Trump loyalists Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham try to stop Joe Biden re-entering Iran nuclear deal and Paris climate accord with last-minute move to get Senate to vote them down
- Republican Sens. Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham have outlined a way for President Donald Trump to deny President-elect Joe Biden a campaign promise
- Biden promised supporters he would rejoin the Paris climate accord and the Iran nuclear deal
- Cruz wrote a letter to Trump encouraging him to submit both deals to the Senate as treaties so they’d need a two-thirds vote to pass
- The theory goes that the deals wouldn’t pass the Senate and it would be more difficult for Biden to take unilateral action on them once he’s sworn in
Graham, in a series of tweets, and Cruz, in a letter addressed to Trump, aimed to get the two agreements treated as treaties, so they’d need a two-thirds Senate vote for passage, as outlined in the U.S. Constitution.
Cruz asked Trump to submit the two agreements to the Senate, while Graham tweeted that he was working to secure a vote.
Allies of President Donald Trump, Sens. Ted Cruz (left) and Lindsey Graham (right) have figured out a way to trip up President-elect Joe Biden if he goes through with a campaign promise to rejoin the Paris climate accord and the Iranian nuclear deal
Cruz wants Trump (pictured) to submit the Iran deal and the Paris agreement to the Senate as treaties, so they’d need two-thirds of the body to vote in their favor to pass. With the Senate nearly evenly split between Democrats and Republicans that would be a nearly impossible lift
On Tuesday, Cruz tweeted out his plot that was outlined in a letter he wrote to Trump where he talks about the history of the two deals that were supported by Democrats during the Obama years, but not Republicans
Biden campaigned on rejoining the Paris climate accord and the Iran nuclear deal. On Tuesday, he continued to say he wanted to work with GOP lawmakers. If Cruz and Graham are successful it would make it more difficult for Biden to unilaterally join the deals
With the Senate near a 50-50 Republican-Democrat split, there’s almost no chance the two deals – which have become politically toxic for Republicans – would get two-thirds of the body’s approval.
In his letter to Trump, Cruz applauded Trump for pulling the U.S. out of both international agreements. Trump took the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement in June 2017. In May 2018 he abandoned the Iranian nuclear deal.
Cruz then laid out a plan.
‘I urge you now also to remedy the harm done to the balance of powers by submitting the Iran Deal and the Paris Agreement to the to the Senate as treaties,’ Cruz recommended. ‘Only by so doing will the Senate be able to satisfy its constitutional role to provide advice and consent in the event any future administration attempts to revive these dangerous deals.’
Cruz said that the Obama Administration unilaterally signed on to them because they knew they wouldn’t get Senate approval.
‘The only reason the Obama Administration refused to submit these agreements to the Senate as treaties was that it knew the agreements were deeply unpopular and doomed for defeat,’ he wrote.
Biden campaigned on an ambitious agenda to combat climate change, including plans to rejoin the Paris accord.
He also promised supporters he would abandon Trump’s ‘America First’ policies and rejoin and strengthen multi-lateral compacts, like the Iran nuclear deal.
If Trump takes Cruz and Graham’s advice, it will make it more difficult for Biden to unilaterally act and sign up the U.S. for these deals.
In remarks Tuesday, Biden continued to say that he was open to working across the aisle with Republicans to get the bidding of the American people done.
Most Republicans have been slow to come around to the idea that Biden won the November 3 election over Trump, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell referring to Biden as the president-elect just one week ago.
Trump, in the meantime, has not been seen publicly in days and refuses to concede.
The White House wouldn’t say if Trump had signed on to the plan.