Chairman Royce Comments on Iran, Obama Administration Efforts to Avoid Congress
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued the following statement on reports that the Obama Administration is seeking to avoid Congress with any final negotiated agreement on Iran’s nuclear program:
“I’m disappointed by reports this morning that the Obama Administration is seeking to deny Congress any role in judging a nuclear deal with Iran.
“In July, I led a bipartisan letter to the President – signed by over 340 Members of Congress – calling for ‘greater consultation with Congress on a potential sanctions relief package that may be part of a final agreement.’ That extensive engagement hasn’t come, even as the Administration is considering such hugely consequential national security decisions. It’s tough to see a solid agreement when Congress – which was critical to putting in the strong sanctions that got negotiators to this point – is so clearly sidelined.
“When asked if the Administration would come to Congress to secure legislative relief of sanctions in a final agreement with Iran, in a Congressional hearing earlier this year, Secretary of State John Kerry responded: ‘(w)ell, of course. We would be obligated to under the law.’ He added that ‘what we do will have to pass muster with Congress.’
“This report is another sign that the Obama Administration may strike an agreement that fails to protect the vital national security interest of the United States and our allies.”
Note: The New York Times reported this morning that, “If agreement is reached, President Obama will do everything in his power to avoid letting Congress vote on it.”