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Congresswoman Louise Slaughter

Representing the 25th District of New York

Slaughter Remarks on Iran at Rules Committee Meeting

September 9, 2015
Press Release

Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY) today delivered the following remarks at a Rules Committee hearing on the deal to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

 

Remarks by Congresswoman Louise Slaughter
As Prepared for Delivery
September 9, 2015

 

I thank the Chairman for yielding me the time.

The vote on the Iran Nuclear Agreement has been touted by the Majority as the most consequential of our careers, even of our lifetime.

We have had months of consideration, hearings, questions, and open debate, following the rules and customs of the House. Today, I met with ambassadors from the P5+1 countries, our negotiating partners. They have a unified voice: embrace the Iran Agreement for the incredible achievement it is. 

Yesterday, we had a hearing in this room that lasted 4 hours. We had testimony from chairs and ranking members of relevant committees. We had a robust discussion and a healthy back and forth. We prepared for a rule debate. We went home at about 8:00 pm.  But twelve hours later, the dissident wing of the Majority’s party emerged from a neighborhood bar, Tortilla Coast, and had a different path in mind. They rendered all our work moot.

Instead of regular order, in a perversion of our legislative process, we are yet again thrown into chaos by a Majority chasing its tail in a last-minute meeting, throwing together three bills that might as well be scribbled on the back of a cocktail napkin.

The bills before us have trivialized our institution. They have been whipped up in an afternoon to mollify the disgruntled wing of the Majority’s party that has no intent of actually governing; their only goal with this trio of bills is to feed the monster seething within their own ranks. Meanwhile, the Senate has declared that they are not changing course, and in the end, we will be left with nothing.

There has been no committee action on these three bills, no debate, and no time to consider them. Why didn’t we hear about them yesterday? Because they didn’t even exist yesterday!

Instead of addressing an issue of international, global importance, we are occupied with the Republican conference’s internal politics and it is an embarrassment. This dog-and-pony show has turned our Congress into a stage to play out their internal drama and has left us a laughing stock. If the Majority cannot devise a process on a measure they agree unanimously on, I shudder to think what is coming in Act II.

We are days from a government shutdown. We are days from the Federal Aviation Administration expiring, which would ground all flights, crippling our economy. Soon, funding for Perkins Loans for low income college students will dry up. Even so here we are, on the third floor of the Capitol, forced to join in yet another pointless exercise. The Senate will not take up these bills. This nuclear agreement will be implemented, and there’s nothing that the Majority can do about it.

To quote Mr. Joseph Welch before Senator Joseph McCarthy in 1954: “You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last?

I yield back my time.