House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) told reporters this morning that his caucus will do “everything possible” to get a veto-proof majority against implementation of the Iran nuclear deal.
Congress just began its 60-day review period of the deal, so debate and votes won’t begin until lawmakers return from recess in September.
Administration officials were briefing members of Congress on the deal in closed-door meetings this afternoon, and Boehner indicated they’ll be grilled about the terms of the agreement.
“While the president’s Iran deal may have been applauded at the United Nations, I think he faces serious skepticism here at home,” Boehner said.
“Let me just assure you that members of Congress will ask much tougher questions this afternoon when we meet with the president’s team, because a bad deal threatens the security of the American people, and we’re going to do everything possible to stop it.”
Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said he continues “to see more concerns on our side and on the other side of the aisle as well.”
“I’ll highlight one quote that I read this weekend on the basis of the president going to the U.N. Security Council. This comes from Senator Menenedez, ‘The bottom line is the real deal doesn’t end Iran’s nuclear program, it preserves it.’ This is a real concern that all Americans have,” McCarthy said outside of a morning closed caucus meeting.
“I recently saw in the Washington Post and ABC they found that 64 percent of the people said they were not confident the deal would halt Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Today in the hearing, I look forward to the questions, but more importantly. I look forward to the answers, because the more I hear about this agreement, the more concerned I become. Of all the issues we’ve had before us, this is the most critical. We have to get this right, because the world will never be the same.”
Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) predicted that the August recess, when lawmakers return to their home districts, will stir up even more fears about the deal.
That sort of grass-roots sentiment in recess townhalls changed the party of power in 2010 midterm elections over anger about Obamacare.
“You’re going to hear a lot of debate and real concern that we’re seeing across the country about this Iran deal,” Scalise said. “As more of the details come out, we’ve got more and more people expressing concern about how bad of a deal this is for the United States and, of course, our strong ally Israel and people throughout the Middle East are concerned as well about the likelihood of a nuclear arms race being escalated by the ability for Iran to be able to move forward with their nuclear weapons program.”