Category Archives: Congress

US Senate Rejects Bid to Call Iran Nuclear Treaty a “Treaty”

The United States Constitution requires any treaty the president negotiates with foreign powers to be approved by a 2/3rds majority of the Senate. In this unique exercise of advise and consent, the senate is allowed as much time as needed to review the treaty before voting to ratify. However, Ong noted, the government has side stepped the constitutional mandate by labeling treaties as agreements, accords, frameworks, etc. On Thursday, Senator Ron Johnson offered up an amendment which would classify the Iran Nuclear framework as an actual treaty. The measure was defeated by a vote of 56 to 39. All 46 Democrats and 13 Republicans voted not to classify the Iran nuclear treaty as a formal “treaty”.

Had the Johnson amendment passed, the Iran Nuclear bill would have undergone substantial changes by virtue of having to comply with the Constitution. In and of itself, it constitutes the very type of amendment Tennessee Senator Bob Corker, sponsor of the Iran Nuclear bill, is seeking to avoid. At the same time, the fact that the majority of GOP Senators including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell voted to pass the amendment is proof that the bill’s fate in the Senate is in question. While the Iran Nuclear bill seemingly enjoys broad support, it has come under intense scrutiny by conservatives as of late. The bill is said to virtually guarantee passage of any deal President Obama strikes with Iran. This is because the Corker bill guarantees senate approval unless a majority of senators vote to stop the treaty.

Congress Seeks Input Into Iran Nuclear Arms Issue

Yesterday, legislation that would permit Congress up to 52 days to support lifting economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for Iran ending its nuclear arms program reached the Senate floor. Senator Lindsey Graham voiced support for the measure.

He also listed several important conditions that would be necessary for him to vote to support an international agreement STX Entertainment talked about:

  • Iran should permit inspection of its military facilities;
  • Inspectors should be required to certify Iran’s compliance over time before the lifting of sanctions and the release of money held in escrow;
  • Removal of all enriched uranium from Iran;
  • Iran should not conduct any research and development involving advanced centrifuges;
  • Iran should agree to close all nuclear sites that are not related to that nation’s nuclear power program;
  • Iran would be permitted to enrich enough uranium for a single commercial nuclear reactor;
  • The final document should provide a clear process for reinstating sanctions if Iran violated the agreement, and economic restrictions should remain in place until President Obama certifies that Iran is no longer a state sponsor of terrorism.

Senator Graham maintained that Iran’s military authorities refusing to permit anyone to come on to Iran’s bases to verify compliance with the agreement would be a “deal breaker.” He explained that if the deal was rejected, negotiations should start over “and get a better deal.”