Oh my: Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously backs bill demanding congressional vote on Iran deal

posted at 4:41 pm on April 14, 2015 by Allahpundit

When was the last time a congressional middle finger to The One was unanimously displayed? 19-0. Good lord.

Credit where it’s due: This is some nice maneuvering by Bob Corker around a president who’s gotten used to blowing off Congress and having his party back him up on it.

Under their agreement, Congress would have 30 days to initially review a final agreement struck to diminish Iran’s nuclear capabilities. The measure was already close to a veto-proof majority in Congress.

Lawmakers would then be able to vote to approve or disapprove the deal or take no action. If Congress passed a resolution rejecting the deal, Mr. Obama would have 12 days to veto the measure. If he vetoed it, Congress would have 10 days to try to override his veto, which requires a two-thirds majority…

“I would hope the White House would recognize this is a congressional prerogative,” Mr. Cardin said. “We have, if anything, reinforced the president’s ability to negotiate.”

The agreement Tuesday would also remove a provision requiring the president to certify that Iran isn’t directly involved in carrying out terrorist attacks against the U.S. and American citizens. Instead, the administration would have to provide detailed reports to Congress on Iran’s terrorist activities and certify to lawmakers every 90 days that Iran is complying with the nuclear agreement.

Per Corker, the bill will stop Obama from lifting any sanctions unilaterally while Congress is busy reviewing the deal, a clause that will prevent O from creating a new sanction-less status quo for Iran until the legislative branch has had its say. One thing I don’t understand is why Corker didn’t demand that the final deal be regarded as a treaty for constitutional purposes and require ratification by two-thirds of the Senate, but I suppose it doesn’t matter. They’ll need two-thirds for a veto override anyway if Obama rejects their verdict on his agreement with Iran. Plus, Corker’s scheme seems to contemplate a House vote on the terms of the deal too, which may also attract a bipartisan veto-proof majority. Having supermajorities lined up against the deal in both chambers of Congress is better than having a supermajority in just one.

Coincidentally, after having rattled his veto saber at Congress for weeks to try to prevent a bill like this from passing, Obama announced miraculously this afternoon that the new bill is fine with him and he’s prepared to sign it. What are the odds that, faced with polling that’s against him in cutting Congress out of the process and the prospect of a heavily bipartisan humiliation in the Senate on whether the legislature should vote on the deal, he suddenly saw the light just before the committee vote? Via Roll Call, here’s Corker himself accusing Obama of an obviously cynical, calculated retreat.

Update: Noah Pollak says it actually matters quite a lot that Corker didn’t demand treaty ratification:

Under the Treaty Clause, it requires two-thirds of the Senate to approve a deal. The deal won’t be implemented unless they can get to 67 yeses. Under Corker’s scheme, if the Senate rejects the deal and Obama vetoes that rejection, it’ll require two-thirds of the chamber to make the rejection stick by overriding his veto. In other words, the deal will be implemented unless they can get to 67 no’s. It’s the hawks, not Obama, who need to forge a supermajority to have their way under this scheme. Corker thinks he can get that 67. Can he?


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

#19Traitors

vdbl2011 on April 14, 2015 at 4:46 PM

By tomorrow Dog Eater will be taking credit for the bill.

Bishop on April 14, 2015 at 4:51 PM

Iran promised never to attack Obama’s Hawaii mansion, so he got the most important provision (to him) into the deal.

RBMN on April 14, 2015 at 4:53 PM

This is Democrat grandstanding. Bathhouse Barry will veto it and none of the Democrats will vote for the override. But they are #ontherecord so that when New York sprouts an Iranian mushroom cloud they can claim they voted to require a vote.

ConstantineXI on April 14, 2015 at 4:53 PM

And, for good measure, Obama announcing the Cuba thing today to change the subject.

This is still a huge slap in the face for the petulant ignorant liar.

matthew8787 on April 14, 2015 at 4:54 PM

The Wall Street Journal explained why the resolution is veto-proof:

Lawmakers would then be able to vote to approve or disapprove the deal or take no action. If Congress passed a resolution rejecting the deal, Mr. Obama would have 12 days to veto the measure. If he vetoed it, Congress would have 10 days to try to override his veto, which requires a two-thirds majority…

I’ve seen that movie before, on the former debt ceiling. In short, it’s CONgress (emphasis added) conning us sheep into believing they’ll do something to stop Teh SCOAMT when they’ll do nothing of the sort.

