Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Morgan Griffith on Preventing a Nuclear Iran

From U.S. Representative Morgan Griffith (R-VA-9):

"Preventing a Nuclear Iran

Those who have read this column regularly are likely aware that, since November of 2012, I have been consistently calling for the U.S. Senate to abandon its current modern filibuster/cloture rule, which requires a super majority of Senators in order to take a vote on any issue. Under this practice, a single Senator acting anonymously can place a “hold” on legislation by notifying the Senate Majority Leader of his or her desire to “hold” the bill.

Last week I renewed my efforts, calling on the Senate to use the so-called “nuclear option” to require a simple majority to stop President Obama’s bad nuclear Iran deal. This deeply flawed and misguided deal is a serious security matter not only for the United States, but also for our allies in the Middle East. I believe we must use all tools possible to stop the deal in its tracks and avoid placing our citizens and allies at greater risk.

Requiring a super majority on a matter of such great importance is improper, is offensive to the majority rule, and is damaging to our great Republic.

Additionally, the House of Representatives last week took several votes related to the President Obama’s proposed Iran deal. I supported H.Res.411, a resolution finding that the President has not complied with section 2 of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, as he and his Administration failed to disclose details of the secretive side deals associated with its agreement. I also voted in favor of H.R. 3460, which would suspend until January of 2017 the authority of the President to waive or reduce economic sanctions on Iran. Finally, I opposed H.R. 3461, legislation designed to let those who approve of the President’s plan do so by voting yes. Obviously, I voted NO.

H.R. 3460 also calls into question whether the sanctions will be lifted under a future President. Why is this important? Well, if you are a high-priced lawyer advising companies all over the world, would you advise your clients to invest millions, hundreds of millions, or billions of dollars in Iran knowing that 247 members of the House are ready to slap sanctions back on Iran? Moreover, 58 Senators voted last week to express their opposition to the deal. A good lawyer would have his clients sign a statement acknowledging that investment in Iran would be a risky proposition and affirming that the law firm will not be responsible for any losses. Most businesses will choose to be cautious and not invest big money in Iran.

As for this President charging forward without the support of the American people or its Congress, it is old hat. Sadly, it seems that the President and his allies will again ram through without the support of the American people something with big consequences.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate leadership ought to use the so-called "nuclear option" to stop this bad deal. That’s what strong leaders would do."