Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) recently made headlines on Aug. 6 when he announced his opposition to President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran that critics say will help Tehran acquire nuclear weapons.
“I believe Iran will not change, and under this agreement it will be able to achieve its dual goals of eliminating sanctions while ultimately retaining its nuclear and non-nuclear power. Better to keep U.S. sanctions in place, strengthen them, enforce secondary sanctions on other nations, and pursue the hard-trodden path of diplomacy once more, difficult as it may be,” Schumer said in a press statement.
Schumer said he would vote in favor of a resolution of disapproval blocking the Iran deal. That’s great.
There’s only one problem. It won’t matter.
Schumer was one of 98 senators who voted in favor of authorizing the Iran deal before anyone had even had an opportunity to read it.
That is because the law, H.R. 1191, authored by Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), provides that “any measure of statutory sanctions relief by the United States pursuant to an agreement [with Iran]… may be taken, consistent with existing statutory requirements for such action, if, following the period for review provided… there is not enacted any such joint resolution” by Congress disapproving of the deal within 60 days of its announcement, which the president would have to sign.
Obama has promised to veto such a resolution, and 150 House Democrats in May said they would vote to sustain it.
Meaning, the time to have blocked the Iran deal is not under the phony process created by the Corker bill — requiring two-thirds majorities in both houses of Congress to override the Obama veto — but back in May.
Schumer knew all of that going into the vote.
In many ways, the Corker bill was designed precisely for elected officials like Schumer, to politically take a stand “against” the Iran deal without any real practical effect. He can then get credit for opposing the deal — much like Republicans who now claim they were against the Iran deal all along even though they voted in favor of it, too.
It’s a show vote. Nothing more.
So, why should members who voted for the Corker bill that authorized the Iran deal, including Schumer, now get any credit for “opposing” the Iran deal? It’s a sham anyway.
Robert Romano is the senior editor of Americans for Limited Government.