US House plans Thursday vote on clean Iran oversight bill

Measure likely after Senate passed its version of the bill last week with a vote of 98-1.

May 13, 2015 22:23
2 minute read.
house of representatives

The chamber of the House of Representatives on Capitol Hill in Washington [File]. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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The House of Representatives will vote on the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 this week, sources familiar with the matter told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday, one week after its passage through the Senate.

The vote will likely be held on Thursday, while US President Barack Obama is hosting security chiefs from Gulf Cooperation Council states at his Camp David retreat in Maryland. The summit, beginning on Wednesday evening at the White House, is intended to assuage Gulf concerns over an emerging nuclear deal with Iran.

Congress’s oversight bill, in its current form, provides the US legislature with an architecture for reviewing any comprehensive accord reached with Iran over its nuclear work. If passed, the president would be required to submit the deal in its entirety to Congress, which will then have 30 days to review the accord.

The bill allows for a vote of approval or disapproval on Congress’s participation in the deal, but does not require such a vote. The legislation also requires the president to regularly submit proof of Iranian compliance throughout the life of the agreement.

Conservative critics of the deal, the president, or both, suggest the mechanism for disapproving of the deal within the bill is too weak.

A two-thirds majority would be necessary for two votes of disapproval, the second of which would require Democrats to override their president’s veto.

Republicans in both chambers have pushed for amendments to the bill, which would risk compromising the bipartisan balance reached by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tennessee), Ranking Member Ben Cardin (D-Maryland) and the White House in negotiations last week.

The negotiations led to a shortening of the time allotted for Congress to review the bill, and clarification that congressional approval of the deal is not necessary for its enforcement. Following the revisions, the president revoked his previous vow to veto the legislation.

To ensure the bill remains on track with Democratic support – it passed the Senate by a vote of 98-1 – the GOP leadership has refused efforts by their members to attach amendments to the bill.

Similarly, the vote on Thursday in the House is predicted to be “clean,” with House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) expected to prevent any last-minute amendments to the legislation on the floor.

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