Everyone knows he is handing the Iranians a license to nuke Tel Aviv. Even some Democrats know. “Democrats won’t back Iran nuclear deal in blow to White House as enough break with Obama to to put veto-proof legislation in the works to stop an agreement,” by Francesca Chambers, Daily Mail, March 16, 2015:
Democratic senators remain irritated with their GOP colleagues who last week sent a letter to Iranian leaders undercutting President Barack Obama, but they will still back bipartisan legislation that would give Congress final say over a nuclear deal.
Enough members of the president’s party have signaled support for that bill and another that would impose new sanctions on Iran if it doesn’t make an agreement with negotiators that the White House would be powerless to stop the measures from going into effect once passed.
The Obama administration and its international partners now have until March 24 to set up the framework for a deal.
After that, a dozen Democratic senators, including Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Robert Menendez of New Jersey, the highest-ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Affairs committee, have said they will join with the GOP majority to pass bills inserting themselves into the process.
One would levy additional sanctions on Iran after June 30 if it doesn’t agree to the final terms of a deal, though monthly waivers would be allowed should more time be requested. The other would give the Senate the power to reject within 60 days any pact the executive branch makes with Iran.
Democrats who spoke with Politico voiced their displeasure with the 47 GOP senators who wrote a letter to Iran notifying the country’s leaders that any contract it makes with the Obama administration would be nullified when a new president takes office in January 2017, whereas most members of the upper chamber would be in office for years to come.
But that hasn’t changed their position on the core issue, they’ve said.
‘The letter’s incredibly unfortunate and inappropriate,’ Heitkamp said.’That doesn’t diminish my support for the legislation that we introduced.’
Michigan Sen. Gary Peters similarly said the missive was ‘simply unacceptable’ and ‘brought hyperpartisanship to an issue that we need to maintain our bipartisanship in.’
He added: ‘That doesn’t change my support for that bill. … I stay firm.’
Blumenthal last week called Republicans’ actions ‘unconscionable’ and bemoaned them for disrespecting the president.
At the time, he said the bipartisan coalition of senators willing to buck the White House was ‘in tatters.’ Blumenthal told CNN that he was determined to ‘stitch it back together,’ though.
A week later it appeared that the group was holding strong and that Senate Foreign Relations Bob Corker, one of just seven Republican senators who did not sign the ‘open letter,’ was correct in predicting last Thursday that the whole thing would blow over.
‘Let a couple days go by. We think there’s going to be really ignited momentum,’ Corker had told Politico. Nobody’s dropping out. We’ve had reaffirmed commitment.’
Meanwhile, Republicans who did sign the letter triumphantly declared on the Sunday news shows that they had no ‘regrets’ about sending Tehran the strongly worded message.
‘I stand by the letter,’ National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Rodger Wicker said on NBC’s Meet the Press.
‘I think it’s interesting that we’ve had so much talk about process, just like we’ve had talk about process with Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech, rather than dealing with the substance,’ the Mississippi Republican asserted, referring to House Republican leadership’s end run around the White House earlier this year when it invited Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told CNN he thinks it was ‘fair’ for Republicans to explain that Congress will be involved in the process one way or another.
‘I don’t think it was a mistake,’ he said of the message to Tehran.
‘The administration would like to have a distraction, but the point is the subject of the matter,’ the GOP leader said.
‘Apparently, the Obama administration is on the cusp of entering into a very bad deal with one of the worst regimes in the world.’…