Iran Nuclear Deal: What Congress Is Likely to Do Next
White House vows veto of any bill that gets in the way of an agreement.
— -- Key players in Congress -– Republicans and Democrats -- are skeptical of the Iran deal and want to see the fine print.
No one is ruling out a big push ahead on new Iran sanctions, or a measure to require President Obama to get congressional approval, two pieces of legislation the White House strongly opposes.
But there appears to be a willingness to hear the administration out in promised briefings on the framework when lawmakers return to Washington on April 13.
An aide to House Speaker John Boehner tells ABC News that the approach in the House is not a “wait-and-see until June 30th” posture, but that Republicans want the briefings, a chance to review the details and discuss possible next steps with members.
Sen. Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said today “it is important that we wait to see the specific details of today’s announcement” and that everyone “must remain clear-eyed.” He vowed an April 14 committee vote on a bill to require congressional review of a nuclear deal, but there is no plan yet to bring it up for a vote in the full chamber. (Corker has said he’d like to have a veto-proof majority before the bill is voted on by the full Senate.)
“We’ll know more in the days ahead, after April 14,” an aide to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told ABC News.
Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said he was surprised so many details were revealed in the framework and said that Congress should “be careful not to scuttle the opportunity for a diplomatic resolution.
“I think there is sufficient detail that has been arrived at these negotiations that Congress needs to be careful not to scuttle the opportunity for a diplomatic resolution,” Schiff said in an interview. “The last thing we want is for the international community to think that we came this close to a negotiated end to Iran’s nuclear program and the United States Congress got in the way.”
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, the author of the controversial open letter to Iran's leaders signed by 47 Republican senators, called the interim deal a "list of very dangerous U.S. concessions that will put Iran on the path to a nuclear weapon."
“I plan to work with all of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle who have already expressed disquiet about terms such as these, to stop this deal from going forward, to keep America safe, and to prevent a nuclear arms race in the Middle East,” he added.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, who is likely weeks away from announcing a presidential bid, tweeted his skepticism of the deal, but said he is awaiting more information.
The White House fired another warning shot this afternoon reiterating veto threats for any legislation that “undercuts our ability to get the deal done.”
“We think it’s best for members of Congress to take a look at the framework and then give the space to look at final details between now and June,” said deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes.
Congress needs to “wait and see what the deal is, and then we can determine the best way to support Congress playing an oversight role,” he said.