House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said today that his chamber is ready to take up the Corker-Menendez bill on approval of any Iran deal as soon as the Senate is done with it.
Boehner also indicated it may not be the last Iran bill dealing with the negotiations that will come through his chamber.
Secretary of State John Kerry and the White House have been lobbying lawmakers ahead of this afternoon’s meeting of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to consider the legislation.
They’re also busy at work trying to spread the message that lawmakers just want to kill any Iran deal.
“No,” Boehner replied to that charge in front of reporters today. “What I’m trying to do is to make sure that if we’re going to have an agreement with the Iranians, it’s one that will, in fact, work and will be upheld on all sides. But from everything that I’ve heard about the so-called framework, all it is is really an agreement to keep talking. I haven’t seen anything concrete come out of this yet.”
“But I’ve got concerns and I’ve voiced those concerns and I’ll continue to voice them,” he added.
Congress, the Speaker said, “absolutely should have the opportunity to review this deal” — the crux of Corker-Menendez. “We shouldn’t just count on the administration, who appears to want a deal at any cost.”
In the upper chamber, Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) has been working on a compromise that will earn the support of even more Democrats. The White House still wants no bill at all, and has threatened to veto Corker-Menendez.
It’s a small comprise, shortening the number of days Congress would have to review the bill from 60 to 52 — if President Obama meets a July 9 submission deadline. The P5+1 deadline for a final deal is June 30.
A 60-vote threshold would be needed in the Senate to approve the deal.
Boehner said he hadn’t seen the revised bill.
“But I’m hopeful that the Senate will move the Corker- Menendez bill here over the next couple of weeks, and frankly, I would expect the House to take that bill up,” he said.
“At this point, I wouldn’t rule out anything else,” Boehner said of additional Iran action. “But at this point, I think the Corker-Menendez bill is taking center stage.”