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

Letter

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

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