Rep. Dan Donovan among those rebuking Obama over Iran deal
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- One of the many members of Congress opposing the Iran nuclear deal, Rep. Daniel Donovan is also among a large group arguing that President Obama broke the law by withholding from Congress the details of "side deals" made with Iran.
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action between Iran, the United States, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Russia releases Iran from economic sanctions and unfreezes billions in assets, with the goal of having more oversight of the country's nuclear program to prevent it from developing a weapon.
But opponents of the deal argue that Iran has too much leeway to develop a nuclear weapon, may select who and when can inspect facilities, and lifting sanctions and unfreezing assets will give the country more fuel for its activities sponsoring terrorism. All the while making it clear that it intends to harm the United States and Israel.
Donovan (R-Staten Island/Brooklyn), speaking in a short phone interview Friday with the Advance while in Washington, D.C., explained his support for a bill Thursday evening to rebuke the president, saying Obama violated the terms of the bipartisan Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, which requires congressional review of any final agreement with Iran before the president can waive or suspend sanctions imposed by Congress.
"Right in the language, it said codicils and side deals," Donovan noted. "We all know that Iran made a deal with the international inspectors" and Congress hasn't seen them.
On Friday, the 14th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, the House also voted against approving the deal with Iran. "I voted no, obviously," Donovan said.
A second vote Friday was to prohibit the president from lifting sanctions until Jan. 21, 2017. That bill passed.
Senate Democrats have been filibustering a GOP vote to disapprove the deal. Republicans fell short of the 60 votes needed to end the filibuster and vote on the measure.
Donovan has long warned of detrimental effects of approving the Iran agreement, saying the country could develop a nuclear weapon with the intent of attacking the United States and Israel.
The congressman echoed Speaker John Boehner's remarks that House Republicans will use all the tools at their disposal to prevent the deal from going through.
"It could result in lawsuits over this that the president broke the law" and thus doesn't have authority to lift the sanctions, Donovan said.
"This certainly is not the end of the story on the deal with Iran."