Iran Nuclear Deal Survives: Democrats Block Disapproval Vote

Senate Democrats voted to uphold the hard-fought nuclear accord with Iran on Thursday, overcoming ferocious GOP opposition and delivering President Barack Obama a legacy-making victory on his top foreign policy priority.

A disapproval resolution for the agreement fell two votes short of the 60 needed to move forward as Democratic and independent senators banded together against it. Although House Republicans continued to pursue eleventh-hour strategies to derail the international accord, the outcome in the Senate guaranteed that the disapproval legislation would not reach Obama’s desk.

As a result the nuclear deal will move forward unchecked by Congress, an improbable win by Obama in the face of unanimous opposition from Republicans who control Capitol Hill, GOP candidates seeking to replace him in the Oval Office and the state of Israel and its allied lobbyists in the U.S.

Beginning next week, Obama will be free to start scaling back U.S. sanctions to implement the agreement negotiated by Iran, the U.S. and five other world powers. The accord aims to constrain Iran’s nuclear ambitions in exchange for hundreds of billions of dollars in relief from international sanctions.

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    • 2. Milhouse wrote:

      Levin is taking garbage, and knows it. He is dishonest. There is absolutely nothing the Republicans could have done to defeat this.

      The fundamental problem was that when the sanctions were imposed in the first place Congress gave the president the power to waive them if he thought it appropriate. Congress surely anticipated presidents whose judgment would not be the same as its own, let alone that of future congresses, and it rightly decided that in such cases the president’s judgment should prevail. What it did not anticipate was that one day a president would be elected who is on the other side. A president whose agenda is to make Iran a regional power, and to take America down a notch, simply wasn’t on their radar.

      Since 0bama already has the power to waive the sanctions, for as long as he likes, without anyone’s approval, he does’t need this deal with Iran to have the force of law. He doesn’t need it to be a treaty, or a statute. And since he knows that he can’t get it through as either one, he said from the beginning that he wasn’t even going to try. He’s happy keeping it as a private agreement between him and Iran. The USA is not a party to it, so it’s none of Congress’s business.

      The only way to stop him was to remove his power to waive sanctions. But that requires 2/3 of the vote in each house. Corker and Menendez tried to get that in advance of the deal, once it was clear that something bad was coming, but they couldn’t get the numbers. The best they could squeeze out of 0bama was what passed, which was an law requiring the president to submit any private deal he makes with Iran to Congress, and to suspend his power to waive sanctions for 60 days to give Congress time to try to put together 2/3 of each house against it. Well, they tried and failed. But to accuse them of creating this problem is an outright lie.

    • 3. Milhouse wrote:

      PS: There are dishonest people who claim that the senate majority could kill this simply by holding a vote on ratification, and then defeating it. That’s just too ridiculous for words. A vote not to ratify the deal would leave it exactly as it is now — unratified!

      There is no difference between an agreement that the senate has voted not to consent to, and one that the senate hasn’t voted on in the first place. Neither one is a treaty.

      Voting not to ratify something that the president has not asked to be ratified would be exactly like a woman telling a man that she will not marry him, when he has already told her that he has no intention of ever asking her.


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