UPDATED: It’s late, but not too late, for the Senate to stop President Obama’s dangerous Iran deal from becoming U.S. law and putting the American people and our Arab and Israeli allies in grave danger jeopardy from an Iranian nuclear weapons program.
We need to urge the Senate leadership immediately to:
- Declare that the President has not fulfilled the terms of Corker-Cardin.
- Declare the President’s Iran deal a foreign treaty, as per the Constitution.
- Hold a vote immediately on the treaty.
- When the treaty fails to gain 67 votes, declare it null and void.
Please read this column — and the attached column by National Review’s Andrew McCarthy — and send them to your Members of Congress, particularly to your Senators.
Please also send them to each of the Presidential candidates. We need them to read these analyses, absorb them, and act decisively to block implementation of the Iran deal.
Here’s some context:
Last week, I explained in this column that President Obama is doing an end-run around the U.S. Constitution. He is refusing to submit his Iran nuclear deal to the Senate as a formal foreign treaty, even though he is required to do so by the Constitution.
Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution plainly states: “The President… shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur….”
Only a two-thirds affirmative vote of the Senate (67 votes) would allow the President’s Iran deal to be ratified and have the force of U.S. law.
Unfortunately, by passing the deeply flawed Corker-Cardin bill, Congress has — thus far — allowed the President to ignore the Constitution. That said, there is a way for Congress to correct its mistake, do the right thing, and protect the American people.
As Andrew McCarthy explains in detail in this excellent analysis on National Review Online, the President has not fulfilled the terms of Corker-Cardin. For example, the President has not fully disclosed every element of the agreement, including all the side deals with the IAEA, as Corker-Cardin explicitly required him to do. Thus, Congress and the American people still do not have a full idea of what this treaty would obligate us — and the Iranians — to do.
As McCarthy notes: “The Corker legislation — formally known as the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 — is crystal clear. In its very first section, the act requires the president to transmit to Congress ‘the agreement. . . . including all related materials and annexes.’ It is too late to do that now: the act dictates that it was to have been done ‘not later than five days after reaching the agreement’ — meaning July 19, since the agreement was finalized on July 14.
What’s more, McCarthy notes that, “in conjunction with providing Congress the entire agreement, including any and all ‘side deals’ between Iran and the IAEA, the act mandates that Secretary Kerry provide a ‘verification assessment report.’ In it, the Obama administration must demonstrate not only how it (i) ‘will be able to verify that Iran is complying with its obligations and commitments’ and (ii) will ensure the ‘adequacy of the safeguards and other control mechanisms’ to ensure that Iran cannot ‘further any nuclear-related military or nuclear explosive purpose.’ The administration must further explain: the capacity and capability of the International Atomic Energy Agency to effectively implement the verification regime required by or related to the agreement, including whether the International Atomic Energy Agency will have sufficient access to investigate suspicious sites or allegations of covert nuclear-related activities and whether it has the required funding, manpower, and authority to undertake the verification regime required by or related to the agreement.”
Yet, the Obama administration has not done this either.
Since the President has not fulfilled these essential terms of the law, Congress is not obligated to fulfill the rest of the terms of Corker-Cardin.
Thus, the Senate is now free to declare the dangerous Iran agreement a foreign treaty, hold a vote on the treaty, and vote the treaty down.
Here, too, I agree with McCarthy: “Congress must scrap the Corker process and treat Obama’s Iran deal as either a treaty or proposed legislation….[T]he Senate should regard the deal as a treaty and vote it down decisively — as I’ve pointed out, senators don’t need the president’s cooperation to do this; their authority to review international agreements as treaties comes from the Constitution, not from Obama….The reason to reject the Iran deal as a treaty is to lay the groundwork for the next president to abandon the deal. That involves putting other countries on notice, immediately, that the U.S. statutory sanctions are still in effect; that Obama is powerless to lift them permanently; that the next president is likely to enforce them; and that countries, businesses, and individuals that rely on Obama’s mere executive agreement as a rationale for resuming commerce with Tehran do so at their peril.”
It is late, but it is not yet too late. The Senate can still do the right thing by following the Constitution, blocking implementation of this dangerous Iran deal.
That said, let’s be clear: Blocking the Iran deal in the Senate is just the first step. We will still need a wise, experienced, tough new President to implement a bold new policy towards Iran — more sanctions, stronger and more principled diplomacy, significantly increased military spending, and a clear determination to neutralize the Iran nuclear threat no matter what it takes, even if this means military strikes.
But blocking the Iran deal in the Senate is the next step. It’s the right step. It’s a doable step. And the time is now.
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