WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor yesterday regarding the President’s deal with Iran:
“As the Senate continues debating President Obama’s deal with Iran today, I think it’s appropriate to consider a quote from President Obama himself: ‘I believe Congress owes the American people a final up or down vote,’ he said. ‘We need courage. You know, in the end, this debate is about far more than politics.’
“When it comes to the Iran deal, you’d have to say he’s right.
“After all: Do Senators think it’s right for the world’s leading sponsor of terror to be able to maintain an American-recognized nuclear program?
“Do Senators think it’s right that this deal would effectively subsidize Hezbollah, Hamas, and Bashar al-Assad by channeling billions of dollars to their benefactors in Tehran?
“Do Senators approve of a deal that would leave Iran with an enrichment capability, just as the Iranian leadership is again calling for Israel’s destruction — and praying for ours?
“It’s hard to see how Senators could agree with these things.
“Many Democratic colleagues — including the top Democrats on the foreign affairs committees in both houses of Congress, among the most familiar with the President’s deal with Iran — have already come out in opposition.
“A strong, bipartisan majority of the House of Representatives voted to reject the deal.
“A strong, bipartisan majority of the Senate would vote to reject the deal too
“If only Democrat Senators would stop blocking the American people from even having a final vote on one of the most consequential foreign policy issues of our age.
“Democrat Senators will have the chance to vote on behalf of their constituents later today.
“Perhaps they’ll consider the President’s words I quoted earlier. They’re from a 2010 speech about Obamacare
“If the President was so insistent on ‘courage’ and a ‘final up or down vote’ back then, how could he justify blocking a vote now on an issue of such immense magnitude as the Iran deal?
“It’s part of a larger retreat to campaigning instead of engaging on this important issue.
“Ad hominem attacks instead of serious debate, campaign one-liners instead of intellectual arguments, and simply ignoring reality when it becomes inconvenient.
“That’s why you see the President claiming ‘strong support of lawmakers and citizens’ for his Iran deal.
“Here’s what The Washington Post’s fact-checker had to say about that:
Any way you slice it, it is difficult to support the claim that there is ‘strong support’ for the Iran deal among lawmakers and citizens. This is clearly a case of winning ugly, in the face of minority support among lawmakers and increasing opposition among American citizens. The White House certainly did better than many analysts expected, since enough Democrats supported the agreement to prevent a final Senate vote on the merits. And Obama avoided a veto fight. But that’s a different than having ‘strong support’ for the deal.
“If Democrats share the President’s determination to ‘win ugly’ on this important issue, then they have sufficient numbers to do that.
“But I would remind my colleagues of something.
“This debate should not be about a President who will leave office in 16 months. It should be about where our country will be in 16 years.
“Consider this advice from an editorial that appeared in Bloomberg last month:
Tactics aside, it would be far better to win this fight fairly. The pact is not a treaty: A future president and Congress might overturn it, arguing that it was sealed without proper consideration. And history often looks with disgust at causes built on fear, especially if they go awry.
“This is an important moment for the Democrat Party. But more importantly, it’s an important moment for our country.
“Let’s stand up for the people we represent. Let’s allow them a vote on one of the most consequential foreign policy issues of our age.”