AIPAC Says President Obama ‘Should Welcome Congressional Review’ of Iran Nuclear Deal
Major pro-Israel lobby the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on Monday said that President Obama should welcome congressional review of any nuclear deal reached between the US and Iran.
In a statement endorsing the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, AIPAC said, “If the agreement achieves US objectives, it will withstand congressional scrutiny, and the president should welcome congressional review.”
The group explained, “An agreement with such profound national security implications as this one must be subjected to the constitutional system of checks and balances that is the bedrock of our democracy.”
The bipartisan legislation, authored by Sens. Bob Corker (R-TN) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ), provides Congress the opportunity to review any deal prior to Iran receiving sanctions relief and establishes the procedure for Congress to vote on the agreement.
Explaining the bill, which may yet be modified on the insistence of Senate Democrats seeking to restrict limitations it puts in the president, AIPAC said, “If Congress adopts a joint resolution that disapproves of the agreement, the bill prohibits the president from providing Iran statutory sanctions relief. The joint resolution would be subject to a presidential veto.”
The bill would also “require the president to notify Congress of any credible and accurate information related to a potentially significant breach of the agreement. The president must then determine if the violation constitutes a ‘material breach’ of the agreement.”
The legislation is set to be voted on this week after being marked up by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday.
AIPAC pointed out that major polls have consistently shown that Americans overwhelmingly support congressional review of any deal with Iran, and that Congress has historically overseen significant non-proliferation and arms control treaties.
Recent Pew Research Center and Rasmussen Reports each found that more than 60 percent of respondents believe Congress should have final authority for approving a deal, and a Fox News poll found that 76 percent of respondents believe President Obama should be should be required to get congressional approval for any deal reached with Iran on its nuclear program.