the one-year anniversary of the signing of the Iran Nuclear Deal, in opposition to legislation introduced by Republicans not through regular order and without any input from Democrats. Below is a transcript of his remarks and a link to the video:
“Mr. Speaker, this bill comes to the Floor as we take stock of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – the ‘Iran Nuclear Deal’ – one year from its signing.
“This bill, disappointingly, was written without any input from Democrats or any committee or through regular order. By not acting in a bipartisan manner, we are missing the opportunity to send an important message to Iran of our steadfast resolve in holding it accountable both to their commitments under the JCPOA and under applicable U.S. law and U.N. resolutions.
“We need to remember that it was toughness, born from bipartisan unity, that brought Iran to the table in the first place. That, again, is what will be required to ensure its full compliance.
“As much as Iran has mostly complied with the letter of the deal, it has pushed the limits when it comes to its spirit.
“One of my major concerns about the deal from a year ago remains – and it is that the deal is limited in scope only to Iran’s nuclear activities. It does not cover the other areas in which Iran has proven to be a dangerous and threatening actor.
“U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231, Mr. Speaker, which implemented the JCPOA, called for Iran to halt its ballistic missile program. Instead, Iran has continued to develop and test missiles that could carry a nuclear payload. There have also been reports that it is attempting to acquire ballistic missile technology in violation of U.N. Resolution 2231.
“Iran’s sponsorship of global terror has continued unabated, and its arms and fighters stream into Syria, exacerbating the instability there and threatening regional security. Hamas and Hezbollah continue to threaten Israel with Iranian arms and financial support, and Iran’s leaders continue to call for the end of the Jewish state of Israel.
“That’s why, even as Iran has received sanctions relief through the JCPOA, it was always understood that we would need and be able to increase pressure on Iran with additional sanctions targeting its ballistic missile program and other destabilizing actions.
“We must not allow Iran to violate the nuclear deal. If Iran does not feel that it is sufficiently benefitting from the nuclear deal, frankly, that’s because its malign activities and its outdated banking system are continuing to deter foreign investment.
“Iran and the world needs to understand that it’s not America’s job to fix the problems that Iran has created for itself. That’s why, as Iran continues to flaunt its obligations and sponsor terrorism around the world, its leaders must know with certainty that there will be real consequences from the United States and our allies for those actions.
“I’m opposing this bill and urging that Democrats and Republicans, and my friend Mr. [Ed] Royce has done this repeatedly as Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, to return to our successful bipartisan partnership, as we have in the past, to reauthorize the Iran Sanctions Act immediately and then work toward enacting sanctions targeting Iran’s ballistic missile program.
“Let’s come back here with legislation that sends a powerful message to Iran that there is no daylight between the parties in Congress when it comes to our shared resolve that Iran must abandon its sponsorship of terror, end its ballistic missile program, and comply fully with the JCPOA.
“My friends, Chairman Royce, Ranking Member [Eliot] Engel and my colleagues, our commitment to Israel and international peace and security demands no less. Let us return to bipartisanship on which Israel has relied and the message that we sent was stronger, firmer, and more effective. Let us defeat this partisan legislation and return to the bipartisan table, and I yield back the balance of my time."