New executive overreach: Obama may relax U.S. sanctions on Iran — without action from Congress

posted at 4:01 pm on January 21, 2014 by Allahpundit

Like the man said, he’s got a pen and a phone and he’s not going to wait around for the legislature just because the law says he has to.

It used to be that O reserved his executive power grabs for matters on which Congress was deadlocked, or simply wasn’t moving fast enough for his liking. Not always, of course: Congress duly enacted the ObamaCare employer mandate that he suspended, but that likely would have produced deadlock if he had asked Congress to suspend it instead, which, I guess, in Obama’s mind is close enough. This time is different. If anything, there’s too much bipartisan support for Iran sanctions; the whole reason Harry Reid hasn’t let a vote come to the floor in the Senate is because he’s afraid pro-Israel Democrats will cross the aisle and join the GOP on a new slate of measures designed to turn the pressure up on Tehran. That could blow up O’s nuke negotiations with the mullahs. And even if new sanctions don’t pass, it may be impossible to get Congress to lift sanctions that are currently in effect as a reward for Iran if/when they meet some of the White House’s nuclear demands. That too is a function not of deadlock but of bipartisan agreement between Republicans and a slew of Democrats in Congress who are more hawkish towards Iran than Obama is.

Solution: More unilateral action, of course.

“The American people must get a say in any final nuclear agreement with Iran to ensure the mullahs never get the bomb,” [Sen. Mark] Kirk told the Washington Free Beacon. “The administration cannot just ignore U.S. law and lift sanctions unilaterally.”…

Top White House aides have been “talking about ways to do that [lift sanctions] without Congress and we have no idea yet what that means,” said one senior congressional aide who works on sanctions. “They’re looking for a way to lift them by fiat, overrule U.S. law, drive over the sanctions, and declare that they are lifted.”…

“It’s no secret that the president, with executive power, can determine sanctions implementation, particularly with waivers and the decision not to sanction certain entities,” said Jonathan Schanzer, a former terrorism finance analyst at the Treasury Department, which is responsible for enforcing sanctions…

“In the case of Iran, such an approach could allow Washington to reach a nuclear accord without Congress having to vote on rescinding, even temporarily or conditionally, certain sanctions,” Clawson wrote. “No matter how stiff and far-reaching sanctions may be as embodied in U.S. law, they would have less bite if the administration stopped enforcing them.”

It’s not that O’s going to somehow unilaterally repeal the sanctions in effect. A la the employer mandate, he’ll simply refuse to enforce existing law, using executive orders and waivers to make sure that funds that Congress wants choked off will somehow find their way to Iran if the mullahs play ball. The counterargument here, I guess, is that presidents always have some latitude in how they enforce sanctions. Right, but this isn’t a quibble about how best to carry out a mutually agree-upon policy; it’s a case of the executive and legislature being seemingly at loggerheads on the core question of whether U.S. policy should involve more pressure on an enemy or less — at a sensitive moment of international diplomacy to boot. Against that backdrop, systematically relaxing sanctions would amount to O substituting the policy he favors for the one favored by Congress. That’s actually bolder than his decision not to enforce the mandate, which Democrats were happy to see him do (even though they had passed the mandate in the first place) since it averted an extra ObamaCare-related political headache for them this year. By relaxing Iran sanctions, he’d potentially be defying his own party too.

Exit question: Pro-sanction Democrats in Congress will ultimately end up playing along with this, though, right? The bona fide Iran hawks will be angry, but the fencesitters who like to project hawkishness to show support for Israel without being heavily invested in the subject might find this a dandy solution to their dilemma. If the fate of sanctions is left to them, their choice is either to sabotage Obama’s deal with Iran by refusing to relax sanctions or to be accused of selling out Israel by agreeing to relax them. Better to let the lame duck in the White House take the heat by doing what he wants and then either taking vicarious credit if his policy works or beating him up if it doesn’t. No surprise, by that logic, that some pro-sanctions Dems have been spotted toning down the rhetoric lately. They’ll defer to O in the end. What do they have to lose?


