With the announcement that a 34th Senator has signed on to support the Iran deal, it is no longer possible to kill it through the Corker-Cardin process of overriding a Presidential veto. It is still possible to kill this deal in the Senate, but it will require leadership and courage. The process is not difficult if those things can be found.
- The Senate needs to pass a simple resolution declaring that the Senate will only consider this deal as a treaty requiring a two-thirds majority vote to pass. A simple resolution is a resolution passed by one of the houses of Congress that handles only that house’s business. As such, the President does not have the option to veto it. It will be binding on all Senators.
- It may be necessary for the Senate Majority Leader to suspend or eliminate the filibuster to get cloture on the simple resolution. If so, he should do it.
- The resolution should explain why the P5+1 JCPOA is not covered by the Corker-Cardin law. The law expected a deal on Iran’s nuclear program. What was actually presented is a much wider agreement that goes well beyond the nuclear program, as for example by eliminating restrictions on ballistic missiles and heavy weapons. This deal will turn Iran into the region’s foremost power, with substantial American help. This agreement is too powerful and wide-ranging to be anything but a treaty.
- The Senate then votes on the deal as a treaty as the Constitution requires in Article II, Section 2.
Courage and steadfastness must be coupled to bold leadership for this to work. If those things can be found, the rest is not hard.