Release: Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Johnny Isakson and David Perdue Playing Politics with National Security
Atlanta, GA – On Monday, Senators Johnny Isakson and David Perdue signed a letter to Iranian leaders, seeking to undermine President Obama’s foreign policy. US Secretary of State John Kerry has called the letter irresponsible, saying “This letter ignores more than two centuries of precedent in the conduct of American foreign policy.” The Republican stunt has also been called an “unprecedented breach in protocol” that “goes well beyond those limits and could very easily be seen as unconstitutional.”
Editorial boards across the nation have denounced the move by Republicans, and one of the letter’s signers, Senator John McCain of Arizona, is already backtracking, saying “Maybe that wasn’t the best way to do that…”
“This was a reckless move by both senators that could undermine years of negotiations with the Iranians,” said Democratic Party of Georgia Chair DuBose Porter in a statement. “It’s a pattern with Republicans, to undermine this administration at any cost. The letter is out of bounds, and basically nothing more than a cheap stunt that borders on treason. Johnny Isakson and David Perdue should join the growing number of Republicans that are distancing themselves from the extreme Ted Cruz fringe of their party and retract their support of this letter immediately.”
The Hill, 3-11-15 – McCain: GOP letter to Iran not ‘most effective’ response
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), one of the signers of the controversial letter to Iran’s leadership, admitted Tuesday night that the letter might not have been the way to express frustration that President Obama isn’t working with Congress on nuclear negotiations with Tehran.
…“Maybe that wasn’t the best way to do that, but I think the Iranians should know that the Congress of the United States has to play a role in whether an agreement of this magnitude.”
Lawfare, 3-9-15 – The Error in the Senators’ Letter to the Leaders of Iran
The letter states that “the Senate must ratify [a treaty] by a two-thirds vote.” But as the Senate’s own web page makes clear: “The Senate does not ratify treaties. Instead, the Senate takes up a resolution of ratification, by which the Senate formally gives its advice and consent, empowering the president to proceed with ratification”
Huffington Post, 3-11-15 – John Kerry Hammers GOP Senators’ ‘Irresponsible’ Letter To Iran
“My reaction to the letter was utter disbelief,” Kerry said when asked about it by Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.).
“You write to the leaders in the middle of a negotiation — particularly the leaders that they have criticized other people for even engaging with or writing to — to write then and suggest they were going to give a constitutional lesson, which by the way was absolutely incorrect, is quite stunning,” he went on.
Vox, 3-11-15 – The uproar over Sen. Tom Cotton’s letter to Iran, explained
This is an unprecedented breach in protocol — and maybe even the law. Constitutional law sets sharp, and important, limits on Congress’s involvement in foreign policy; unlike with legislation, the law defines the president as the “sole organ” in making foreign policy. Cotton’s letter, by interfering with Obama’s foreign policy, goes well beyond those limits and could very easily be seen as unconstitutional (much like Republicans’ recent invitation to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak to Congress against Obama’s Iran talks).
DNC, 3-11-15 – GOP’s Reckless Iran Letter Doesn’t Go Unnoticed