Schumer Bucks White House On Iran Legislation

Chuck Schumer will probably be the recipient of a Justice Department probe, ala Bob Menendez (not that Menendez may be totally innocent: question the timing)

(Politico) Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer, one of Capitol Hill’s most influential voices in the Iran nuclear debate, is strongly endorsing passage of a law opposed by President Barack Obama that would give Congress an avenue to reject the White House-brokered framework unveiled last week.

The comments Monday by the Democratic leader-in-waiting illustrate the enormity of the task ahead for Obama and his team: While there’s no guarantee that Congress would ultimately reject an agreement with Iran, there’s an increasingly bipartisan consensus that Congress should at least have the ability to do so.

“This is a very serious issue that deserves careful consideration, and I expect to have a classified briefing in the near future. I strongly believe Congress should have the right to disapprove any agreement and I support the Corker bill which would allow that to occur,” Schumer said in an emailed statement to POLITICO.

Politico gives no reasoning for this from Schumer, beyond the need for Congress to have a say, and wondering how much this has to do with Schumer flexing his muscles, what with Harry Reid leaving at the end of his term. One also has to wonder how much this has to do with the huge support of the Jewish community in New York that he enjoys.

Within the Senate Democratic Caucus, a dozen senators have either co-sponsored Corker’s legislation or indicated they could support it. That would put the measure one vote shy of a veto-proof majority. On Monday, three more Democratic senators — Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Claire McCaskill of Missouri — left open the possibility of voting for it, according to aides. Their support, however, could hinge on whether Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), the new ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, is able to negotiate concessions that alleviate concerns the bill could derail any agreement.

It could be that Democrats are seeing how bad this deal with Iran is, and realizing that Obama is gone soon, while they’ll still be in office as Iran relishes the freedom and cash from the removal of sanctions, while still slowly working towards a nuclear weapon. And knowing that the deal is just kicking the can of Iran down the road

President Obama conceded Tuesday that the time it would take Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon could be cut “almost down to zero” after Year 13 of a possible deal.

Obama made the comments about Tehran’s so-called “breakout time” in an interview with NPR News that aired Tuesday morning. The president was attempting to answer the charge that the deal framework agreed upon by the U.S., Iran, and five other nations last week fails to eliminate the risk of Iran getting a nuclear weapon because it allows Tehran to keep enriching uranium.

Obama said that Iran would be capped for a decade at 300 kilograms of uranium — not enough to convert to a stockpile of weapons-grade material.

“What is a more relevant fear would be that in Year 13, 14, 15, they have advanced centrifuges that enrich uranium fairly rapidly, and at that point, the breakout times would have shrunk almost down to zero,” Obama said.

He goes on to say “The option of a future president to take action if in fact they try to obtain a nuclear weapon is undiminished”, meaning, “hey, it’s someone else’s problem”. Obama is desperate to get a deal, any deal, and it doesn’t matter the terms. He could also care less about protecting Israel. Or the entire region. Or the interests of the United States. Just his short term legacy.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

Leave a Comment

Share this!

Enjoy reading? Share it with your friends!

Send this to a friend