We have reached the point where Senate Republicans are actively working to subvert American foreign policy.
A group of 47 Republican senators has written an open letter to Iran’s leaders warning them that any nuclear deal they sign with President Barack Obama’s administration won’t last after Obama leaves office.
Organized by freshman Senator Tom Cotton and signed by the chamber’s entire party leadership as well as potential 2016 presidential contenders Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, the letter is meant not just to discourage the Iranian regime from signing a deal but also to pressure the White House into giving Congress some authority over the process.
“It has come to our attention while observing your nuclear negotiations with our government that you may not fully understand our constitutional system … Anything not approved by Congress is a mere executive agreement,” the senators wrote. “The next president could revoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen and future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time.”
Is this really a precedent Republicans want to set? Are they really prepared for the consequences of trying to usurp foreign policy from its Constitutionally-assigned executive purview? How might they react, in some future presidency, if Congressional Democrats tell the world that they do not intend to allow a Republican president to negotiate in good faith?
The letter was apparently organized by extremist freshman Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), and drew forty-six additional signatures. Steve Benen notes:
Note, that list [of signatories] features several presidential hopefuls, including Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio. (Only seven Senate Republicans decided not to endorse the letter: Lamar Alexander, Dan Coats, Thad Cochran, Susan Collins, Bob Corker, Jeff Flake, and Lisa Murkowski.)
The letter is an odd composition, lecturing Iran and the world on our Constitutional system of government and then arguing that Senate Republicans will hold out so that the “next president could revoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen and future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time”.
In other words, they’re telling Iran to not bother with the negotiations.
Apparently, these Republicans want a war.
Rogin, Josh. “Republicans Warn Iran — and Obama — That Deal Won’t Last”. Bloomberg View. 8 March 2015.
Cotton, Tom, et al. “Open Letter to the Leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran”. 9 March 2015.
Benen, Steve. “Playing with fire: Senate GOP tries to sabotage nuclear talks”. msnbc. 9 March 2015.