Tennessee Republican Bob Corker took over as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee Wednesday. He began his first meeting with a joke: “I have never operated a gavel. I learned as a young man how to operate a hammer." Corker says his staff told him to be a little more gentle with his new tool.
But as soon as the laughter faded, Corker got down to business, introducing a bill to give Congress a say over any nuclear agreement with Iran.
Some in the Capitol are pushing for sanctions against Iran. The White House is asking for more time, hoping an international coalition can work out a deal. And if they can, the administration maintains it shouldn’t have to ask more than 500 legislators to weigh in.
But Corker says he’s talked with European leaders, who are involved in the talks, and Israelis, who aren’t, about the possibility of requiring a yes-or-no vote. He emphasized that none indicated negotiations would be destabilized if Congress were to weigh in on the final agreement. “As a matter of fact," he added, "we understand that Iran’s parliament may have to approve their agreement.”
This weekend, negotiators from seven nations agreed to continue talks next month. They’ve set a March 1 deadline for reaching a preliminary agreement