Senate to Debate Iran Legislation Despite Veto Threat

March 4, 2015  

Despite a veto threat from President Barack Obama, the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday that the Senate would begin debate next week on a bill that would require the President to submit any final nuclear deal with Iran for Congress’ approval.

“We think the timing is important,” McConnell said at his weekly press conference, according to Reuters. “We think it will help prevent the administration from entering into a bad deal. But if they do, it will provide an opportunity for Congress to weigh in.”

The measure that is being introduced would mandate that Obama submit the text of any pact to Congress and bar the administration from suspending congressional sanctions on Iran for 60 days.

In that time, Congress would hold hearings and have a chance to approve, disapprove or take no action on the agreement, the legislation says. The measure is a bipartisan one, and was introduced by Republican Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Democratic Senator Robert Menendez, the top Democrat on the panel.

The White House has already declared that Obama would veto the legislation, saying the president “has been clear that now is not the time for Congress to pass additional legislation on Iran.”

“If this bill is sent to the president, he will veto it,” said Bernadette Meehan, a spokeswoman for the White House’s National Security Council.

McConnell’s remarks on Tuesday came shortly after Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned the United States in his speech to Congress that it was negotiating a bad deal with Tehran.

Harry Reid, the top Democrat in the Senate, suggested that lawmakers wait to debate the bill until they know what has happened in the talks.

“Why don’t we wait until we see what happens? There are only three weeks left,” Reid told reporters, according to Reuters.

Iran and the six world powers have set a deadline of late March to reach a framework agreement and June for a comprehensive final settlement to curb Iran’s nuclear program to ensure it cannot develop an atomic bomb.

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