Or, in a hashtag…

#19Traitors

vdbl2011 on April 14, 2015 at 4:46 PM

Steve Eggleston on April 14, 2015 at 4:54 PM

This is Democrat grandstanding. Bathhouse Barry will veto it and none of the Democrats will vote for the override. But they are #ontherecord so that when New York sprouts an Iranian mushroom cloud they can claim they voted to require a vote.

ConstantineXI on April 14, 2015 at 4:53 PM

No, Obama capitulated and will sign this bill – if only to punt the ball for a couple more months. He was FINALLY faced with a Democratic minority that gave him the finger after years of usurpation of congressional prerogatives.

This is a huge win for the GOP and a signal of LAME DUCK status for Obama. He’s toast. With a little luck, the Iranians will walk away from the table and the sanctions will hold.

matthew8787 on April 14, 2015 at 4:56 PM

One more thing – can we kill that autoplay RollCall video?

Steve Eggleston on April 14, 2015 at 4:57 PM

“I would hope the White House would recognize this is a congressional prerogative,” Mr. Cardin said. “We have, if anything, reinforced the president’s ability to negotiate.”

Congress has only themselves to blame. They write so many laws granting authority to the President to make judgement calls and to bureaucrats to write regulations with the force of law, that they shouldn’t be surprised when that authority is exercised. I have no idea how accurate this is, but it certainly illustrates how complicated it is.

Fenris on April 14, 2015 at 5:00 PM

When was the last time a congressional middle finger to The One was unanimously displayed? 19-0. Good lord.

You guys can make yourself believer that’s what just happened.

This is th right spinning this too…. the bill doesn’t require 60 votes to reject the final deal, in fact in has “no action” clause which is the biggest backdoor of this crap! it doesn’t say anything about Israel (not that I care, but I thought you guys did)

it requires reports….

yup, HUGE middle finger… was the bar set so low guys??

Can.I.be.in.the.middle on April 14, 2015 at 5:00 PM

Hah, that picture made me laugh.

He erased Cuba from the terror list today.

Plus, another obama ‘success’.

Schadenfreude on April 14, 2015 at 5:01 PM

If they’ll override his veto in the senate he’ll shit nails call you all racists.

Schadenfreude on April 14, 2015 at 5:01 PM

One more thing – can we kill that autoplay RollCall video?

Steve Eggleston on April 14, 2015 at 4:57 PM

PLEASE!

Vince on April 14, 2015 at 5:04 PM

When was the last time a congressional middle finger to The One the country was unanimously displayed? 19-0. Good lord.

Credit where it’s due: This is some nice maneuvering by Bob Corker around a president who’s gotten used to blowing off Congress and having his party back him up on it Constitution both halves of the bipartisan Party-In-Government sees as increasingly useless.

ReWrite™ engaged for by the target of said middle finger.

Steve Eggleston on April 14, 2015 at 5:05 PM

One more thing – can we kill that autoplay RollCall video?

Steve Eggleston on April 14, 2015 at 4:57 PM

I’ll second that. Every time the screen auto-refreshes, that effing video restarts again.

Makes me not want to stay on this page long.

pain train on April 14, 2015 at 5:05 PM

This is just kabuki posturing.

The constitution already says that Obama has to present any treaty to the Senate for 2/3s approval.

Obama already said he plans to ignore that.

So passing a law saying Obama must present the treaty to the Senate is meaningless.

“Yeah? You’re going to ignore the law? Well get this! We’ll pass ANOTHER law to force you to obey the first law!”

Yeah, that’ll work.

This deal with Iran will happen, the Senate will not vote on it, and the R’s will say, “golly gee, we tried. See, we even passed a bi partisan law to get the president to follow the constitution. But, shucks, he ignored our law, too. Oh well!”

Timin203 on April 14, 2015 at 5:05 PM

Constitutionally a treaty requires 2/3’s of the Senate to vote in order to ratify it. In these more enlightened post-constitional times it requires 2/3’s of both houses to prevent a ‘treaty’ from being essentially ratified and this is suppose to be a victory?

nemo on April 14, 2015 at 5:06 PM

Bye girl, it’s all about Hillary now.

