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senate Bill S. 615

Should Congress Have The Ultimate Power To Approve (Or Reject) The Iran Nuclear Deal?

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.

John's Opinion
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04/22/2015
Congress represents the People of the Nation
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04/23/2015
Congress has the ultimate authority to authorize or reject treaties. This is a no brainier.
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ScottWalker's Opinion
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04/26/2015
"Republicans need to ensure that any deal President Obama reaches with Iran receives congressional review."
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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.

Deneiro's Opinion
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04/22/2015
This isn't a treaty this is a agreement between leaders. Deals like this has been done for years because Obama wants a deal don't give Republicans a right to deny him something he has power to do.
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natewhite's Opinion
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04/23/2015
Do people actually think that this will pass? Why would the president sign this?
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Jerry's Opinion
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04/22/2015
By allowing congress to approve or disapprove of this deal will ultimately kill it, then our only option is war. Until congress passes a law to pay for war with tax surcharges, we should have no more wars.
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What is Senate Bill S. 615?

This 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.


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

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 Senate Bill S. 615

In it's cost estimate for this bill, the CBO acknowledged that delaying (or offering) Iran sanction relief could impact the federal budget. That said, the CBO also noted that it has no way to determine when or if an agreement will be reached, and how the President would use sanctions in the deal. It thus concedes that they have no way of knowing how a deal, and this bill would impact the budget.

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.


Ten Democratic Senators have written a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) objecting to the fast-tracking of this bill — bypassing the committee process and to get bring it to a vote sooner. Just to give you some context, several of those Democratic Senators who oppose McConnell’s action are sponsors of the bill.


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:

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:

Sponsoring Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) Press Release
Countable YouTube

CBO Cost Estimate

New York Times

Huffington Post

Roll Call

The Hill

CNN

(Photo Credit: Flickr user IAEA Imagebank)

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


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Foreign Relations
    IntroducedFebruary 27th, 2015
    Congress represents the People of the Nation
    Like (18)
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    This isn't a treaty this is a agreement between leaders. Deals like this has been done for years because Obama wants a deal don't give Republicans a right to deny him something he has power to do.
    Like (20)
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    Congress has the ultimate authority to authorize or reject treaties. This is a no brainier.
    Like (15)
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    "Republicans need to ensure that any deal President Obama reaches with Iran receives congressional review."
    Like (11)
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    The proposed deal will have ramifications that will shape America's geopolitical future for decades to come. Nuclear proliferation (and potentially war, if the deal goes awry) is too vital an issue for any President to unilaterally come to such an agreement.
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    Since there is no reason to expect the Iranians to honor any agreement with the US or UN or our partners in these talks, the people's representatives should have the option to accept or reject any agreement.
    Like (9)
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    Do people actually think that this will pass? Why would the president sign this?
    Like (8)
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    By allowing congress to approve or disapprove of this deal will ultimately kill it, then our only option is war. Until congress passes a law to pay for war with tax surcharges, we should have no more wars.
    Like (8)
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    All treaties have to be approved by the Senate. It's law, it's in the Constitution. There is no way around it.
    Like (7)
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    POTUS can work a deal but Congress has to approve, not abdicate.
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    It is a treaty, read the Constitution, The Senate must approve in all cases.
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    The power of the people is expressed through the Congress and Senate we voted for. Not decided by only one person without questions.
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    Agreements with other nations is too important to be in the hand of a single person - the president. Congress should decide.
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    They can't agree that the sky is blue and global warming is real and manmade. So how could we POSSIBLY rely on them to vote on this?
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    The president needs to have the ability to act as commander in chief in this case and make a deal to keep Iran from using nuclear weapons without playing politics with congress.
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    According to our present law, the congress must approve international treaties.
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    Congress has all the power it needs in this matter. Why do we need to give it extra authority now, when no other congress has needed it in our history? Iran is many things, but they do not pose an existential threat to either the U.S. or our ally the State Of Israel. They are an inconvenient reality, nothing more. We could negotiate with Stalin. We could negotiate with Pinochet. We can negotiate with an Ayatollah.
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    Diplomacy is complex in nature and very delicate when it involves several parties as this deal and many others have. Undermining our own leverage while the US is sitting at the table does nothing productive for our diplomatic objectives. It also conveys a sense of mismanaged government that does not have the most fundamental levels of trust and respect for oneself - not the best image for a global leader to have. Bringing Congress into the mix is not something that other first world nations do, and this is for good reason.
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    As the constitution clearly states, the senate must advise and consent.
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    That is the way our system works. No president has the right to make any law on his own.
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