White House agrees to give Congress a say on an Iran deal
Although Obama is negotiating with Iran via a "Sole Executive Agreement" which bypasses Congress, I believe this issue is too important to totally exclude Congress. There simply must exist checks and balances to ensure that any nuclear deal with Iran is extremely robust and that compliance is exceedingly verifiable.Tuesday, April 14, 2015
WASHINGTON — Bowing to pressure from Republicans and his own party, President Barack Obama on Tuesday relented to a compromise empowering Congress to reject the emerging nuclear pact with Iran. The rare and reluctant agreement between the president and the Republican-led Congress came after the White House maintained for weeks that congressional interference could jeopardize sensitive negotiations with Tehran. But lawmakers refused to back down from their insistence that Congress have a formal role in what could be a historic nuclear weapons deal.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously approved the compromise bill shortly after White House spokesman Josh Earnest conveyed the president's decision to sign it. The bill, which cleared the committee 19-0, is now likely to clear both houses of Congress. It's expected to come before the full Senate as soon as next week.
Obama retains his right to veto any attempt by Congress to scuttle such a pact if the time comes. To override a veto would require a two-thirds majority of both the House and Senate, meaning some Democrats would have to oppose their president to sink a deal. The White House's announcement came after an intensive administration effort to prevent Democrats from signing on to legislation requiring Obama to submit any pact with Iran to Congress. Under the terms of the bill, if a nuclear deal is submitted after July 9 — a short time after the final agreement is to be reached — the review period would revert to 60 days. The president would be required to certify to Congress every 90 days that Iran is complying with terms of the agreement.