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Bipartisan Support
Dems Stand by Iran Bill Despite Veto Threat

Despite all the hullaballoo over Senator Tom Cotton’s letter to Iran, many Democrats in Congress are sticking by their determination to let the legislative body have its say in negotiations with Iran. Politico has the scoop:

“The letter’s incredibly unfortunate and inappropriate,” said Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, a centrist Democrat who voted for the sanctions bill in committee and is a sponsor of the congressional approval legislation. “That doesn’t diminish my support for the legislation that we introduced.” […]

“The letter was simply unacceptable, and it brought hyperpartisanship to an issue that we need to maintain our bipartisanship in,” said Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), a supporter of sanctions that would not take effect unless talks fall apart or Iran backs away from the terms of any deal. “That doesn’t change my support for that bill. … I stay firm.” […]

“This is a sad day in America when people are trying to kill negotiations that are underway,” Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) said of the Cotton letter. But would he back away from Corker’s congressional approval bill?

“No,” he answered, adding with apparent satisfaction: “I’m an original co-sponsor.”

The bill in question, authored by Senator Bob Corker, gives Congress 60 days to approve any deal that the Obama administration might negotiate with the Iranians. The bill, furthermore, strips the President of ‘waiver authorities’ regarding sanctions, in effect delaying any sanctions relief the Obama Administration is dangling before the Iranians as an inducement to sign on the dotted line.

In comments late last week, Senator Corker seemed confident that the Cotton letter has not cost his bill bipartisan support. The Politico reporting seems to bear that out. And the White House is duly worried. Over the weekend, Obama’s chief of staff Denis McDonough penned a letter to Senator Corker, asking him to hold off on passing the bill until after June, when a final deal is supposed to be signed. Corker brushed the letter away to Politico, apparently confident of a veto-proof support for his initiative.

The momentum distinctly feels like it’s slipping away from the White House.

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  • Pete

    “The letter was simply unacceptable, and it brought hyperpartisanship to an issue that we need to maintain our bipartisanship in,” said Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), ..”

    No, the letter from 47 senators to Iran did not bring ‘hyper-partisanship to the agreement Obama and Kerry are trying to forge with Iran . Hyper-partisanship was the result that no Democrat had the courage or the wisdom to sign the letter.

  • Ellen

    There are 2 real points here:

    1. No one, even Democrats, trusts the negotiating savvy of Obama and Kerry. This lack of trust in their basic competence is based on watching them fail at managing every single actor in the Middle east and every single crisis that they stuck their noses into. In particular the Israeli-Palestinian so-called peace process, the Gaza War, and the Syrian Civil war. The Iran nuclear negotiations is simply a continuation of the multi-year track record of incompetence and complete lack of comprehension of what is going on in that region.

    2. The Democrats view Obama generally as an albatross around their necks, as they look forward to their political futures, and to the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2016. Most of them want to disassociate themselves from Obama, his failures, and in fact his whole world view long before the campaign begins. The best way for them to do that is to vote against the very bad Iran deal.

    There is nothing Obama can do at this point to save his deal. It will be repudiated by Congress before the next president has the opportunity to repudiate it himself.

    Meanwhile, as always in the Middle East, events on the ground will overtake negotiated solutions. It is very possible that Al Nusra will defeat the Shiite mercenary army in the battle for Aleppo that is ongoing but not being reported. If that happens, it will be the beginning of the end of the Iranian empire in Syria and the beginning of the demise of Hezbollah. This will produce a change in Iran, but not the one Obama was betting on. He is always wrong in his assumptions about the MidEast. Worse even than GW Bush.

    • Corlyss

      Very savvy analysis. The only part I would take exception to is the characterization of Dems view of Doofus. You could be right.

      But I believe they know he assembled and delivered a coalition of -isms, -icks, minorities, Wall Streeters, all distinguished by their statism and their chronic dependence on federal handouts of one kind or another. They would kill for the Magic Word that would preserve that coalition for 2016 because it would guarantee them the WH till Jan 2025. By then, they think, between their capture of technology and all the institutions that would be critical of their objectives and methods, combined with Republicans’ tendencies to self-destruction, they will have destroyed the only enemy they recognize, Republicans. With the elimination of Dem moderates, all that is left are the committed ideologues. They will NEVER do more on national security than feign concern, because their view of US history is fundamentally so flawed as to be a malignant lie and their means of atoning for our sins is unilateral disarmament before those who will do us harm, and their faith in internationalism and multilateralism deliberately naive. The mileage they get out of setting up the mean partisan Republicans vs. the First Black President is simply too great for them ever to follow thru on their apparent teases of bipartisanship.

  • JR

    I’m so confused. From 2000 to 2008 Democrats insisted that dissenting from the President’s foreign policy was the height of patriotism. Did something happen in 2008 when all of a sudden it became that same as being a traitor? Won’t anyone please explain this sudden turn of events?

    • f1b0nacc1

      The (R) after the name of the President

  • Corlyss

    I don’t believe Dems are sincere about any move that pits them against that dim SOB in the WH. I may not believe it even after the vote IF they don’t play Lucy yet again.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    You buried the lead, you should have said “Democrats give veto proof majority against Iran treaty”.

  • FriendlyGoat

    The Republicans do not really have a “plan B” they have explained to citizens. War ain’t cheap.

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