Whoa: SURPRISE move by GOP shakes up Iran deal

In what has so far been a relatively predictable death march to almost-certain passage, today’s “revolt” by House Republicans comes as a welcome surprise. As protesters prepared to rally outside the Capitol against the deal, inside “surprise disagreement” from some House members “spilled into the open,” forcing House GOP leaders to delay open debate on the resolutions surrounding the so-called deal.

As Breitbart reports:

Divisions among House Republicans threw scheduled votes against the Iran nuclear accord into disarray Wednesday as other foes, including presidential contender Donald Trump, prepared a big rally outside the Capitol. Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton praised the deal in a speech not far away.

The drama unfolded on a day when the presidential campaign was colliding head-on with the congressional debate on the Iran deal, which is strongly backed by the Obama administration and other world powers. It aims to curb Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in relief from international economic sanctions.

House GOP leaders were forced to delay plans to open debate on a resolution of disapproval as some Republicans threatened to withhold their support. Frustrated that the disapproval resolution looked short of support in the Senate, these Republicans were demanding an alternate approach.

“We need to pull every tool out of the toolbox to stop this bad deal,” said Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX), leader of a large group of conservatives in the House.

The outcome was uncertain as the surprise disagreement spilled into the open just moments before the House was to come into session to begin debating a procedural measure on the resolution.

“There seems to be some divisions inside the conference,” said Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH)

At the Capitol, Republican presidential candidates Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and other conservatives, including former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, were preparing to headline an anti-deal rally on the lawn.

Inside, debate was beginning in both the House and the Senate, where supporters and the White House were pushing to block passage of a disapproval resolution.

“The other side can roll out their big guns on this if they wish, but frankly I think most members of the Senate Democratic Caucus are not going to be swayed by Mr. Trump, our colleague, Senator Cruz, or even a former vice president,” said the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, Dick Durbin of Illinois. Former Vice President Dick Cheney has dubbed the deal “madness.”

Perhaps most members of the Senate Democrat Caucus won’t be swayed by GOP candidates or leaders, but how about American voters? With voter support for the “deal” continuing to shrink — now at a paltry 22% in the most recent poll —  you’d think THAT might get the attention of some of these Democrats, eh?

But Cruz, speaking on the Senate floor, assailed the accord, arguing that “this terrible deal will not stop a virulently anti-American and anti-Israeli regime from getting a nuclear bomb.”

The House, returning from summer recess, was expected to approve the disapproval resolution this week. But in the hours before debate was to begin on a procedural measure setting the terms for discussion and votes, Republicans began objecting. They called for a vote instead on a measure by Rep. Pete Roskam, R-Ill., to delay the proceedings, arguing that the 60-day clock on the congressional review period hasn’t started because lawmakers did not get more information on separate agreements negotiated with Iran by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

These are the “side agreements” we keep accidentally learning about — like the one that allows Iran to inspect itself at one key nuclear facility. In other words, some of these House Republicans, led by Rep. Pete Roskam, are arguing that the 60-day clock on the congressional review period hasn’t started because we STILL DON’T KNOW WHAT’S IN THE DEAL.

The effort was backed by Cruz, who has repeatedly allied himself with House conservatives to thwart the plans of GOP leaders.

Because the administration has not submitted the full agreement, the 60-day clock has not started, and if the 60-day clock has not started it is contrary to federal law for President Obama to lift the sanctions,” Cruz said. “Republican leaders can simply follow the law and not facilitate President Obama’s yet again ignoring federal law.”

Congress has until Sept. 17 – a week from Thursday – to pass a disapproval resolution of the Iran deal, under legislation passed earlier this year giving Congress the right to review the deal. Democrats dismissed the GOP attempts to change the terms of the review period.

“It’s cute, but this thing has a deadline,” House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), told reporters. 

Of course, when you subscribe to the Pelosi doctrine of “you have to pass the bill to know what’s in it,” this makes perfect sense.

But to Americans — and the rest of the civilized world — the stakes are far too high here to let this dangerous deal through without knowing EXACTLY what’s in it. And pulling every single tool out of the toolbox to stop it.

[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]


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