Sens. Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham are urging President Trump to send the Iran nuclear and Paris climate agreements to the Senate for ratification in a bid to block President-elect Joe Biden from reentering the accords when he takes office.
“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 Senate as treaties,” Cruz (R-Texas) wrote in a letter to the president and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
“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,” he said.
By declaring the agreements treaties, the Senate would have to ratify them by a two-thirds vote, an improbable outcome considering the Republicans have a majority in the chamber, and a move that would vastly complicate President-elect Joe Biden’s intention to revive them.
Graham (R-SC), Senate Judiciary Committee chair, last week tweeted his desire to have the Senate vote on the deals.
“Working hard to secure a vote in the U.S. Senate regarding any potential decision to reenter the Iran nuclear deal,” he said in a post last Wednesday. “Rejoining this agreement would be the most destructive decision a Biden administration could make regarding stability in the Middle East.”
He said his colleagues should go on the record about whether they support or oppose the Iran and Paris deals.
Cruz called the president’s decision to withdraw from both Obama-era agreements “a great accomplishment for the American people.”
He also faulted President Barack Obama for not submitting them to the Senate.
“These agreements could and should have been submitted as treaties given their sweeping scope and immense implications for American foreign and domestic policy. The Paris Agreement, for example, was lauded as the ‘most ambitious climate change agreement in history.’ The Iran Deal, meanwhile, was situated as ‘the most consequential foreign policy debate that our country has had since the invasion of Iraq,’” Cruz wrote.
Biden has signaled that he would rejoin the Paris agreement and work with the remaining countries still involved in the nuclear deal to reenter it.