The New Deal

On first glance, it would seem that President Obama is ready to abdicate his right to engage in foreign affairs on his own, a prerogative ordinarily given to the Office. He’s going to sign a bill giving Congress a say in the Iran nuclear talks, after saying he would veto any such move. So the deal is fucked, right?

Hold on there, Johnson. Senate Democrats, suspected of selling out the President, had a few tricks up their sleeve, prompted by the administration. They watered down the Corker bill so much that it hardly resembles the buttinski legislation originally proposed. Here are two of the bill’s salient points:

The period of time Congress would have to review the deal and decide whether to agree to its lifting of statutory (i.e. Congressionally imposed) sanctions against Iran was reduced from 60 to 30 days. If Congress cannot come to a resolution by that time, the president can lift the sanctions on his own. Given Congress disrepute for speed, this makes it more likely that the time will run out as Congress is bickering and caught into the presidential campaign eddy.

Even more importantly, the President can veto Congressional action disallowing the lifting of statutory sanctions, and the President will have 10 days to do so. In such a case, Congress has  12 days to override the veto. The previous version of Corker’s bill did not allow the President an opportunity to reject Congressional action at all.

I like it. Very much so.

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