President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry will have to bring their Iran deal before congress before it can be finalized. This comes about in a most uncommon way in today’s political world – through bipartisan agreement that goes against the wishes of the President.
Many of the President’s best allies in the Senate opposed his perspective that he could sign a deal with Iran without the involvement of the legislative branch. In many ways, they had to. The President does not have the power to overrule sanctions on a nation that were established by the Congress. To deny this would be to deny their own power and position them as partisan above the rule of law with many facing elections next year. Perhaps more important than their own elections is the Presidential election itself.
This deal, unpopular to both conservatives and moderates across the country, would serve two purposes if it were allowed to go through unchecked. It would secure a foreign policy win for the President’s legacy and it would help to secure a GOP victory in the 2016 Presidential elections. Even the President’s biggest congressional supporters are being forced to look at the bigger picture.
According to the NY Times:
“We’re involved here. We have to be involved here,” said Senator Benjamin L. Cardin of Maryland, the committee’s ranking Democrat, who served as a bridge between the White House and Republicans as they negotiated changes in the days before the committee’s vote on Tuesday. “Only Congress can change or permanently modify the sanctions regime.”