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 CottonMcConnell vows Senate will take up ObamaCare repeal next week Cotton: Private insurance market provision a big problem in GOP healthcare proposal Sunday shows preview: Healthcare, White House budget in spotlight MORE (R-Ark.) and signed by Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellOvernight Healthcare: High drama for ObamaCare vote | Freedom Caucus chair 'optimistic' about deal | Trump woos right High drama for ObamaCare vote Senate nixes Obama-era workplace safety rule MORE (R-Ky.). It was also signed by four Republicans who are said to be considering a run for president: Sens. Marco RubioMarco RubioDem senator: House Intel chairman may have revealed classified info Five takeaways from Labor pick’s confirmation hearing GOP insists FBI probe won’t slow up Trump MORE (Fla.), Rand PaulRand PaulHealthcare fight pits Trump against Club for Growth GOP rep: Trump could be 'one-term president' if healthcare bill passes Overnight Defense: Pentagon chief urges Congress to approve budget boost | Senate fight over NATO addition MORE (Ky.), Ted CruzTed CruzBudowsky: Trump’s war against truth Five takeaways from Labor pick’s confirmation hearing Republicans should seize the moment and repeal ObamaCare now MORE (Texas) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamGorsuch rewrites playbook for confirmation hearings Dem senator: House Intel chairman may have revealed classified info The Hill's 12:30 Report 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.