White House Snubs Some Senior Lawmakers on Iran Negotiation Details

“My invite was lost in the mail,” said Sen. John McCain.

McCain: Balks at "baked in" overruns.
National Journal
Clara Ritger
Add to Briefcase
Clara Ritger
July 20, 2014, 5:10 p.m.

Law­makers are miffed about not get­ting a seat in the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion’s brief­ings on the Ir­an nuc­le­ar talks.

Some mem­bers of the Sen­ate For­eign Re­la­tions Com­mit­tee, which has jur­is­dic­tion over mat­ters of in­ter­na­tion­al nuc­le­ar en­ergy, said they were not giv­en any up­dates about the status of the nuc­le­ar ne­go­ti­ations with Ir­an, which were ex­ten­ded Fri­day to Nov. 24.

“They don’t con­sult us,” said Re­pub­lic­an Sen. Marco Ru­bio of Flor­ida. “They’ve shown no in­terest in in­volving the con­gres­sion­al branch with any sort of in­put with re­gard to what the ul­ti­mate deal is go­ing to be.”

Ex­cept that some mem­bers of Con­gress are get­ting in­vited to of­fer in­put, and it’s not just lead­er­ship.

“The White House called me yes­ter­day and said there was go­ing to be a brief­ing today,” said Demo­crat­ic Sen. Ben Cardin of Mary­land.

Cali­for­nia Demo­crat Bar­bara Box­er and For­eign Re­la­tions Chair­man Robert Men­en­dez of New Jer­sey also said they were get­ting briefed on the situ­ation.

Re­pub­lic­an Sen. Bob Cork­er of Ten­ness­ee, the com­mit­tee’s rank­ing mem­ber, said the White House per­son­ally ex­ten­ded him an in­vit­a­tion to Thursday’s brief­ing on the Ir­an ne­go­ti­ations.

“My in­vite was lost in the mail,” said Re­pub­lic­an Sen. John Mc­Cain of Ari­zona. “I think that the Con­gress should ap­prove or dis­ap­prove of something that is of this sig­ni­fic­ance.”

An­oth­er mem­ber of the For­eign Re­la­tions Com­mit­tee, Re­pub­lic­an Sen. James Risch of Idaho, said he wasn’t aware of any mem­bers of Con­gress that have been in­cluded on the de­tails, but said that they should be.

“We in Con­gress have re­ques­ted that the pres­id­ent not do any­thing uni­lat­er­ally without con­sult­ing Con­gress,” Risch said. “I was not happy with the deal they cut last time.”

Earli­er this month, 344 mem­bers of the House sent a let­ter to the pres­id­ent re­quest­ing that he con­sult Con­gress on a fi­nal deal. The let­ter also said that any sanc­tions re­lief that might come after the Ju­ly 20 dead­line would have to be ap­proved by Con­gress.

House For­eign Af­fairs Com­mit­tee Chair­man Ed Royce of Cali­for­nia and rank­ing mem­ber Eli­ot En­gel were the lead sig­nat­or­ies on the let­ter, and it ap­pears it had some im­pact.

“We were con­sul­ted nu­mer­ous times this week,” En­gel said. “I’m reas­on­ably sat­is­fied that he’s reach­ing out.”

While the New York Demo­crat felt that ul­ti­mately Pres­id­ent Obama should be reach­ing out to all law­makers, he said the pres­id­ent was mak­ing “a good faith ef­fort” by start­ing with lead­er­ship, com­mit­tee chairs, and some of the Jew­ish mem­bers of Con­gress.

What We're Following See More »
ANOTHER NUCLEAR OPTION?
Byrd Rule Could Trip Up Health Legislation
3 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"Even if House Republicans manage to get enough members of their party on board with the latest version of their health care bill, they will face another battle in the Senate: whether the bill complies with the chamber’s arcane ... Byrd rule, which stipulates all provisions in a reconciliation bill must affect federal spending and revenues in a way that is not merely incidental." Democrats should have the advantage in that fight, "unless the Senate pulls another 'nuclear option.'”

Source:
ONE WEEK
Senate Votes To Fund Government
5 hours ago
BREAKING
ON TO SENATE
House Passes Spending Bill
6 hours ago
BREAKING

The House has passed a one-week spending bill that will avert a government shutdown which was set to begin at midnight. Lawmakers now have an extra week to come to a longer agreement which is expected to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year in September. The legislation now goes to the Senate, where it is expected to pass before President Trump signs it.

FULL CABINET IN PLACE
Acosta Confirmed As Labor Secretary
7 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Alexander Acosta was confirmed Thursday night as Labor secretary, officially filling out President Trump's cabinet on day 98 of his presidency. Nine Democrats joined every present Republican in voting to approve Acosta, with the final tally at 60-38. Trump's first choice for Labor secretary, Andrew Puzder, withdrew his nomination after taking criticism for hiring undocumented workers and for other matters in his personal life.

Source:
HAS WHITE HOUSE BACKING
Hurd to Make Push on Federal IT
8 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) plans to introduce legislation today designed to help federal agencies update their aging technology—and this time, it has White House backing. Hurd worked alongside White House Office of American Innovation officials Reed Cordish and Chris Liddell in crafting and tweaking the legislation, and called their partnership an 'invaluable' part of the process."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login