United States Capitol building in Washington, DC..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
CAMP DAVID -- The Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 has passed both houses of Congress, and is heading to the president's desk for his signature.
The House of Representatives approved of the bill by a vote of 400-25 on Thursday afternoon, one week after the Senate approved of the same legislation by a vote of 98-1. The bill has earned greater bipartisan support than any other major bill proposed in Congress all year.
If US President Barack Obama signs the bill— which White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said from Camp David on Thursday that he is prepared to do— the law will require him to submit any comprehensive agreement with Iran over its nuclear program to Congress in its entirety, both in English and in Farsi.
The legislature will then have 30 days to review the deal, and then has the opportunity to vote to approve or disapprove of its participation in lifting sanctions against Tehran.
“With this bill now headed to the president’s desk, Congress will be able to review and vote on any agreement with Iran before the president could provide relief from congressional sanctions," Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Corker (R-Tennessee), author of the legislation, said in a statement after the vote.
Pro-Israel lobbies in Washington, including the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and the American Jewish Committee, supported and actively lobbied for the legislation, which also requires the president submit require verification reports of Iranian compliance to the deal.
As the House voted, Obama was hosting Arab security chiefs in his presidential retreat in Maryland, hoping to assuage their concerns over the nuclear agreement.
Negotiations toward that deal also continued in Vienna on Thursday. Deadline for a comprehensive accord between the US, Britain, France, Russia, China, Germany and Iran is June 30.