Senator John Hoeven was one of 42 Senators to sign on to an open letter to Iran warning that country that any diplomatic deal they reach with President Barack Obama would be subject to Congressional oversight. Because that’s what the Constitution says and stuff. The President is not a monarch. He does not have exclusive control over foreign policy. He has made it clear, again and again, that it is his intent to work around Congress and rely solely on his executive authority.
But Congress is a separate and co-equal branch of government. These Senators thought they’d assert their authority and, frankly, they were right to. Maybe they wouldn’t have had to do it in such a public and embarrassing (to Obama) way if the President wasn’t such an intractable ideologue.
After all, as Senator Hoeven pointed out in an interview on the Steve Malzberg Show, Obama is “willing to negotiate with the number one sponsor of state terrorism in the world and he won’t work with Congress.”
The Senator continued: “Frankly the senators signed on to the letter only after President Obama indicated that he would veto the bi-partition legislation we were working to put together that requires he bring any agreement to Congress for a vote. So it was done because he said ‘No I’m not going to include Congress as part of this very important issue.’ Our point is, Congress needs to be a part of this. Under Article One of the Constitution. Congress has a role to play here. And you have to ask yourself, you know, here he is, so willing to negotiate with the number one sponsor of state terrorism in the world and he won’t work with Congress. I mean why? It doesn’t make any sense.”
It seems clear to me that President Obama could have prevented this from happening by stepping down off his high horse and working with Congress.