Dear Mr. President:
In recent days, senior members of your administration—including Vice President Joe Biden—have stated that your administration is negotiating a nuclear agreement with Iran that you intend to “take effect without congressional approval.” Yesterday, at a hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Secretary of State John Kerry alluded to this same concept.
These statements stand in stark contrast to the repeated assertions made by your administration—including Secretary Kerry—that any deal with Iran would have to “pass muster with Congress.”
As you are also aware, there is significant and growing bipartisan support for Congress to consider and, as appropriate, vote on any agreement that seeks to relieve the very statutory sanctions imposed by Congress that were instrumental in bringing Iran to the negotiating table.
There are now reports that your administration is contemplating taking an agreement, or aspects of it, to the United Nations Security Council for a vote. Enabling the United Nations to consider an agreement or portions of it, while simultaneously threatening to veto legislation that would enable Congress to do the same, is a direct affront to the American people and seeks to undermine Congress’s appropriate role.
Please advise us as to whether you are considering going to the United Nations Security Council without coming to Congress first.