Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham try to stop Joe Biden re-entering Iran nuclear deal and Paris climate accord with last-minute move to get Senate to vote them down

Republicans Sens. Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham have outlined a way for President Donald Trump to trip up President-elect Joe Biden's plans to rejoin the Paris climate accord and the Iran nuclear deal. 

Graham, in a series of tweets, and Cruz, in a letter addressed to Trump, aimed to get the two agreements treated as treaties, so they'd need a two-thirds Senate vote for passage, as outlined in the U.S. Constitution. 

Cruz asked Trump to submit the two agreements to the Senate, while Graham tweeted that he was working to secure a vote. 

With the Senate near a 50-50 Republican-Democrat split, there's almost no chance the two deals - which have become politically toxic for Republicans - would get two-thirds of the body's approval.  

In his letter to Trump, Cruz applauded Trump for pulling the U.S. out of both international agreements. Trump took the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement in June 2017. In May 2018 he abandoned the Iranian nuclear deal.  

Cruz then laid out a plan.  

'I urge you now also to remedy the harm done to the balance of powers by submitting the Iran Deal and the Paris Agreement to the to the Senate as treaties,' Cruz recommended. 'Only by so doing will the Senate be able to satisfy its constitutional role to provide advice and consent in the event any future administration attempts to revive these dangerous deals.'   

Cruz said that the Obama Administration unilaterally signed on to them because they knew they wouldn't get Senate approval.

'The only reason the Obama Administration refused to submit these agreements to the Senate as treaties was that it knew the agreements were deeply unpopular and doomed for defeat,' he wrote. 

Biden campaigned on an ambitious agenda to combat climate change, including plans to rejoin the Paris accord. 

He also promised supporters he would abandon Trump's 'America First' policies and rejoin and strengthen multi-lateral compacts, like the Iran nuclear deal.  

If Trump takes Cruz and Graham's advice, it will make it more difficult for Biden to unilaterally act and sign up the U.S. for these deals. 

In remarks Tuesday, Biden continued to say that he was open to working across the aisle with Republicans to get the bidding of the American people done.  

Most Republicans have been slow to come around to the idea that Biden won the November 3 election over Trump, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell referring to Biden as the president-elect just one week ago. 

The White House wouldn't say if Trump had signed on to the plan. 



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