Obama facing Democrat revolt over coddling Iran


The Obama foreign policy legacy will be a litany of blunders and missed opportunities but the salient achievement will be overseeing the development of an Iranian nuclear bomb through a strategy that seems calculated to ensure exactly that outcome (RedState coverage of issue). During the last session of Congress, Senators Mark Kirk and Robert (I swear, officer, that Dominican hooker looked at least twelve) Menendez introduced a bill that would impose new sanctions on Iran if it failed to meet the benchmarks both sides had agreed to in negotiations and require the administration to officially inform the Congress of the progress in those negotiations. The administration ignored the bill because [mc_name name=’Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000146′ ] was too busy in his BDSM dungeon to care refused to allow the bill to come to a vote. Now that Republicans control the Senate a defeat is brewing for Obama and Senate Democrats are set to be the ones delivering it.


In his State of the Union speech Obama threatened a veto of the Kirk-Menendez bill.

Our diplomacy is at work with respect to Iran, where, for the first time in a decade, we’ve halted the progress of its nuclear program and reduced its stockpile of nuclear material. Between now and this spring, we have a chance to negotiate a comprehensive agreement that prevents a nuclear-armed Iran; secures America and our allies — including Israel; while avoiding yet another Middle East conflict. There are no guarantees that negotiations will succeed, and I keep all options on the table to prevent a nuclear Iran. But new sanctions passed by this Congress, at this moment in time, will all but guarantee that diplomacy fails — alienating America from its allies; and ensuring that Iran starts up its nuclear program again. It doesn’t make sense. That is why I will veto any new sanctions bill that threatens to undo this progress. The American people expect us to only go to war as a last resort, and I intend to stay true to that wisdom.

The Senate was undeterred:

Sens. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) on Tuesday evening unveiled their bill to impose new sanctions on Iran if international negotiators fail to reach a deal by June 30 on Tehran’s nuclear program.

Fourteen other senators co-sponsored the the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2015  — eight Republicans and six Democrats: Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Dan Coats (R-Ind.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.).

 Additional co-sponsors will be added this week, Menendez’s office said. If all 54 Republicans vote for the bill, they would need at least 13 Democrats to override the president’s veto threat. The administration has threatened to veto any Iran sanctions bill, warning that such legislation could derail the delicate talks.
While the Democrats have given the White House until March 24 to come to terms with the Senate, the picture is more grim for Obama than it looks. There are six Democrat co-sponsors to the bill. Ten Democrats signed the letter, implying that they will vote for the bill if it comes to the floor. Two Democrats, Michael Bennett (D-Colo.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) supported the bill last session and have neither co-sponsored the new bill nor signed the letter to Obama. This brings the Senate within three votes of being able to override a veto. The big assumption, of course, is that the GOP will vote as a bloc. That may be a mistaken assumption as [mc_name name=’Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’P000603′ ] basically said he will not support a sanctions bill so long as the administration is negotiating with Iran. From the presidential forum this past weekend:

If it fails, I will vote to resume sanctions and I would vote to have new sanctions,” he said.

“But if you do it in the middle of negotiations, you’re ruining it.”

Americans see the development of Iranian nuclear weapons as one of the leading dangers facing the United States
iran nuke3

Unfortunately, that view is not shared by the administration. This issue could be one where Senate Democrats feel free to ignore Obama and vote for the good of the nation instead of blindly supporting him.



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