Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer backs bill to allow Congress to vote on Iranian nuclear deal

The bill would require Obama to submit the final agreement to Congress and prohibits him from suspending, waiving, or otherwise reducing congressional sanctions for 60 days.

April 7, 2015 14:27
1 minute read.
US SENATOR Charles Schumer speaks during a news conference last year.

US SENATOR Charles Schumer speaks during a news conference last year.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer, a strong and influential voice in the current Iranian nuclear negotiations, has shown strong support for the passage of a bill that would give Congress the ability to reject the framework for the nuclear deal that was agreed to last week after marathon negotiations in Switzerland.

While there is no guarantee that Congress would reject the agreement as presented, there is an increasing consensus from both sides of the aisle, that Congress should at least have the option to do so.

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“This is a very serious issue that deserves careful consideration, and I expect to have a classified briefing in the near future. I strongly believe Congress should have the right to disapprove any agreement and I support the Corker bill which would allow that to occur,” Schumer told Politico.

The Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 was introduced by Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) alongside Senators Robert Menendez (D-New Jersey), Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Tim Kaine (D-Virginia).

The bill would require Obama to submit to Congress the text of a final agreement as well as evidence of Iran’s compliance to the deal, and prohibits him from “suspending, waiving, or otherwise reducing” congressional sanctions for 60 days. At that point, Congress would vote on a joint resolution of approval or disapproval of the deal. Should Congress vote against the agreement, and should the president veto that resolution, the legislature would vote a second time with the potential to override his veto with a two-thirds majority.

The bill was immediately criticized by the White House and according to a White House spokesman, Obama will veto all legislation on Iran so long as negotiations are under way.

Such a vote “would block the president from implementing congressional sanctions relief under the agreement,” Corker’s office says, effectively killing the deal.

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