Obama Would Sign Compromise Iran Bill As It Stands, White House Says
Update at 7:02 p.m. ET. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Approves Compromise Iran Bill
In a 19-0 vote, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved legislation that would give Congress a formal role in negotiations over a nuclear deal with Iran. The Associated Press reports the bill "is likely to clear both houses of Congress," and is "expected to come before the full Senate as soon as next week."
Earlier Tuesday, the Obama administration said it would support such a compromise bill as it stands. But, as the AP reports, "Obama retains his right to veto any attempt by Congress to scuttle such a pact if the time comes." But Congress could override that veto with a two-thirds majority vote in both the House and Senate.
The Hill reports that Republican Sen. Bob Corker, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said of the bill, "I think this puts Congress in its rightful role."
Updated at 2:18 p.m. ET
The White House says President Obama would sign a compromise bill that would give Congress say over the deal being negotiated with Iran over its nuclear program.
Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee reached a compromise on the measure Tuesday with the intent of voting on the bill later in the day.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the bill as it stands now contains the assurances the White House has sought, but he added that major changes to the measure, as it winds its way through Congress, could make it unacceptable to the president.
The Associated Press explains the compromise reached Tuesday in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee:
"The bill that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was to vote on later in the day would have given Congress 60 days to review any final deal. During that time, Obama could lift sanctions imposed through presidential action, but would be prevented from easing any sanctions levied by Congress.
"Under the compromise, the congressional review period would be shortened. There would be a 30-day initial congressional review period. Twelve more days would be added if Congress passed a bill and sent it to the president. There would be additional 10 days during which the president could veto it — something he has already threatened to do.
"Moreover, if the deal is submitted after July 9 — a short time after the final agreement is to be reached on June 30 — the review period would revert to 60 days. Under the compromise bill, the president would be required to certify to Congress every 90 days that Iran is complying with terms of any final agreement."
The U.S. and five other world powers — Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia — are negotiating with Iran over its nuclear program, and are hoping to reach an agreement by the end of June that they say would prevent the Islamic Republic from getting nuclear weapons.
Many in Congress — both Republicans and Democrats — have criticized the talks with Iran; U.S. ally Israel has called it a bad deal.
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