HornetSting on April 14, 2015 at 5:08 PM

This is a huge win for the GOP and a signal of LAME DUCK status for Obama. He’s toast. With a little luck, the Iranians will walk away from the table and the sanctions will hold.

matthew8787 on April 14, 2015 at 4:56 PM

Not a huge win.

A fake win that will be revealed to be an absolutely fake, unenforceable win that changes nothing.

It was just a fig leaf to allow R’s and certain D’s to be able to go home and say, “hey, folks, we did our utmost to stop this horrible Iran deal. Unfortunately, shucks, Obama out maneuvered us. Nothing we could do. But we tried, and it’s the thought that counts.”

I’m sure Reid and McConnell are counting the votes and deciding who can vote which way right now.

Timin203 on April 14, 2015 at 5:09 PM

Constitutionally a treaty requires 2/3’s of the Senate to vote in order to ratify it. In these more enlightened post-constitional times it requires 2/3’s of both houses to prevent a ‘treaty’ from being essentially ratified and this is suppose to be a victory?

nemo on April 14, 2015 at 5:06 PM

Next, they’ll apply the MaxiCave McConnell “no Congressional vote required” principle, first introduced to the former debt ceiling, to treaties.

That’s how the ObamiNation Enabling Law Executive Order will come about.

Steve Eggleston on April 14, 2015 at 5:10 PM

Can.I.be.in.the.middle on April 14, 2015 at 5:00 PM

Hey, it was a big ‘ol middle finger to obama, no matter how you try to read it.

Barred on April 14, 2015 at 5:12 PM

Timin203 on April 14, 2015 at 5:05 PM

You have to take into account a majority of Americans, thanks to 40+ years of progressive education, are unaware that the President needs Congressional approval on treaties. So this “new law” will actually get some traction with said low-info citizens. I think it’s a good play.

Fathom on April 14, 2015 at 5:18 PM

Ron Paul, hardest hit.

Pork-Chop on April 14, 2015 at 5:18 PM

Can.I.be.in.the.middle on April 14, 2015 at 5:00 PM

HEH! You didn’t make anywhere near the sense you must have thought you did when you posted this.

Fathom on April 14, 2015 at 5:21 PM

Fathom on April 14, 2015 at 5:18 PM

No it wont. Because they wont hear about it, unless the media phrases it as “Mostly Republican group of racist war mongering senators pass a law because they hate Obama and want to go to war with Iran.”

I don’t pay to send my senators to washington to pass “symbolic” laws. If they’re not going to impeach Obama, or shut down the government, or do anything, then they should just shut up and move on. Obama is ignoring the constitution, they won’t do the tough things necessary to stop him, passing stupid laws forcing him to follow the law is not going to do anything…

Except allow people to claim symbolic victory when they go back home to ask for votes and money.

Timin203 on April 14, 2015 at 5:23 PM

And how can anyone be unaware of whats in the constitution?

If they are, they shouldn’t vote.

It’s an incredibly short, concise, easy to read document. You can even skip all the stuff in the end about trading with Indians and whatnot. The important stuff is on the first page.

Timin203 on April 14, 2015 at 5:24 PM

https://twitter.com/ChadPergram

Chad Pergram @ChadPergram · 26m 26 minutes ago

Corker on Iran bill: Kerry continued to push back against this. WH came to Hill..saw growing support of the bill..

canopfor on April 14, 2015 at 5:28 PM

When was the last time a congressional middle finger to The One was unanimously displayed? 19-0.
===========================

Boinking “A”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

canopfor on April 14, 2015 at 5:29 PM

Hmmmmmmmmmm:

Iran nuclear program talks
1h

Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wy., amendment to Iran nuclear agreement bill fails in committee, 6-13; would have required President Obama to certify that Iran is not sponsoring terrorism against the US – @NBCNews
End of alert
============

http://www.breakingnews.com/topic/iran-nuclear-program/

canopfor on April 14, 2015 at 5:31 PM

Guys guys – the whole point of this law, which is written specifically for this Iran deal, is to force Obama to run it by congress regardless if he calls it a treaty, an understanding or a Nobel peace prize justifier.

