Tag: Deal

Paul Ryan Proves He’s A RINO Parasite With New Leftist Budget Deal

Speaker Fail: Paul Ryan Stacks Budget Full Of Liberal Goodies; Will Pass With Dem Majority – Gateway Pundit

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Different Republican Speaker – Same Liberal Crap

Now we know why Paul Ryan grew a beard – so he can try to hide from the Republican base.

Republican Speaker Paul Ryan is set to pass a budget chock-full of liberal goodies.

It was another Republican “compromise” meaning Democrats got every item they asked for.

The unpopular bill is expected to pass with a Democrat majority of votes.

That’s how bad it is.

Via Drudge Report:

Hands out gifts for NASCAR, racehorses, teachers, college students, more
MEETS OBAMA PRIORITIES
Funds for ‘climate’ deal
Planned Parenthood Praises
Makes it ‘harder to repeal Obamacare’
‘Cybersecurity’ bill hacked in
Conservatives give pass on deal they despise!
SESSIONS: THIS is why voters in ‘open rebellion’

Isn’t there a conservative out there somewhere who can challenge Paul Ryan in a primary?

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Secret Provision Added Last Minute To “Omnibus” Bill… This Should Have America On High Alert – Conservative Tribune

A provision regarding guest worker visas quietly added to the omnibus spending bill released this morning by the Senate is something lawmakers hope blue-collar workers won’t notice.

The provision would quadruple the number of H-2B visas for foreign “guest workers.” That means it would allow more than a quarter of a million foreign workers to enter the United States each year and work in industries including construction, hotel-motel services, truck driving, food processing, forestry and other fields that do not require a college education.

Back in 2013, The Gang of Eight bill proposed a similar increase in the already controversial H-2B visa, which takes work away from American workers by allowing foreigners to fill jobs in the industries noted above.

In the case of construction, there are currently six unemployed American workers for each job opening, according to a study published by the Economic Policy Institute. Still, the omnibus released this morning around 2 a.m. would nevertheless quadruple those visas and bring in foreign workers despite the high unemployment rate in these fields.

This provision was sponsored by Sens. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., and Thom Tillis, R-N.C, and was inserted at the last minute into the 2,000 page bill.

In an op-ed by immigration attorney Ian Smith that ran in the National Review, he asserts that the bill looks to be a copy of the Save Our Small and Seasonal Business Act.

“Many of these unskilled jobs traditionally go to society’s most vulnerable – including single women, the disabled, the elderly, minorities, teenagers, students, and first-generation immigrants,” he wrote of the jobs most likely to be affected by the bill.

However, large corporations love the idea because it means bringing in an hiring more foreign guest-workers, which lowers their labor costs.

While two primary concerns of everyday Americans are immigration and unemployment, Senate Democrats and their allies in the GOP establishment are going forward with a plan that completely ignores those concerns.

Sounds about right.

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Obama State Department Admits Iran Didn’t Even Sign Nuke Deal, And It’s Not Legally Binding

State Dept Admits Iran Didn’t Even Sign Iran Deal And It’s Not Legally Binding – Right Scoop

Just when you think Obama’s Iran deal couldn’t get any worse, his own State Dept. reveals that Iran didn’t sign the deal nor is it ‘legally binding’. It’s just a set of ‘political commitments’ or something:
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NRO – President Obama didn’t require Iranian leaders to sign the nuclear deal that his team negotiated with the regime, and the deal is not “legally binding,” his administration acknowledged in a letter to Representative Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.) obtained by National Review.

“The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is not a treaty or an executive agreement, and is not a signed document,” wrote Julia Frifield, the State Department assistant secretary for legislative affairs, in the November 19 letter. Frifield wrote the letter in response to a letter Pompeo sent Secretary of State John Kerry, in which he observed that the deal the president had submitted to Congress was unsigned and wondered if the administration had given lawmakers the final agreement.

Frifield’s response emphasizes that Congress did receive the final version of the deal. But by characterizing the JCPOA as a set of “political commitments” rather than a more formal agreement, it is sure to heighten congressional concerns that Iran might violate the deal’s terms.

“The success of the JCPOA will depend not on whether it is legally binding or signed, but rather on the extensive verification measures we have put in place, as well as Iran’s understanding that we have the capacity to re-impose – and ramp up – our sanctions if Iran does not meet its commitments,” Frifield wrote to Pompeo.

