John Lewis Makes Emotional Plea For Peace In Iran Deal Speech

"American people and people around the world are sick and tired of war and violence."

Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) rose on the House floor Friday to encourage his colleagues to support a resolution approving the Iran nuclear deal and, in the words of Martin Luther King Jr., "rededicate ourselves to the long and bitter, but beautiful struggle for a new world."

In a two-minute speech, Lewis predicted the measure would be the "most important vote that we cast during our time in Congress." While the vote was purely symbolic, as Senate Democrats on Thursday blocked a move to halt the deal's implementation, Lewis said a vote for the deal is a vote for peace.

"The way of peace is one of those immutable principles, and with much steady thought and reflection, I believe that this is a good deal," Lewis said. "No, it may not be perfect, but do not let be the perfect be the enemy of the good."

Lewis, a leader in the civil rights movement of the 1960s, also recalled a speech he gave against the Iraq War in 2007, suggesting we should learn from the mistakes of the past.

"I said it then and I will say it again today. War is messy, it is bloody, it destroyed the hopes, aspirations and the dreams of a people," Lewis said. "American people and people around the world are sick and tired of war and violence. We do not need more bombs, missiles and guns. When you turn on the news, when you read the newspaper, you see a mass dislocation. Too many people are suffering and many are desperate for a chance at peace."

After Lewis' speech, House lawmakers rejected the resolution by a vote of 162-269. Every Republican voted against it, with the exception of Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), who voted “present." While Republicans touted the vote as a victory and have promised to find a new way to stop the Iran nuclear deal, nothing they have done so far will keep it from going into effect.

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