Forty-seven Senate Republicans are signaling in an open letter to Iran and the White House that a deal over Tehran’s nuclear program will be at risk once President Obama leaves office.
“Anything not approved by Congress is a mere executive agreement,” they said.
The letter was spearheaded by Sen. Tom CottonTom CottonOvernight Cybersecurity: White House adviser ditches cyber panel over 'fake news' | Trump cyber order 'close' | GOP senator pushes for clean renewal of foreign intel law Overnight Tech: Dem wants to see FCC chief's net neutrality plans | New agency panel on telecom diversity | Trump calls NASA astronaut GOP senator pushes for clean reauthorization of foreign intel law MORE (R-Ark.) and signed by Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellSchumer blocks one-week stopgap funding bill Overnight Finance: Dems explore lawsuit against Trump | Full-court press for Trump tax plan | Clock ticks down to spending deadline Hundreds of former EPA employees blast Trump on climate change MORE (R-Ky.). It was also signed by four Republicans who are said to be considering a run for president: Sens. Marco RubioMarco RubioOvernight Defense: Commander calls North Korea crisis 'worst' he's seen | Trump signs VA order | Dems push Trump to fill national security posts What’s with Trump’s spelling mistakes? Boeing must be stopped from doing business with Iran MORE (Fla.), Rand PaulRand PaulRand Paul to teach a course on dystopias in George Washington University Destructive 'fat cat' tax law a complete flop. It's time to repeal it. Trump must take action in Macedonia to fix damage done by Obama and Clinton MORE (Ky.), Ted CruzTed CruzNet neutrality fight descends into trench warfare Secret Service: No guns at Trump NRA speech Cruz: Breaking up 9th Circuit Court ‘a possibility’ MORE (Texas) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamTop admiral: North Korea crisis is 'worst I've seen' Comey to testify before Senate Judiciary Committee Overnight Defense: US moving missile defense system to South Korea | Dems want justification for Syria strike | Army pick pushes back against critics of LGBT record MORE (S.C.).
They warned that the deal — which is likely to be at least 10 years in duration — could be at risk once Obama leaves the White House in 2017.
“The next president could revoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen and future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time,” they wrote.
Though it is addressed to the Iranians, the letter is another signal to the administration that many members of Congress want to have some control over any final deal reached on Iran’s nuclear program. Many are concerned the White House will sign off on a deal that is not strict enough, or that only delays Iran’s ability to get a nuclear weapon.
It was reported last year that the White House was going to try to avoid having to seek congressional approval for the deal.
Congress also may take up new sanctions against Iran at some point in the coming weeks — and it is unclear whether negotiators will agree on a framework for the deal before legislation supporting the new sanctions is approved.