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Sen. Cruz Declares Intention to Hold Authorization and Block Nominees for State Department

Letter to the President asserts imperative of Congressional approval for any Iran deal before U.N. action

July 16, 2015

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today sent a letter to President Barack Obama declaring his intention to hold reauthorizing legislation and block all nominees for the U.S. State Department unless the President provides written assurances that he will block any U.N. Security Council resolution approving the Iranian nuclear deal until the statutory timeline for Congressional review has run its course.

“Nowhere does the Annex [of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)] mention the United States Congress or recognize mandatory Congressional review under the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015,” wrote Sen. Cruz. “By virtue of the Congressional review mechanism you agreed to, implementation of a deal cannot go into effect until Congress receives all necessary documentation, evaluates the deal, and renders a judgment. As the JCPOA is written, it seems your Administration intended all along to circumvent this domestic review by moving the agreement to the UN Security Council before the mandatory 60-day review period ends, thus adopting an agreement without Congressional consent. That Samantha Power has already introduced a draft resolution to the Security Council portrays an offensive level of disrespect for the American people and their elected representatives in Congress.”

Read the full text of the letter here and below:

July 16, 2015

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

I write to express deep concern about your nuclear deal with Iran. Language in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) assumes Congressional consent of this agreement and fails to even mention the statutory review process that you signed into law on February 27, 2015.
Specifically, Annex V of the JCPOA states that the United States and Iran "will endorse this JCPOA," and further elucidates that the UN Security Council will undertake a prompt review of the agreement after the conclusion of negotiations. Not later than ninety days after a UNSC Resolution endorses the JCPOA, the process arrives at "Adoption Day," calling upon the United States to prematurely "issue waivers" in order to roll back the US sanctions regime in preparation for a future implementation date.

Nowhere does the Annex mention the United States Congress or recognize mandatory Congressional review under the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015. By virtue of the Congressional review mechanism you agreed to, implementation of a deal cannot go into effect until Congress receives all necessary documentation, evaluates the deal, and renders a judgment. As the JCPOA is written, it seems your Administration intended all along to circumvent this domestic review by moving the agreement to the UN Security Council before the mandatory 60-day review period ends, thus adopting an agreement without Congressional consent. That Samantha Power has already introduced a draft resolution to the Security Council portrays an offensive level of disrespect for the American people and their elected representatives in Congress.

Under no circumstances should the Executive Branch take such action before the Congressional review process is complete. Thus, I ask that you provide written assurances that you will take all necessary steps to block any UN Security Council resolution approving the JCPOA until the statutory timeline for Congressional review has run its course. Until you provide such assurances, I intend to block all nominees for the Department of State and hold any legislation that reauthorizes funds for the Department of State.

I look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

Ted Cruz
United States Senator

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