U.S. Representative Massie Issues Statement on Iran Nuclear Deal
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Massie explained his votes on four bills related to the Iran nuclear deal:
1. The “Corker-Cardin” bill that enabled the President’s deal with Iran, provided Congress had 60 days to review:
I was one of 25 congressmen who, on May 14, 2015, voted “no” on this bill. The Iran deal is a treaty, and pursuant to Article II, section 2 of our Constitution, treaties require the approval of 2/3 of the Senate. Corker-Cardin turns the constitutional approval process for treaties on its head. Whereas the Constitution requires 2/3 of the Senate to actively approve the President’s treaty, Corker-Cardin effectively requires 2/3 of the Senate to disapprove the Iran deal. In addition, the Constitution gives no power to the House of Representatives to either approve or disapprove of a treaty.
2. H. Res. 411, which expresses the sense of the House that, by withholding the “side deals” to the overall Iran agreement, the President was not complying with the “Corker-Cardin” bill’s framework:
I voted “yes” because, given the limited information I learned in classified briefings, the side deals are relevant to the overall agreement, yet the President has refused to disclose the side deals to Congress.
3. H.R. 3461, the bill to “approve” the Iran deal:
I voted “present.” Pursuant to the Constitution, treaties must be approved by a “2/3 concurrence” of the Senate. As a member of the House of Representatives, I have no authority to approve a treaty. Even assuming the legitimacy of the Corker-Cardin bill’s framework, H.R. 3461 is a “show-boat” vote at best, since if a majority of the House votes “no” on approving the Iran deal, H.R. 3461 fails, nothing goes to the Senate, nothing is sent to the President for his signature, and the Iran deal proceeds on schedule.
4. H.R. 3460, a bill which prevents the President from lifting sanctions on Iran during the remainder of his presidential term:
I voted “yes.” The President should not be given authority to single-handedly lift sanctions that were implemented via legislation passed by Congress. The executive branch already has far too much authority and power.
The Corker-Cardin bill passed the House 400-25 on May 14, 2015, and was signed into law. H. Res. 411 passed 245-186, H.R. 3461 failed 162-269-1, and H.R. 3460 passed 247-186. H. Res 411 and H. R. 3460 now go to the Senate.