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house Bill H.R. 1191

Letting Congress Approve or Reject a Nuclear Deal With Iran — Oh, and Some Other Stuff About Insurance for Firefighters

Argument in favor

The President and Congress need to demonstrate unity in opposition to Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon. Approving this bill would make that message clear. It's a shame the firefighter bill had to be co-opted, but lawmakers have kept language in the bill to allow for the firefighter insurance change as well.

Cary's Opinion
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04/08/2015
Congressional approval will give this deal long term legitimacy or seal it's fate. Either way, necessary.
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Joe's Opinion
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03/15/2015
Volunteer, doesn't that say enough. Just going to hamper our rural fire departments.
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John's Opinion
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03/16/2015
Doesn't "volunteer" mean unpaid, i.e., having another means of support? If this is indeed a volunteer position, it seems to me it would add an undue burden on fire districts to pay for health insurance for fire fighters.
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Argument opposed

This legislation would undercut the President’s leverage in negotiating with Iran, and would make it less likely that any agreement is reached. Not to mention, it's pretty sneaky voting on an important foreign policy bill, but doing it under another bill with a completely unrelated goal.

Brandon's Opinion
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03/16/2015
A bill that exempts a specific organization from providing healthcare for its employees, especially employees that put their health and lives at risk for the public good, without also providing some other means of providing that care to their employees is a joke. Lessening financial burdens on VFDs is not a bad idea, but if Congress is serious about that, they should fund the healthcare of VFFs themselves.
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pgshpak's Opinion
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05/08/2015
This is clearly an attempt to circumvent the way bills in this country are supposed to be passed. I wont support this bill that’s not passed through both the Senate and House.
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daveyazizi's Opinion
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03/16/2015
Firefighters especially need the same access to medical care—just because it's a volunteer organization doesn't mean it shouldn't take care of its workers.
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What is House Bill H.R. 1191?

Update (7/14/2015): An agreement was reached between a group of six nations (including the U.S. and Iran) to scale back the Iranian nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. All parties involved made concessions of one form or another, and while there has been vocal opposition to the deal — Congress will have the opportunity to express its disapproval and override a threatened presidential veto to stop it.

This bill was originally about changing how fire departments offer healthcare to their volunteers (click here for that bill's summary). After being passed in the House in it's intended form, it was repurposed in the Senate as the legislative vehicle for offering Congress the power to approve or reject a Nuclear deal with Iran. The Morning Call explains:

"The U.S. Senate is in the midst of debating a proposal to give Congress the right to review any nuclear agreement with Iran. To get the proposal through Congress quickly, senators are planning to use Barletta’s bill, replacing his idea with their Iran review proposal ... [Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) is] offering an amendment that, instead of stripping out the volunteer firefighter provisions, would keep them in the bill when the Iran proposal is added."

In its new form, the bill would require the President — within five calendar days of reaching an agreement with Iran relating to their nuclear program — to submit the text of the agreement and all related materials to relevant congressional committees. 

The Foreign Relations/Affairs Committees from both the House and the Senate would hold hearings and briefings as necessary to review the agreement during the 60-day period following the President’s delivery.

Throughout this 60-day review period, the President would be prohibited from waiving, reducing, or limiting in any way the current sanctions on Iran. Actions specified in the agreement could only be taken if Congress adopts a resolution favoring the agreement. The deal could not go through if Congress develops a resolution to oppose it. 

If Congress fails to pass a joint resolution either favoring or opposing the agreement, only actions authorized by existing law would be permitted.

Impact

Volunteer emergency service responders, owners of volunteer fire companies, people in municipalities serviced by volunteer fire companies, and insurance companies. On the Iran side — Iran's nuclear program, U.S./Iran diplomatic relations, Iranian citizens, American-Iranians, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the IAEA, the Secretary of State, and the President.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1191

$0.00
A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

Of Note: Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to a joint meeting of Congress in early 2015 ignited debate about the potential terms of an agreement with Iran on their nuclear program. Negotiations between the P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the UK, and the U.S) are ongoing, but elements of the existing framework have a deadline in June 2015

For its part, Iran has taken some provocative actions that could call into question their sincerity in honoring an agreement. Iran recently tested what it claims to have been an Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) capable of reaching beyond Europe, which could deliver a small warhead. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps — Iran’s military — destroyed a replica of a U.S. aircraft carrier with its anti-ship missiles in the Strait of Hormuz in late February 2015..


In-Depth: Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) was the original sponsor of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act as S. 615, but when questions arose over its ability to progress from committee Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) introduced the bill as S. 625. This was done to give the Senate the ability to vote on the legislation without requiring committee approval, though the text was ultimately transferred this bill which had passed the House and could be easily amended. 
After all the tactical legislative maneuvering, this bill was passed by margins of 400 to 25 in the House and 98 to 1 in the Senate before being signed into law by the President.
Other provisions of this bill include: If passed, the President would certify that the agreement includes the terms, conditions, and duration of all requirements related to Iran’s nuclear activities. In addition, the President would describe sanctions that would be waived by the U.S. and other nations or entities (like the UN).