Obama has zero intention of running this deal by congress because he knows it’ll lose and he plans on playing it as a UN resolution that, gosh darn it, he has to abide by.

That doesn’t necessarily make it a binding resolution on the U.S. per se – but if we start ignoring UN resolutions…

It’s a good law.

Pity there’s not much congress can do about Obama now declaring Cuba the land of peace and opportunity and giving them back guatanamo.

Skywise on April 14, 2015 at 5:32 PM

Constitutionally a treaty requires 2/3’s of the Senate to vote in order to ratify it. In these more enlightened post-constitional times it requires 2/3’s of both houses to prevent a ‘treaty’ from being essentially ratified and this is suppose to be a victory?
nemo on April 14, 2015 at 5:06 PM

I’m with memo on this. It looks as if the Republicans have given away a clear ability to reject a treaty for an iffy, and unlikely to succeed, chance to override a veto. How is this a good thing?

GaltBlvnAtty on April 14, 2015 at 5:33 PM

Apr 14, 2015 at 5:21 pm Fathom
Can.I.be.in.the.middle on April 14, 2015 at 5:00 PM
HEH! You didn’t make anywhere near the sense you must have thought you did when you posted this.


Oh man… You couldn’t have been more right.. Smh, was rushing out of the office

——

But seriously, how is this a loss for Obama when there is a “no action” clause. This is the debt ceiling with triggers all over again. And we know how that went.

I don’t think I could fool anyone here by claiming to be severely conservative, but I am strongly pro checks and balances. Obama is not the devil to me, just like Ted Cruz or Sarah are right on some things too.

My only point is: don’t pee on me and tell me it’s rain. This is what corker is doing here. If this was bad, O would have not agreed to sign so fast!

Can.I.be.in.the.middle on April 14, 2015 at 5:37 PM

Well… My point is made with AP’s update.

AP- you should consider changing the title of this post. You jumped the gun my friend. With love.

Can.I.be.in.the.middle on April 14, 2015 at 5:40 PM

It’s the hawks, not Obama, who need to forge a supermajority to have their way under this scheme. Corker thinks he can get that 67. Can he?

It turns the Constitution on its head and no, the Dems will not stick it to Obama when it counts. As I’ve said before, this Corker bill is a red herring. Once again, Republicans have scewed the pooch and hope we won’t notice.

jnelchef on April 14, 2015 at 5:40 PM

the thing is this is not being treated as a treaty so how can they force him to send to them for ratification?
its a mess.

dmacleo on April 14, 2015 at 5:42 PM

BIPARTISANSHIP!!!

22044 on April 14, 2015 at 5:45 PM

This is why Corker took so long to call for the vote – he wanted the unanimous voice. It sends a message to Obama right off, and signals the other Democrats in the Senate that it’s okay to Buck the Lame Duck.

Boehner says he has a veto-proof majority in the House already, so now it’s up to Reid, Schumer, Durbin, and Murray to make it or break it in the Senate.

~~

Of course, around this site you all hate Boehner and Corker, just like Obama does. I’ve always thought it’s the people who hate virtually all elected Republicans who are the real “RINOs” anyway.

Say, I wonder if the Ayatollah will talk about Boehner and Corker the way you guys do?

Adjoran on April 14, 2015 at 5:45 PM

Update: Noah Pollak says it actually matters quite a lot that Corker didn’t demand treaty ratification:

The way Corker & Graham wrote their bill, Obama will win Congressional approval of Iran deal with only 34 votes. Ponder that.

See also this at Breitbart:

Corker-Menendez Bill: Fast-Track Authority for Iran Deal

…Under the reported terms of the compromise, Congress will be able to review the Iran deal, and possibly reject it. However, it will only have an up-or-down majority vote, in both houses–and it will need a two-thirds majority to override a veto. Effectively, the Corker-Menendez bill inverts the constitutional process, which requires all treaties to be ratified by a two-thirds majority in the Senate. It is the equivalent of the “fast-track” authority on trade agreements–which the left despises….

Yet the unique structure of fast-track authority means that, theoretically, President Obama could commit the United States to a nuclear deal that is opposed by a majority–but not quite a two-thirds majority–of the Congress….

