Letter to Barack Obama, President of the United States - Consult Congress on Iran Nuclear Negotiations

Letter

By:  Rosa DeLauro Bob Goodlatte Bobby Scott Stephen Fincher Daniel Lipinski Jeff Fortenberry Todd Rokita Jeb Hensarling Steve Stivers Suzan DelBene John Boehner Mike Fitzpatrick Frank Wolf Kevin Brady Paul Gosar Bob Gibbs Ken Calvert Linda Sánchez David Scott Erik Paulsen Greg Walden Pete Olson Elizabeth Esty Virginia Foxx John Culberson Henry Cuellar Mike Doyle Ann Wagner Chaka Fattah, Sr. Alan Lowenthal Derek Kilmer Mario Diaz-Balart Marsha Blackburn Todd Young Chris Stewart Joe Heck, Jr. Kay Granger John Garamendi Devin Nunes G.K. Butterfield, Jr. Lynn Westmoreland Andy Harris Steve King Austin Scott Juan Vargas Frederica Wilson Mike Rogers Howard Coble Ted Deutch Gus Bilirakis Robert Pittenger Tim Murphy Jim Sensenbrenner, Jr. Corrine Brown Shelley Capito Reid Ribble Joe Garcia Randy Weber Julia Brownley Elijah Cummings Adam Schiff Ed Perlmutter John Shimkus Rick Nolan Jon Runyan Patrick Murphy David Joyce Richard Neal Mo Brooks Luke Messer Ander Crenshaw Phil Roe Pat Tiberi Nick Rahall II Scott Tipton Dave Reichert David Schweikert Mark Takano Dave Camp Mike Quigley Grace Meng Eric Swalwell Brett Guthrie Phil Gingrey Steve Israel Chuck Fleischmann Sandy Levin Leonard Lance Colleen Hanabusa Michael McCaul Dan Kildee Steve Southerland John Barrow Sean Duffy Steve Stockman Mac Thornberry Trey Gowdy III Tim Bishop John Duncan, Jr. Brian Higgins David Price Sam Graves Ron DeSantis Cedric Richmond Brad Schneider Scott Garrett Rich Nugent Chris Van Hollen, Jr. Bill Owens Emanuel Cleaver II Sean Maloney Adam Kinzinger Steve Scalise Dutch Ruppersberger Bill Keating Alan Nunnelee Mike Conaway David Cicilline Kevin McCarthy Ron Kind Steven Palazzo Tom Cole Jackie Speier John Delaney Jim Himes Dan Benishek Randy Neugebauer Ann Kirkpatrick Mike Thompson Kurt Schrader Jared Huffman David Valadao Kristi Noem Andy Barr Jim Cooper Debbie Wasserman Schultz Scott DesJarlais Joaquin Castro Tom Rooney Keith Rothfus Ted Yoho Tom Cotton Mike Kelly Suzanne Bonamici Alan Grayson Gregory Meeks Kerry Bentivolio John Kline Doug Lamborn Loretta Sanchez Bradley Byrne Ted Poe John Mica Mike Michaud Fred Upton Mike Simpson Scott Peters Janice Hahn Rick Larsen Jim Costa Martha Roby Peter Roskam Bob Brady Aaron Schock Vern Buchanan Jason Smith Susan Brooks Buck McKeon Lamar Smith Hakeem Jeffries Scott Perry Henry Waxman Tom Latham Bill Flores Rodney Frelinghuysen Jason Chaffetz Charlie Dent Bill Posey Jeff Miller Bill Shuster Jim Jordan Rob Bishop Vicky Hartzler Matt Salmon Scott Rigell Ileana Ros-Lehtinen Jack Kingston Lou Barletta Sanford Bishop, Jr. Eric Cantor Cory Gardner Frank Pallone, Jr. Chris Smith John Carney, Jr. Jim Langevin Mick Mulvaney Dana Rohrabacher Tammy Duckworth Blake Farenthold Patrick McHenry Raul Ruiz Tulsi Gabbard Joe Courtney John Lewis Joe Kennedy III Kyrsten Sinema Susan Davis Pete King Vance McAllister Paul Broun Ed Royce Jackie Walorski Bill Pascrell, Jr. David McKinley Sam Johnson Doug LaMalfa Jaime Herrera Beutler Al Green Blaine Luetkemeyer Marcia Fudge Jim Renacci Brad Sherman Denny Heck Ben Lujan, Jr. Cynthia Lummis Adrian Smith Matt Cartwright Tom McClintock Diane Black Michael Coffman Pete Gallego Duncan Hunter Judy Chu Jerry McNerney Joe Wilson, Sr. Marc Veasey Darrell Issa Rob Woodall Steve Pearce Marlin Stutzman Jim Bridenstine Joe Barton Paul Ryan Kathy Castor Chris Gibson Markwayne Mullin Ann Kuster Tim Walberg Gerry Connolly Tom Rice Tom Reed II Katherine Clark Ed Pastor Frank LoBiondo Tim Griffin Tim Huelskamp Trent Franks Mark Meadows Spencer Bachus Gary Peters Roger Williams Don Young Jeff Duncan Kevin Yoder Steve Chabot Richard Hanna Joe Crowley Tim Ryan Robert Aderholt Cathy McMorris Rodgers Dave Loebsack Kevin Cramer Bill Cassidy Joe Pitts John Carter John Fleming, Jr. Jim Gerlach Doris Matsui Tom Graves, Jr. John Campbell III Richard Hudson Doc Hastings Candice Miller Rodney Davis Michele Bachmann Adam Smith Michael Burgess James Lankford Bill Johnson Bob Latta Albio Sires Lee Terry G.T. Thompson, Jr. Dan Maffei Allyson Schwartz John Sarbanes Mike Turner Tony Cárdenas Gene Green Gregg Harper Mike Pompeo Dennis Ross Bill Huizenga Ami Bera Jerry Nadler Steve Womack Mark Pocan Steve Daines Randy Forbes Pete Sessions Morgan Griffith Kenny Marchant Lynn Jenkins Nydia Velázquez Carolyn Maloney Bill Enyart Tom Marino Bruce Braley Charlie Rangel Michael Grimm Pat Meehan Curt Clawson Hal Rogers Brad Wenstrup Steny Hoyer Ron Barber Charles Boustany, Jr. Louise Slaughter Jeff Denham Carolyn McCarthy Michelle Lujan Grisham Karen Bass Mark Amodei Nita Lowey Doug Collins Filemon Vela, Jr. Lois Frankel Mike Rogers George Holding Billy Long Dina Titus Rick Crawford Eliot Engel
Date: July 9, 2014
Location: Washington, DC

