Washington, D.C. – House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) spoke on the House floor today in support of H.R. 1698, the Iran Ballistic Missiles and International Sanctions Enforcement Act, as well as H.R. 3898, the Impeding North Korea’s Access to Finance Act.
Full remarks are below, or watch online here.
“Mr. Speaker, I stand on this floor thinking of the world and America’s place in it. What I desire most is peace. America has no desire to fight those who do not harm us. And I would gladly support any international agreement that I thought would bring us to an honorable and enduring peace.
“But peace is not based on hope. It is not based on good intentions. And it is not based on pieces of paper signed at a well-planned ceremony. Peace is based on strength. And America and our allies will only be at peace if those who hate us fear us.
“This is where our credibility matters. So when an American President agrees to a deal that is so obviously unequal and untenable, everyone stops fearing us. They start to think that they can push us around.
“Now, let me be clear, they may start to push, but no one can knock us down. America will win any fight. Our enemies should know that. But frankly, I want our enemies to be so afraid of us they don’t even want to fight. That saves everyone a great deal of trouble.
“So when I look back to our nuclear deals with North Korea and our deal with Iran, they weren’t just flawed, they are dangerous. And the displays of weakness have consequences beyond nuclear weapons.
“Our North Korea deals have failed. The Kim regime will soon have nuclear warheads on intercontinental ballistic missiles. These warheads will be capable of hitting our homeland. In the meantime, they have repeatedly fired missiles over our allies South Korea and Japan, and almost daily threaten war.
“The deal with Iran is on a path to failure, designed in such a way that even if it were followed, a regime that chants ‘death to America’—let me say that again—a regime that chants ‘death to America’ could have nuclear weapons the day after the deal expires. Even ignoring the deal, Iran continues to destabilize the region for its own goals, funding terrorism abroad and fueling violence between Shia and Sunni Muslims that is tearing the Middle East apart.
“The spread of nuclear weapons is a danger in and of itself. I do not need to explain why enemies of the United States should be stopped from gaining the power to level American cities. But the evil is made worse when our enemies—with any weapons—think they can push America and our allies around.
“America will not be weak any longer. Today’s sanctions on Iran undermine its ballistic missile program and the terrorist warriors of Hezbollah whose pockets are filled with Iranian money just as their hands are covered with American blood. This is an important part of our nation’s new Iran strategy.
“And yesterday, we passed the most far-reaching sanctions we will have ever imposed on North Korea. Those who do business with North Korea support a regime run on slave labor. They support a regime that deprives its people of every freedom, even the freedom to think. And they support a regime that tortured and murdered an American citizen, Otto Warmbier, not because he committed a crime or threatened their government in any way, but because he was an American. If you do business with such a regime, there will be severe consequences.
“Now, I had the honor of meeting Otto’s parents, Cindy and Fred. They told me about Otto’s warmth, his joy, his love of life, the great hopes he had. In everything, he stood as a living example of the good in humanity that the Kim regime seeks to destroy. So we renamed that legislation as the Otto Warmbier North Korea Nuclear Sanctions Act. It won’t bring him back. But it will remind North Korea that evil has consequences.
“Otto’s murder was a crime we cannot accept. But it is a crime, I fear, our enemies would repeat at a much larger scale if we do not start stopping them now. So let’s remind them who they’re up against. America will not fail.”