Beyond the Cusp

July 29, 2015

Will the Initial Vote in the Houses of Congress Be Meaningless?

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We have the deal of a lifetime, presumably the perfect and deeply complex agreement which if the Administration spokespeople are to be believed, and who would know better than those who fashioned the deal, such that the complex minutia weaves a web of inspections and requirements which Iran will be incapable of extricating themselves without being betrayed by the particulars combined with snap unannounced immediate access inspections at which time any failure to be within the web that has been tediously structured would result in total snapback of the most severe sanctions bringing Iran to its knees; thus Iran will not progress as a nuclear power for at least a decade. But if one has also paid any attention to the celebrations and excessive elation raging out of control through the halls of power in Iran, one might suspect that either the Iranians have not figured out the brilliance by President Obama and the State Department mediators who once again have made an airtight box just as they had with North Korea, as the very same members of the North Korean negotiations committee were once again put into service to similarly fashion an ironclad nuclear deal with Iran. Imagine the shock and awe that will eventually end one side or the other’s elation when the truth shows its hand and either Iran never becomes a nuclear armed power for at the least a decade and a half or does so far more rapidly. Still, despite the unanimous approval of the P5+1 and Iranian Agreement with a chapter seven enforceable ratification which some are claiming makes any vote by the United States Congress potentially meaningless, but is this true?

 

The ratification by the United Nations Security Council will only become an issue if there can be a vote taken which manages to recognize and demand enforcement of United Nations sanctions being reimposed. It would still require the five permanent members, France, Britain, United States, Mainland China and the Russian Federation not to use their veto power to block enforcement, those very same nations who have millions or billions or conceivably trillions of Euros or Dollars in trade deals to vote to end such deals, even should Iran test a nuclear device in the middle of the waters to their south. That is far beyond reasonable and should not be expected unless the Iranian test was over Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; and even then it would be doubtful. The other P5+1 (France, Britain, China, Russian Federation and Germany) have already announced their willing compliance with the deal and are ready for full ratification which is waiting on the United States which has a far more complicated approval system than any Parliamentary system which is found throughout most of the world, so, every eye is on Washington D.C. and while the world waits the media are thrashing every conceivable turn of the cards of fate possible to come out of Washington in the next sixty days Congress has set as the limit before they must present their final verdict. So, what comes next?

 

 

Photo of the Lead Negotiators Taken After Agreement Reached with the Smiles on the far left two Iranian Lead Negotiators and neutral bored look by the man in the middle representing the European Union with the two on the right no more aware that they are posing for the picture which will mark them in history than they were during the negotiations themselves while they either are looking at the real winners or posing as if this was an after frat party picture with the thumbs up, who are they kidding?

Photo of the Lead Negotiators Taken After Agreement Reached with the Smiles on the far left two Iranian Lead Negotiators and neutral bored look by the man in the middle representing the European Union with the two on the right no more aware that they are posing for the picture which will mark them in history than they were during the negotiations themselves while they either are looking at the real winners or posing as if this was an after frat party picture with the thumbs up, who are they kidding?

 

 

The United States House of Representatives often limits the debate speaking time to each of the State’s Representatives ten minutes each to express their opinions and attempt to persuade their cohorts before the vote is taken. With four-hundred-thirty-five Representatives that results in four-thousand-three-hundred-fifty minutes of debate or seventy-two-hours and thirty-minutes. That means that if we allow for procedural delays and Representatives speaking beyond their allotted time or outbursts which leaving a mere four hours of time per day this results in a minimum of fourteen and a half days or approximately four weeks before every Representative had made their feelings known. Perhaps this mathematics is why the time allotted for Congressional approval or disapproval to be decided and a final vote taken on the proposed Iran nuclear agreement and the results be made known to the White House and an eager media who will waste no time chewing on every piece of gristle fed to them and pretend that they found the finest filet mignon and then pretend their perception is the finest cut of the votes taken in both houses, the House of Representatives and the Senate.

