The bill that would enable Congress to review any nuclear deal with Iran is coming under fire for allegedly altering the Constitution’s requirements for treaties.
The New York Times reported “the essence of the legislation is that Congress will have a chance to vote on whatever deal emerges with Iran — if one is reached by June 30.”
But the newspaper noted it would be reviewed “in a way that would be extremely difficult for Mr. Obama to lose.”
Talk-show host Mark Levin said, “The United States Senate just rewrote the treaty provision of the Constitution,” he exclaimed. “This may be over the heads of most commentators … but it’s not over my head, and it won’t be over yours.”
He said under the Constitution, the president has the power to negotiate treaties, and they are approved “provided two-thirds of the senators present concur.”
He said such a supermajority (67 votes) was called for by the nation’s Founders because they believed that leaving such decisions to a single person or a single body wasn’t responsible.
Under the proposed legislation, Congress can review the president’s deal with the radical Islamists and can reject it with a 60-vote margin. But Obama then can veto it, and it would take a 67-vote total to overturn the veto.
“We’ve turned the treaty provision on its head,” Levin said. “Instead of requiring two-thirds of the senators present to approve, this bill explicitly” demands 67 votes to stop the president.
Keith Koffler at the White House Dossier blog agreed.
“He’s right. Because a treaty requires a two-thirds vote by the Senate to be accepted as law. [Sen. Bob] Corker’s bill turns that on its head, allowing Congress to vote down the treaty with Iran but giving Obama veto power, which must be overridden by a two-thirds vote. MEANING THAT INSTEAD NEEDING TWO-THIRDS OF THE SENATE FOR HIS TREATY, OBAMA ONLY NEEDS ONE-THIRD.”
Koffler wrote that international agreements increasingly have been done by executive action, but this type of deal – “involving nuclear weapons for our most pernicious adversary and therefore the possible destruction of the United States – must by its nature qualify as a treaty under the Constitution, or there is no Constitution at all.”
“With the Corker bill, he now has Congress in his pocket as he joins Iran in shredding the Constitution over a Swiss negotiating table. And in 10 to 15 years, when Iran conducts its first nuclear test, Congress will have had a ‘role’ in the tragedy.”