Senate Democrats to put hold on Iran nuclear deal

Top ranking Democrats in the Senate have voiced their support for a bill introduced by the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Bob Corker (R.-Tenn) which will delay the¬†enactment of the United States’ Iran nuclear deal.

Specifically, Senator Corker’s measure will delay the lifting of sanctions and takes the decision to lift sanctions out of the President’s hands and places it in the hands of Congress.

“This is a very serious issue that deserves careful consideration, and I expect to have a classified briefing in the near future. I strongly believe Congress should have the right to disapprove any agreement, and I support the Corker bill which would allow that to occur,” said Senator Chuck Schumer.

Schumer is the third ranking Democrat in the Senate and in line to take over from Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid who announced his retirement late last month.

Corker’s bill attempts to give Congress more oversight of the Iran deal, but will also significantly extend the length of the final negotiation process.

The bill states that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee can take up to 60-days to review any agreement with Iran after they have received it from the President.

President Obama has said June 30 is the due date for a final agreement.

Corker’s bill requires that the President provide Congress with a:

“a certification that the agreement meets U.S. non-proliferation objectives, does not jeopardize the common defense and security, provides a framework to ensure that Iran’s nuclear activities will not constitute an unreasonable defense and security risk, and ensures that Iran’s permitted nuclear activities will not be used to further any nuclear-related military or nuclear explosive purpose.”

So, any deal reached between Iran and the U.S. may be delayed, but also must meet the Congress’ standards on non-proliferation and defense, not the President’s.

The President might oppose the bill if it passes, but with Democratic support a veto might not be possible.

“It could potentially interfere with the ongoing negotiations that are slated to continue through June,” said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.

Support from Senate Democrats might be dependent on amendments to the bill, which could include a tweak to the Congressional review period for example, which would be a major sticking point for the administration.

 

[The Washington Post]

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