Senate bucks Obama, sets vote on bill requiring Congress to approve Iran nuke deal
The Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee announced Thursday night that their committee would vote April 14 on legislation to require any Iran nuclear deal to be reviewed by Congress.
The announcement is a direct affront to the Obama administration, which has implored Congress not to take any legislative steps at all related to Iran while negotiations are ongoing to scale back Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
Earlier Thursday, a top State Department official essentially told Congress that its role will be to ease sanctions against Iran once the time comes, and to do little else.
But members of both parties have rejected that passive role, and say that if Congress will at some point be asked to ease sanctions, it should have more input about the contents of the agreement. The emerging deal has already been sharply criticized by Republicans and Democrats for the freedom it would give Iran after 10 years to pursue weapons again.
Congress has already insisted that the deal be considered a treaty that would be ratified by the Senate, a position the White House opposes. In light of that objection, Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and ranking member Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) put together a bill requiring congressional approval.
Their committee is now set to vote on that bill in mid-April, just two weeks after the administration’s deadline for reaching a framework agreement with Iran. More