It is difficult, in this hyper partisan era, to find areas of agreement between the chattering heads on the right and on the left. However, one thing that almost everyone can agree on is this: The Corker-Cardin Iran bill is an especially moronic display of political cowardice, even for modern day Senators.
The first major problem with the Corker-Cardin bill is that it serves absolutely no affirmative purpose. The Constitution already provides for a method for the Senate to affirmatively approve treaties. To the extent that Obama strikes a deal that undoes Congressionally-created sanctions, there is a constitutional process for that to occur as well – he can try to shepherd a bill through Congress that repeals the currently-extant sanction regime.
Enter [mc_name name=’Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001071′ ], Reasonable Republican™, to relieve everyone of the stress of actually doing their jobs with respect to both enforcing the sanctions that are currently on the books and reviewing and approving any relief from those sanctions. Corker’s terrible bill, which he is attempting to sell as an actual check on Obama’s power to negotiate with Iran, basically performs the exact opposite function. As Marc Thiessen notes:
The reason is simple: Instead of requiring that Congress vote to affirmatively approve any Obama-Iran agreement before it can take effect, the Corker-Cardin bill allows the agreement to take effect unless it isdisapproved by Congress.
An affirmative vote would have required Obama to persuade a simple majority in both houses of Congress to approve his agreement. If he failed, the agreement would be dead. Now, under a disapproval mechanism, the burden shifts to congressional opponents of the Iran deal, who need to convince not simple majorities, but super majorities, in both houses if they want to kill the deal.
The bill allows opponents to pass a “resolution of disapproval,” which requires only a simple majority. That allows congressional critics to claim that they voted against the agreement. But Obama can veto the resolution of disapproval and send it back to Congress. When that happens, opponents need two-thirds of the House and Senate to override his veto. There is no chance that will happen. In fact, this is precisely why the Corker bill is so appealing to some Democrats. They get the political cover of voting against Obama’s Iran deal without being responsible for actually delivering an embarrassing defeat to Obama. That’s a “win-win” on Capitol Hill.
Right now, if you actually want Obama’s horrible Iran deal to fail, you should get on the horn and convince your Senator to do everything in their power to kill the Corker-Cardin bill – especially if your Senator is a Republican. Remind them that they are in charge of the Senate and should retain control over Iranian sanctions instead of punting it to Obama.
Reviewing this deal is their job. Don’t let them avoid it with this transparent round of failure theater.