Obama, recognizing perhaps the inevitable veto override, agreed to sign legislation giving Congress their constitutional right to reject any nuclear agreement with Iran. The White House conveyed Obama’s decision shortly before Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved a compromise version of the measure on a 19-0 vote.
For the first time in recent memory, Congress said they would not back down on their constitutional responsibility that lawmakers must have a say if any final deal with Iran involves the eventual lifting of crippling economic sanctions that Congress levied on Tehran. Congress passed the sanctions and constitutionally only congress can rescind the sanctions. The bill is now likely to clear both houses of Congress despite the earlier veto threat.
Obama had threatened to veto the bill, but as news of passage by an overwhelming vote, 19-0, leaked out on Capitol Hill, the White House abruptly acquiesced. Obama, perhaps to save face, said he still retains the right to veto the legislation if Congress tries to scuttle an emerging deal with Iran, which is to be finalized by June 30.
"The administration ... has been fighting strongly against this," Corker said.
"I know they've relented because of what they believe will be the outcome here," he added. "I believe this is going to be an important role, especially the compliance pieces that come afterward."
This is not only an important vote because of the potentially dangerous agreement to which Obama would probably agree, but it is at least as important because Congress has exerted itself against a demagogue who has taken the position that as long as he has a pen and a phone he can do anything regardless of what the constitution says. We know that if Harry Reid were still Majority leader, this action would never have been permitted to take place. We are witnessing for the first time in a long time how the give and take of a divided government is supposed to work. It is so refreshing. Let us hope this becomes the norm and is not an aberration.