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Public Statements


Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Ms. COLLINS. Madam President, I understand that Senator Baldwin is on her way to make her maiden speech, and I promise I will stop talking the moment she enters the Chamber. I thank my colleague from Colorado.

Later today, the Senate will vote on a resolution that has been introduced by Senators MENENDEZ and GRAHAM. I am pleased to join my Senate colleagues in cosponsoring this resolution, which reaffirms our commitment to a strong U.S.-Israeli relationship and to preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear power.

At this time in our history, it is more important than ever that we demonstrate a firm commitment to our allies--even if the neighborhood they are in looks more like a tinderbox than it has in decades. This resolution reaffirms that the United States will be a reliable friend and a determined ally, even in dangerous times--indeed, especially in dangerous times.

We are at a critical juncture in our efforts to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapons capability. During my time in the Senate, I have repeatedly supported legislation imposes sanctions on Iran and puts pressure on the regime to change course. I worked with my good friend former-Senator Lieberman to pass legislation which ensures that organizations that inspect commercial ships for the U.S. government are not also providing services to governments like Iran that sponsor terrorism.

This resolution reiterates the significance that we place on keeping the full force of sanctions on Iran.

In the face of an existential threat to our country, the American people would expect the U.S. to take action. This resolution says that we will support Israel's right to do the same.

Let me read the powerful language in the resolution. Congress ``declares that the United States has a vital national interest in, and unbreakable commitment to, ensuring the existence, survival, and security of the State of Israel, and reaffirms United States support for Israel's right to self-defense.''

Congress "urges that, if the Government of Israel is compelled to take military action in legitimate self-defense against Iran's nuclear weapons program, the United States Government should stand with Israel and provide, in accordance with United States law and the constitutional responsibility of Congress to authorize the use of military force, diplomatic, military, and economic support to the Government of Israel in its defense of its territory, people, and existence.''

I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues in the United States Senate as well as with President Obama to close the loopholes in current sanctions legislation and to ensure that the cooperation that has existed between the United States and the State of Israel for over 60 years remains steadfast and unshakeable.

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