The New York Times reported Sunday that President Barack Obama “will do everything in his power to avoid letting Congress vote on” a potential nuclear deal with Iran.
Congress must approve a cancelation of sanctions, one of Iran’s key demands. Therefore the president is seeking an arrangement that would allow him to use his administrative powers to ease sanctions rather than canceling them outright, fearing congressional rejection.
Congress has long been more hawkish on Iran than the Obama administration, which–contrary to claims made in election season–had to be dragged, kicking and screaming, into supporting the sanctions that brought Iran to the negotiating table in the first place.
Though the U.S. Constitution invests the executive branch with the power to negotiate foreign treaties, it also requires that treaties be ratified by two-thirds vote in the Senate.
Furthermore, both Houses of Congress have the power to regulate commerce with foreign nations.
Members of Congress are said to be deeply upset by the president’s plan to avoid bringing an Iran deal to a vote–not only because of the executive overreach it represents, but also because of the substance of an anticipated agreement, which many understand would likely preserve Iran’s nuclear enrichment capability and its past nuclear secrets.
Senior Editor-at-Large Joel B. Pollak edits Breitbart California and is the author of the new ebook, Wacko Birds: The Fall (and Rise) of the Tea Party, available for Amazon Kindle.
Follow Joel on Twitter: @joelpollak