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Words cannot express how much this clown pi$$es me off.

NavyMustang on January 21, 2014 at 4:02 PM

Arrogance unbounded…

OmahaConservative on January 21, 2014 at 4:02 PM

Obama and the Muslim Bros.

Just “folks.”

Lourdes on January 21, 2014 at 4:03 PM

BUSH IS A UNITARY EXECUTIVE!!!11!!

/Obama supporters

Good Lt on January 21, 2014 at 4:03 PM

Obama just having a great big laugh jamming his pencils in the collective eyes of Americans. He’s going to such extremes in doing so, and so often, that it’s like he really, really, really wants someone to go, “hey, baby baracky, here’s your bottle.”

Lourdes on January 21, 2014 at 4:04 PM

Governing by fiat. Congress, I don’t need no stinking congress. The Iranians are playing him like a fiddle. This will not end well.

major dad on January 21, 2014 at 4:04 PM

Now.

Ronnie on January 21, 2014 at 4:04 PM

Impeachment needs to happen NOW!

annoyinglittletwerp on January 21, 2014 at 4:05 PM

Better to let the lame duck in the White House take the heat by doing what he wants

Someone, at some point, HAS to be the adult who delivers the warning message of likely meaningful punishment if Baby Baracky doesn’t stop burning down the neighbors’ houses and torturing animals.

Lourdes on January 21, 2014 at 4:06 PM

Gahh, formatting hijinks, corrected as follows:

Better to let the lame duck in the White House take the heat by doing what he wants

Someone, at some point, HAS to be the adult who delivers the warning message of likely meaningful punishment if Baby Baracky doesn’t stop burning down the neighbors’ houses and torturing animals.

Lourdes on January 21, 2014 at 4:06 PM

Lourdes on January 21, 2014 at 4:07 PM

Words cannot express how much this clown pi$$es me off.

NavyMustang on January 21, 2014 at 4:02 PM

I have words. But using them here would get me banned.

hawkeye54 on January 21, 2014 at 4:08 PM

Image if Bush did his actions.

Oil Can on January 21, 2014 at 4:09 PM

Impeachment needs to happen NOW!

annoyinglittletwerp on January 21, 2014 at 4:05 PM

If Weepy Boehner could get CONgress to act on it, Dingy Harry would still have to have a very good reason to carry it out on the Senate side.

hawkeye54 on January 21, 2014 at 4:10 PM

What’s congress?

Do we have one of those?

VorDaj on January 21, 2014 at 4:10 PM

The King has spoken. Congress, Constitution . . . who needs a stinking Constitution? You elected him, now you pay the price.

rplat on January 21, 2014 at 4:11 PM

Doctor Barack “Stangelove” Obama and how he learned to love the Iranian bomb.

VorDaj on January 21, 2014 at 4:12 PM

Image if Bush did his actions.

Oil Can on January 21, 2014 at 4:09 PM

He wouldn’t have lasted through his first term, and would be at this moment penning his memoirs in a prison somewhere.

hawkeye54 on January 21, 2014 at 4:12 PM

What’s congress?

Do we have one of those?

VorDaj on January 21, 2014 at 4:10 PM

Rumor has it that we do, though for the most part, you wouldn’t really know it.

hawkeye54 on January 21, 2014 at 4:13 PM

Is there anyone with b@lls in DC that will stand up to this clown and start the impeachment process before this country vanishes?

txag92 on January 21, 2014 at 4:14 PM

Obama’s legacy. The Man Who Gave Iran The Bomb.

thatsafactjack on January 21, 2014 at 4:15 PM

I guess dems are comfortable testing the limits of support from American jews. Not a hard gamble as nothing has swayed them yet.

DanMan on January 21, 2014 at 4:17 PM

Better to let the lame duck in the White House take the heat by doing what he wants and then either taking vicarious credit if his policy works or beating him up if it doesn’t.

