Why are ZOA and AIPAC supporting the Corker Bill?

The bill does not do what it set out to do.

Ted Belman,

OpEds Ted Belman
Ted Belman

The Zionist Organization of Americe (ZOA) has put out a press release in support of the Corker Bill which gives the Senate a voice on the future Iran deal.

It started by saying:

“1) They urged their Senators to support S.615, the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, introduced by Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), and Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), and thanked the 53 co-sponsors of this legislation. This Bill allows Congress to review and vote on any final Iran Nuclear Deal and vote before sanctions are lifted against Iran.”

I have great difficulty with this bill and so do many others. 

Sen Ted Cruz in his article “Congress Must Approve of Any Iran Deal”  wrote:

“On the floor of the Senate, however, I intend to press vigorously for a critical amendment to this legislation. At the end of the debate, if this bill is not strengthened, I will have a great deal of difficulty supporting it.

“So what does Corker-Cardin do? It requires the President to submit an Iran deal to Congress, and then it provides that Congress can pass a “resolution of disapproval” to kill the deal. Any such resolution would be subject to a possible Democratic filibuster, which would take 60 votes to overcome. And, even if both Houses were to pass a resolution of disapproval, President Obama could veto it, which would then require two-thirds of the House and two-thirds of the Senate to override.

“If those super-majorities cannot be mustered, the President’s bad Iran deal would go into effect.”

“Thus, Corker-Cardin motion of disapproval reverses the ordinary presumptions. Instead of the President needing 67 Senate votes to ratify the Iran deal, it would now require 67 votes to stop an Iran deal.”

Senate Rejects Tying of Sanctions Relief for Iran with Terror

“Senators Bob Corker and Ben Cardin, the committee’s Republican chairman and top Democrat, have been arguing against so-called “poison pill amendments” seeking to toughen the Iran Nuclear Review Act.

“They insist that those amendments would kill its chances of becoming law by alienating Democrats and provoking a veto from Obama, who considers tougher restrictions a threat to ongoing nuclear negotiations between Iran and six world powers.

“We should do everything we can to make sure we have a voice,” Corker said in the Senate on Wednesday, as he appealed to lawmakers not to push forward with partisan amendments.and explains why.

“But a Senate voice is of little value because at the end of the day Iran will get the bomb and the money from lifting sanctions notwithstanding its promotion of terrorism and its intention of destroying Israel.”

Andrew C McCarthy wrote The Corker Bill Isn’t a Victory — It’s a Constitutional Perversion and The Corker Bill Is Worse Than Nothing

“Aipac supports Corker’s bill as is. Earlier this year, it quietly dropped its campaign to get Congress to pass new sanctions on Iran latched onto a previous version of the chairman’s legislation. Corker’s new bill, which has added concessions to Obama, would give Congress a chance to review an Iran deal and could provide for a vote on the deal, although language inserted at the last minute makes clear that Obama could begin implementing the agreement even if Congress votes against it.

“Many Republicans, however, don’t like Corker’s bill as is. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Thursday that when the bill comes to the Senate floor, there will be a “robust amendment process,” and that he hopes the bill is strengthened. Republican critics say that the bill doesn’t have any real mechanisms to stop Obama from lifting congressionally mandated sanctions although it does stop Obama from lifting those sanctions as Congress reviews the deal.”

Of what value is the Corker bill unamended? As McCarthy says, it’s worth less than nothing.

According to William Kristol,

“Not just the Obama administration, but the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign `Relations Committee and the leading establishment pro-Israel lobbying group, all prefer quiet acquiescence to and approval of a toothless bill rather than a serious debate and series of votes over our Iran policy.”

Et tu, ZOA.