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October 10, 2015

Posts in "Foreign Policy"

September 30, 2015

Iran Review Moves Recall ‘Duck-and-Cover’ Days | Procedural Politics

Last May, in a rare display of bipartisanship, the House and Senate overwhelmingly approved a congressional review process for the Iran nuclear agreement — a process President Barack Obama initially said he didn’t want and didn’t need.

Full story

April 13, 2015

Congress Has an Overriding Problem With Iran Deal | Procedural Politics

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Corker’s bill is reportedly one vote short of a veto-proof majority in the Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

This week the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is slated to consider the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act introduced by the committee’s chairman, Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee. The bill requires the president to submit the final agreement to Congress for a 60-day review period. The administration strongly opposes the legislation on grounds the pact is an executive agreement between the U.S., Iran and the five other nations and does not require congressional approval.

Contrary to some shorthand press reports, the bill does not require Congress to approve the nuclear agreement for the sanctions relief to take effect, nor does it force Congress even to vote on the matter. It simply provides that any sanctions relief contained in the plan may go forward if Congress enacts a joint resolution favoring the agreement or fails to enact a joint resolution disapproving the plan during the review period. There are no action-forcing mechanisms or expedited procedures to require either a vote of approval or disapproval.

Congress may, in effect, take favorable action on the plan by inaction. Full story

March 16, 2015

Cotton Balls Up Diplomatic Protocol With Letter | Procedural Politics

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Cotton (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senator Tom Cotton’s “open letter” to the leaders of Iran on negotiations over its nuclear program ran into a buzzsaw of criticism from the president, vice president, our negotiating partners and members of Congress from both parties. The main criticism: Senators should not thrust themselves directly into the middle of ongoing negotiations between the U.S. and other countries.

The Arkansas Republican and his 46 Senate Republican co-signers have been accused of everything from trying to blow up the negotiations and undermining the president to giving aid and comfort to the enemy and betraying the national interest. Full story

March 3, 2015

Watch: Benjamin Netanyahu Addresses Congress

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses a joint meeting of Congress on security threats posed by “radical Islam” and Iran. Congress will reconvene at 10:45 a.m. for Netanyahu’s speech. Full story

September 11, 2013

Obama’s Syria Stumblings Might Actually Work — for Now

Give President Barack Obama this much credit. After months of bumbling over Syria policy, he came essentially to the right decision: The United States must use force in response to the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons.

And, after weeks of indecision, he demonstrated leadership and courage in pursuing the military option despite overwhelming public opposition, foreign abdication of responsibility and the possibility (even likelihood) that his proposal would be defeated in Congress.

Before Russia’s latest gambit to forestall a U.S. strike, Obama was planning to go before the war-weary nation Tuesday night and argue, essentially, for war. In fact, that is what he did do — saying he was merely putting his request for an authorization in abeyance to explore the idea of Syria’s voluntarily giving up its chemical weapons. Full story

September 3, 2013

Obama’s Mind Block on Syria May Ignite a Wider Mideast Crisis

Syria’s deputy foreign minister gibed on Sunday that President Barack Obama was demonstrating “hesitation” and “confusion” in announcing he’d ask Congress for approval for military action against that country.

That’s putting it mildly. Confusion, hesitation — also fecklessness, weakness and indecision — have characterized Obama’s whole approach to the Syrian civil war.

Now, Obama faces the very real possibility that Congress will deny him the authority, justifying the further gibe in state-run Syrian media that the world was witnessing “the start of an historic American retreat.” Full story

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