Jul 20, 2015

Bipartisan Outcry Against Obama’s UN End-Run of Congress

nuclear

Today, as the Obama Administration wanted, the United Nations voted to move forward in lifting sanction on Iran. The UN voted the same day Congress formally received the agreement—which it has 60 days to review—meaning the UN voted before Congress has even had a chance to review the deal, much less vote on it.

This would be surprising except for this Administration’s historical disregard for America’s proper governmental processes. Last week, Majority Leader McCarthy spoke out against the Administration’s end-run around Congress, saying,

“Any effort by this Administration to have the UN approve this deal before Congress can review it violates the spirit of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, which the President signed into law. … It is inconceivable—yet sadly not surprising—that this Administration would try to rush this agreement through the UN before it has even given Congress all the details.”

Leader McCarthy was joined by a bipartisan group of lawmakers decrying the President’ disrespect for a co-equal branch of government.

  • Senator Ben Cardin (D, MD) said, “I think it is somewhat presumptuous to take it to the UN for a vote before the Congressional review is over. That is why I think it would be better for them not to do it that way.”
  • The House Minority Whip for the Democrats, Steny Hoyer said that “the U.N. Security Council should wait to move ahead with a resolution implementing parts of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action until after Congress has completed its review of the agreement with Iran. I believe that waiting to go to the United Nations until such time as Congress has acted would be consistent with the intent and substance of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act.”
  • Chris Murphy (D, CT) said he would have preferred that the Administration waited on the UN vote because “it does create a very awkward dynamic in which the Security Council is going to unwind a set of sanctions that are deeply intertwined with the congressional set of sanctions.”
  • Democratic Representative Eliot Engel (NY-16), ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs committee issued a joint statement with his committee’s chairman, Ed Royce (CA-39), saying, “We are disappointed that the UN Security Council passed a resolution on Iran this morning before Congress was able to fully review and act on this agreement.  We are also greatly concerned that the resolution lifts restrictions on Iran’s ballistic missiles in eight years and conventional arms in five years.”

In the United States, the American government decides our policies, not the United Nations. That fact isn’t partisan. The President’s work to bypass Congress by going to the UN first is not only disingenuous, it’s an affront to the institution of Congress, which represents the American people.

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