As the Obama administration moves closer to a diplomatic agreement with Iran regarding its nuclear program, a bipartisan group of senators—including Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker and ranking Democrat Bob Menendez—has put forward legislation that would provide Congress with a mechanism to review such a deal. The White House has threatened a veto, arguing that a deal with Iran would be a “nonbinding” executive agreement and therefore congressional review would represent an inappropriate intrusion.
Not so. The Constitution and history, not to mention common sense, argue that it is entirely proper for America’s elected representatives in Congress to review a far-reaching agreement with a foreign government of such national-security significance. The president as commander in chief deserves deference in devising national-security strategy, but Congress has clear constitutional standing and an institutional prerogative not to be cut out of the process.
Each of the Constitution’s grants of foreign-policy authority to the president is checked and balanced by a grant of foreign-policy authority to Congress. For example, the two most explicit foreign-policy powers the Constitution gives to the president—selecting ambassadors and making international treaties—both require Senate consent.
The legislation now before the Senate, which may be taken up as early as next week, would allow Congress to assume its rightful role in a responsible, measured way. Rather than treating an Iran agreement as a treaty—which would require formal ratification by two-thirds of the Senate—the bill would adopt a less stringent standard.
The former Democratic vice presidential nominee in the 2000 election has not decided who he'll be voting for this time around. Lieberman made the admission in a C-Span appearance that broadcast earlier today:
Retiring Connecticut senator Joseph Lieberman, an independent Democrat, did not rule out supporting his friend from across the aisle, former Republican congressman Chris Shays, in the Senate race to replace himself.
Last night, the tail end of Thanksgiving weekend, Republican presidential candidate Buddy Roemer made a major announcement. “Senator Joe Lieberman’s reputation as a reformer and a man of integrity is unrivaled in American politics,” Roemer said in a press release sent out by his campaign. “He is unequivocally my first choice for a Vice Presidential running mate.”
Independent Democrat Joe Lieberman blasted President Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy for a "totally unacceptable, totally offensive" conversation about Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. On Sean Hannity's radio show this afternoon, Lieberman said "it was very troubling."
"At this point, it's safe to say many in the Democratic caucus see Sen. Lieberman as a mosquito," said Jimmy Williams, a former aide to Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). "The bad news is he has sucked enough blood from both sides of the aisle. The good news is winter is coming, meaning his time in the Senate will thankfully come to an end."