Senator Ted Cruz sent a letter to President Donald Trump urging him to send both the Iran nuclear agreement and Paris climate accords to the Senate for ratification. Since the Senate won’t agree to advise and consent to either deal, requesting a vote would force Biden into a confrontation and could precipitate a constitutional crisis.
Biden has promised to recommit the government to adhere to those two deals despite the enormous cost of the Paris climate deal and despite Iran’s rejection of U.N. inspectors and Iran’s public determination to enrich uranium far above the levels allowed in the agreement.
“Your administration has rightly changed course as a matter of substantive policy by withdrawing from both the Iran Deal and the Paris Agreement. This was a great accomplishment for the American people,” Cruz wrote.
“I urge you now also to remedy the harm done to the balance of powers by submitting the Iran Deal and the Paris Agreement to the Senate as treaties,” Cruz continued. “Only by so doing will the Senate be able to satisfy its constitutional role to provide advice and consent in the event any future administration attempts to revive these dangerous deals.”
What good would that do? It would, in essence, kill both deals. Biden wouldn’t dare to try to recommit the U.S. to either agreement after the Senate rejected them.
The arrogance of the Obama administration in ignoring the Senate was triggered by a belief that Senate approval of the deals would be too difficult and wouldn’t be worth the effort.
Secretary of State John Kerry was similarly dismissive when asked why the administration didn’t seek ratification of the Iran deal. “Well, Congressman, I spent quite a few years trying to get a lot of treaties through the United States Senate, and it has become physically impossible,” Kerry said during a 2015 hearing in the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “That’s why,” he added. “Because you can’t pass a treaty anymore.” Kerry will join the incoming administration as Biden’s “climate czar” where he will be a party to the same fight as old battles become new again.
Kerry and Obama made the same argument: it’s too hard to get the Senate to pass the agreements, so why bother trying?
There’s a little thing called the U.S. Constitution, which is why they should have bothered. And the fact that the Obama administration would be unable to get the Senate’s approval should have told them that the American people wouldn’t accept the deals, either. In short, Obama and Kerry were saying Americans are too stupid to understand what’s at stake and can’t be trusted to make a decision.
Cruz has a great idea and Trump should seriously consider it.