WASHINGTON – With bipartisan majorities in the House of Representatives and the Senate opposing the Iran nuclear deal, U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, decried a partisan effort by a minority of senators to obstruct an up-or-down vote on a resolution to disapprove of the agreement. The Senate will vote again this evening to move to a final vote on the resolution. Last week, a minority of Democrats prevented the 60 votes necessary to proceed.
“If the president had achieved the goals that he set out to end Iran's nuclear program…there would be an overwhelming…vote in support,” said Corker. “What is happening is we have a bipartisan majority that opposes this, and we have a minority that has kept us from being able to vote up or down.”
Senator Corker also explained how the congressional review process established by his legislation was the only way to guarantee a role for Congress since the president chose to make this deal with Iran is an executive agreement, which is not binding on the next administration and does not require approval of two-thirds of the Senate like a treaty.
“So a lot of people have said, ‘Well, Congress gave away authority. They enabled the president to do this without entering into a treaty,’” said Corker. “That is totally untrue. As a matter of fact, this is the first time that I can remember that Congress has taken back authority from the president, because what we really did was say, ‘Mr. President, no, you cannot go forward with this deal until…we go through this review process…And so, this process wouldn't even be occurring if Congress hadn't taken back the authority that we took back from the president, put this pause in place, and gave ourselves the ability to either approve or disapprove.”