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Of course we couldn’t trust Iran in the first place, but for Obama, who touted this deal as the only way to keep Iran from getting nukes, to not even get their signatures attesting to their ‘commitment’ to this so-called deal seems ludicrous. And for his State Department to then say it’s not legally binding? Just what assurances did Obama think he was getting from the Iranians to even make the guarantees he made and his numerous statements defending this deal?

Here’s the letter obtained by the NRO:

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David Leach Says The New Budget Deal Effectively Kills The GOP

Budget Deal Effectively Kills The GOP – Strident Conservative

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As you probably know by now, the budget and debt ceiling deal I wrote about a few days ago has officially passed the House of Representatives. And while it’s true that it runs contrary to every principle that Republicans campaigned on when they convinced America to give them the majority in 2010, the policy and political implications of this legislation will be far-reaching with severe consequences.

So, how bad is it? In an opinion piece on Conservative Review, Daniel Horowitz gives seven reasons why this betrayal will probably be the end of the Republican party:

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1. Increases Debt Ceiling Unconditionally

This bill suspends the debt ceiling through March 2017, granting this president another $1.5 trillion in debt authority after already amassing $7.5 trillion in debt. This, at a time when revenue is at record highs. There are now no external constraints on the amount of debt this president can accumulate in his final year.

2. Budget Control Act Permanently Terminated

The bill increases spending by $112 billion, thereby permanently overturning the only meaningful spending victory secured by conservatives over the past five years. There will be little leverage to preserve these cuts in the future. Spending was already slated to increase by $250 billion for the new year (from $3.677 trillion to $3.928 trillion); this bill will bump that increase to over $310 billion for 2016 alone. This is why Republicans have never cut spending. Despite record projected revenue of $3.5 trillion for 2016, they can’t balance the budget and will spend $4 trillion annually for the first time ever. In the era of “austerity,” the federal government is now growing by 8.4% despite the fact that the private economy is averaging 2.5% growth.

3. Rubber Stamps Obama’s Backwards Foreign Policy

Included in the increased spending is an extra $32 billion in war spending on top of existing appropriations. This comes on the heels of reports that Obama is commencing ground operations involving our military in the Islamic civil war in both Iraq and Syria. It is cowardly of Congress to not issue a declaration of war with specific policy demands from Obama dictating our strategic goals. Nobody can identify the mission – who we are fighting and with whom we are allying? Yet, this is Congress’ backdoor means of greenlighting this tepid and aimless effort without taking responsibility for supporting it or blocking it. As we’ve noted before, much of the money we send to the Middle East has wound up in the hands of Al-Nusra in Syria and Iranian-backed Shiite forces in Iraq. This budget allows Obama to invest more in failure, and worse – our enemies – because much of the OCO funds go to the State Department.

4. Paves the Way for More Spending with Enron Style Accounting

It would have been better had Congress not deceived the public with Enron-style accounting gimmicks to “offset” the cost of the bill. As Congressional Quarterly noted today, “Budget Deal Pay-Fors May Provide Template for Future Accords.” The political class thinks that a hodgepodge of notional and intangible offsets spread out 10 years from now are so clever. They will be emboldened to use the same gimmicks to bust even more spending caps, even in areas of the budget they’ve been cautious to do so until now.

5. We are at the mercy of Obama with no leverage

The most under-reported aspect of this deal is that it completely “clears the decks” of any budget bill for the remainder of Obama’s presidency, thereby taking the power of the purse off the table. As bad as the increased spending is for our fiscal solvency, the Obama policies are worse. There will be no budget to leverage against Obama’s growing amnesty, EPA overreach, foreign policy disasters, prison break, and dangerous clemencies. For example, Obama released 66,000 criminal aliens in 2013-2014, who had accrued a total of 166,000 convictions: 30k DUIs, 414 kidnappings, 11,000 sex assaults, and 395 homicides. They went on to commit at least 121 murders after being released. Who knows how high those numbers will go now that Obama has completely suspended deportations. Yet, conservatives will not have an opportunity to leverage DHS and Justice Department funding against his amnesty, which will likely grow more dangerous and lawless in his final year.

