The Senate has reminded the President several times that any "treaty" he makes with another country must be ratified by the Senate in accordance with Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution. The Obama administration insists that their proposed deal with Iran is not a treaty but a political agreement that does not need the approval of the Senate. Just one more example of the President's overreach of executive power, it seems.
Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR), who helped draft the letter, wrote recently:
The critical role of Congress in the adoption of international agreements was clearly laid out by our Founding Fathers in our Constitution. And it’s a principle upon which Democrats and Republicans have largely agreed. In fact, then-Sen. Joe Biden once reflected on this very topic, writing that ‘the president and the Senate are partners in the process by which the United States enters into, and adheres to, international obligations.’ It’s not often I agree with former senator and now Vice President Biden, but his words here are clear. The Senate must approve any deal President Obama negotiates with Iran by a two-thirds majority vote. Anything less will not be considered a binding agreement when President Obama’s term expires in two years. This is true of any agreement, but in particular with the nuclear deal President Obama intends to strike with Iran.
So a few years ago Joe Biden said the President needs to include the Senate in agreements with other nations. But Biden seems to have changed his tune. Of the GOP letter to Iran he said: "The decision to undercut our president and circumvent our constitutional system offends me as a matter of principle."
So when good ol' Joe was a Senator with a Republican President that President was obligated to include the Senate in foreign negotiations. But now that he's Vice President, the Senate's insistence that it be included in foreign negotiations "circumvents our constitutional system."
Hearing anyone in the Obama administration saying that Republicans are circumventing our constitutional system is laughable. Of course, who would know better about circumventing our constitution than President Obama. Can you say executive amnesty?
Even Secretary of State John "Sell Out the USA" Kerry says of the Iran deal "We are not negotiating a legally binding plan." Really? If there are no legal ramifications and no consequences if Iran chooses to ignore the
On the left we now have groups who are calling for the 47 Senators to be charged with treason for having contact with Iran in supposed violation of the Logan Act. A petition to the White House being circulated today reads: "Forty-seven United States Senators committed a treasonous offense when they decided to violate the Logan Act, a 1799 law which forbids unauthorized citizens from negotiating with foreign governments."
It's truly sad when Americans want to quote laws without really understanding the way our government works. We have three equal branches in our federal government. (At least we did until Barack Obama became President.) They are the Executive Branch, the Legislative Branch (which includes the Senate), and the Judicial Branch. According to the Constitution (which is increasingly ignored by this President) none has more power than the other. That means, for the legal geniuses screaming treason, that the Senate has just as much authority to have contact with foreign nations as the President. They are not simply "citizens" when they are acting in official capacity as part of the Legislative Branch of the federal government. Duh.
Perhaps if those screaming "treason" would take a closer look at what their exalted President is doing these days they would realize the only one who comes close to a charge of treason is the President himself. But what am I saying? That would be asking the liberal lefties to exercise common sense and sound judgement instead of emotion and blind loyalty. And we all know that's not going to happen.