Dear Mr. President:

Iran's nuclear program poses a grave threat to the national security of the United States and our allies. As the July 20th deadline for a "comprehensive solution" to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon approaches, we urge greater consultation with Congress on a potential sanctions relief package that may be part of a final agreement.

Our two branches of government have long been partners in working to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability. However, as these hugely consequential national security decisions are made, greater cooperation between Congress and the Executive Branch is essential, given that any permanent sanctions relief demands congressional approval.

When asked if your Administration would come to Congress to secure legislative relief of sanctions in a final agreement with Iran, in a recent Congressional hearing, Secretary of State John Kerry responded: "(w)ell, of course. We would be obligated to under the law." He added that "what we do will have to pass muster with Congress." We strongly agree with the Secretary's assessment, and believe the final agreement must verifiably ensure that Iran is denied an undetectable nuclear weapons breakout capability.

Your Administration has committed to comprehensively lifting "nuclear-related" sanctions as part of a final P5+1 agreement with Tehran. Yet the concept of an exclusively defined "nuclear-related" sanction on Iran does not exist in U.S. law. Almost all sanctions related to Iran's nuclear program are also related to Tehran's advancing ballistic missile program, intensifying support for international terrorism, and other unconventional weapons programs. Similarly, many of these sanctions are aimed at preventing Iranian banks involved in proliferation, terrorism, money laundering and other activities from utilizing the U.S. and global financial systems to advance these destructive policies.

Iran's permanent and verifiable termination of all of these activities - not just some - is a prerequisite for permanently lifting most congressionally-mandated sanctions. This often unnoted reality necessitates extensive engagement with Congress before offers of relief are made to Iran, and requires Congressional action if sanctions are to be permanently lifted. With the July 20 negotiating deadline on the near horizon, we hope that your Administration will now engage in substantive consultations with Congress on the scope of acceptable sanctions relief.

It would be wise for Congress and the Executive Branch to work closely together to end the threat that Iran's efforts to acquire a nuclear weapons capability pose to U.S. national security. We look forward to working constructively with your Administration on a solution to the Iranian nuclear threat. Thank you for your attention to our concerns.