Overnight Defense: UN Iran vote angers Congress

THE TOPLINE: Congress slammed a United Nations vote on the Iran nuclear deal on Monday, saying that the Obama administration should have let lawmakers weigh in first.

On Monday, the United Nations Security Council voted 15-0 to approve the deal, which would lift sanctions on Iran in exchange for limits to its nuclear program.

Republicans it violated the spirit of a deal that gives Congress 60 days to review the deal and take an up-or-down vote. 

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They also called it a pressure tactic to bring Democrats on board and help the White House get the votes needed to override any move to block the deal. 

Some Democrats were not happy with the United Nations vote either. 

Rep. Eliot Engel (N.Y.), the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, joined Chairman Ed Royce (Calif.) in saying they were "disappointed" by the vote. 

“Regardless of this morning's outcome, Congress will continue to play its role,” they said.

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (Md.), the second-ranking House Democrat, also said the United Nations vote should have been delayed.

But the administration defended the vote and said lawmakers still had two months to review the Iran deal.

Secretary of State John KerryJohn Forbes KerryFeehery: Oprah Dem presidential bid unlikely Dem hopefuls flock to Iowa Change in Iran will only come from its people — not the United States MORE said the United Nations' vote would not lift sanctions earlier than 90 days, leaving time to review the deal under the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act.

“No ability of the Congress has been impinged on,” Kerry insisted.

Lawmakers will get briefings from administration officials on the deal over the next two weeks before August recess.

On Wednesday, Kerry, as well as Treasury Secretary Jack LewJacob (Jack) Joseph LewOvernight Finance: Hatch announces retirement from Senate | What you can expect from new tax code | Five ways finance laws could change in 2018 | Peter Thiel bets big on bitcoin Ex-Obama Treasury secretary: Tax cuts 'leaving us broke' Senator demands answers from DOJ on Russia bribery probe MORE, Energy Secretary Ernest MonizErnest Jeffrey MonizOvernight Energy: Zinke under fire for exempting Florida from drilling plan | Trump floats staying in Paris deal | NYC sues big oil over climate A Department of Energy foundation: An idea whose time has come Stop wasting tax dollars on failing nuclear projects MORE and an unnamed “senior intelligence official” will deliver separate classified briefings for the House and Senate.

Kerry, Lew and Moniz will testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday, and then Kerry and Moniz will meet with House Democrats that afternoon.

The three Cabinet officials go before the House Foreign Affairs Committee next Tuesday.

NO PLANS FOR GITMO RETURN: Cuba and the U.S. officially opened embassies on Monday morning as part of the restoration of diplomatic ties between the two countries, reports The Hill's Ben Kamisar.

But Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday that President Obama isn't open to returning Guantanamo Bay to Havana.

"We understand that Cuba has strong feelings about it, and I can't tell you what the future will bring, but for the moment that is not part of the discussion on our side," Kerry said.

"There are things that Cuba would like to see happen. There are things that the United States would like to see happen," he added.

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Eduardo Rodriguez Parilla who spoke aside Kerry at the joint press briefing urged the administration to work to undo the U.S. embargo and return Guantanamo.

Kerry said Monday that the path to normalizing relations "may be long and complex ... along the way we are sure to encounter a bump here and there and moments even of frustration."

"Patience will be required," he said.

The State Department announced Monday that Kerry will travel to Cuba next month to raise the flag over the new American Embassy.

LAWMAKERS DEMAND ACTION AFTER TENN. SHOOTING. House and Senate lawmakers demanded action following last week’s shooting rampage in Chattanooga, Tenn., that killed four Marines and one sailor.

Tennessee Reps. Scott DesJarlais (R) and Steve Cohen (D) on Monday introduced legislation that would require the Pentagon to change its rules to allow members of the military who are authorized to carry firearms and have received training to possess them on bases.

“We know our military facilities and recruitment centers are targets, and the five victims of last week’s attack in Chattanooga are sad evidence that more must be done to keep them safe,” Cohen said in a statement.

"Our men and women in uniform must have the ability to protect themselves regardless of where they are serving," DesJarlais added.

Sen. Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranDoug Jones to become only Dem senator with black chief of staff Congress should stand for rural America by enhancing broadband connectivity Immigrant entrepreneurs are vital to American prosperity MORE (R-Kan.) said he plans unveil a bill to allow troops to carry guns in a military facility.

"Just because a member of our Armed Forces is not deployed to an active war zone does not mean they are safe from those who wish to do harm," he said.

The National Rifle Association said it, too, would work to junk the current prohibition.

“It’s outrageous that members of our Armed Services have lost their lives because the government has forced them to be disarmed in the workplace,” said Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA’s lobbying arm.

Sen. James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeEPA's Pruitt: Bring back 'true environmentalism' Tax cut complete, hawks push for military increase Trump meets with oil-state GOP senators on ethanol mandate MORE (R-Okla.) asked leaders of the Senate Armed Services Committee to review the Pentagon’s effort to boost security at military facilities in the wake of the shooting.

He asked Chairman John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMcCain rips Trump for attacks on press NSA spying program overcomes key Senate hurdle Meghan McCain says her father regrets opposition to MLK Day MORE (R-Ariz.) and Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Raymond ReedLawmakers, political figures share their New Year's resolutions for 2018 Congress must provide flexible funding for owners of repeatedly flooded properties Senate panel moves forward with bill to roll back Dodd-Frank MORE (R.I.), the panel’s top Democrat to “schedule a hearing as soon as possible on the efforts the Department of Defense (DOD) is reviewing and/or taking regarding force protection of its service members and their families.”

Meanwhile, Nick Baucom, founder and president of D.C.-area moving company Two Marines Moving, announced he would now have at least one armed veteran on duty to provide security for their office.

"My employees, all current or former military, will be able to defend themselves should the need arise," Baucom, an Iraq veteran who served in the Marine Corps for six years, and a Memphis, Tenn. native, wrote on Facebook.

MCCAIN SAYS TRUMP SHOULD APOLOGIZE TO VETS: Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpDems flip Wisconsin state Senate seat Sessions: 'We should be like Canada' in how we take in immigrants GOP rep: 'Sheet metal and garbage' everywhere in Haiti MORE should apologize to prisoners of war after the GOP presidential candidate’s controversial comments mocking McCain for being captured during the Vietnam War.

"He might owe an apology to the families of those who have sacrificed in conflict and those who have undergone the prison experience in serving their country," McCain said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

"Many men and some women who served and sacrificed and happened to be held prisoner. To denigrate that service in any way is offensive to veterans,” the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee added.

But McCain said Trump didn't owe him a personal apology.

Trump said over the weekend that McCain was not a war hero because he was captured during the war.

Key veterans groups though called on Trump to apologize for his remarks.

"We should acknowledge the facts: John McCain cares deeply about our men and women in uniform, and through his actions, he has made a real difference for our troops. Mr. Trump owes Senator McCain and all veterans an apology," Retired Navy Vice Adm. Norb Ryan, president and CEO of Military Officers Association of America, said in a statement.

Trump’s "asinine comments about Sen. John McCain’s service are an insult to everyone who has ever worn the uniform — and to all Americans," wrote Paul Rieckhoff, CEO and founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America in a New York Daily News op-ed.

"He is very capable of defending himself, but a public attack on one veteran’s service is an attack on us all," he added.

ICYMI: 

-- Marine veteran to arm employees after Chattanooga shooting

-- Leaks threatened after hack of infidelity site Ashley Madison

-- US should hang Edward Snowden, says former spy panel senator

-- Study: Intelligence scores rising for Marines, dropping for Marine officers

-- Lawmakers push to help male victims of military sexual assault

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