The constitutionality of fast-track authority is a hotly-debated topic. (It will be amusing to watch the same Democrats who denounce the Corker-Menendez bill as an encroachment on the president’s powers adopt exactly the opposite line on free trade.) Arguably, however, national security–especially on nuclear proliferation–is a more urgent priority than free trade, and the Iran deal ought to be subject to Senate ratification. A “rogue” agreement on Iran is the worst possible outcome.

INC on April 14, 2015 at 5:46 PM

Double kabuki theater… This may be the method to the madness…

If congress doesn’t vote to deny the agreement that’s not a vote “for” so it’s not congressionaly approved – so what do the Republicans “win”? Obama doesn’t make it a UN resolution but signs it on his own so the whole thing becomes non-binding?

There’s only one fact coming out of this – Obama is actively trying to damage the United States in favor of his personal ideology. And he’s succeeding too.

Skywise on April 14, 2015 at 5:53 PM

The way Corker & Graham wrote their bill, Obama will win Congressional approval of Iran deal with only 34 votes. Ponder that.

right…i don’t know why RINOs are so slow witted. Barry is inverting the normal process, being King and all.

To be fair, an agreement doesn’t come up to the Treaty provision. Or so I gather. NAFTA was passed with 61 votes. But, still, notice the direction of the arrow.
z
In barry world He says X, and requires a minorty to back him up. In NAFTA, etc. a bill was passed pre-barry rule. Bush I, Clinton negotiated with CA and Mexico…and then negotirated with Congress, adding this and that, to get it to Pass. Pre-barry, prezzy still had a lot of influence…but had to get a Majority of Congress to go along.

All leftist prezies will follow this lead….transformational indeed.

r keller on April 14, 2015 at 5:55 PM

Here’s why Obama caved.

Per the 2010 Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act, the President can waive sanctions for a limited time if he determines it’s in the U.S. national security interest. In other words, Obama is not acting illegally if he decides to waive Congressional sanctions. However, the waiver would only last until the end of his Presidency.

During the review period, during which Obama cannot unilaterally waive sanctions, the Congress can do one of three things:

1. Approve the deal and wave sanctions.
2. Pass a joint resolution condemning the deal and permanently imposing sanctions.
3. Do nothing.

Action Number Two would be vetoed by Obama, and thus a 2/3 majority would be required for final passage of the Joint Resolution. If the vote fails and the veto is upheld, status quo resumes and Obama can waive sanctions after the waiting period, in this case 60 days.

If Congress does nothing, status quo remains and Obama can waive sanctions after the waiting period, in this case, I believe, 30 days.

This is why Obama is tolerating a 19 vote “finger”. The finger is his, to Bob Corker. This legislation is a minor inconvenience to the President, cover for the Democrats, and a shameful cave by the GOP.

Joseph K on April 14, 2015 at 5:56 PM

What is going on?
This gives a pass to those up-for-election democrat senators who would have been under sever pressure with a treaty ratification vote.

GaltBlvnAtty on April 14, 2015 at 5:57 PM

Short version:

Instead of demanding that Obama garner 2/3 votes in the Senate to pass his deal, Corker’s bill requires the Senate to garner 2/3 votes to keep sanctions in place.

Where’s Marco “Foreign Policy Genius” Rubio to explain this?

Ted Cruz? Ted Cruz? You’re awfully quiet.

Joseph K on April 14, 2015 at 6:00 PM

I suppose if the Republicans will give away impeachment and the power of the purse, they may as well give away their constitutional right to refuse to ratify treaties without a 2/3 vote.
This is deeply discouraging.

GaltBlvnAtty on April 14, 2015 at 6:01 PM

How can ANY bill supersede the Constitution?

Jumpintimmy on April 14, 2015 at 6:03 PM

I suppose if the Republicans will give away impeachment and the power of the purse, they may as well give away their constitutional right to refuse to ratify treaties without a 2/3 vote.
This is deeply discouraging.
GaltBlvnAtty on April 14, 2015 at 6:01 PM

Impeachment won’t happen because they don’t have the votes in the senate.

All Boehner has to do is close the purse and let Obama jet around to hot vacation spots on his own dime.

But he won’t.

Skywise on April 14, 2015 at 6:04 PM

INC on April 14, 2015 at 5:46 PM

I still argue that Obama would have never submitted this to congress.

