Washington, D.C. – Nevada Senator Harry Reid delivered the following remarks after the Senate’s vote on a resolution of disapproval on the agreement with Iran failed to clear the 60-vote threshold needed to advance in the Senate:
“The Senate has spoken with a clarion voice and declared that the historic agreement to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon will stand.
“Our fellow Americans, allies and negotiating partners around the world should know that today’s outcome was clear, decisive and final: there is now no doubt whatsoever that the United States Congress will allow this historic agreement to proceed. Efforts by opponents to derail this agreement were soundly rejected by a margin much larger than anyone thought achievable as recently as a few days ago. Any future attempts to re-litigate this issue in the Senate will meet the same outcome and will be nothing more than wasted time – time we cannot afford to waste with a government shutdown looming in a matter of weeks.
“This agreement is consistent with the greatest traditions of American leadership. It is impossible to overestimate the danger posed by an Iran possessing the worst weapon on earth. With this vote, the United States Senate has guaranteed that the international community can pursue the best path forward to stopping Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon – and do so through diplomacy, not war. This deal is the best pathway to preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon and ensuring the security of Israel, America and our partners and interests.
“On Sept. 2 Secretary of State John Kerry wrote a letter to the Senate that outlined a number of important steps the United States would take to support Israel’s security. One of those steps is protecting Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge. Another is negotiating a new ten-year Memorandum of Understanding on military assistance. And yet another step is continuing to work with Israel on joint efforts to deal with shared threats, as well as confronting both conventional and asymmetric threats.
“I’ve also closely reviewed the legislation that Senator Cardin is proposing, which will provide additional security assistance and assurances to Israel. After looking at the letter and the legislation, I plan to work with the White House and with both Democrats and Republicans to guarantee that the United States is doing everything possible to protect the safety and security of Israel.
“The path to this moment has been long and fraught with many uncertainties and obstacles, but it could not have been possible without the dedication, persistence and expertise of Secretaries Kerry, Lew, and Moniz, and the diligent and deliberate work of President Obama. I want to give special thanks to my close friend and colleague, Senator Durbin, for his tremendous passion and hard work that made this outcome possible.
“I am gratified by today’s outcome. Now it is time to move on to the enormous challenges facing Congress this fall, beginning with avoiding the government shutdown that looms in a matter of a few weeks.”