Tags: Barack Obama | Iran | iran | nuclear deal | congress | oversight

Obama Reaching Out to Congress for Support on Iran Deal

Image: Obama Reaching Out to Congress for Support on Iran Deal
(Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 30 Mar 2015 11:07 AM

As negotiations with Iran on a nuclear deal come to a close for the Tuesday deadline, the White House is intensifying its efforts to convince Congress and the public to support the agreement, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Officials have warned Democrats that opposing a deal would give Republicans more leverage. At the same time, the administration has reached out to Republicans to try to head off a battle.

"When the White House decides to firmly and consistently press their case, they are successful in getting Democrats to give them latitude," Connecticut Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy told the Journal.

But most significantly, the White House has begun to signal that it would be willing to accept legislation that would give Congress some oversight on a negotiated deal, falling short, however, of delegating final approval or applying new sanctions as some in Congress have been gunning for.

"There's a recognition that Congress is going to take some sort of vote after negotiations are complete," Murphy said, according to the Journal. The White House's outreach is "ratcheting up by the hour."

The compromise legislation could offer Congress the opportunity to outline the steps the U.S. would take if Iran violates the agreement. Another option would be to outline the specific clauses Congress wants included in the final agreement with Iran to be delivered in June.

"We're open to talking to Congress about what they might do, how they might be heard on the Iran deal and how they might play an oversight role," a senior Obama administration official told the Journal. "Some people in Congress will certainly want to take some vote."

As it stands, the Senate is pushing two bills that President Barack Obama has said he would veto, saying they could undermine the ability to make a final deal, the Journal said.

One bill would give Congress the power to approve, amend, or reject an agreement. A second bill would slap on escalating new sanctions, to begin in July, if no deal is reached.

A bill by California Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer would force the administration to certify that Iran was complying with the agreement, along with sanctions that would kick in if it wasn't. But Boxer's bill stops short of giving Congress the power to approve or reject a deal.

Meanwhile, the White House is working with outside liberal political groups that are lobbying to overcome opposition to an agreement using anti-war messages.

Specifically, a number of different groups have hosted press events and presentations to make the case for the deal. The Ploughshares coalition has invested more than $7 million in the past four years in groups that champion diplomacy with Iran.

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As negotiations with Iran on a nuclear deal come to a close for the Tuesday deadline, the White House is intensifying its efforts to convince Congress and the public to support the agreement, The Wall Street Journal reported.
iran, nuclear deal, congress, oversight
445
2015-07-30
Monday, 30 Mar 2015 11:07 AM
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