Hardball: GOP Should Shut Down Senate Business to Break Dems' Iran Deal Filibuster

Guy Benson
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Posted: Sep 11, 2015 10:15 AM
Hardball: GOP Should Shut Down Senate Business to Break Dems' Iran Deal Filibuster

Forty-two Senate Democrats filibustered a resolution to disapprove of President Obama's unilateral Iran deal, which is opposed by significant bipartisan majorities in both houses of Congress. The American people soundly reject the agreement, too, with informed voters disapproving by an even larger margin. Harry Reid and company are obstructing any vote on the historic accord that holds serious national security implications for the United States and our Arab and Israeli allies. If Senate Democrats have their way, Obama will impose a binding international pact, chiefly negotiated by the US, that will guarantee the Iranian regime more than $100 Billion in sanctions relief and an Western-approved nuclear program -- without a Congressional vote of any sort. This is unacceptable. The American people agree:


Keep in mind that 62 percent of voters said that Congress should have the final say on this deal back in March, when the prospect for an agreement was substantially more popular than the final version has become. Democrats are placing nakedly partisan procedural concerns above far more compelling interests. As such, their conduct should be made as politically painful as possible, especially given how so many of the "reluctant" deal-supporting Democrats expressed grave reservations about blessing the agreement. Their public statements suggest that they were deeply conflicted over the final verdict; they say they agonized over legitimate and serious arguments on both sides. Their concerns are so grave, apparently, that they're willing to deny their coequal branch of Congress an up-or-down vote on this critical geopolitical development, all to spare Barack Obama the humiliation of jamming through another unpopular agenda item over Congress' explicit objection.

Republicans must not simply shrug and give up.  They should instead seek to replicate the successful strategy they employed earlier this year in the face of another unconscionable filibuster. That Democratic maneuver ran afoul of clear public opinion, and exposed quite a few filibuster-enablers as rank hypocrites. I'm referring to the hardball game Mitch McConnell played on the anti-human trafficking legislation, which Democrats astoundingly filibustered in an attempt to add unprecedented abortion-funding language to the bill.  This move was grossly out-of-step with established precedent, and every excuse Reid and friends trotted out to justify their obstructionism was shown to be utterly dishonest.  The GOP majority effectively shut down all Senate business until Democrats broke -- which they did.  Public opinion was against them, and the optics of filibustering a bill designed to help victims of sex trafficking were horrific.  Similarly, impeding a simple vote on the controversial Iran deal is politically risky.  Republicans hold a Senate majority, several prominent Democrats are with them, public opinion is heavily on their side, and they occupy the moral high ground.  Use it.  Shame Democrats for this action.  Force them to vote to sustain this filibuster over and over again.  Make them explain on television why their chamber has ground to a complete halt, and why they don't believe Congress should have any say on the Iran deal.  Shine a white, hot spotlight on this, day after day.  Make Hillary Clinton defend them, too. And apply intense pressure to Democrats who've aired public misgivings about the filibuster, particularly Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Chris Coons of Delaware. 

If Barack Obama and Harry Reid want to play politics with a matter this serious, Republicans should oblige them.  Throw 'em a high, hard one.  And then another, and another...