Can Congress stop Obama's Iran giveaway?The Republicans are trying (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) took to the Senate floor on Thursday to ask for unanimous consent to schedule a vote on a bill that would give Congress final approval over any deal, or else reinstate tough sanctions on Iran.
Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy (Conn.) quickly rejected the request, arguing that scheduling a vote on the deal would be "premature at this point." He said it would "send a fairly chilling message" that U.S. officials at the table with Iran did not have full authority to negotiate an agreement.
But when Republicans take control of the Senate, they could move to pass that bill, or push legislation from Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) which would reinstate sanctions if Iran violates any deal.
Their bill also pledges military support for Israel if it decides to strike Iran's nuclear facilities, which it has threatened to do.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) delayed a vote on the bill earlier this year under pressure from the White House, which argued that it could sink any chance of reaching a deal. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), the next majority leader, though has expressed support for tough sanctions.
The president has already threatened to veto the legislation, but doing so would be politically risky. The bill already enjoys the support of 60 senators, including 16 Democrats, and there is sweeping support for a similar bill in the House.
A deal that's not supported by Congress or seen as weak could also hurt the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, especially if it fails to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons capabilities.
Experts believe negotiators will extend their talks beyond the November deadline for several months, which would allow Republicans to pass Iran legislation before a deal is reached.
If negotiators do reach a deal before Republicans take power, the GOP can still try to stand in the way. Republicans could move a bill requiring congressional approval of any deal, pass legislation defunding implementation, or pass a non-binding joint resolution expressing disapproval.
Some experts said GOP pressure and oversight before a deal is reached would strengthen U.S. negotiators by creating clear red lines they could not cross in talks.This is all very nice but it assumes that President Obama is a rational actor. He's not. He's dogmatic and doesn't give a damn what happens to the country or the Democratic party after January 20, 2017.
Moreover, I'm not even convinced that his approval of a deal that would make Iran a nuclear power would necessarily spell defeat for the Democrats in 2016. All the liberal Jews will vote for the Democrats even if they make Mickey Mouse their candidate. All I keep hearing on this trip is how no one is thrilled with Hillary Clinton but the Republicans don't have any candidate who can win a national election. When I point out how the Republicans devastated the Democrats two weeks ago, I am told that national elections are different. And I can see that.
All in all it's not a good situation, and I can see Obama using a 'nuclear option' to allow Iran to go nuclear.