President Obama is willing to sign a new Senate deal that would allow Congress to review and vote on a proposed nuclear deal with Iran.
“The president would be willing to sign the proposed compromise that is working its way through the committee today,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.
Earnest said the White House could still oppose the deal crafted by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerCheney set to be face of anti-Trump GOP How leaving Afghanistan cancels our post-9/11 use of force The unflappable Liz Cheney: Why Trump Republicans have struggled to crush her MORE (R-Tenn.) and ranking member Ben Cardin (D-Md.) if amendments Obama opposes are added.
“We’re going to have to see how this works its way through the process,” Earnest said.
But the White House spokesman praised the deal as protecting the president’s authority to conduct foreign policy and to make a final decision on the deal.
“Despite the things about it that we don’t like, enough substantial changes have been made" for the White House to support it, he said.
The Senate panel could vote as early as Tuesday on the legislation, which Cardin has termed a “fair compromise.”
The White House had threatened to veto an earlier version of the bill.
The new bill shortens the timeframe for Congress to review a nuclear deal with Iran and allows Obama to submit the deal after the June 30 deadline for negotiators to conclude their work.
Negotiators reached a framework deal earlier this month and are hashing out the details of an accord that would lift sanctions on Iran in exchange for a reductions in the country’s nuclear program.
The new Corker-Cardin compromise gives Congress 30 days to review a deal and vote to approve it or reject it from the time when Obama submits it. That’s a cut from a previous 60-day review period.
The president would have to submit the deal by July 9 to have the expedited timeframe.
If Congress votes to reject the deal, the bill says the president could not waive sanctions that had been imposed through legislation.
The disapproval resolution would face some tough hurdles. It would be subject to a Senate filibuster, and Obama could veto it. The House and Senate would need two-thirds majorities to overcome a veto — a high bar for Republicans in both chambers.
However, it would also meet the demands of Republicans and Democrats that Congress have a say in the nuclear negotiations with Iran.
And it would set up a potentially dangerous vote for members a year before the 2016 elections.