House Republicans introduce bill of disapproval of Iran deal

Ron Kampeas

WASHINGTON (JTA) — U.S. House of Representatives Republicans introduced a resolution voicing disapproval of the Iran nuclear deal, paving the way to a debate on it.

Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) and another 171 Republicans on Thursday introduced a bill expressing “its firm disapproval” of the deal reached two days earlier by the major powers and Iran, which would trade sanctions relief for a rollback of Iran’s nuclear activities.

It’s not yet clear how the debate will proceed: whether the House or the Senate would consider the deal first, and whether the bill would be one of approval or disapproval.

Should the congressional leadership advance Roskam’s bill, the parameters of the debate over the next two months, and the time allotted to Congress to review the deal, sets up a clear confrontation between Congress and the White House.

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The likely failure of a bill of approval would show Congress’ unhappiness with the deal but would not be binding, and the Obama administration would be able to continue implementing the deal.

A bill of disapproval, like Roskam’s, should it pass and then survive a presidential veto, would kill the deal. While Republican majorities in both chambers oppose the deal, a bill of disapproval is believed unlikely to garner the two thirds majorities required to override the veto Obama has pledged to impose.

“My legislation sets the stage for the 60-day lead up to a vote on this agreement by allowing Members to express their disapproval of the accord,” Roskam said in a statement Friday. “The unprecedented outpouring of support for this resolution proves that Congress will not rubber-stamp a deal that severely threatens the United States and our allies by paving Iran’s path to a bomb.”

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