The 47 Republican senators who signed a letter to Iranian leaders did so with the intention of impeding a “bad deal” and protecting the U.S. and American allies, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said Tuesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
“Beyond that, it was also intended to defend the Constitution,” Cruz told hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski. “Look, I'm a constitutionalist. You ask a person on the street if President Obama negotiates an agreement with Iran, does he have to submit that to Congress? Everyone says, of course.”
Cruz, an expert in constitutional law, explained that the American system was designed to divvy up power.
“We don't have a supreme leader like Iran does,” he said. “We have checks and balances. And if you want to make law in this country, you need both the president and congress. This is a unilateral president. That's an enormous problem.”
Concerned about a bad deal that would allow Tehran to become nuclear under an agreement reached between the United States and the other P5 + 1 nations, Cruz and 46 fellow Republicans sent the letter
last week warning that if Congress does not approve of the agreement, it would be considered nothing more than an executive order and would be subject to revocation or modification by a future administration.
For a treaty to be ratified it has to get through the Senate, said Cruz.
“If we actually had negotiators that were trying to defend our national security, if anything the letter would help them because what the letter makes clear is for any deal to be binding, it has to go through Congress, and, Mika, the letter should not have proven necessary,” he said. “If we didn't have a president like Barack Obama who routinely tries to circumvent congress and the senate when it comes to treaties there wouldn't be a need for a letter making clear that our constitution gives congress a vital role in lawmaking.”
He makes no apologies for signing his name and says he would do it again.
“I would sign it and, as John Hancock said, I would sign it in large print,” he said.
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