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Ryan Floor Statement: ‘The American People Know This Is a Rotten Deal’

September 11, 2015

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) delivered the following remarks on the House floor regarding President Obama’s proposed nuclear deal with Iran.

“Mr. Speaker, I think this is a terrible deal. This administration has made a lot of mistakes when it comes to foreign policy. But this has to be the worst. Because this deal won’t stop Iran from getting the bomb. This deal will all but guarantee it.

“We went into these negotiations saying Iran had to eliminate its nuclear program—all of it—full stop. Now we’re saying that was unrealistic—too unreasonable—too pie in the sky. And we’re handing over hundreds of billions of dollars in sanctions relief.

“So Iran gets billions of dollars in exchange for what? For taking apart some—not all, just some—of its nuclear program. And then in 10 or 15 years, all these limits expire. In other words, they’re getting something for essentially nothing. It’s a steal. And that’s if they don’t cheat.

“Now the administration says this deal will bring about unprecedented transparency. We’ll get regular access. We’ll see what Iran’s up to. But if the inspectors think something’s up, Iran has 24 days to cover its tracks. And in some cases, Iran’s own inspectors will get to collect the evidence.

“Finally, against all the advice from our military, we’re going to let Iran buy ballistic missiles in just eight years. Mr. Speaker, you buy ballistic missiles if you’re looking to build a bomb. I get why Russia or China would like this idea. They get another customer. But I don’t know why we would ever agree to this.

“Mr. Speaker, the president is taking a huge gamble. He thinks if we make nice with the Iranian regime, they’ll change their ways. Bring them into the global economy, and they’ll become more like us.

“Now, I think the Iranian people want democracy and freedom. But we’re not talking about the Iranian people. We’re talking about an extremist regime that’s unaccountable to the people.

“This is a regime that chants, ‘Death to America.’ This is a regime that funds terrorism around the world. This is a regime that has called for wiping Israel off the face of the earth. And I’m all for diplomacy. But I’m not for rewarding a rogue regime.

“I’d also point out that the sanctions we’re lifting will let European and Asian companies build up Iran’s economy—and make the regime even stronger. And should Iran start to cheat, it’ll be that much harder to put back sanctions. Our trading partners will feel the pinch; and they won’t want to hold the regime accountable.

“So I want to stress how firmly I oppose this deal. I know the president may have already lined up enough support to save his deal. But with this vote, we need to send a message—to both Iran and the world.

“The regime might have bamboozled this administration. But the American people know this is a rotten deal. And I fear that because of it, the Middle East—and the world at large—will only become a much more dangerous place.”