At Bloomberg, foreign policy columnist Josh Rogin, broke news of a rare intrusion into foreign policy by the Senate, with 47 Republican Senators signing onto a letter to be sent directly to Iran against the current deal being negotiated by the Obama White House. Most of the caucus were on the letter, including signatories who plan to run in 2016 like Marco Rubio, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz. Rogin reports,
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.”
Predictably, the Obama administration isn’t happy, with some Democrats and liberals going as far as to throw around the word “treason” and “traitors.” Vice President Joe Biden is, along with the rest of his party, hyperventilating over the letter, declaring it “beneath the dignity of an institution I revere. This letter, in the guise of a constitutional lesson, ignores two centuries of precedent and threatens to undermine the ability of any future American President, whether Democrat or Republican, to negotiate with other nations on behalf of the United States. Honorable people can disagree over policy. But this is no way to make America safer or stronger.”
Joe, like most politicians, doesn’t have the longest memory or the best track record on consistency, predictably. The Weekly Standard explains,
Writing in 1989 on the “constitutional partnership” between presidents and senators, then-Senator Biden invoked “the wisdom of the Founding Fathers” for a much less restrained Senate under the Constitution’s treaty power.
“Among the Framers,” Biden argued, “it was Alexander Hamilton who, though renowned as the leading advocate of a strong presidency, stressed that it would have been ‘utterly unsafe and improper’ to entrust the power of making treaties to the president alone.” (Emphasis added.)
Comment below: Do you think the Senators’ letter to Iran was appropriate?