6. Paul Ryan Owns This Budget

Even if one buys into Ryan’s defense that he had nothing to do with the budget, a dubious assertion in itself, he clearly owns this deal for two reasons.

* First, the notion that the Speaker-elect cannot speak out against this travesty and demand it be halted is like saying that a newly elected fire chief is powerless against ordering his men to put out the flames of an arson that began the day before. Even if we accept that the debt ceiling deadline was sprung on him and cannot be stopped, there is no reason for him to agree to the budget deal, which does not come due for another six weeks. He certainly doesn’t have to agree to take the debt ceiling AND budget off the table for the rest of Obama’s presidency; he could have opted for a shorter-term bill so that he can show us the magic of his budget work and his amazing messaging skills. Now he will have no leverage to enact all of the fiscal reforms he will so eruditely articulate in the coming months.

* Second, Paul Ryan forged the original Ryan-Murray bill in 2013, which established the precedent that breaking the budget caps is a “must-pass” initiative. Until that point, Republicans had held firm. In that sense, this deal is merely the grandchild of Ryan’s original betrayal.

The fact that Ryan supported this excrement sandwich shows that he has no desire to actually force important conservative changes. He relishes the opportunity to “clear the barn” of any meaningful leverage so that he can discuss policy reforms in the abstract without having to fight for them in any significant way.

7. The Republican Party is Dead

Republicans have checked out from the fight against the consequential societal transformational issues for years: marriage, religious liberty, immigration, law and order, etc. They have made it clear now they will never fight for fiscal conservatism. Unless a true conservative is elected as president, the party is done.

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As I wrote a week ago, the ascension of Paul Ryan to the Speaker’s job was reason enough to begin a new Conservative Revolution.The death of the GOP following this travesty of budgetary irresponsibility gives us one more reason to see it begin.

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Senior U.S. Officials Conclude That Obama’s Nuclear Deal With Iran Violates Federal Law

U.S. Officials Conclude Iran Deal Violates Federal Law – Fox News

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Some senior U.S. officials involved in the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal have privately concluded that a key sanctions relief provision – a concession to Iran that will open the doors to tens of billions of dollars in U.S.-backed commerce with the Islamic regime – conflicts with existing federal statutes and cannot be implemented without violating those laws, Fox News has learned.

At issue is a passage tucked away in ancillary paperwork attached to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, as the Iran nuclear deal is formally known. Specifically, Section 5.1.2 of Annex II provides that in exchange for Iranian compliance with the terms of the deal, the U.S. “shall… license non-U.S. entities that are owned or controlled by a U.S. person to engage in activities with Iran that are consistent with this JCPOA.”

In short, this means that foreign subsidiaries of U.S. parent companies will, under certain conditions, be allowed to do business with Iran. The problem is that the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act (ITRA), signed into law by President Obama in August 2012, was explicit in closing the so-called “foreign sub” loophole.

Indeed, ITRA also stipulated, in Section 218, that when it comes to doing business with Iran, foreign subsidiaries of U.S. parent firms shall in all cases be treated exactly the same as U.S. firms: namely, what is prohibited for U.S. parent firms has to be prohibited for foreign subsidiaries, and what is allowed for foreign subsidiaries has to be allowed for U.S. parent firms.

What’s more, ITRA contains language, in Section 605, requiring that the terms spelled out in Section 218 shall remain in effect until the president of the United States certifies two things to Congress: first, that Iran has been removed from the State Department’s list of nations that sponsor terrorism, and second, that Iran has ceased the pursuit, acquisition, and development of weapons of mass destruction.

Additional executive orders and statutes signed by President Obama, such as the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, have reaffirmed that all prior federal statutes relating to sanctions on Iran shall remain in full effect.

For example, the review act – sponsored by Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) and Ben Cardin (D-Maryland), the chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the Foreign Relations Committee, and signed into law by President Obama in May – stated that “any measure of statutory sanctions relief” afforded to Iran under the terms of the nuclear deal may only be “taken consistent with existing statutory requirements for such action.” The continued presence of Iran on the State Department’s terror list means that “existing statutory requirements” that were set forth in ITRA, in 2012, have not been met for Iran to receive the sanctions relief spelled out in the JCPOA.

