Later this month, Congress is expected to vote on a resolution of disapproval that could prevent President Obama from implementing the proposed nuclear agreement with Iran. However, recent reports indicate that Senate Democrats are considering a filibuster of the landmark vote. Such an extraordinary demonstration of political partisanship embodies not only the epitome of hypocrisy but also the antithesis of democracy.
To be fair, both parties – Democrats and Republicans – are guilty of employing the filibuster at the expense of debating the merits of important Congressional business. Notably, though, this potential filibuster would run entirely counter to overwhelming bipartisan support for Congressional review of the Iran nuclear agreement. To this effect, Congress passed the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act earlier this year with overwhelming bipartisan backing – having received a vote of 400-25 in the House and 98-1 in the Senate. However, Senate Democrats now intend to reverse course by effectively denying the American people a voice on the Iran deal after specifically asking that Congress have the chance to weigh on their behalf.
The hypocrisy could not be any more apparent.
Furthermore, the Obama Administration fears that both its political capital and overall image will be tarnished if the White House is ultimately unable to prevent a Congressional resolution of disapproval – despite having already secured the votes necessary to sustain a presidential veto. Nevertheless, President Obama’s potentially embarrassing and politically inconvenient predicament must not come at the expense of our elected representatives actually voicing the concerns of the American people.
Altogether, by prioritizing political partisanship above actually debating the merits of the Iran nuclear agreement, Senate Democrats are effectively forcing Congress to sit on the sidelines of what is arguably one the most defining moments in American foreign policy.
Is this what democracy looks like?