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The Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act--Motion to Proceed--Continued

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. CORKER. First of all, we have two things on the floor that are being discussed right now, and I know this is confusing probably to the people in Tehran, but the fact is I agree that Senator Menendez and Senator Kirk have done a great job. I am on the Banking Committee, and we voted this out unanimously. I do hope, with this managers' package being added, that we can work out the details here.

My sense, by the way, is that we will do that. My sense is we will do that by the end of the day. So on the sanctions bill, I hope it goes forward.

Now I wish to move to something called a resolution. As we saw a minute ago, Senator Reid talked about something not having the force of law. We are not talking about the sanctions bill. It has the force of law and, hopefully, will become law soon. What doesn't have the force of law is S. Res. 380, and I ask unanimous consent to engage in a colloquy, if I may, Mr. President, with the Senator from Connecticut and the Senator from South Carolina.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

Mr. CORKER. Sometimes what happens around here, Mr. President--and it happened in Libya, when we passed a resolution at 9 o'clock one night by unanimous consent and somebody over at the State Department decided that was an authorization for force. That was not the intent of that resolution. Again, we are talking now about the resolution, not about the sanctions bill.

I wish to engage in a colloquy with the cosponsors of S.

Res. 380, because there is a clause 6 in here that says:

..... strongly supports United States policy to prevent the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons capability.

There are some wise people over at the State Department who could use that statement as a declaration of war, and I think they acknowledge that. But I don't think the authors of this resolution want that to be the case. So I wish to clarify that in the resolution--not in the sanctions bill--none of the language included in S. Res. 380 may be interpreted as congressional support for military operations in Iran.

I hope that should the administration decide kinetic activities are the only avenue available--we all hope that doesn't happen, but believe it can--that if kinetic activities are the only option available to achieve our policy objectives, they will come to Congress for authorization. This is not intended as an authorization of war.

I think these two cosponsors of the resolution agree, and if the President does want to go to war with Iran, it is his responsibility to come to Congress. Is that the agreement, I ask my colleagues?

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Mr. CORKER. To sort of end this colloquy--and I know Senator McCain and Senator Menendez wish to speak--I fully support every comment that has been made by the Senators from Connecticut and South Carolina. I am not associating myself with the comments of the Senator from Kentucky, which the Senator from South Carolina alluded to.

I would love for the Senator from South Carolina to insert that language into it, regarding the fact this is not an authorization for the use of force. But I want to say that is not because I don't support exactly the sentiments being laid out here. I do. I just want us to continue. I want the Senate to be a part of any action that might take place. Hopefully it won't. But if we end up with kinetic activity, I want us involved in that so as a Nation we go forward--if that occurs--in a unified way. What I don't want is for us to end up where we have in the past, having partisan disputes.

With that, I yield the floor.

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