Cotton and 46 Fellow Senators to Send Open Letter to the Leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran
March 9, 2015
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) along with 46 of his Republican colleagues in the Senate will today release an open letter to the the Leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran about the ongoing nuclear negotiations between their country and the United States. A PDF of the official letter can be found here. The text of the letter can be found below:
An Open Letter to the Leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran:
It has come to our attention while observing your nuclear negotiations with our government that you may not fully understand our constitutional system. Thus, we are writing to bring to your attention two features of our Constitution—the power to make binding international agreements and the different character of federal offices—which you should seriously consider as negotiations progress.First, under our Constitution, while the president negotiates international agreements, Congress plays the significant role of ratifying them. In the case of a treaty, the Senate must ratify it by a two-thirds vote. A so-called congressional-executive agreement requires a majority vote in both the House and the Senate (which, because of procedural rules, effectively means a three-fifths vote in the Senate). Anything not approved by Congress is a mere executive agreement.Second, the offices of our Constitution have different characteristics. For example, the president may serve only two 4-year terms, whereas senators may serve an unlimited number of 6-year terms. As applied today, for instance, President Obama will leave office in January 2017, while most of us will remain in office well beyond then—perhaps decades.What these two constitutional provisions mean is that we will consider any agreement regarding your nuclear-weapons program that is not approved by the Congress as nothing more than an executive agreement between President Obama and Ayatollah Khamenei. The next president could revoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen and future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time.We hope this letter enriches your knowledge of our constitutional system and promotes mutual understanding and clarity as nuclear negotiations progress.Sincerely,Senator Tom Cotton, R-ARSenator Orrin Hatch, R-UTSenator Charles Grassley, R-IASenator Mitch McConnell, R-KYSenator Richard Shelby, R-ALSenator John McCain, R-AZSenator James Inhofe, R-OKSenator Pat Roberts, R-KSSenator Jeff Sessions, R-ALSenator Michael Enzi, R-WYSenator Michael Crapo, R-IDSenator Lindsey Graham, R-SCSenator John Cornyn, R-TXSenator Richard Burr, R-NCSenator John Thune, R-SDSenator Johnny Isakson, R-GASenator David Vitter, R-LASenator John A. Barrasso, R-WYSenator Roger Wicker, R-MSSenator Jim Risch, R-IDSenator Mark Kirk, R-ILSenator Roy Blunt, R-MOSenator Jerry Moran, R-KSSenator Rob Portman, R-OHSenator John Boozman, R-ARSenator Pat Toomey, R-PASenator John Hoeven, R-NDSenator Marco Rubio, R-FLSenator Ron Johnson, R-WISenator Rand Paul, R-KYSenator Mike Lee, R-UTSenator Kelly Ayotte, R-NHSenator Dean Heller, R-NVSenator Tim Scott, R-SCSenator Ted Cruz, R-TXSenator Deb Fischer, R-NESenator Shelley Moore Capito, R-WVSenator Bill Cassidy, R-LASenator Cory Gardner, R-COSenator James Lankford, R-OKSenator Steve Daines, R-MTSenator Mike Rounds, R-SDSenator David Perdue, R-GASenator Thom Tillis, R-NCSenator Joni Ernst, R-IASenator Ben Sasse, R-NESenator Dan Sullivan, R-AK
Click here for a PDF Of the official letter.