Clever new Rubio amendment to Corker’s Iran bill: The final deal must match this month’s WH “fact sheet”

posted at 8:01 pm on April 30, 2015 by Allahpundit

You remember the “fact sheet,” don’t you? That’s the document the White House released on April 2nd, the day it reached a “framework” deal with Iran, describing the terms that Iran had allegedly agreed to. Snap nuclear inspections of all suspicious sites, a greatly reduced number of centrifuges, delayed sanctions relief until Iran satisfied its denuclearization obligations — it wasn’t half bad, and certainly better than what an Obama skeptic might have expected. The only problem: Apparently no one told Iran that this is the deal they had agreed to. Within a week, Iran’s supreme leader claimed the U.S. “fact sheet” was full of lies; Iran’s defense minister claimed the deal didn’t include inspection of military sites; and, most dramatically, Iran’s president claimed that all sanctions would need to be lifted on day one after a final deal, not gradually as Iran complied with its duties under the deal. Either Iran had suddenly gotten cold feet after the “framework” deal was struck and reneged on what it had promised John Kerry or … the “fact sheet” was itself filled with distortions about what Iran had actually agreed to, a political ploy designed to build support in the U.S. for a deal that was still secretly very much in flux.

Doesn’t matter which is true, says Marco Rubio. The White House gave us the “fact sheet.” They told us that Iran had agreed to those terms. Those terms should therefore be absolutely essential provisions in any final deal. If the White House is uncomfortable with that, it can only be because either (a) they lied on the “fact sheet” or (b) they told the truth but are prepared to cave to whatever new demands Iran’s come up with to wriggle free of its previously agreed-to obligations. In other words, Rubio’s going to make Obama and/or Iran live up to their own BS.

Rubio’s amendment simply quotes that fact sheet verbatim and says the president may not waive or lift any Congressional sanctions until he certifies Iran has met the White House conditions.

“For the life of me, I don’t understand why that would be controversial,” Rubio said Wednesday. “Yet somehow, I was told this would box the White House in.”…

Rubio’s fact-sheet amendment is different [from other GOP amendments]. It doesn’t challenge the presidential authority to sign an executive agreement. Republicans supported that power when their party controlled the White House. Rubio’s fact-sheet amendment is also germane to the Iran legislation before the Senate. An argument used against other amendments–like Rubio’s one on recognizing Israel–is that it asks Iran to meet conditions not related to the nuclear negotiations.

Rubio’s fact sheet amendment only asks Democrats to vote on whether a final Iran deal should meet the conditions as described by the leader of their own party. If Democrats vote that it should, then Obama may be forced to issue a veto over his own fact sheet as he seeks to make a final agreement more palatable to Iran. If the Democrats vote that it shouldn’t, then they will appear to be conceding the White House either misled the public or bungled the negotiations earlier this month.

It’s a clever tactic by a guy who, I think, has a knack for clever tactics. But … does it have a chance of ending up in the final Corker-written Senate bill on Iran? Obama can only be boxed in if Congress passes the bill with Rubio’s amendment attached, and the odds of that happening seem, shall we say, modest. The takeaway from my earlier post about his amendment on Israel is that there’s a strong bipartisan consensus in the Senate, backed by none other than AIPAC, that’s determined to protect Corker’s bill as written by defeating any amendments that might split the bipartisan coalition of senators that are currently lined up behind it. Rubio’s amendment could do that. If it ended up passing, Democrats would probably vote no on the final bill to prevent the “fact sheet” from tying Obama’s hands during the final negotiations with Iran, even though O himself claims Iran already agreed to everything in it. Without those Democratic votes, the bill would fail and Congress would be left with nothing. In theory that would supply the GOP with a nice talking point about the bill’s defeat — “Senate Dems were afraid to make Obama live up to his own rhetoric” — but in practice there are various RINOs who would likely give Democrats political cover by voting with them to kill Rubio’s amendment. For some Republicans, like Corker and Lindsey Graham, the most important thing is to pass some sort of bill that would grant Congress a vote on the final deal, even if it means sacrificing each and every amendment that might potentially inconvenience President Precious in his negotiations.

All of which is to say, how you feel about Rubio’s amendment depends mainly on how you feel about Corker’s bill. There’s no denying, as Ace says, that it’s a sham: Even if a bunch of Democrats join with the GOP now to pass it, guaranteeing a vote on the final deal with Iran this summer, it’s a cinch that at least 34 Senate Dems will vote yes when the time comes to approve that deal, ensuring that it’ll take effect. There’s no way they’ll stab Obama in the back on his greatest foreign policy “achievement” by helping the GOP to block it, which means all the talk of “bipartisanship” right now is, to borrow Ace’s phrase, “failure theater.” It’s bipartisan only as long as it doesn’t create headaches for Obama during negotiations; once it does, as Rubio’s amendment threatens to do, Democrats will go back to voting a (mostly) party line. The whole process is a kabuki designed to make it look like Republicans are doing something meaningful to stop the deal with Iran when in reality it’s entirely up to Reid’s Democrats whether it ends up being blocked or not. The only thing that hinges on whether the Senate passes Corker’s bill is the sort of spin available to the GOP later once the deal with Iran is implemented. If Corker’s bill passes now, setting up a vote later on the final Iran deal, and that final deal draws, say, 66 “no” votes, then Republicans can say a heavy bipartisan majority of the U.S. Senate disapproved of it. If Corker’s bill doesn’t pass now, Congress will effectively remain silent on the deal, which at least has the virtue of them not engaging in a sham vote that perverts the Treaty Clause in the Constitution. Either way, the deal takes effect despite Rubio’s best laid plans. Which outcome is better?


