Gov. Bobby Jindal said despite the 98-1 vote Thursday for a bill to require congressional approval of a nuclear deal with Iran, he’s worried Congress won’t “show a spine” when it comes to rejecting the final agreement.
Jindal praised the lone “no” vote, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), for taking a “principled, courageous stand.” Cotton objected on the grounds that the bill didn’t stipulate the agreement be considered a treaty.
“I wish the Senate would have allowed debate on amendments. Why not, for example, say, if we’re doing a deal with Iran, they should release American prisoners? Why not say they should recognize the right of Israel to exist? Why not say they need to end support for terrorism?” Jindal said on Fox, referencing amendments from Sens. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), respectively.
“Why not say that this deal should actually do what the president said it was going to do? For example, get rid of their enriching capabilities, get rid of their stored enriched uranium. Cut off the path to a plutonium pathway. Have anytime, anywhere inspections. You have already got the Iranians now saying, hinting that we may not be able to good into military facilities,” he continued.
“A bad deal is worse than no deal. What I worry is that this president is about to start a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, where the Sunni countries are now going to want their own nuclear capabilities and perhaps the Saudis and others will buy that from Pakistan… I’m disappointed the president seems to be negotiating, he seems to be taking a tougher line with Congress than with the Iran — Iranians.”
The potential 2016 candidate noted that the House receives the bill next and can “improve” it.
“What I worry about, this flips the logic on its head. And in reality, it’s going to take a two-thirds vote to reject any kind of bad deal that the president sends to the Congress. What I worry about, you have got a Congress that already has waved the white flag of surrender on amnesty [and] when it comes to repealing Obamacare,” Jindal said.
“And here, if they’re not willing to fight for good commonsense amendments… what confidence do we have they are going to actually stand up to the president? It will take a two-thirds vote under this bill to actually reject a — because he can veto their disapproval. So you are going to need Democrats and Republicans to stand up and show a spine…Now is the time to send a signal to Iran, to our international partners that the American Congress — if the president won’t, at least the American Congress should stand up for a good deal.”
He stressed that “it’s not too late for the House to add those commonsense amendments.”
“Remember, Iran is already in violation of United Nations resolutions; they’re already in violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Why, all of a sudden, are we believing their promises at a time when they need relief due to the price of oil falling? They need relief from sanctions,” Jindal continued.
“Why in the world are we now giving them what they want, which is a pathway to become a nuclear power? It’s not too late for Congress to step in and rescue the country from this president’s very, very bad deal.”