Last Thursday the Senate voted overwhelmingly in favor of a bill that would give Congress the ability to examine, and possibly even reject, any nuclear deal the Obama administration will forge with the government of Iran.
The bill was the subject of intense debate which got ugly at times. The fight in the Senate for the most part prevented Senators who are against President Obama’s negotiations with Iran from amending the legislation in ways that would make the bill more difficult to pass.
As the bill stands now, it allows the Congress to prevent the lifting of sanctions against Iran, as well as force the Obama administration to constantly monitor Iran for signs that it might not be adhering to the terms of any nuclear deal.
Obama’s representatives are currently discussing the final details of a nuclear non-proliferation treaty with Tehran. An interim framework for a deal was reached in early April. There is no a June 30 deadline for the completion of the deal.
The legislation states that when a deal is finalized the administration will have to submit the details to Congress for its approval. Congress can choose to approve the deal or instead to deny the deal by preventing the nullification of congressionally imposed sanctions that are currently in place.
“We’ve worked hard to create a great bipartisan balance. And we have an opportunity to do something that is a landmark piece of legislation,” Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tennessee.) said of his triumph over Democratic reluctance and Obama’s
veto threat. “No bill, no review. No bill, no oversight. The American people want [Congress] on their behalf to ensure that Iran is accountable.”
The bill will now go to the House of Representatives for passage. Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) is in favor of the passage of the bill. The single dissenter was Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) who is completely against talking with Iran in any way.