 

There are some very unusual conditions stipulated in the Congressional approval of this Agreement which is not a treaty and not exactly just a Presidential decree as the Congress insisted and received oversight, but not merely the usual Senate only ratification required by a normal treaty but because President Obama’s successful labeling unusual and break from norm claiming that arms agreements are not normally treated as a treaty but instead simply demand the straight up majority in both houses rather than the two-thirds approval (sixty-seven of the one-hundred) Senators. President Obama suspected, it would be impossible to receive such ratification from a Senate controlled by a majority Republicans even were it to garner one-hundred-percent support from the Democrats, both Independents who caucus with the Democrats and possibly a half dozen Republicans who honestly believe that the President is to be granted leeway on items pertaining to foreign affairs matters. It was likely beyond any conceivable probability that the President could find a full dozen minimum Republican Senators to vote for the deal, thus it was this frightening reality facing President Obama who decided his sole chance was to invent a new class of agreement where because there were six other nations involved and this presumably made the United States an co-equal partner to an agreement, an executive agreement by a President who was but one amongst many in reaching this agreement making it an agreement amongst executives and thus it was a Presidential Agreement requiring only passage by both houses of Congress. This will presumably provide to grant the President a veto over any vote taken which refused the Congressional approval of the Agreement thus then requiring the Congress to then override the Presidential veto now requiring a two-thirds vote in both houses in order to prevent the Agreement taking effect, a complete reversal of fates. Now, it would appear, there will be required that both houses of Congress, the House of Representatives and the Senate, would be required to attain a two-thirds vote each to override the veto and end the ratification by the United States.

 

Oddly enough there are a number of presumptions which make much of these arguments completely erroneous. Let us look at the realities. The first item that requires investigation is exactly how the wording of the presentation of the Iranian agreement before Congress is read. Any initial investigation one would expect that a ‘Yea’ vote would be in favor of the Agreement and any ‘Nay’ vote would be against the Agreement. So, if the Senate voted fifty-one in favor and forty-nine against while the House of Representatives voted two-hundred-eighteen in favor and one-hundred-seventeen against, then both houses would have approved the Agreement with minimal votes required and the passage would permit President Obama to sign the Agreement placing the United States to be in compliance of the terns, limitations and obligations within the Agreement just as President Obama desires. So, the House and Senate both approve the Agreement even by the narrowest of margins, then there would be no need for any veto and everybody limps away satisfied they had performed their duty as they saw best to be committed.

 

But we all know that what we have been told is that the problems arise should the Congress oppose the will of President Obama and not approve the Agreement. It would make absolutely no difference should the Senate, the House of Representatives or both deny passage to the agreement sent before them by whatever margin, then what comes next. We have been led to believe that President Obama could veto their vote to turn down their initial vote and now place the two Houses of Congress into having to reach a two-thirds vote to override President Obama’s veto by voting by a two thirds vote in both Houses of Congress in order to have the Congressional advice be heard and President Obama be instructed not to sign the Agreement thus removing the United States from any of the particulars of the Agreement and should this occur, then and only then would the Agreement be kept from becoming binding on the United States. There is one grievous mistake in the reasoning here as long as a ‘Yea’ vote means ratification of the Agreement and a ‘Nay’ vote indicates one is opposed to the Agreement. Once either House of Congress votes against the Agreement and thereby not approving it that is the end of the Iran Nuclear Agreement as far as the United States is officially concerned because the President is not empowered to veto a negative vote. He can only veto those items brought before him as passed legislation by both houses of Congress. In order to have his Iran Deal passed, he must present the deal to both houses for an up or down vote and not propose some finagled legislation asking if they oppose the Iran deal, thus turning approval on its head and making support a ‘Nay’ vote and opposition a ‘Yea’ vote thus making turning down the deal available for him to veto as, despite what he believes, that is not presenting the agreement for a vote by Congress, that is perverting everything that is holy and true about the American confirmation process and turning a negative into a positive and vice-a-versa twisting the affirmation process. By this method it would become near impossible to oppose any appointment or treaty made by a president and makes them a virtual dictator for their time in office and as far as that goes, also impossible to make them relinquish their office claiming their declaration that their removal from the Presidency was itself a threat to national security. The vote over the Iran Nuclear Agreement has to proceed as a ‘Yea’ vote as in favor of the agreement and a ‘Nay’ vote a vote against ratification and thus either house refusing to approve the Agreement would spell the end of the Agreement in so far as the United States would be concerned. The President could ignore that and sign the Agreement but his signature would be meaningless as the courts would override any demand then made under that signature void; thus, all of the Iranian sanctions made by the United States would stand and any monies held by United States banks would remain frozen, period, game-set-match.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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1 Comment »

  1. Reblogged this on Oyia Brown.

    Like

    Comment by OyiaBrown — July 30, 2015 @ 8:46 AM | Reply


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