WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. joined CNN’s Wolf Blitzer today to discuss an open letter sent to Iranian leaders on a potential nuclear agreement. The letter lays out Congress’ role in considering international agreements.
“It has come to our attention while observing your nuclear negotiations with our government that you may not fully understand our constitutional system. Thus, we are writing to bring to your attention two features of our Constitution—the power to make binding international agreements and the different character of federal offices—which you should seriously consider as negotiations progress,” write the senators.
“[The Obama administration is] criticizing us for stating the facts. That in our Constitution, Congress has to sign off, and Senator Cotton in the letter lays out that approval process. …I don’t know why facts are threatening to the administration and I think the letter speaks for itself.
“…If the American people felt better about the president’s foreign policy, perhaps we would not have sent the letter. But if you look at polls and if you talk to Members of Congress, we’re not quite sure the president has a strategy on Syria, or with ISIL, or many other areas. So it’s a lack of confidence with the president that makes Congress step forward that say, ‘listen if this is a bad deal it will be revisited.’ So that’s also by the way, a statement to the president- that Congress wants to be engaged and we’re going to represent the views of the American people.
“..The Iranian negotiators said they did not understand the American system of government… so clearly, our team had not told them. So this is a civics lesson for Iran. I think that’s perfectly appropriate… Why is it wrong to tell somebody what our system of government is and that Congress is a coequal branch of government? …By the way I go back to my other point, if the American people had more confidence in the president’s foreign policy, what he’s exhibited with ISIL, Syria, etc., maybe we wouldn’t have sent the letter… This is a lack of confidence with the president.”