Sen. Corker’s Iran Bill Is Misguided
Congress would have to vote if sanctions it voted to impose are to be permanently eliminated. The Corker bill wouldn’t change that fact.
March 25, 2015
In “Congress Deserves a Vote on Iran” (March 18), former Sen. Joseph Lieberman points out, with merit, that Congress should have the chance to weigh in once that deal is struck. Congress should and will, but Mr. Lieberman’s terms are unrelated to this fact.
In asserting that “Congress built the sanctions against Iran, it is unreasonable to bar it from any review or oversight in how that architecture is disassembled,” Mr. Lieberman misstates the Corker bill’s impact on Congress’s role in lifting sanctions. Congress would have to vote if sanctions it voted to impose are to be permanently eliminated. The Corker bill wouldn’t change that fact nor would it require Congress to vote to lift those sanctions at a given time. Corker bill or no, Congress can vote anytime to terminate the sanctions it put in place without weighing in on the terms of a final deal, and certainly without weighing in before those terms have even been struck.
Far from allowing Congress to carry out its already available authority to lift sanctions, Sen. Bob Corker’s bill would put in place additional restrictions that would move the goal posts beyond the scope of current negotiations, delay the implementation of a final deal and encourage a rushed, impractical timeline for congressional review.
Further, in making the case for Sen. Corker’s legislation, Mr. Lieberman fails to note a long history of executive agreements on foreign policy. This omission misrepresents both Sen. Corker’s legislation and any final nuclear agreement that might be achieved. Congress does have a role in this process; it’s just not the one that Messrs. Corker and Lieberman want.