As the Iran deal is an “executive agreement” and not a treaty – and has moreover received no vote of ratification from the Congress, explicit or symbolic – legal analysts inside and outside of the Obama administration have concluded that the JCPOA is vulnerable to challenge in the courts, where federal case law had held that U.S. statutes trump executive agreements in force of law.

Administration sources told Fox News it is the intention of Secretary of State John Kerry, who negotiated the nuclear deal with Iran’s foreign minister and five other world powers, that the re-opening of the “foreign sub” loophole by the JCPOA is to be construed as broadly as possible by lawyers for the State Department, the Treasury Department and other agencies involved in the deal’s implementation.

But the apparent conflict between the re-opening of the loophole and existing U.S. law leaves the Obama administration with only two options going forward. The first option is to violate ITRA, and allow foreign subsidiaries to be treated differently than U.S. parent firms. The second option is to treat both categories the same, as ITRA mandated – but still violate the section of ITRA that required Iran’s removal from the State Department terror list as a pre-condition of any such licensing.

It would also renege on the many promises of senior U.S. officials to keep the broad array of American sanctions on Iran in place. Chris Backemeyer, who served as Iran director for the National Security Council from 2012 to 2014 and is now the State Department’s deputy coordinator for sanctions policy, told POLITICO last month “there will be no real sanctions relief of our primary embargo… We are still going to have sanctions on Iran that prevent most Americans from… engaging in most commercial activities.”

Likewise, in a speech at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy last month, Adam Szubin, the acting under secretary of Treasury for terrorism and financial crimes, described Iran as “the world’s foremost sponsor of terrorism” and said existing U.S. sanctions on the regime “will continue to be enforced… U.S. investment in Iran will be prohibited across the board.”

Nominated to succeed his predecessor at Treasury, Szubin appeared before the Senate Banking Committee for a confirmation hearing the day after his speech to the Washington Institute. At the hearing, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) asked the nominee where the Obama administration finds the “legal underpinnings” for using the JCPOA to re-open the “foreign sub” loophole.

Szubin said the foreign subsidiaries licensed to do business with Iran will have to meet “some very difficult conditions,” and he specifically cited ITRA, saying the 2012 law “contains the licensing authority that Treasury would anticipate using… to allow for certain categories of activity for those foreign subsidiaries.”

Elsewhere, in documents obtained by Fox News, Szubin has maintained that a different passage of ITRA, Section 601, contains explicit reference to an earlier law – the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, or IEEPA, on the books since 1977 – and states that the president “may exercise all authorities” embedded in IEEPA, which includes licensing authority for the president.

However, Section 601 is also explicit on the point that the president must use his authorities from IEEPA to “carry out” the terms and provisions of ITRA itself, including Section 218 – which mandated that, before this form of sanctions relief can be granted, Iran must be removed from the State Department’s terror list. Nothing in the Congressional Record indicates that, during debate and passage of ITRA, members of Congress intended for the chief executive to use Section 601 to overturn, rather than “carry out,” the key provisions of his own law.

One administration lawyer contacted by Fox News said the re-opening of the loophole reflects circular logic with no valid legal foundation. “It would be Alice-in-Wonderland bootstrapping to say that [Section] 601 gives the president the authority to restore the foreign subsidiary loophole – the exact opposite of what the statute ordered,” said the attorney, who requested anonymity to discuss sensitive internal deliberations over implementation of the Iran deal.

At the State Department on Thursday, spokesman John Kirby told reporters Secretary Kerry is “confident” that the administration “has the authority to follow through on” the commitment to re-open the foreign subsidiary loophole.

“Under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, the president has broad authorities, which have been delegated to the secretary of the Treasury, to license activities under our various sanctions regimes, and the Iran sanctions program is no different,” Kirby said.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), the G.O.P. presidential candidate who is a Harvard-trained lawyer and ardent critic of the Iran deal, said the re-opening of the loophole fits a pattern of the Obama administration enforcing federal laws selectively.

“It’s a problem that the president doesn’t have the ability wave a magic wand and make go away,” Cruz told Fox News in an interview. “Any U.S. company that follows through on this, that allows their foreign-owned subsidiaries to do business with Iran, will very likely face substantial civil liability, litigation and potentially even criminal prosecution. The obligation to follow federal law doesn’t go away simply because we have a lawless president who refuses to acknowledge or follow federal law.”

