On March 11, 2015, Secretary of State John Kerry said the Obama administration was “not negotiating a legally binding plan” with Iran and therefore their nuclear agreement did not have to be submitted to Congress for approval. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) is ready to challenge that notion by putting forward a resolution that would define the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action as a treaty.
The Corker-Cardin bill, a.k.a. the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, was introduced as an accountability tool for the Iranian deal, requiring a 'yes' or 'no' vote from Congress. Yet, as more details about the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA) have surfaced, Corker and Cardin's effort has become basically null, Rep. Gohmert is convinced. The Obama administration, he asserts, left Congress in the dark about the specifics of JCPOA. For instance, the Corker-Cardin bill was only meant to rein in nuclear sanctions, but JCPOA allows for a lifting of sanctions on ballistic missiles and international arms embargoes. Congress also had no clue about the side deals allowing Iran to inspect itself at nuclear sites.
In his resolution, Gohmert also exposes Secretary of State Kerry's hypocrisy regarding his refusing to label the Iran deal a treaty.
Whereas, on June 4, 2015, less than two months before Secretary Kerry testified that it has become “physically impossible” for the Senate to ratify treaties, he stated that the State Department is “preparing the instruments of ratification of [several] important treaties” and that he “want[s] to personally thank the U.S. Congress . . . for their efforts on” the implementing legislation for the nuclear security treaties;
Gohmert is not the only legislator to demand the Iran agreement be defined as a treaty. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), the only senator not to vote for the Corker-Cardin act, demanded the clarification be made back in May:
"A nuclear-arms agreement with any adversary—especially the terror-sponsoring, Islamist Iranian regime—should be submitted as a treaty and obtain a two-thirds majority vote in the Senate as required by the Constitution," he said.
Such a consequential handshake should be accompanied by some oversight from our elected representatives. It's what Americans want.
Should the resolution pass, Gohmert says the Senate should deliberate on the ratification of the Iran Deal within 30 days hence.