July 14, 2015 | Quote

GOP Critics Have Few Options on Iran Deal

Republican lawmakers can do little to block or significantly alter the final nuclear agreement with Iran, despite blistering criticism and a pledge from at least one GOP hawk that it is dead on arrival.

The deal is neither a treaty nor a trade agreement that requires congressional sign-off, and it does not appear to have funding implications that would allow lawmakers to assert their power of the purse to slow-roll or stall implementation.

Under the Iran Nuclear Review Act (PL 114-17), Congress has 60 days to review the agreement and can hold a potential vote of approval or disapproval sometime this fall, which could ultimately be one of the most high-profile national security votes in recent memory.


Mark Dubowitz at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies said a vote of disapproval would be a major political defeat for the president — and could set the stage for tweaking the deal down the road.

“While it wouldn’t stop the deal from going forward initially, it would lay the political predicate for the next president and the next Congress to take some significant steps to toughen the implementation of the deal, to renegotiate the fundamental terms of the deal, and to begin to build a new Iran policy in 2017,” Dubowitz said.

Dubowitz, who believes the Iran vote will be the most politically consequential vote since the Iraq War authorization in 2002, suggested it will be a tough one for Democrats.

“If you vote yes for a deal that ends up failing in all of the ways the critics have been suggesting, then it’s your name on a deal that ends up being a national security disaster,” he said.


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