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senate Bill S. 625

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

Argument in favor

Congress and the President need to demonstrate U.S. unity in opposition to Iran's nuclear weapon programs. Approving this bill would make that message clear.

William's Opinion
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04/04/2015
All treaties are subject to the approval of Congress. The President should at least make an attempt to follow the Constitution.
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BarackObama's Opinion
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04/08/2015
"The Constitution gives Congress the powers to approve these deals. They have the power and they should approve it as well. This deal prevents any attempts that Iran could make in creating a nuclear weapon."
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EricRevell's Opinion
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03/12/2015
The proposed deal will have ramifications that will shape America's geopolitical future for decades to come, and 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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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.

tea's Opinion
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03/14/2015
The majority of Congress is so inept when it comes to foreign policy, it hurts. The letter that GOP Senators recently sent to Iranian leaders regarding the nuclear deal is proof of that.
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Gary's Opinion
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03/12/2015
Because I believe that the constitution allows the President to reasonably conduct his own foreign policy. The Congress, although it can act in an advisory capacity, does not need to interfere with negotiations on such an important issue as this. Correct me if I am wrong, but the Senate would need to ratify a treaty, and this is not a treaty. I think the actions of the Speaker of the House and the 47 Republican senators have done a great disservice to our country.
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Thomas's Opinion
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03/13/2015
Congress should NOT have ANY final say when it comes to Foreign Policy. And the 47 senators who just sent the "imfamous" letter to IRAN should be forced to resign and charged with treason.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
    IntroducedMarch 3rd, 2015

What is Senate Bill S. 625?

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. 625

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

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.


Of Note:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to a joint meeting of Congress in 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 a nearly identical version of this bill (S. 615) to bypass the committee process and get the legislation 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.


Media:

Sponsoring Senator (And Majority Leader) Mitch McConnell (R-KY) Press Release

Co-sponsoring Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) Press Release

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.

    All treaties are subject to the approval of Congress. The President should at least make an attempt to follow the Constitution.
    Like (29)
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    The majority of Congress is so inept when it comes to foreign policy, it hurts. The letter that GOP Senators recently sent to Iranian leaders regarding the nuclear deal is proof of that.
    Like (48)
    Follow
    Share
    "The Constitution gives Congress the powers to approve these deals. They have the power and they should approve it as well. This deal prevents any attempts that Iran could make in creating a nuclear weapon."
    Like (28)
    Follow
    Share
    Because I believe that the constitution allows the President to reasonably conduct his own foreign policy. The Congress, although it can act in an advisory capacity, does not need to interfere with negotiations on such an important issue as this. Correct me if I am wrong, but the Senate would need to ratify a treaty, and this is not a treaty. I think the actions of the Speaker of the House and the 47 Republican senators have done a great disservice to our country.
    Like (27)
    Follow
    Share
    Congress should NOT have ANY final say when it comes to Foreign Policy. And the 47 senators who just sent the "imfamous" letter to IRAN should be forced to resign and charged with treason.
    Like (23)
    Follow
    Share
    The proposed deal will have ramifications that will shape America's geopolitical future for decades to come, and 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.
    Like (22)
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    The latest stunt by 47 senators is proof that they have no concept of international law and treaties. Congress reviews treaties but does not pass them on a majority vote by its members.
    Like (7)
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    I fear Congress will try to kill any deal which President Obama has successfully negotiated.
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    Enumerated power.
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    The constitution says the senate approves treaties. Im not sure why this is an issue.
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    No, that's what we have a President for. It's obvious that Congress can't get anything done. We could wait forever for them to do something.
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    Because far too many Americans have had to go without pay because of all of the stalemates.
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    Congress should leave foreign policy decisions of this nature to the Executive Branch.
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    The 47 are insane and should be jailed.
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    The Congress is the only body allowed by the Constitution to make such decisions.
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    Traditionally speaking, many presidents have taken the authority when it comes to foreign policy matters so why should this be any different. Congress doesn't have much of a clue when it comes to foreign policy and this is more of congress ego and need to feel important over what is the right thing to do. Maybe congress should focus on the issues at home currently.
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    This decision shouldn't be left to one branch of government.
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    I know our institutions are frustrating sometimes, and God knows that I wish I could take all power away from this bum congress, but we can't shove our constitutional system under the carpet whenever we feel like it!
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    While the desire to get involved and have a say is understood, involving the Congress or Senate only serves to set a long-term precedence for politicizing a process that is long established as an internationally accepted means of diplomatic interaction. If we begin adding more bureaucracy to the process, we make it harder for any president, now or future, to lead our country and risk ostracizing ourselves from other countries- no nation wants their leaders following a nation who will constantly be undermined or bogged down by a facade of checks and balances. If we begin traveling this path, other nations will look to a new leader in diplomacy who can get things done without constant bickering that forces things agreed upon to be revisited.
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    If this was a treaty, the Senate should have to consent. The Senate should, and will, get a chance to lift many sanctions, or reject that, as the agreement outlines. But as this is not an actual treaty, the Senate is not mandated to approve or reject it.
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