On April 14, 2015, a much ballyhooed “compromise”—but in fact a constitutional capitulation—regarding S.615, the “Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015,” was unanimously agreed upon within the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Independent Politico.com and Washington Post assessments of critical aspects of the lauded compromise brokered by Republican Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker and Democrat Ben Cardin confirmed my worst fears about what had actually transpired.
Though it gives Congress an avenue to reject the lifting of legislative sanctions that will be a key part of any deal with Iran, it explicitly states that Congress does not have to approve the diplomatic deal struck by Iran, the United States and other world powers… nor does it treat an Iran agreement like a treaty
16‘‘(C) this section does not require a vote by
17 Congress for the agreement to commence;
18 ‘‘(D) this section provides for congressional
Furthermore, as Karen DeYoung and Mike DeBonis added in their Washington Post report:
Obama retains the right to veto any action to scuttle an Iran pact. To override, a veto would require a two-thirds majority of both House and Senate.
Thus the Corker-Cardin compromise validated the Obama administration’s negotiations strategy. That “strategy” was contrary to almost all past arms control agreements of consequence, which have been Senate advice and consent treaties, whose approval requires a 2/3 vote in the Senate. The Obama administration, in contrast, is hell-bent on giving legitimacy to Iran’s uranium enrichment program, and waiving economic sanctions on Iran, while not submitting the fruits of its masterful negotiations to a congressional vote for initial approval, prior to implementing the agreement. These developments should be a tocsin of looming calamity given that the framework fiasco for this pending deal includes an inadequate/“hotly contested” inspections process, while also fully ignoring Iran’s ballistic missile and nuclear weaponization programs.
Two weeks later, in a Washington Times op-ed, April 29, 2015, Sen. Ted Cruz observed, appropriately:
Thus, Corker-Cardin motion of disapproval reverses the ordinary presumptions. Instead of the President needing 67 Senate votes to ratify the Iran deal, it would now require 67 votes to stop an Iran deal. This makes no sense.
But, just over one week later, on May 7, 2015, while brave Sen Tom Cotton held fast to principle, Senator Cruz joined the rest of the senatorial lemmings, including Senators Rubio and Paul, and capitulated, voting 98 to 1 to approve the shameful Corker-Cardin capitulation.
Sen. Cotton reiterated his principled, constitutional objection that the Iran nuclear deal was not to be presented to the Congress as a treaty.
A nuclear-arms agreement with any adversary—especially the terror-sponsoring, Islamist Iranian regime—should be submitted as a treaty and obtain a two-thirds majority vote in the Senate as required by the Constitution.
In stark contrast, Sen. Cruz could muster only this mealy, mouthed unprincipled rationale for cravenly sacrificing his own often-avowed constitutional purity.
Ultimately, I voted yes on final passage because it may delay, slightly, President Obama’s ability to lift the Iran sanctions and it ensures we will have a Congressional debate on the merits of the Iran deal.
Iran—a self-proclaimed jihadist state with global hegemonic aspirations—remains in an open-ended, “fierce” jihad war with the U.S. “at all levels,” as one “moderate” Iranian adviser to former moderate Iranian President Khatami cogently explained. Senate Republicans, including GOP presidential contenders Cruz, Paul, and Rubio, shirked their constitutional and moral responsibility, rather than confront the implications of Iran’s religiously inspired bellicosity. With the exception of a gimlet-eyed young Sen. Tom Cotton—who speaks candidly about tactical destruction of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, which is the only rational way to thwart Iran’s relentless pursuit of nuclear weapons capability—Senate Republicans (notably self-proclaimed Constitutional “champion” Ted Cruz) cravenly acquiesced to cynical, perverse Obama administration bullying so as not to be labeled “warmongers.” All the events vis-à-vis the shameful and destabilizing Iran nuke deal that have transpired since were set in motion by this hypocritical capitulation of the fundamental principle of advice and consent—in Cruz’s case, within a week!