“Sen. Bob Corker: Congress should reject the bad Iran deal.”
That was the rather unbelievable headline of a Washington Post opinion piece by Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), where he warned fellow colleagues that “rather than end Iran’s nuclear enrichment program, over time this deal industrializes the program of the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.”
Well, no kidding.
That is precisely what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on March 3 was trying to warn members about when he addressed a joint session of Congress and said the “deal will not prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. It would all but guarantee that Iran gets those weapons, lots of them.”
So what did Congress do? In May, it overwhelmingly adopted H.R. 1191, legislation by Corker — which gave Obama all of the authority he needed to lift sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program.
The law provides that “any measure of statutory sanctions relief by the United States pursuant to an agreement [with Iran]… may be taken, consistent with existing statutory requirements for such action, if, following the period for review provided… there is not enacted any such joint resolution” by Congress disapproving of the deal.
With those ill-fated words, Congress preapproved the Iran nuclear deal before anyone could even read it. And now Corker wants to pretend he had nothing to do with it, and that an upcoming vote on a resolution of disapproval of the deal even matters.
Obama has promised to veto any such resolution, and 150 House Democrats signaled in May that they will be voting to sustain the veto.
That’s it. By adopting the Corker legislation, Corker and his colleagues guaranteed there would be zero chance for Congress to defeat the foolish, dangerous Iran nuke deal.
That said, Corker lays out precisely the very reasons to have opposed the deal — in May.
Since the deal has been released, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned, “Iran is going to receive a sure path to nuclear weapons.” And Saudi diplomats told the Washington Post that the deal green-lights initiating their own nuclear weapons program.
If Congress is really intent on stopping a nuclear arms race in the Middle East — and any wars that may result from that madness — perhaps they should consider a process that is not rigged.
Treat the deal, now public, as a treaty.
When it is brought to the floor under the procedure provided for in H.R. 1191, a senator should raise a constitutional point of order that the Iran nuclear deal is being brought up in violation of Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution, which requires that treaties only be ratified by a two-thirds majority of senators present.
It would take a simple majority to sustain the point of order.
The Senate could then vote to consider the nuke deal as a treaty, in which case, under Senate rules, it would be referred to the Foreign Relations Committee. The committee could next refer it to the Senate floor, favorably, unfavorably, or without recommendation. Or do nothing, in which case it would remain in front of the committee indefinitely.
Then, put it to the Senate floor, and defeat the treaty under the proper procedure.
Sure beats the political posturing and upcoming show votes about to take place, which to anyone paying attention or interested in actually accomplishing something, like defeating the Iran deal, is growing rather tiresome.
Robert Romano is the senior editor of Americans for Limited Government.