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Robert Romano: Tom Cotton Was Right




|| By ROBERT ROMANO || When H.R. 1191, the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act by Sen. Bob Corker, came up for votes in the House and Senate, only one member of Congress voted no: Sen. Tom Cotton.

Readers will recall it was Cotton who led 47 Senate Republicans in writing a letter to the mullahs in Tehran reminding them that it is the Senate, not the president, who approves treaties.

The letter warned, “[w]e will consider any agreement regarding your nuclear-weapons program that is not approved by the Congress as nothing more than an executive agreement between President Obama and Ayatollah Khamenei.  The next president could revoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen and future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time.”

It staked out an incredibly strong position. Without Congress’ approval, the Iran nuclear deal would not be worth the paper it was printed on. The next president could just say, thanks, but no thanks, and abolish it.

So, what did Congress do?

It authorized the Iran deal, which critics say will spark a nuclear arms race in the Middle East and risk war, via H.R. 1191 – before anyone had even read it. Don’t believe it?

The law provides that “any measure of statutory sanctions relief by the United States pursuant to an agreement [with Iran]… may be taken, consistent with existing statutory requirements for such action, if, following the period for review provided… there is not enacted any such joint resolution” by Congress disapproving of the deal.

The period of review was 45 days. That means, come Sept. 17, the Iran nuclear deal will be sanctified by law and the next president will more or less be stuck with it.

That is, unless the process it was approved under happened to be unconstitutional, and the Iran nuclear deal was actually a treaty requiring a two-thirds affirmative majority of senators present in order to be ratified.

So, it may be a bit of fortune that Senate Democrats on Sept. 10 decided to block a resolution of disapproval of the deal, denying cloture on a motion to proceed. Why?

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Robert Romano is the Senior Editor of Americans for Limited Government.  This piece (reprinted with permission) originally appeared on