1. Bills, Resolutions & Letters
2. House Passes Iran "Red Lines" Resolution, but Important Clarifications Now on the Record
3. House Passes FY13 NDAA (details or Iran/Mideast Amendments)
4. Senate Tries, and Fails, to Pass More Iran Sanctions
5. Hearings & Confirmations
6. Members on H. Res. 568 (red lines resolution)
7. Members on the Record
8. From the Press
With new Iran talks set for May 23rd, and the House adjourning at the
end of this week until May 30, one of the main themes of the week in
both the House and Senate was Iran (as is evident from the table of
contents of today's Round-Up).
The apparent goal was for Congress to send "messages" to Iran about how
tough it is prepared to be if Iran doesn't play ball in talks.
Supporters of this approach suggest that Congress is helping the
president, acting as the "bad cop" to the president's "good cop," and
letting Iran know that "if you don't deal with him, you're going to have
to deal with us."
Critics of this approach, on the other hand, suggest that Congress is
undermining the effort to find a way, short of war, to address Iran's
nuclear program - by sending a message to Iran that the President does
not have the support he needs to negotiate any agreement with Iran, even
if Iran is ready to make one. The latter is not far-fetched, given
that most sanctions in place against Iran today have been imposed via
laws passed by Congress (meaning they can only be lifted by Congress
passing a new law) rather than, as was the case in the past, by acts of
the President (i.e., via executive orders that the President had the
authority, on his own, to rescind). Indeed, some members are coming out
openly opposing diplomacy - for example, in a statement 5/17/12
Chair Ros-Lehtinen, R-FL, noted that she was "deeply concerned that the
Administration's foolish embrace of yet another round of negotiations
will only embolden the regime."