Cotton Delivers Weekly Republican Address
Contact: Caroline Rabbitt (202) 224-2353
Washington, D.C.- In the Weekly Republican Address, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services and the Select Committee on Intelligence, discusses defeating the threat from Iran and the president's concessions to prop up his deal with Iran. "Americans are understandably fearful about their safety and security. But President Obama wants us to ‘chill out,'" Sen. Cotton says. "This parade of concessions must stop. And if the Obama Administration won't act, the Congress-under Republican leadership-will."
The audio of the address is available here, the video is available here. A full transcript of the address follows:
"Hi, I'm Senator Tom Cotton and I'm proud to represent Arkansas in the United States Senate.
"We live in a dangerous world-and the dangers are ever increasing, particularly from radical Islamic terror. The attacks in Brussels, Paris, San Bernardino, and across the world make this all too clear. Americans are understandably fearful about their safety and security.
"But President Obama wants us to ‘chill out.' He believes overreaction to terrorism is a graver threat than terrorism itself. He minimizes the threat of terror attacks, even as these savages cut off the heads of Americans and inspire or direct radicals to blow themselves up in public places.
"That's why President Obama went to a baseball game and did the Wave with Cuba's dictator even as Americans were missing and murdered in the Brussels attack. The president defended this decision by comparing himself to Big Papi, the Red Sox star who defiantly took the field after the Boston Marathon bombings. Big Papi is a great player, but his job is to hit homeruns. The president's job is to keep America safe, and that requires leading from the front, not sitting in the stands.
"Also, President Obama reportedly likes to point out that more Americans die each year from bathtub falls and car accidents than from terrorism. Maybe so. But bathtub falls aren't spreading an apocalyptic ideology and car crashes can't be weaponized against American cities.
"These aren't communication mistakes by the president; they're a feature, not a bug, of his foreign policy.
"And no conversation about his failed, weak policy toward radical Islam is complete without the dangerous consequences of his nuclear agreement with Iran, a country that killed hundreds of American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan and still chants ‘Death to America' this day.
"That ‘deal' hardly deserves the name-never fully disclosed, never signed, and never approved as a treaty by Congress. The president's deal gave the world's worst state sponsor of terrorism access to more than $100 billion dollars, 24-days notice before inspections, and a vast nuclear program that Iran can easily use to build a nuclear weapon. In return, the ayatollahs gave us the proverbial sleeves off their vest.
"Even worse, the president's concessions continue. Iran has kidnaped our sailors, taken Americans hostages, sponsored terror plots against U.S. allies, fueled conflicts in Syria and Yemen, and even launched ballistic missiles inscribed with ‘Israel must be wiped out.' The ayatollahs have continued this reign of terror because they know President Obama is desperate to preserve his deal.
"And the president's response? More concessions. He ransomed American hostages for another $1.7 billion. He's refused to condemn and punish Iran's ballistic-missile tests as violations of U.N. resolutions. He's freed seven convicted Iranian criminals and dismissed arrest warrants against 14 Iranian fugitives. And now, the president may grant Iran access to the dollar, which would declare it truly ‘open for business.'
"This parade of concessions must stop. And if the Obama Administration won't act, the Congress-under Republican leadership-will.
"Later this year, we will renew the Iran Sanctions Act to ensure that the United States can reimpose tough sanctions on Iran when it violates the nuclear deal.
"We've introduced the Iran Ballistic Missile Sanctions Act, which will punish the ayatollahs for developing a missile that can reach the United States with a nuclear warhead.
"We've introduced the Iran Terrorism and Human Rights Sanctions Act to punish Iran's support for terrorism and domestic oppression.
"And if the president grants Iran access to the U.S. dollar in financial transactions, we will take appropriate action.
"Republicans understand, unlike the president, that we do not and cannot have ‘shared values' with the radical, terror-sponsoring regime in Iran any more than we can with the Islamic State. The right strategy against the threat of radical Islam is to confront this radical ideology and defeat it on the battlefield before it grows larger and stronger, or obtains nuclear weapons. That may sound simplistic to the president, but to most Americans it sounds simply like the defense of our nation and our people."