Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said yesterday that he believes his bill, which restricts President Obama’s authority in negotiating a nuclear deal with Iran, would still pass even if Obama vetoes it, the Huffington Post reported.
The bill would “grant Congress the final vote on any nuclear agreement the US and its five negotiating partners reach with Iran,” and give Congress two months to review the terms. It would also prevent the president from cutting back any economic sanctions against Iran.
“Look, I don’t ever want to overcommit and under-deliver,” said Corker. “We are moving in a very positive direction, and we’ve worked through some issues that I think have given me a lot of hope … I think that this weekend has been very productive.”
Currently, the bill is about three votes short of being able to override a presidential veto, which the Obama administration has already threatened. There are more than 50 proposed amendments to the bill, though, and any accepted changes could move the votes towards either side.
On the Democratic side, several senators have proposed tweaks that would allow the president to temporarily waive economic sanctions against Iran during the two-month review period. There also is also a push by the minority party to remove a clause that requires the White House to verify to Congress that Iran is not engaging in support for terrorist activity.
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) has taken a more aggressive approach. As of Monday evening, Boxer had filed 18 amendments, including one that eliminates the language of Corker’s legislation and replaces it with her own oversight bill. Boxer’s bill, introduced in March, would require the White House to report to Congress regularly on Iranian compliance with the final nuclear deal and would simplify the process for lawmakers to reinstate sanctions against Iran in case of a violation. Boxer’s amendment would not, however, allow Congress to vote down the agreement.
Corker is, however, aware that he will have to get more bipartisan support to pass this legislation, and said that the Obama administration had told him “how opposed they were to it, and how they felt like it took away presidential prerogative, and how they felt like it would hurt the negotiations — all of which I disagree with.”
Sen. Corker’s bill is simply another attempt to undermine the president and undo any diplomatic progress he has made with Iran. The GOP knows that if Obama is successful, it takes away one of their reasons to try and push the US into yet another pointless war.