Who will they blame after the first nuke goes off in Israel?

docflash on January 21, 2014 at 4:19 PM

Better to let the lame duck in the White House take the heat by doing what he wants and then either taking vicarious credit if his policy works or beating him up if it doesn’t. No surprise, by that logic, that some pro-sanctions Dems have been spotted toning down the rhetoric lately. They’ll defer to O in the end. What do they have to lose?

Just let the dictator dictate … yeah … great idea. Who needs any sort of law or anything? The Rule of Law is so passe …

This is why I keep calling for a national divorce. Too many people won’t even try to act as if they care about the Constitution or the Rule of Law. They should have to live with the consequences of their cowardice but the rest of us are entitled to have an American Constitutional Republic, and that can’t happen with this society. A split must come.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 21, 2014 at 4:20 PM

Well he did pal around with terrorists , didn’t he ?

burrata on January 21, 2014 at 4:21 PM

Obama’s potential legacy: The Single Man Most Responsible For The Second Holocaust.

thatsafactjack on January 21, 2014 at 4:21 PM

Who will they blame after the first nuke goes off in Israel?

docflash on January 21, 2014 at 4:19 PM

Bush, Cheney and Halliburton …

burrata on January 21, 2014 at 4:21 PM

Obama and the Muslim Bros.

Just “folks.”

Lourdes on January 21, 2014 at 4:03 PM

No worries. Just the junior varsity team anyway.

CTSherman on January 21, 2014 at 4:22 PM

And the one’s who advocate that we follow the Constitution are the one’s who are called extremists….

Barack Obama, consistent in his…
…hypocrisy…
…fecklessness…
…incompetence…
…arrogance…
…narcissism…
…support towards enemies of the US…
…willingness to antagonize the friends of the US…
…contempt towards the Constitution and limited government.

Athos on January 21, 2014 at 4:24 PM

New executive overreach: Obama may relax U.S. sanctions on Iran — without action from Congress

“What y’all call “executive overreach” is just us Muslim good ol’ boys stickin’ together.Besides I’m a Democrat which means I can get a BJ in the White, lie about it and get disbarred and still be anointed as “one of the greatest Chief Executives (even by RINOS), evah. It also means I can let some white chick suffocate in the back seat of a submerged car, which I drunkenly drove into the water and then desert her in panic and not only escape jail time but die with accolades of ‘Lion of the Senate’ and be buried with honorable men in Arlington.

“You now that NO MATTER WHAT I DO the press is behind me so get off my farking back.”

MaiDee on January 21, 2014 at 4:29 PM

We’re dead as a nation…this is just the death throws…the looting phase before the final collapse.

I’m starting to think that Australia might be a good relocation point…at least until China over-runs it.

AUINSC on January 21, 2014 at 4:31 PM

First Muslim President…

albill on January 21, 2014 at 4:35 PM

Merely for research purposes, a question:

If The Emperor President were to be impeached and convicted, how would the sentence be carried out? Could the President decline to eject himself from his lodgings and office and merely continue to hang around?

Just curious. Even including the Washington Wizards, Washington Nationals and D.C. United soccer team, there aren’t enough balls in D.C. to pull this off.

IndieDogg on January 21, 2014 at 4:35 PM

I hate it when I’m right.

kingsjester on January 21, 2014 at 4:36 PM

Thank God he hasn’t got troops sitting on the banks of the Rubicon River trying to decide whether or not to cross into U.S territory and march on Washington.

Of course, that’s the only thing he hasn’t yet done and there’s still three more years so he might yet pull it off.

MTF on January 21, 2014 at 4:38 PM

Obama is irresponsible and immature. He is defiant, surly, and vindictive. He is abusing his position as president. He has failed.

The congress is derelict in their duty. Obama should be removed from office immediately. The fact that congress, Left and Right, has failed to remove Obama and charge him with breaking the law on numerous occasions proves congress is corrupt and shamelessly so.

I will not support corruption and failure.

thatsafactjack on January 21, 2014 at 4:38 PM


DanMan on January 21, 2014 at 4:17 PM

They’re headed for the boxcar and they don’t even know it. In fact, they are cheering it as we speak. What utter fools.

HomeoftheBrave on January 21, 2014 at 4:39 PM

obama doesn’t help his real brothers but he helps his muzzie bros, always.

Schadenfreude on January 21, 2014 at 4:39 PM

“The administration cannot just ignore U.S. law and lift sanctions unilaterally”

And that means impeachment. Can Republican Senate candidates come right out and say they pledge to convict Obama, if they’re elected?

“Better to let the lame duck in the White House take the heat by doing what he wants and then either taking vicarious credit if his policy works or beating him up if it doesn’t.”

No, Obama’s policy won’t work. You should beat him up before he does it, and while he doea it, and after he does it.

Emperor Norton on January 21, 2014 at 4:40 PM

Vote for/against the policies…not the person.
 
verbaluce on January 21, 2014 at 1:30 PM

rogerb on January 21, 2014 at 4:40 PM

If Israel and/or the US is a pile of nuclear rubble, it won’t do us any good to “beat him up”.

kingsjester on January 21, 2014 at 4:42 PM

If you like your dictator you will keep your dictator…even if you don’t like you dictator.

jukin3 on January 21, 2014 at 4:44 PM

America hater gonna hate.

Mimzey on January 21, 2014 at 4:46 PM

HomeoftheBrave on January 21, 2014 at 4:39 PM

Quite a lot of Houston’s Jewish community lives in a section of Houston called Meyerland. I lived there for years (goy). The only non solid dem liberal dem Jew I knew was from Israel. He could not understand his American counterparts.

DanMan on January 21, 2014 at 4:47 PM

Well Billy Jeff gave the Pakis and India the bomb. Obama gots to show that cracka up.

jukin3 on January 21, 2014 at 4:47 PM

Who will they blame after the first nuke goes off in Israel?

They will blame the Jews, of course.

Emperor Norton on January 21, 2014 at 4:47 PM

Nationalized healthcare and the end of Israel have been the great dreams of the Left. Obama is on his way to realizing both.

rrpjr on January 21, 2014 at 4:48 PM

Liberal Icon Urges Obama Impeachment

______

CoffeeLover on January 21, 2014 at 4:49 PM

Who will they blame after the first nuke goes off in Israel?

docflash on January 21, 2014 at 4:19 PM

Iran will disappear from orbit before there is ever a nuclear strike on Israel. The US is not saving Israel from annihilation. They are saving the Muslim world from Israel.

DeweyWins on January 21, 2014 at 4:51 PM

thatsafactjack on January 21, 2014 at 4:38 PM

you are spot on, morning, noon, and night.. just wonderful!!
goodafternoon ms J…

the only thing I would add..it the Press…
the Press is criminally liable is all this..
it is their job to inform the citizens..

if you are present when a crime is being planed or carried out
you are liable if you do not report what you know..

going2mars on January 21, 2014 at 4:57 PM

obama doesn’t help his real brothers but he helps his muzzie bros, always.

Schadenfreude on January 21, 2014 at 4:39 PM

the muzzies are his real brothers…
hes no friend or brother to anyone in this country..
of that I am sure

going2mars on January 21, 2014 at 5:01 PM

So how will Hussein’s fluffers in the media, like BlowReilly and LeakyDepends tell us that Hussein arming the mullahs to blow up Isreal is in our national interest ?

burrata on January 21, 2014 at 5:04 PM

the muzzies are his real brothers…
hes no friend or brother to anyone in this country..
of that I am sure

going2mars on January 21, 2014 at 5:01 PM

Of that I agree. His friends are not the friends of our Republic.

hawkeye54 on January 21, 2014 at 5:07 PM

DanMan on January 21, 2014 at 4:17 PM

They’re headed for the boxcar and they don’t even know it. In fact, they are cheering it as we speak. What utter fools.

