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Brad S.
Democrat CA 30

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  • Providing for Consideration of H.R. 1644, Supporting Transparent Regulatory and Environmental Actions in Mining Act

    by Representative Brad Sherman

    Posted on 2016-01-12

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    SHERMAN. Mr. Speaker, I rise to address the portion of the rule that deals with the Iran terrorism bill.

    I have voted for every Iran sanctions bill to come to this floor. I helped draft many of them, and I am ready to draft, work on, and vote for Iran sanctions bills in the future even if they are opposed by the administration. Keep in mind, nearly every Iran sanctions bill, which has passed this House floor, became law, and gave us at least some leverage over Iran, was opposed by the then-George W. Bush administration and by this administration.

    We need a good process to draft good legislation that will do what President Obama promised we would do, and that is adopt new sanctions designed to change Iran's behavior with regard to its nonnuclear wrongdoing, its support for terrorism, its missile test in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions, its human rights record, and its seizure of American hostages.

    Unfortunately, this is a flawed bill which is the product of a flawed process. Look at the process: 100 cosponsors, all from one party, with no Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Committee invited to help draft the bill or even invited to cosponsor it.

    Now this process is epitomized by a closed rule. The gentleman from Washington offers a new definition of an open rule. An open rule is a closed rule on a bill that has been considered by a committee. That is the new definition of ``open rule.'' I suggest we keep the old definition.

    This is a closed rule that prevents people from offering amendments that might have had a better chance of passing on the floor than they would have in committee. A Member should be free to offer amendments both on the floor and in committee if they are a member of the committee; but this is a closed rule, and this process of a closed rule prevents amendments to fix flaws in the bill.

    There are at least two. The first is that the bill deprives the President of the authority to delist some 489 entities. It locks them on to the SDN list, but it leaves out 269 other entities, creating two classes of wrongdoing companies and other entities that sponsor and facilitate terrorism for no apparent reason. An entity stays on the list until the President issues a certification, a certification that no President could ever certify. You have to certify that we know that from the beginning of time the entity has not had any dealing with any of dozens of different terrorist organizations. That is a certification designed to be impossible and designed to lock entities in.

    I look forward to a bipartisan process. For example, I have a bill that has been cosponsored by the current and immediate prior chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee. There are other bills subject to a bipartisan process because we do need new sanctions on Iran to change its nonnuclear wrongdoing. Those sanctions are warranted because Iran has engaged in the missile test in violation of the U.N. Security Council resolution, because its support for terrorism is responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of people in Syria and Yemen, and because it used to hold four but now holds five American hostages, not to mention its other human rights records. It is consistent with administration policy that we have sanctions on Iran's nonnuclear behavior.

    The negotiations in Vienna, the negotiations on this deal, left out all of Iran's nonnuclear behavior, not because it was intended to give them carte blanche, not because we were accepting their support for terrorism, but because these were to be the subject of other sanctions and other efforts to force a change in Iran's behavior.

    Finally, the question is, well, do sanctions work? That is the one thing the opponents and proponents of the deal agreed on. The proponents of the deal said that the sanctions have brought us a very good deal. The opponents of the deal said that more sanctions will get us a better deal. So in a House that was divided on almost every aspect of Iran policy, the one thing we agreed on was that sanctions have the capacity to change Iran's behavior.

    The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Poe of Texas). The time of the gentleman has expired.

    Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I yield the gentleman from California an additional 1 minute.

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