Dem Rep Blasts Obama’s ‘Offensive’ Attempt to ‘Tie Congress Hands with Foreign Ropes’

Thursday at the a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on President Barack Obama’s Iran nuclear negotiations, Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) tore into Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken saying  “I take such offense when I hear the administration say Congress, if we have a view, were interfering and undermining.”

Sherman said, “It is not the executive branch, but Congress that has had it right for the has 15 years — for the last 15 years which is why I take such offense when I hear the administration say congress, if we have a view, were interfering and undermining. When you read the United States Constitution, you will see that when it comes to economic sanctions and international economics, all the power is vested Congress except to the extent that the president negotiates a treaty that is ratified by the Senate.”

Sherman continued, “Yet I fear that what the administration is doing is using foreign ropes to tie the hands of the United States Congress because the foreign minister of Iran was able to site Article 27 of the convention on treaties saying, well, the United States will be in violation of international law if Congress doesn’t do whatever the president promises Congress will do. And the administration feeds into that when a high administration official declares foreign policy runs through the executive branch and the president and does not go through other channels. I fear that we will have a situation where the executive branch comes to us and says you have to take this action, you’re prohibited  from taking this action  because you’re going to hold the United States up to ridicule for being in violation of international law.”

He added, “I would hope that you would look at the memo issues by the Carter Department of Justice that stated Congress may enact legislation modifying or abrogating executive agreements. And that if that was formally turned over to the Iranian delegation, that would get us support under Article 46 of the Vienna convention on treaties”

Sherman concluded his blistering assault on the president attempt to override Congress by saying, “I fear that you have misled this committee in telling us that once Iran has the rights of a non-nuclear state subject to the additional protocol, that you’ll be able to stop sneak-out, because you’ve said first that, well, they can’t develop a nuclear weapon because that would be illegal. That’s a preposterous argument. Obviously, they’re willing to break the law.”

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