Skywise on April 14, 2015 at 6:06 PM

I wonder if Hillary is running for president.

Schadenfreude on April 14, 2015 at 6:08 PM

Skywise on April 14, 2015 at 6:04 PM

The house could vote to start the impeachment process, but to my recollection they unilaterally took that off the table, prospectively.

GaltBlvnAtty on April 14, 2015 at 6:11 PM

Can Obama find 34 toolbags among the Democrat senators?

Oh Hell yes. The only question is whether 34 believe they can survive the blowback, or aren’t running again and don’t care.

novaculus on April 14, 2015 at 6:17 PM

Apr 14, 2015 at 6:06 pm Skywise
INC on April 14, 2015 at 5:46 PM
I still argue that Obama would have never submitted this to congress.

—–

Argue away. Your argument is still sets the bar so low.

Can.I.be.in.the.middle on April 14, 2015 at 6:26 PM

Sounds like another Republican surprise loss in the making.

Time will tell.

Meremortal on April 14, 2015 at 6:30 PM

I think Middle Finger is right, Levin is going ballistic.

Whiterock on April 14, 2015 at 6:34 PM

Oh, I mean, Can.I.Be.In.The.Middle , might be right.

Whiterock on April 14, 2015 at 6:36 PM

this is totally Potemkin stuff people. the Prezy has 34 wired people. He has the power to have 34 Ds do jumping jacks on the senate floor at the same time if he wants.

The next place this will come up is Barry’s climate agreement…and maybe a Climate Court. I don’t know, at this point, it seems to be up to him and his 34 jumping jacks and jills.

we’re in a barry-world now…run by a minority of cool kids.

r keller on April 14, 2015 at 6:49 PM

Obama is laughing is *** off right now. I knew Corker would cave, and Graham too.

Eff them all. The GOP is also the anti-Constitution party.

Smegley on April 14, 2015 at 6:49 PM

One party rule in DC.

Wigglesworth on April 14, 2015 at 6:50 PM

Corker is not someone to trust…

d1carter on April 14, 2015 at 7:11 PM

Come on, Cruz: We need a constitutional scholar to explain how the senate is abdicating it duty regarding treaties.

GaltBlvnAtty on April 14, 2015 at 7:38 PM

“its”

GaltBlvnAtty on April 14, 2015 at 7:39 PM

Turning a system where you have 54 votes but only need 34 to stop a bad deal into a system where you have 54 votes but need 67 to stop it is just more failure theater from the establishment Republicans…

Baby Elephant on April 14, 2015 at 8:12 PM

Just wait. In another week, President Jarrett’s “Justice Department” will announce indictments on those 9 Democratic senators who voted with Republicans on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

GarandFan on April 14, 2015 at 8:31 PM

Mika snarkily told Corker that she read reports that this would never get out of committee. If Scarborough had even one bad remaining he would remind her of the big fail early Wednesday morning. If.

Bensonofben on April 14, 2015 at 8:57 PM

Bad is nad

Bensonofben on April 14, 2015 at 9:02 PM

Per Corker, the bill will stop Obama from lifting any sanctions unilaterally while Congress is busy reviewing the deal, a clause that will prevent O from creating a new sanction-less status quo for Iran until the legislative branch has had its say.

*facepalm*

Does nobody understand that sanctions only work if everybody agrees to support them? If the US still refuses to trade with Iran but Russia, China, and Europe don’t then the sanctions are effectively ended anyway.

Tlaloc on April 14, 2015 at 9:37 PM

This is how revolutions are started.

Mike from NC on April 14, 2015 at 10:32 PM

This is how revolutions are started.

Mike from NC on April 14, 2015 at 10:32 PM

By senate subcommittees? Really?

Tlaloc on April 15, 2015 at 12:11 AM

Turning a system where you have 54 votes but only need 34 to stop a bad deal into a system where you have 54 votes but need 67 to stop it is just more failure theater from the establishment Republicans…

Baby Elephant on April 14, 2015 at 8:12 PM

Stinks like another sellout.

Kenosha Kid on April 15, 2015 at 1:13 AM

Obfuscation in place of leadership.

virgo on April 15, 2015 at 1:50 AM

Admiral Akbar on line 1.

Steele on April 15, 2015 at 11:44 AM