Boehner: Congress doesn't have the votes to stop Iran dealCongress does not have the votes to stop President Hussein Obama from allowing Iran to become a nuclear power. This is from Eli Lake.
Speaking at an off-the-record event Saturday at the Republican Jewish Coalition's meeting in Las Vegas, House Speaker John Boehner told the audience that he didn't expect that more than two-thirds of Congress would vote to overturn a veto from Obama if Congress voted against a nuclear deal, according to four people who were inside the room for the private talk.
The resolution of disapproval is provided for in legislation before the Senate this week, known as the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act. The deadline for reaching a final nuclear accord between Iran, the U.S. and five other world powers is June 30.
Proponents of the legislation, such as Republican co-author Senator Bob Corker, say the bill gives Congress a chance to review an Iran agreement and could stop Obama from lifting sanctions during the review process. Critics, however, want to strengthen the bill's mechanisms and lower the threshold necessary for Congress to disapprove the deal. Their hope is to be able to ultimately stop Obama from at least lifting those sanctions created by Congress, as opposed to the ones created through executive order or the United Nations Security Council. Boehner's comments this weekend confirm their suspicions that Corker's bill is too weak to stop Obama from implementing a bad Iran deal.
Michael Steel, a spokesman for Boehner, confirmed that the speaker said he did not expect Congress to have the votes to overturn a veto of a resolution to disapprove the Iran deal. "Obviously, it takes only a fraction of the House and Senate Democrats to sustain a veto," Steel told me. "But it is impossible to say whether they will or not until we know what the final 'deal' looks like."But here's the weird part: Lake goes on to report on several Republican Senators who plan to offer amendments to toughen the bill so that Obama can't win the game by having a veto sustained. Look who's opposed to that.
Corker and Senator Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican who has hinted he may also run for president, are expected to oppose all those amendments. As Josh Rogin and I reported last week, the amendments are also opposed by Washington's largest pro-Israel lobby, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.Debate on the Corker bill starts on Tuesday.
In the meantime, The Israel Project's Omri Ceren reports via email that most Americans want Congressional oversight over any deal with Iran.
Now the poll...
Iran questions - Note though how the debate has shifted. Just two weeks the conversation was between passing or voting down Corker-Menendez. Now the debate is "pass it without amendments" vs. "strengthen it" The White House's original position against oversight is not even in the discussion. There's a reason for that:
60. Would you support or oppose legislation that would make any Iran agreement subject to congressional approval?
AGE IN YRS.......
Tot Rep Dem Ind Men Wom 18-34 35-54 55+
Support 65% 88% 49% 66% 70% 61% 63% 64% 69%
Oppose 24 6 40 25 23 25 25 29 20
DK/NA 10 7 11 9 6 14 13 7 11
It mostly gets worse from there for the administration. A majority of voters disapprove of President Obama's overall handling of Iran (37 approve / 52 disapprove) and an even larger majority doesn't think the agreement announced at Lausanne will prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons (35 confident / 62 not confident).
The one dim bright spot for the White House is that a majority of voters say they approve of the announced framework (58/33), even though a majority also doesn't think it will work. That's what you'll hear from supporters of the administration's diplomacy, though it might be half-hearted. They know just like everyone else does, that support craters when voters are asked about the specifics of a deal: sunset clause, no shuttering facilities, no Iran coming clear, etc. Polling converges on this point, but if you need something recent McLaughlin just wrapped up a survey (http://mclaughlinonline.com/2015/04/17/san-national-survey-results-american-attitudes-towards-obamairan-nuclear-negotiations/).I guess when you're in the 'fourth quarter' you don't worry about what the people want. I wish Obama were constitutionally allowed to run for a third term. It might keep him honest and avoid a dictatorship for the next 20 months.