Republican lawmakers made a "really stupid" constitutional blunder when they passed Sen. Bob Corker's bill requiring the Iran deal to come back to Congress for a vote, former U.S. Deputy Asst. Attorney General John Yoo tells Newsmax TV.
"Under the Constitution, you're not supposed to be able to make a treaty unless two-thirds of the Senate agrees to the agreement. What's happened is that the Republicans reversed the whole process," Yoo said Friday on "The Steve Malzberg Show."
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"They turned the Constitution upside down and they said, now, we're going to preapprove the deal before we even see it … and we can vote to disapprove it, whatever that means, and then the president's able to veto that."
"So in the end, you can't stop a treaty here unless you've got two-thirds of the House and the Senate vote against is, whereas before under the Constitution, you used to need two-thirds to get an agreement made. So the Republicans only have themselves to blame."
Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, got the bill passed in April, granting Congress the final vote on the nuclear agreement the U.S. and five other world powers reached with Iran.
It gives lawmakers two months to review the deal before any economic sanctions in place against the Middle East nation can be lifted in exchange for limits on Iran's nuclear capabilities.
Yoo — a UC Berkeley law professor and author of "Power of Attack: Preventative War, International Law and Global Warfare,"
published by Oxford University Press — said the legislation "might have been smart politics" at the time.
"I don't know whether they wanted to get everybody to sign on the dotted line, to support the Iran agreement, but constitutionally it was really stupid," he told Malzberg.
"The better thing to do would have been if President Obama wants to make this Iran deal and Congress, if it didn't have the votes to stop it, should have just done nothing."
"Then President Obama's deal would have had only significance as long as he was president and then once he was gone, the next president could just terminate the agreement right away, or Congress could try to override it by refusing to change any sanctions."
Yoo said that by passing Corker's amendment, Republicans have bolstered Obama's authority.
"If the Corker amendment never passed, if we just got the deal as it is right now, then you could have made the claim this should have been a treaty or not and that could have been unconstitutional then," he said.
"Or, you could have just said President Obama's on his own, this is just like his executive abuses in immigration and welfare and healthcare and we're going to challenge it and the next president is going to get rid of it."
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