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Comments

Talk is cheap..if that ends the agreement and he’s responsible then I was give him credit – otherwise it’s just political grandstanding from a candidate who needs a soap box to be seen.

celt on April 30, 2015 at 8:06 PM

Good. Call Captain Bulls**t’s bluff.

forest on April 30, 2015 at 8:13 PM

This confusing circuitous explanation of the machinations of Congress and the adminstruation is EXACTLY why the electorate either stays home or votes their gut.

vnvet on April 30, 2015 at 8:22 PM

I agree with Rubio.

tej on April 30, 2015 at 8:25 PM

Oh, no, my RINO Senator won’t go for it.

Dammit.

ladyingray on April 30, 2015 at 8:25 PM

Lol

terryannonline on April 30, 2015 at 8:45 PM

It’s a clever tactic by a guy who, I think, has a knack for clever tactics. But … does it have a chance of ending up in the final Corker-written Senate bill on Iran?

It’s a brilliant move by a guy who wants to be a presidential contender. No, it will not make it to the Corker legislation but it puts Rubio on the record about giving Iran nuclear bomb.

He still won’t get my vote because of his integrity issues over amnesty for the illegal alien parasites.

Happy Nomad on April 30, 2015 at 8:49 PM

Unorthodox procedural move eh!!

US | Thu Apr 30, 2015 7:40pm EDT
Related: U.S., Politics
Republican amendment fight threatens Iran bill in Senate
WASHINGTON | By Patricia Zengerle
**********************************

(Reuters) – A dispute among Republican senators over changes to an Iran nuclear review bill on Thursday threatened the measure’s chances of being passed by the U.S. Congress, leaving Senate leaders scrambling for a way to advance the legislation.

Two Republican senators, Tom Cotton and Marco Rubio, used an unorthodox procedural move to try to force the Senate to vote on their amendments to a bill authored by another Republican senator, Bob Corker, that would give Congress the right to review an international nuclear agreement with Iran.

Rubio, a 2016 presidential hopeful, and Cotton, a leading congressional critic of President Barack Obama’s Iran policy, want to toughen the bill with amendments including adding a requirement that Iran recognize Israel’s right to exist as part of any nuclear deal.(More…)
===============

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/04/30/us-iran-nuclear-congress-idUSKBN0NL2UR20150430?feedType=RSS&feedName=politicsNews

canopfor on April 30, 2015 at 8:52 PM

For some Republicans, like Corker and Lindsey Graham, the most important thing is to pass some sort of bill that would grant Congress a vote on the final deal, even if it means sacrificing each and every amendment that might potentially inconvenience President Precious in his negotiations.

Oh yeah sure. It’s the opposite. They want to surrender to whatever Obama wants and make a show of being against it if the public doesn’t like the deal.

Wigglesworth on April 30, 2015 at 8:56 PM

Rubio is Right! New campaign slogan.

MidAtlantic Moderate on April 30, 2015 at 9:32 PM

The Uniparty strikes again.

Franklin100 on April 30, 2015 at 9:52 PM

Lol

terryannonline on April 30, 2015 at 8:45 PM

Hey, look at you in a non-immigration thread!

Oh, wait – it’s a Rubio thread, that explains it.

Midas on April 30, 2015 at 10:15 PM

Talk is cheap..if that ends the agreement and he’s responsible then I was give him credit – otherwise it’s just political grandstanding from a candidate who needs a soap box to be seen.

celt on April 30, 2015 at 8:06 PM

that’s not exactly fair. he can only do so much. if McConnell refuses to bring to vote rubio cant force him, if the senate votes it down Rubio cant do anything about it. at least he has tried. 99 other senators didn’t offer this.

chasdal on April 30, 2015 at 10:45 PM

I mean in essence it’s like the Republicans are doing everything they can to keep Reid in power. That’s why I call them progressives, including Corker.

mgron on April 30, 2015 at 10:58 PM

The ‘constitution’ argument on this is weak, very weak.

See George Washington and the Jay Treaty. The founders did not agree about Treaty Ratification in the Convention, lots has been wrote about this.

jp on April 30, 2015 at 11:10 PM

Oh yeah sure. It’s the opposite. They want to surrender to whatever Obama wants and make a show of being against it if the public doesn’t like the deal.

Wigglesworth on April 30, 2015 at 8:56 PM

Exactly. It is now clear that GOP Inc. wants Obama’s Iran deal. Why? Because the same donor class that funds both parties wants it. There’s money to be made!

For some Republicans, like Corker and Lindsey Graham, the most important thing is to pass some sort of bill that would grant Congress a vote on the final deal, even if it means sacrificing each and every amendment that might potentially inconvenience President Precious in his negotiations.

No, no, no! The most important thing is to give the GOP-led Senate some cover to get Obama’s deal through while looking like they oppose it. You may quote “Failure Theater”, Allahpundit, but you don’t understand it.

Joseph K on April 30, 2015 at 11:36 PM

AP, you could have saved time and keystrokes by saying at the beginning that the amendment wouldn’t get in the bill.

Meremortal on May 1, 2015 at 3:23 AM

Rule #4: make them live up to their own rules.

Nicely done, Marco.

Saul Alinsky, call your office.

Mike from NC on May 1, 2015 at 8:20 AM

Nothing prevents McConnell & GOP Senate leadership from calling “Iran Deal” a treaty (it is), debate it, and vote it down.

They won’t! Because for whatever terrible reasons, the GOP Senate has decided not to oppose Obama and the Dems on ANYTHING. Not on spending, not on immigration, not on Obamacare, not on Executive branch seizure of power, not on Congressional oversight – NOTHING>

I don’t know the Why?, but nothing else explains the GOP actions in the lame duck and since. The party has simply surrendered. The Corker bill is just more dishonest theater.

pilsener on May 1, 2015 at 10:17 AM