Disclaimer: Whenever I have chosen to diary at Red State, I believe I am well-versed in the subject material. In this case, I’m not that sure..I do not profess to be a Constitutional scholar….but it appears that neither is the Congress.
One of the major issues confronting our nation is the ever-increasing power of the Executive branch, and the apparent willingness of successive Congresses to abrogate their constitutional powers.
Since WW II, more than 90% of agreements between the US and other nations, what should in fact be called “treaties” have been constructed as “executive agreements,” and Congress, specifically the Senate, has accepted this unconstitutional modification of the separation of powers.
We now apparently have an agreement, or an understanding, or a framework,with Iran as to how long before the mullahs can obtain a nuclear weapon.
A bipartisan majority of Congress is strongly opposed to the deal, and want to be able to express an opinion as to its merits.
Legislation is now percolating through Congress to the effect that Congress should be able to express an opinion.
“Express an opinion” = ratify.
Obama has said that he will veto such legislation if it passes.
In case anyone hasn’t noticed, the same number of votes, two thirds, is required to ratify a treaty as is needed to overturn a presidential veto.
So why then, are Senate Republicans allowing themselves to be drawn into this kabuki theater.
[mc_name name=’Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’C001095′ ] who I greatly admire, penned an open letter a short while back..explaining to the Iranian mullahs that any agreement not ratified by the Senate is NOT legally binding on this country, and can be repudiated by the next president.
Cotton is correct, but he actually addressed his letter to the wrong person. It should have been directed to Obama,and it should have informed him that as of this moment, the Senate is asserting its constitutional mandate, and that any “agreement” or whatever Obama chooses to call it, between the US and Iran, or any other nation henceforth, is deemed by the Senate to be a treaty and as such will be subject to the requirements for ratification specified in the Constitution.
Why let Obama define the playing field?
Why just limit the national debate to the merits ( or rather, the lack of) of this “agreement?”
Let’s have the debate first on the legality of Obama’s action…or, to use that word that Washington so loves…”the process.”…..where by the process is defined by that little thing called the Constitution.
Make Obama explain to the American people why he should be king…why he alone should be able to enter into this “agreement”..which is in fact a treaty with Iran, without having Senate ratification.
And with all due respect to Speaker Boehner..who has been eloquent on the matter of the security of Israel and the US (at least as far as he is capable of sounding eloquent) the House has NO business in this process. They can of course hold hearings, and votes, but as it is a treaty…it is only the Senate who has constitutional authority here.
Boehner’s attempt to interject the House into this issue, in that the House should pass the bill giving it the right to approve this “agreement” is just as much of a constitution mess as is Obama’s attempt to ignore the Senate altogether.
It is well past time for Senate Republicans to act…..according to the Constitution.
And for those Democrats who will object to this course of action, we can remind them that the act of “deeming” is a time honored Congressional pathway. A few years ago, the Speaker Pelosi wanted to “deem” that the House passed Obamacare without actually having to bother with that pesky little annoyance called a vote.