HomeoftheBrave on January 21, 2014 at 4:39 PM

I once asked the general public — I think it was here in comments years ago — WHY Jews and others went along with the worsening conditions and circumstances that targeted them, especially, in Herr Adolf’s days in Germany and greater Europe eventually.

Why the appearance of “just going along with it” even at the cost to themselves and their loved ones, not to mention civilization itself?

Someone said that, at that time, few people could understand or would accept that what was happening, was actually happening, that people denied he reality of the horrors taking place or soon to occur (refusal to draw connections between foul conditions on one day leading to the wretched conditions on the next).

Well, did people learn since then? Or have they refuted or refused to learn from history such that this “allowance of evil” is occuring today?

Lourdes on January 21, 2014 at 5:11 PM

Makes one almost—-almost—look forward to Iran’s first use of a nuclear device.
Should make for an interesting Presidential presser, thereafter.
Somehow, I foresee it will be the fault of George Bush.
Because right wing extremism and Global Warming, or something.

orangemtl on January 21, 2014 at 5:18 PM

Well, did people learn since then? Or have they refuted or refused to learn from history such that this “allowance of evil” is occuring today?

Lourdes on January 21, 2014 at 5:11 PM

Up til the end of the ’60s maybe people learned. But with the Left infiltrating institutes of government, learning, media and entertainment so completely, history has been ignored and rewritten to indoctrinate rather than teach truth.

Evil has been allowed because Good stands against that for which the Left strives, and what was once considered “Good” has been twisted into meaning what is now “Evil”, under the guise of acceptance, tolerance, diversity, social and economic justice. Just my opinion and observance.

hawkeye54 on January 21, 2014 at 5:21 PM

if a gop president did this part 32,765

unstinkingbelievable….

and yet the lsm would rather focus on christie and income inequality….

cmsinaz on January 21, 2014 at 5:30 PM

Because right wing extremism and Global Warming, or something.

orangemtl on January 21, 2014 at 5:18 PM

indeed

cmsinaz on January 21, 2014 at 5:32 PM

Perhaps the Obama is mentally unstable?

albill on January 21, 2014 at 5:33 PM

orangemtl on January 21, 2014 at 5:18 PM

Israel will reply with a ‘package’ of their own
Janes has the package count somewhere between 250-400 packages..
Israel could send 10 packages and remove most Iran large cities..
somewhere in the 20 package range Iran would loose most Iranians..
if it ever gets to the 40 and up range..
you’ll find it tough to find any Iranian soil..

the BHO presser will be dull compared to a day like that..

“They’re headed for the boxcar and they don’t even know it. In fact, they are cheering it as we speak. What utter fools.”

HomeoftheBrave on January 21, 2014 at 4:39 PM

the Iranians are also headed for a Box…and also cheering it too..
more utter fools..

going2mars on January 21, 2014 at 5:33 PM

The counterargument here, I guess, is that presidents always have some latitude in how they enforce sanctions.

Emphasis on how. This is not really a counterargument.

There Goes the Neighborhood on January 21, 2014 at 5:34 PM

Impeachment now and let the cities burn if they must.

Mason on January 21, 2014 at 5:36 PM

the Iranians are also headed for a Box…and also cheering it too..
more utter fools..

going2mars on January 21, 2014 at 5:33 PM

According to their poetry book they welcome it – Israelis don’t.

OldEnglish on January 21, 2014 at 5:46 PM

What do they have to lose?

2014?

Rancher on January 21, 2014 at 6:20 PM

Time for Dandy Don to start singing “Turn out the lights, the party’s over…”

It’s pretty clear, this grand experiment has run its course.

jnelchef on January 21, 2014 at 6:25 PM

…my peoples!

KOOLAID2 on January 21, 2014 at 8:36 PM

This man is evil. Straight up. Hates our allies and loves our enemies.

sadsushi on January 21, 2014 at 9:46 PM