A spokesman for the Senate Banking Committee could not offer any time frame as to when the committee will vote on Szubin’s nomination.

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Can The Iran Deal Still Be Stopped? (Jonathan S. Tobin)

Can The Iran Deal Still Be Stopped? – Jonathan S. Tobin

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On Thursday, 42 Senate Democrats voted to filibuster a resolution of disapproval of the Iran nuclear deal. That unprincipled partisan move not only deprived the Senate of a vote on the deal that the body had granted itself by a 99-1 vote earlier this year. It also seemed to close off any chance that Congress could block the implementation of the pact championed by President Obama. Indeed, the filibuster engineered by the Democrats ensured he would not even have to veto the resolution that was passed by the House on Friday. Understandably that has caused most observers to stop talking about the failure of the deal’s critics to stop it and instead to start discussing exactly how quickly Iran will start getting the money and sanctions relief President Obama has promised it. But some opponents are not giving up.

In Politico, Senator Ted Cruz writes that the fight isn’t over. Cruz echoes the defiance of House Republicans who correctly point out that as long as the text of a side deal between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency is kept secret, the administration hasn’t complied with the Corker-Cardin bill and it can’t be put into effect. He says that means any implementation of the agreement will be illegal and that Congress can act in such a way as to make that position stand up. That raises two questions. The first is whether his stance is correct. The second is whether opponents of the president’s policy believe further resistance is not only futile but also counter-productive. Though Congressional leaders are inclined to view anything Cruz says as ill-advised, he might not only be right but his plan of action could lay the foundation for Obama’s successor to throw the deal out.

Let’s concede up front, as Cruz does himself, that nothing the House or the Senate does at this point will prevent President Obama from putting the deal into effect. The administration doesn’t concede that the Iran-IAEA agreement is part of the actual deal and will, on the strength of the Senate filibuster treat it as if Congress has approved it.

Yet as I noted last week, House Republicans such as Rep. Mike Pompeo, who have raised the question of the side deal, are exactly right. The text of the Iran Nuclear Review Act of 2015 put forward by Senators Bob Corker and Ben Cardin, was clear that every aspect of any nuclear deal signed by the West with Iran had to be disclosed to Congress before the 60-day review period, during which a resolution of disapproval might be put forward and could be triggered. Since the Iran-IAEA deal about inspection of the Parchin military site has not been divulged to Congress, the review period did not begin when the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action embraced by the president was presented to Congress in July.

A majority of the House has embraced this stand, and Cruz asks House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to jointly endorse that position. He also would like McConnell to schedule a symbolic sense of the Senate resolution that would state that the deal would not have been ratified had it been presented, as it should have been, as a treaty and had to follow the Constitutional process that would have required 67 votes for approval.

Lastly, Cruz wants the Congressional leadership to issue a formal warning to banks that are currently holding the billions in frozen Iranian assets that the deal would have to release to Tehran. They would be told that if they listen to President Obama and let the funds go to the Islamist regime they risk being hauled into court and face onerous civil and perhaps even criminal penalties once a new administration is sworn in.

Some Republicans – especially Boehner and McConnell – are inclined to view anything Cruz says as self-serving and a recipe for endless and pointless strife. He has made a lot of enemies on his own side of the aisle since entering the Senate in January 2013. McConnell is still angry over Cruz calling him a liar in July during their dispute about the renewal of the Export-Import Bank. Nor has the GOP leadership forgiven him for helping to push Congress into the 2013 government shutdown or his threats about another one this year about defunding Planned Parenthood.

Yet in spite of their hard feelings, they should be listening to him on this issue.

While Congress can’t actually stop Obama from acting as if the deal is legal, it should be taking all appropriate steps to defend its rights as it fights a rear-guard action against a nuclear agreement that is a dangerous act of appeasement. Congress can sue the president over this and should. As it happens, earlier this week a Washington D.C. federal judge ruled that the much-mocked Congressional lawsuit against the president for rewriting the ObamaCare law without proper legislative authority can move ahead. That means a similar suit that might be pursued about the illegal implementation of the Iran deal is also theoretically viable.

