Senate

GOP senators file challenge over Iran side deals

A group of Republican senators are suggesting that President Obama hasn’t followed the law on the Iran deal. 

Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) have introduced a resolution, suggesting that because the administration didn’t hand over text of the side deals between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) — which they say violates legislation passed earlier this year — the congressional review period hasn’t occurred. 
 
{mosads}”In light of the President’s failure to submit the entire ‘agreement with Iran relating to the nuclear program of Iran,’ including side agreements,” the Iran agreement instead has to be passed as a treaty in order for the president to be able to lift sanctions against Iran, according the Republican resolution. 
 
The Senate previously rejected an amendment to the Iran review bill earlier this year that would have required the deal be treated as a treaty. Roughly a dozen Republicans joined with Democrats in voting against the amendment offered by Johnson.
 
The senators add that “the Senate, which has the power to consent to treaties under Article II, section 2, clause 2 of the Constitution, has not and does not consent to the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action], which is therefore not `’the supreme Law of the Land,’ and the President therefore has a constitutional duty to ensure that the Iran sanctions laws … continue to be faithfully executed.”
 
The resolution isn’t the first time Senate Republicans have challenged the validity of the agreement. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has also suggested that the review period hasn’t started because Congress didn’t receive the text of the side deals. The Texas Republican, who is running for president, publicly pressured Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to delay voting on the Iran agreement. 
 
But McConnell has rejected that effort, telling reporters that “as I understand law, once Sept. 17 passes is it not the case that the president will take the view that he is free to go forward.”
 
Congress has until Sept. 17 to try to pass legislation on the Iran deal, though a spokesperson for Johnson said that the Senate could still take up his resolution after the deadline. 
 
Meanwhile, the House on Thursday accused Obama of not providing Congress with all of the documents related to the Iran nuclear deal, thereby violating the terms of the congressional review law. The resolution could pave the way for a legal battle, with Boehner saying a lawsuit against the Obama administration is “an option that’s very possible.”
 
Tags Boehner John Boehner Mike Lee Mitch McConnell Ron Johnson Ted Cruz

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