Skip to comments.GOP turns to Hillary Clinton in bid to sink Iran deal
Posted on 07/10/2015 1:29:46 AM PDT by Libloather
Senate Republicans concede they are not likely to have enough votes to overturn President Obamas nuclear deal with Iran unless they can swing a key Democratic voice against the accord.
Theyre setting their sights on Hillary Clinton, vowing to tie her to the deal in hopes of pressuring her to oppose it.
GOP leaders need 67 votes to override Obamas expected veto and keep sanctions on Iran in place.
The administration has not yet announced an accord but lawmakers expect it to come soon.
It could be a good policy strategy. Its not going to be hard to come up with 34 Democrats to sustain a veto. The best chance of defeating it may be the inside embarrassment factor, getting Hillary Clinton or Chuck Schumer to walk into the Oval Office and tell the president we cant sustain this, said a senior Republican aide, referring to New York Sen. Charles Schumer, the Democratic leader-in-waiting.
Senate Republicans argue if Secretary of State John Kerry comes to Congress with a weak deal, Clinton, who served as his predecessor from 2009 to 2013, will deserve a large measure of the blame.
"Hillary was secretary of State. Their goal, they said, was to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. To me anything short of that is a complete failure and falls at the feet of Hillary Clinton and President Obama, said Sen. John Barrasso (Wyo.), a member of the Senate Republican leadership and the Foreign Relations Committee.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), an outspoken critic of the talks with Iran, said: "President Obama has primary responsibility but Hillary Clinton also has large responsibility because she started the secret negotiations in Oman that led us to this point."
Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn (Texas) said Clinton had been secretary of State during the time a lot of this run-up to this negotiation occurred.
Clinton sent one of her top aides, Jake Sullivan, to Obama to begin quiet negotiations with senior Iranian officials.
Sullivan met several times in 2013 with Irans newly elected president, Hassan Rouhani, and set up a phone call between him and Obama in September of that year. That conversation would accelerate negotiations over the next 20 months.
How is she going to distance herself from the Iran deal that she started? said a Republican member of Congress who briefed reporters Thursday morning.
The lawmaker predicted candidates in battleground states to raise questions about Clintons trustworthiness.
Without pushing a major Democratic player to oppose the deal, GOP lawmakers concede they likely will fall short of the 67-vote threshold.
I'm concerned that we won't have the votes to override a presidential veto and we'll be ending up in a situation like we were with North Korea, Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) told Fox News.
The Clinton campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
Clinton said last week she hopes for a strong deal that will effectively freeze Irans nuclear program but also cautioned supporters that it would not be perfect.
I so hope that we are able to get a deal in the next week that puts a lid on Irans nuclear weapons program, because that is going to be a singular step in the right direction, she said during a campaign stop at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire.
But even if we do get such a deal, we will still have major problems from Iran, she added. They are the worlds chief sponsor of terrorism, they use proxies like Hezbollah to sow discord and create insurgencies to destabilize governments.
Republican lawmakers are pushing for Clinton to take a strong stance on the Iran deal, which is expected to be announced this month.
If she pans it, it could galvanize enough opposition among Democrats to override Obamas expected veto of a resolution of disapproval. If she embraces it, it could drive a wedge between her campaign and pro-Israel Democratic voters and donors.
This is one of those things that shell need to take a position on. I dont know how you can run for president and not take a position on one of the most important foreign policy issues we have, said Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.
Thats part of what running for president entails, taking positions on the tough issues of the day and this is certainly one of the most important, said Cornyn.
Democrats argue its absurd to saddle Clinton with responsibility for the outcome of the negotiations.
She hasnt been secretary of state for two and a half years now. I think thats an odd argument, said Sen. Tim Kaine (Va.), a Democrat on the Foreign Relations panel.
She was secretary of State how many years ago? said a Democratic leadership aide. She wasnt involved in any of the rounds of negotiation. Obama owns the deal.
The aide, however, acknowledged that Clinton could not avoid taking a position on the accord once its announced.
Corker said whether she owns the deal will depend on how she responds to it once the details become public.
If she supports it, then shell own it. If she doesnt support it, she wont own it, he said.
Liberals were frustrated during Congresss trade debate earlier this year by what they saw as Clintons reluctance to take a stand on the contentious issue that divided her party.
This is a key test for Hillary Clinton. It is time for her to stand up and choose a side, Charles Chamberlain, the executive director of Democracy for America, said in May.
A month later Clinton pronounced herself a no on fast track but left herself some wiggle room by explaining she wanted an assistance program for workers hurt by foreign competition to be extended as well.
"Right now, I'm focused on making sure we get trade adjustment assistance and I certainly would not vote for it unless I were absolutely confident we would get trade adjustment assistance," she told political commentator and journalist Jon Ralston.
Congress eventually passed fast-track and the Trade Adjustment Assistance program separately, sending both to Obamas desk.
That's why it now takes 67 votes to stop this train wreck, instead of the Constitutionally required 67 votes to pass it. A Treaty passing with 34 votes?? Nice job McConnell and company.
Dear Lord, these Repubs are so totally stupid. How do they get elected?
FU GOP. Lying again. Its Obama who doesn’t have the vote to make this treaty law
Yup. McConnell is worthless. Wunder what Obama has on him?
If odumbo has anything to do with anything, it cannot be good for America or the American people. Face it, he hates the U.S. and will do what ever it takes to bring the U.S. to its knees. Hitlary, along with a host of others, including the rinos cannot help.
I think most people recognize the disaster that Obama is. Even most liberals, though they will never admit it.
Kind of wonder if we’ll ever see another African-American president in our lifetime as a result?
Yup, just wait until we get to the “Fast Track” TPP. this country is done, we’re fudeMENTALly transformed and the GOPe did it to us.
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