The president gained a victory when Senator Corker foolishly allowed himself to be gulled into writing a bill that created a reverse ratification process that let the deal be passed with only 42 Senate votes rather than Constitution’s mandate of 67. But that also means that it does not have the force of law and can be thrown out with legal impunity by his successor. Even if it takes years to win in court, a suit that points out the illegal nature of the implementation will make it easier for a Republican president to do that. That will make the threats of legal consequences for the banks that deliver money to Iran even more credible. Congress should also move ahead with legislation toughening the sanctions on Iran and making it difficult if not impossible for Obama to move forward with his goal of détente with the Islamist regime.

Though it feels like the fight over Iran is over, Cruz is right that it doesn’t have to be that way. For now, Obama will have his way but by not conceding the battle, Boehner and McConnell will be preparing the way for this appalling betrayal of principle by the president to be eventually discarded, as it should have been had not Congressional Democrats valued partisan loyalty over their responsibility to defend the U.S. and its allies. Establishment Republicans can roll their eyes at Cruz, but he’s right about this. Democrats now own Iran and its crimes for the foreseeable future and the GOP as well as friends of Israel should not be shy about pointing who are the guilty men and women who backed appeasement. Not giving up isn’t a waste of time. It’s actually the prudent and the politically smart thing to do.

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A Two-Pronged Litigation Strategy For Iran Sanctions Suspension – Eugene Kontorovich

Previous posts have discussed the jurisdictional and statutory questions involved in possible judicial challenges to sanctions relief pursuant to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Here I will sketch what seems to me the most effective way of ensuring prompt judicial review of these issues – a two-pronged litigation strategy involving both Congress and the several states. At the end, I’ll return to some questions about congressional standing in response to insightful comments by Prof. Josh Blackman.

Congress’s role

The first step would be for the House to challenge any sanctions relief declared by the President. Such a case raises novel and complex standing questions. While a recent D.C. Federal court decision opens the door to such suits, it is not clear how wide, and the House may be found to not have standing. Yet even in such a situation, the suit could be important.

Even if a House suit fails on standing grounds – and there is no disgrace in a case not being judicially revieable – it would help shape judicial perceptions of the equities of subsequent suits involving states, where standing will not be in question. That is, the House’s vigorous assertion in court of a separation of powers violation, even if not ruled on, could give added credibility to subsequent separation of powers claims in litigation involving the states. If Congress tried but failed on a jurisdictional issue, it still gives the substantive issue the dimension of a major dispute between co-equal branches about federal statutes and foreign trade legislation, rather than states questioning Executive decisions.

For example, when the Line-Item veto act was passed, some congressmen who opposed it challenged it in court. They were found not to have standing (this does not weaken congressional standing in our case, where it would be the House in its institutional capacity, not simply a few members on the losing side of a vote bringing the suit). However, subsequently, when New York City and private groups affected by the Line Item Veto brought suit, their justiciable and ultimately successful case may have seemed more serious in light of the prior legislative challenge.

The states’ role

Dozens of states currently have Iran sanctions in place. Many of these are tied to the federal sanctions scheme, such that the state sanctions automatically terminate when the federal ones do. The simplest strategy for states is to insist on the ongoing validity of their sanctions even after President Obama purports to order sanctions relief.

The states can follow the House’s lead, and say they do not regard Corker-Cardin as having been complied with, and thus their sanctions remain in place. Indeed, the non-compliance with Corker-Cardin will protect state laws from preemption, as even the robust version of “executive policy” preemption in Giaramedi does not apply when the executive policy is blocked by express legislation.

(So far I, have assumed the the Executive will argue that Corker-Cardin gives him broad new sanctions cancellation power that he will purport to use; obviously, the existence power depends on compliance with that authorizing statute. If the Executive merely purports to be using previous waiver authority, which I doubt he will be content to do, then there is a reasonable argument, though no slam-dunk, that such authority is frozen pending Congress’s review of the full deal.)

State sanctions offer many routes to judicial review. First, the state can itself bring enforcement actions. State and lower federal court rulings in enforcement suits would also give courts an opportunity to rule on the legality of sanctions relief, but would not immediately bind the federal government.

However, the ongoing enforcement of such sanctions will put the Administration in a bind. On one hand, it will want the Justice Department to bring a prompt preemption challenge against the state laws. On the other hand, that would squarely expose the Administration’s Corker-Cardin compliance to judicial review, and a judgement would be fully and generally binding on the Executive. Even if the odds were against such a ruling, that would be a huge risk for the Administration to take with one of its signature accomplishments, especially right before an election.

