RUSH: The Corker bill, I finally, folks, have completed my research into this. I didn’t want to jump the gun on it. Andy McCarthy’s exactly right; it’s worse than nothing. The Corker bill is worse than nothing, and it is exactly what I assumed. I’ve been doing some examination of the Corker bill because Obama’s out engaging in what is a treaty, but he doesn’t want to call it a treaty.
In fact, he wants to call it nonbinding, his deal with Iran, so that there will not be any Senate oversight. He doesn’t want any Senate oversight, that’s why all international agreements of late have not been called treaties. They’re called executive actions of one sort or another. It’s an effort to sidestep the elected representatives of the people, in this case the Senate, from exercising its constitutional role in this.
You know, the Senate and the House have constitutional authority as well. It doesn’t all get vested in the president. Too many Americans, however, think the Constitution makes the president the supreme leader and whatever the president wants, the president gets, and Congress is there simply to rubber-stamp. And if they don’t rubber-stamp, then it’s controversial. The media and higher education and the culture at large have helped perpetuate this.
Now we have the most feckless Republican Party leadership in I don’t know how long, which has chosen for six years not to fight back against any of this. They have chosen to abrogate their constitutional powers for all of the reasons we’ve stated, and there are probably additional ones. The primary reason, they’re just scared. They’re afraid of the media. They’re afraid of criticizing Obama. They’re afraid of what’d be said about ’em, but it’s worse than that.
It could well be, take a look at Obamacare — I don’t want to get off on too many tangents here. But it would not be difficult to conclude that many in the Republican leadership really don’t want to fight back, really don’t want a smaller and limited government. That what, in fact, they want is to run the government as big as it is, claiming that they can do it better and smarter. But they like the power that comes with this massive big government and they want their turn wielding it, and I think that’s just as relevant an explanation as the fact that they’re afraid of the media and that’s why they don’t criticize Obama.
Back to the Corker bill. What Obama’s doing here is clear. He is attempting to side step the Constitution which is becoming a pattern and a habit, and Corker and Menendez have crafted a bill in the Senate for public consumption. We’re supposed to think the Senate is asserting itself and is not gonna be rolled over here and is not gonna let Obama steam role ’em and they’re gonna demand a role in this. And the media is dutifully reporting that that’s what the Corker bill is. But it isn’t.
The way this would work under the terms of the Constitution and the way it has been done since the founding of the country, an international agreement like this is a treaty, and once it’s a treaty it must be ratified by the Senate. Whatever the president negotiates, whatever his executive branch negotiates has to be ratified. The ratification process requires — I know this is gonna be news to many of you low-information people tuning in, never heard this before — the ratification process requires 67 votes.
The president goes out, makes deal with Iran on nukes, whatever it is, the Senate must agree with at least 67 votes for it to become not law, because it’s not legislation, but for it to become binding. If the president can’t get 67 votes, it’s sayonara, bye-bye deal, whatever it is, Iran nukes, you name it. Well, Obama doesn’t have 67 votes on this. Straight up and down, if he did a treaty, according to the terms of the Constitution, doesn’t have 67 votes.
So since the Republicans do not really want to oppose Obama because they are afraid to oppose him for whatever the reasons are, we have the Corker-Menendez bill. And the Corker-Menendez bill shifts that 67-vote onus. The way it works is very simple. This is undermining, I mean, it is a straight shot undermining of the treaty clause, if you will, in the Constitution. Very simply put, ladies and gentlemen, the treaty clause as I just explained, puts the onus on Obama to do a deal that will get 67 votes in the Senate to approve it.
In other words, it’s up to the president to come up with a deal that 67 votes from the Senate, the elected representatives of the people, ratify and agree with. The Corker bill does the exact opposite. What ends up happening in the Corker bill, that 67-vote onus is shifted to the opponents of the bill. All Obama needs is 40 votes to get his deal with Iran instead of 67, because the Corker bill requires that the opponents find 67 votes to disapprove the deal. The supermajority approval requirement for treaties is in the Constitution, and the reason it is, because we should not be making lasting agreements with other countries, even friends, unless there is a strong consensus the arrangement’s in the national interest.
But the Corker bill turns that presumption upside down and requires supermajority disapproval for an arrangement with an enemy regime, plainly not in the national interest. By the way, there’s also another little problem. The Senate has to act within 30 days. There is no such limit in the treaty clause. The Senate can take years to ratify. There are many treaties, like the law of the sea, you name it, that have yet to be ratified that presidents have proposed years and years ago.
The Corker bill puts a limit on the Senate, 30 days, in order to come up with 67 votes to say “no.” Essentially what the Corker bill does, instead of Obama having to get 67 votes that agree, the Corker bill says the Senate has to come up with 67 votes to disagree. That’s like coming up with a veto-proof vote or majority on a bill. Two-thirds is a lot. And nobody has, neither party has two-thirds. So you add in a 30-day limit, and it makes it worthless. It’s nothing but buzz, nothing but PR.
It’s nothing but a vehicle that is supposed to send a message, courtesy of the media, that the Republicans and the Senate is not permitting itself to be steamrolled by the young president. He’s gonna have to work. No, he’s not. It’s a rubber stamp. It practically guarantees it. As I say, we can debate the reasons why this linguine-spined reaction exists. We’ve posited all the theories that there are.