(PresidentialInsider.com)- House Republicans are stepping it up a notch, warning President Joe Biden that if he comes to an agreement with Iran on a nuclear deal without first seeking approval from Congress, they will oppose the deal.
On Wednesday, more than 160 members of the House GOP sent a letter to the president notifying him of their intentions if he doesn’t first seek their approval for any deal with Iran.
The letter referenced various reports that say Iran is looking for a “guarantee” from the U.S. that it would never re-impose any sanctions as long as Iran agrees to comply with the nuclear program agreement.
The House Republicans said that the president doesn’t “have the power” to make a guarantee like that. As such, they wrote that if Biden were to move forward with an Iran agreement without first passing it by them, they would oppose it.
They even went as far as saying an agreement between the White House and Iran that didn’t have congressional approval would be “non-binding.” In other words, it could meet the same fate as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which was the nuclear deal with Iran negotiated during the Obama administration that former President Donald Trump abandoned back in 2018.
As the Republicans wrote in their letter:
“If you forge an agreement with the Supreme Leader of Iran without formal Congressional approval, it will be temporary and non-biding and will meet the same fate as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).”
The lawmakers also wrote that they’d oppose any deal that would life Iran’s sanctions if the country hasn’t “fully dismantled their enrichment and reprocessing-related infrastructure capabilities,” along with other terms as well. That could include have all American hostages being released, and Iran also ending its state sponsorship of terroristic organizations.
This letter from the 165 Republican members of the House comes roughly two weeks after officials in the Biden administration said Iran and the U.S has only “a handful of weeks left to get a deal” on a potential new nuclear agreement.
The letter from the House GOP members comes only one week after a group of Republicans in the Senate sent a letter that was similar to this to the president, warning him that they could also block a return to the JCPOA if Biden didn’t seek their approval first.
There is likely to be much debate over whether the president has the formal power to re-engage Iran and strike an agreement with them, or whether he or any president needs to seek congressional approval to do so first. In 2015, Congress passed the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, which gave them the power to review any agreements reached is P5+1 talks with world powers such as Iran.
But, Biden and his supporters say that particular mandate doesn’t apply in this case, since the U.S. would be re-entering a deal that was already negotiated. In other words, since it isn’t a new agreement, they believe they don’t need to seek Congress’ approval.