On the other hand, the Administration would not be able to sit back and watch states enforce their sanctions. Indeed, President Obama seems to have promised Iran to not abide by such a scenario. The regulatory uncertainty of ongoing state sanctions would have a significant deterrent effect on companies, while the ongoing legal uncertainty over the sanctions relief would itself tend to destabilize the deal. And the President would have to worry that a possible successor could refuse to defend the deal in court, without having the expressly repudiate it, much as Obama declined a few years ago to defend the constitutionality of a federal law in United States v. Windsor.

Faced with this dilemma, and generally confident of the strength of its position, the Administration will most likely bring a preemption challenge, or intervene in a state proceeding, allowing for quick judicial review of the issues.

Congressional standing

Congressional standing is now a real possibility because of the D.C. District Court’s ruling in House of Representatives v. Burwell. Josh Blackman argues that the House’s claims about the Iran deal would not meet the test set up by Judge Collyer in the case, while at the same time criticizing the distinction that test is based on. I am sympathetic to those criticisms. In the broader picture, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals’ ultimate decision on the institutional legislative standing will not depend on the precise test articulated by the District Court, and if it arrives at the same result, it may be based on somewhat different reasoning. Thus a broad qualification is in order – the analysis of House standing is quite speculative as the entire doctrine of such standing is at this point quite uncertain.

Judge Collyer required the House to assert a constitutional injury for itself, not a statutory one, or a complaint about the Executive’s improper enforcement of the law. However, as Judge Collyer understands, constitutional claims are typically embedded in a statutory matrix, not floating around in the legal ether. Indeed, typically private citizens cannot sue to enforce constitutional rights directly, without a statutory cause of action. The question the House would raise is not simply whether the president complied with Corker-Cardin, but whether subsequent sanctions relief violates the separation of powers.

The most fundamental point is that Congress could not exercise its legislative powers – the power to make binding votes on things – without the relevant materials. In effect, the non-transmission prevented congress from exercising its legislative function within the relevant legal framework. This is an issue of the president not just nullifying Congress’s vote, but precluding it.

Furthermore, characterizing the House’s injury depends in part on how the Executive characterizes its subsequent sanctions relief actions. If, as some argue, Corker-Cardin does not merely authorize the president to use preexisting waiver and suspension authorities, but rather to actually cancel existing sanctions legislation, the constitutional issues loom particularly large. In this view, Corker-Cardin effectively delegates a retroactive veto power to the president to cancel existing pieces of legislation. While sanctions and trade laws typically contain provisions for suspension or termination by the president upon certain contingencies, that authority is typically for the restrictions within the authorizing piece of legislation itself. In other words, each law has its own suspension provisions.

It would be fairly novel, I believe, for Congress to give the president cross-statutory nullification authority, not triggered by any particular executive findings – that is for a statute to authorize the president to cancel provisions of other statutes. This has some echoes of the line-item veto (yes, of course there are differences). But one need not say the delegation is impermissible to say that there is a separation-of-powers problem.

Delegated power to strike down duly enacted statutes is a fairly vast grant of legislative power; in this case, without any apparent limiting principles. Such broad delegation could only be done pursuant to explicit legislative authorization. If that authorization is conditional, i.e. conditioned in Corker-Cardin on reviewing the full agreement, then whether those conditions have been met becomes a very important separation of powers question.

Even if Corker-Cardin merely authorizes the president to use preexisting sanctions relief authority, rather than grant new ones, that authority is now modified by Corker-Cardin itself. Thus sunsetting sanctions without providing for the required prior congressional review could be cast as a legislative act by the president – permanently changing the effect of existing laws in a way not pursuant to law.

To paraphrase Judge Collyer’s standing ruling in Burwell into Iran deal terms:

Properly understood, the Non-Cancellation Theory is not about the implementation, interpretation, or execution of any federal statute. The Executive has cancelled existing statutory provisions regarding sanctions without congressional legislation – not merely in violation of any statute, but in violation of U.S. Const. art. I, § 7, cl. 2, requiring bicameralism and presentment for such action.

Of course, the Executive would then argue that the cancellation was pursuant to congressional authorization in Corker-Cardin, and the House would respond that Corker-Cardin does not apply because the review period was not triggered. So non-compliance with the transmission requirements regarding deal documents would certainly be a big part of the issues in the case, but it would not be injury claimed by the House.

