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

Letter

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