Traitor is strong language, but in the aftermath of Tuesday’s vote on a bill that was supposed to reaffirm the Senate’s constitutional power to consent to President Obama’s as yet still undefined and undisclosed nuclear treaty with Iran there is no other way to describe the actions of Senator Bob Corker, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
The bill Corker rammed through the Foreign Relations Committee is worse than no bill at all.
What Corker’s bill does is, in its post-markup form, require the president to submit for congressional review the final nuclear agreement reached between Iran, the U.S. and its five negotiating partners. The bill does maintain the prohibition on the president waiving congressionally enacted sanctions against Iran during the review period.
However, the review period in the measure has been shortened from 60 days to an initial 30 days. If, at the end of the 30 days, Congress were to pass a bill on sanctions relief and send it to the president, an additional 12 days would be automatically added to the review period. This could be another 10 days of review if the president vetoed the resulting sanctions bill.
Corker’s legislation in effect lowers the threshold for approving the Iran deal from 67 votes to 41 – a craven betrayed of the Senate’s constitutional role as the final word on whether or not the United States agrees to a treaty.
As the editors of The Wall Street Journal analyzed it, “The majority could offer a resolution of disapproval, but that could be filibustered by Democrats and vetoed by the President. As few as 41 Senate Democrats could thus vote to prevent it from ever getting to President Obama’s desk—and 34 could sustain a veto. Mr. Obama could then declare that Congress had its say and ‘approved’ the Iran deal even if a majority in the House and Senate voted to oppose it.”
Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) made his disappointment with his party’s concessions clear. “It is a very limited role, it is a role with very little teeth,” he said of the modified oversight bill. “It is a far cry from advice and consent.”
Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA), at the request of Corker, agreed to withdraw an amendment to provide compensation for American victims of the 1979 Iran hostage crisis from fees collected for violations of Iran sanctions.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who planned to introduce an amendment that would have required the president to certify to Congress that Iran recognizes the state of Israel, wilted and settled for language asserting that the nuclear agreement would not compromise U.S. support for Israel’s right to exist.
Affirmation of Israel's right to exist is of course is a foundational principle of American foreign policy that was never questioned until Obama became president and Republican leaders on Capitol Hill became not so much the leaders of an opposition party, as a collection of craven cowards who wish only to avoid the unpleasantness actually having principles and standing for them would entail.
More importantly, Corker betrayed American interests and the interests of our allies in the greater Middle East; from Israel, to Saudi Arabia, to India no nation now within the range of Iran’s fast growing missile technology is secure from the threat of a nuclear armed Islamist Iran.
And make no mistake – it is the combination of Iran’s expansionist Islamism and nuclear weapons technology that is the threat.
We don’t fear a nuclear armed United Kingdom or France, because they share our values, but we should fear, and do everything we can to prevent the emergence of a nuclear armed Iran precisely because the Islamic Republic of Iran wishes to impose upon the entire world a set of values totally inimical to ours – and to do so by force when they think they can win.
With Obama evidently withdrawing his opposition, Corker's bill is almost certain to become law. In the delusional state in which he apparently lives, Corker took this as a sign of Obama’s weakness; “The White House came to the deal when they saw the numbers of people, the growing support that was here,” Corker said.
The “growing support” for Senator Corker’s information, was not for him to cave-in to Obama, but for the Senate to exercise its real constitutional role in the approval – or disapproval – of Obama’s treaty to legitimize Iran’s nuclear weapons program. And that means “advice” while the treaty is negotiated and “consent” after the President concludes the agreement.
Bob Corker has betrayed that constitutional principle and the world will be a much more dangerous place for his inexplicable failure to grasp the existential threat a nuclear armed Islamic Republic of Iran poses to the United States and in that willful blindness he has in effect betrayed all peoples who share the values of freedom of conscience, freedom of religion and freedom of speech and will be threatened by a nuclear armed Islamic Republic of Iran.
We urge you to call your Senators TODAY (the Capitol Switchboard is 1-866-220-0044) and demand that they oppose the Corker bill – tell your Senators the Corker bill is worse than no bill at all and is a betrayal of the Senate’s constitutional role in approving treaties, a betrayal of America’s interests in the face of the existential threat of a nuclear armed Islamic Republic of Iran, and a betrayal of all peoples across the globe who share the values of freedom of conscience, freedom of religion and freedom of speech.
George Rasley is editor of Richard Viguerie's ConservativeHQ.com. A veteran of over 300 political campaigns, he served on the staff of Vice President Dan Quayle and as spokesman for now-Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Mac Thornberry. He has served as a staffmember or consultant to some of America’s most recognized conservative political figures. He is a member of American MENSA and studied international relations at Worcester College, Oxford.