The Iran deal is a disaster. No, I’m not talking about the nuclear agreement President Obama is negotiating with Tehran (though that is a disaster, too), but rather the Iran deal that Obama cut with Congress.
The Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act that Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) negotiated with Obama comes up for a vote in the Senate this week. It is a terrible bill that virtually guarantees that Congress will give its de facto stamp of approval to any agreement Obama concludes with Iran.
The reason is simple: Instead of requiring that Congress vote to affirmatively approve any Obama-Iran agreement before it can take effect, the Corker-Cardin bill allows the agreement to take effect unless it is disapproved by Congress.
An affirmative vote would have required Obama to persuade a simple majority in both houses of Congress to approve his agreement. If he failed, the agreement would be dead. Now, under a disapproval mechanism, the burden shifts to congressional opponents of the Iran deal, who need to convince not simple majorities, but super majorities, in both houses if they want to kill the deal.
The bill allows opponents to pass a “resolution of disapproval,” which requires only a simple majority. That allows congressional critics to claim that they voted against the agreement. But Obama can veto the resolution of disapproval and send it back to Congress. When that happens, opponents need two-thirds of the House and Senate to override his veto. There is no chance that will happen. In fact, this is precisely why the Corker bill is so appealing to some Democrats. They get the political cover of voting against Obama’s Iran deal without being responsible for actually delivering an embarrassing defeat to Obama. That’s a “win-win” on Capitol Hill.
Failure to override Obama’s veto would mean that Congress will have effectively assented to the deal, giving the agreement a congressional imprimatur. Obama will be able to claim that Congress reviewed the agreement under a procedure of its own creation, and the result of the review was that the agreement was approved for implementation.
That is worse than if Congress had never voted in the first place.
While Obama strong-arms Congress, he continues to capitulate to Iran.
The Obama administration has long insisted that there would be no immediate sanctions relief for Iran. Just two weeks ago, State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke reiterated “Sanctions will be suspended in a phased manner upon verification that Iran has met specific commitments under a finalized joint comprehensive plan of action,” adding “The process of sanctions suspension or relief will only begin after Iran has completed its major nuclear steps and the breakout time has been increased to at least a year.”
Now, all of a sudden, Obama is singing a different tune. At a recent White House news conference, the president declared that the timing of sanctions relief isn’t really so important. “How sanctions are lessened, how we snap back sanctions if there’s a violation, there are a lot of different mechanisms and ways to do that . . . Our main concern here is making sure that if Iran doesn’t abide by its agreement that we don’t have to jump through a whole bunch of hoops in order to reinstate sanctions,” Obama said.
Translation: Sanctions relief will kick in immediately.
Next up: capitulation on requiring Iran to come clean about its past military-related nuclear activities. “It will be part of a final agreement,” Secretary of State John Kerry said recently. Sure it will. After that, comes capitulation on snap inspections at both military and civilian sites. Iranian Revolutionary Guard Gen. Hossein Salami declared recently that if international nuclear inspectors try to visit Iranian military sites, “We will respond with hot lead.” Team Obama will give in there as well.
Americans are growing sour on Obama’s nuclear deal. A new poll by NBC News found that 68 percent of Americans believe Iran will not comply with the agreement, and more than half say Iran’s nuclear program represents a major threat to the United States. So why are opponents of the agreement throwing in the towel?
With Obama capitulating to Iran, the last thing we need is Congress capitulating to Obama. The Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act is a disastrous bill that will pave the way for a disastrous nuclear agreement that will pave the way for an Iranian bomb.
When the Senate votes on the bill this week, here’s an idea: Blow it up.