Again, to put it in language of Judge Collyer’s opinion:

The House of Representatives as an institution would suffer a concrete, particularized injury if the Executive were able to cancel duly enacted federal legislation without a valid congressional authorization.

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RINO Boehner Caves To House Conservatives – Will Call For Vote On Resolution That Could Stop Iran Deal Cold

Report: Boehner Caves To House Conservatives On Iran Deal Vote – Gateway Pundit

It looks like the thousands of protesters outside the U.S. Capitol may have persuaded at least one Congressman to rethink Obama’s nuclear deal.

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Speaker John Boehner reportedly has agreed to vote on a resolution introduced by Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL). The resolution will state that Obama has not complied with the law by not submitting the full Iranian nuclear deal to Congress.

Instapundit reported:

Looks like pressure from the House conservative Freedom Caucus membership has forced House Speaker John Boehner to agree the House will not pass a resolution disapproving of President Obama’s Iran deal. Instead, the House will apparently vote Friday on the resolution introduced by Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL), which will state that Obama has not complied with the Corker-Cardin law because he has not submitted the full Iranian nuclear “agreement,” which that law explicitly defines to include all “side deals,” between third parties (including the Iran-IAEA side deals).

The House is also anticipated to now vote on a second resolution, which would state that because the President has failed to submit the “agreement” defined by Corker-Cardin, the President has no corresponding authority to lift any existing Iranian sanctions.
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The move by Boehner came after Freedom Caucus members threatened to vote down a planned resolution disapproving of the Iran deal, leaving the House on record as approving the deal. This threat was designed to leverage Boehner via potential political embarrassment, and encourage GOP leadership to consider the Roskam alternative, which will both delay congressional action on the Iran deal, as well as provide a stronger legal basis upon which to challenge any presidential action lifting sanctions.

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200 Retired Generals And Admirals Sign Letter Urging Congress To Reject Insane Iran Nuclear Deal

200 Ex-Generals Write Congress: Reject Nuke Deal – WorldNetDaily

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An estimated 200 retired generals and admirals put pen to paper and sent a letter to Congress to advise them to reject the nuclear deal pressed by President Obama, saying the world will become a more dangerous place if it’s approved.

“The agreement will enable Iran to become far more dangerous, render the Mideast still more unstable and introduce new threats to American interests as well as our allies,” the letter stated.

It was addressed to House Majority Leader John Boehner, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

The writers say the “agreement as constructed does not ‘cut off every pathway’ for Iran to acquire nuclear weapons,” an apparent reference to the terminology President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry used to tout the benefits of the deal.

“To the contrary,” it continues, “it actually provides Iran with a legitimate path to doing that simply by abiding the deal.”

The generals and admirals say the agreement will let Iran enrich uranium, develop centrifuges and keep up work on its heavy-water plutonium reactor at Arak.

And also of concern, they write: “The agreement is unverifiable. Under the terms of the [agreement] and a secret side deal (to which the United States is not privy), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will be responsible for inspectiOns under such severe limitations as to prEvent them from reliably detecting Iranian cheating.”

The letter references the widely reported 24-day delay that was given Iran to keep out inspectors, under the terms of the forged deal. And it also mentions the facet of the agreement that “requires inspectors to inform Iran in writing as to the basis for its concerns about an undeclared site,” and says such allowances are inappropriate and dangerous.

“While failing to assure prevention of Iran’s nuclear weapons development capabilities, the agreement provides by some estimated $150 billion… or more to Iran in the form of sanctions relief,” the letter states.

And their conclusions?

“As military officers, we find it unconscionable that such a windfall could be given to a regime that even the Obama administration has acknowledged will use a portion of such funds to continue to support terrorism in Israel, throughout the Middle East and globally,” they wrote, summarizing the agreement is a danger to the world.

“Accordingly, we urge the Congress to reject this defective accord,” the letter wraps.

Among the signers: Admiral David Architzel, U.S. Navy, retired; Admiral Stanley Arthur, U.S. Navy, retired; General Alfred Hansen, U.S. Air Force, retired; Admiral James Hoggs, U.S. Navy, retired; and General Ronald Yates, U.S. Air Force, retired.

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