A determination would be included by the President that the agreement satisfies non-proliferation objectives, doesn’t jeopardize national security, and provides a framework to ensure that Iran’s nuclear activities will not be military-related.

The Secretary of State would be required to submit a report to the congressional committees describing how strongly the Secretary can verify that Iran is complying with its agreement obligations. The Secretary must also verify that the safeguards put in place to prevent Iran from conducting military-related nuclear activities are sufficient. Assessments of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) verification requirements of the agreement would also be included in this report.

If any breach of the nuclear agreement occurs, the President will be required to submit a report to the relevant congressional committees within 10 days. This report would include a description of the breach, and the status of any corrective action taken by Iran.

Within 180 days of the agreement, the President would have to submit a report on the progress of the Iran agreement. This, and subsequent reports would include information related to breaches, the IAEA’s enforcement progress, and assessments of whether Iran has supported or perpetrated acts of terrorism against the U.S. or its citizens.


Media: 

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: "Arak Heavy Water4" by Nanking2012 - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons) 

AKA

Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015

Official Title

A bill to provide for congressional review and oversight of agreements relating to Iran's nuclear program, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • EnactedMay 22nd, 2015
    The President signed this bill into law
  • The senate Passed May 7th, 2015
    Roll Call Vote 98 Yea / 1 Nay
  • The house Passed May 14th, 2015
    Roll Call Vote 400 Yea / 25 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Ways and Means
    IntroducedMarch 2nd, 2015

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    Congressional approval will give this deal long term legitimacy or seal it's fate. Either way, necessary.
    Like (27)
    Follow
    Share
    A bill that exempts a specific organization from providing healthcare for its employees, especially employees that put their health and lives at risk for the public good, without also providing some other means of providing that care to their employees is a joke. Lessening financial burdens on VFDs is not a bad idea, but if Congress is serious about that, they should fund the healthcare of VFFs themselves.
    Like (20)
    Follow
    Share
    This is clearly an attempt to circumvent the way bills in this country are supposed to be passed. I wont support this bill that’s not passed through both the Senate and House.
    Like (13)
    Follow
    Share
    Volunteer, doesn't that say enough. Just going to hamper our rural fire departments.
    Like (11)
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    Share
    Doesn't "volunteer" mean unpaid, i.e., having another means of support? If this is indeed a volunteer position, it seems to me it would add an undue burden on fire districts to pay for health insurance for fire fighters.
    Like (8)
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    Firefighters especially need the same access to medical care—just because it's a volunteer organization doesn't mean it shouldn't take care of its workers.
    Like (5)
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    Yes, because "I cannot stand behind such a flawed agreement" -@JebBush
    Like (4)
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    The ACA should be removed from the law books. Medical issues are local. It is time the government got itself back in line with the Constitution and let the local governments handle what is their jurisdictions.
    Like (4)
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    This is a good example of what's wrong with Washington. Two separate and completely different issues tied together in one bill.
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    It is the executive's jurisdiction to create treaties
    Like (3)
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    Volunteer fire services are usually provided on-call (i.e. part-time) by individuals with other full-time employment for small communities that cannot afford full-time fire services and would have no fire protection if they are forced to classify part-time volunteers as full-time employees
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    Most have jobs with insurance now and you have ObamaCare now right, everyone has insurance right?
    Like (2)
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    It's time to enforce and abide by the ACA as written for the entire country. Perhaps once people truly see and feel the impact of this grossly overreaching and horrible piece of legislation via loss of services it will finally be repealed.
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    For God's sake, the Senate ALREADY HAD this power under the Constitution! McConnell sold out the American people by making it so that 67 members had to vote AGAINST a bad deal rather than getting 51 to SUPPORT IT. McConnell is a traitor!
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    Iran getting a nuclear weapon is a danger to the world as well as the USA
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    How about the fact that they are "VOLUNTEERS???"
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    THE SCUM OF CONGRESS ONCE AGAIN ABUSES AND SCREWS U.S. CITIZENS. THIS SHOULD BE TWO DIFFERENT BILLS. DOES IT EVER OCCUR TO ANY OF YOU HOW MUCH YOU ARE DISTRUSTED AND DESPISED? DO YOU EVEN CARE? I CAN ONLY SURMISE THAT YOU JERKS CARE ABOUT EVERYTHING AND EVERYBODY EXCEPT THIS COUNTRY AND U.S.CITIZENS. YOU HAVE PROVEN THIS REPEATEDLY! SEPARATE THESE TWO TOPICS INTO INDIVIDUAL BILLS, AS THEY WERE BEFORE THE SCREWY SENATE GOT ITS FILTHY HANDS ON IT!
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    Mixing issues will never lead to solutions.
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    These shouldn't be in same bill! Stupid to set it up this way!
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    Volunteer means just that. Free of compensation. Subjecting the volunteer fire companies that provide a majority of the fire service in the United States will cause these fire companies to close . This also but an additional financial burden on small communities which must now choose between public safety or education.
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