There appears to have been a meeting of the minds between President Obama and Republican Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., on legislation that would allow Congress to vote on an Iran deal, as Republicans compromised on various issues to appease White House objections while the White House bowed the reality that a veto of the bill as now written would be overridden.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest today told reporters that the bill, which is to be voted on by the Senate Foreign Relations late Tuesday, would be acceptable as long as it is not changed during the committee process in ways unacceptable to the White House.
The legislation would allow a vote on a deal-scuttling resolution of disapproval of the Iran deal after it is negotiated at the end of June, but Obama could veto the resolution, and then two thirds of the Senate would be needed for an override.
This is far easier for the White House than were Congress to be permitted a vote on whether to approve the Iran agreement, which would be a requirement for the Senate to actually approve it by some kind of majority, depending on the procedures for the vote. Under the Corker bill, effectively, the White House only needs the support of a third of the Senate. So Congress has a role, but a severely circumscribed one.
Congress would also be given the power to decide whether to lift its own sanctions on Iran, a concession already offered by the White House.
The bill includes some significant concessions to the White House. The president would no longer be required to certify that Iran has stopped supporting terrorism. And the timeframe for consideration by Congress has been shortened from 60 to 30 days.