Wednesday on Fox News Channel’s “America’s Newsroom,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said the main reason he signed the GOP senators’ letter to Iranian leaders is because President Barack Obama threatened to veto a bill requiring congressional review of any Iran nuclear deal.
Graham said, “I’ve been working on bipartisan legislation with others that says Congress will not agree to lift the sanctions that we created unless we look at the deal and vote as to whether or not we want them lifted. The president of the United States does not have the authority, in my view, to tell the Congress that we cannot look at a deal that would lead to the lifting of the sanctions, that would create it. I did not sign the letter until the president threatened to veto the bipartisan legislation I just described. The moment he told Congress basically to go to hell, I want him and the Iranians and the world to know you can’t deal us out. If he’s contemplating a deal to give congressional sanction relief and not allow us to have a say, he’s flat wrong and that’s why I signed the letter.”
In responding to Hillary Clinton’s criticisms of the letter, Graham said, “How about this, Secretary Clinton? We want to stand up for the idea that sanctions created by Congress cannot be lifted by the commander-in-chief unless we agree. The only thing in this legislation deals with the lifting of congressional sanctions. And to Secretary Clinton, if you were president, would you deal Congress out? Would you threaten to veto a bill that’s bipartisan, requiring Congress to review your deal before Congress agreed to lift the sanctions they created? This is a very big deal. There’s only one commander-in-chief, but we’re the Congress. We created these sanctions, Bill. We should have a say. By the way, the Congress, the Senate hasn’t toppled four Arab capitals. We’re not the largest state sponsor of terrorism. It is Iran. We haven’t been lying about our nuclear ambitions for the last 20 years, so this is really a challenge to the Congress to deal with the things we’ve created. This is not an imperial presidency, as much as he would like it to be.”
Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN