Tags: Iran | bob corker | corker bill | iran deal | congress

Natl Review: Corker Bill 'Guarantees' Iran Deal Win in Congress

Natl Review: Corker Bill 'Guarantees' Iran Deal Win in Congress
(REUTERS/Jim Bourg)

By    |   Wednesday, 15 July 2015 08:18 AM

The notion floated by opponents of the Iranian nuclear deal that legislation was needed to "lift the veil of secrecy" over the accord’s contents had no merit and instead guaranteed President Barack Obama would be authorized to implement the pact, according to National Review columnist Andrew McCarthy.

In theory, the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 — sponsored by Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican — ensured congressional review and oversight of the agreement.

But in practice, writes McCarthy, the bill "is structured in a way that virtually guarantees Obama will be authorized to implement the deal — evading the Constitution’s treaty provisions under which the deal, which empowers and enriches an enemy regime, would have had no chance of being approved. That, of course, is why the president signed the Corker bill," he said.

Provisions in the Constitution already provide the Congress with ways to "pressure presidents into revealing the terms of international pacts," he says, adding "there was no need for lawmakers to compromise their powers over international agreements and international commerce, as they have done by enacting the Corker bill, in order to force the president to surrender a copy of a proposed deal with a foreign power."

Specifically, he writes, "the Constitution requires (a) treaties to be approved by a two-thirds super majority of the Senate, and (b) bills regulating international commerce (e.g., sanctions against Iran) to be enacted under regular legislative rules — meaning, passage by majorities in both chambers, with all the usual parliamentary hurdles, before presidential signature.

"But the Corker bill undermines these protections. Under its terms, Obama can lift the sanctions against Iran unless both houses of Congress reject the deal by the two-thirds majorities necessary to override a presidential veto that was certain even before Obama promised it (Tuesday) morning."

The bill’s purported need to guarantee "transparency" about the deal’s contents was also a ruse, McCarthy writes, since the Iranians "crow over concession after concession won from Obama’s negotiators."

"No sooner was the Iran deal announced (Tuesday) than did the Iranian regime post it online for all the world to see, in conjunction with the regime’s understandably triumphant commentary," he said. "We did not need the Corker bill to find out what is in the 'Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.' You can read it for yourself, courtesy of our enemy’s news service."

In late April, just before the Senate overwhelmingly approved the Corker bill, political commentator Marc A. Thiessen penned a column for The Washington Post in which he warned that the "terrible bill" all but guaranteed the deal would get a "de facto stamp of approval" by Congress.

"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," he wrote.

"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."

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Headline
The notion floated by opponents of the Iranian nuclear deal that legislation was needed to "lift the veil of secrecy" over the accord had no merit and instead guaranteed President Barack Obama would be authorized to implement the pact, according to the National Review.
bob corker, corker bill, iran deal, congress
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2015-18-15
Wednesday, 15 July 2015 08:18 AM
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