Saturday, April 18, 2015

Editorial: Clear all obstacles from the path to peace with Iran | National Catholic Reporter

Editorial: Clear all obstacles from the path to peace with Iran | National Catholic Reporter

We join others in urging completion of these talks with all due speed. Time is of the essence. Myriad details must be worked out by June 30. Much work remains. The negotiators cannot allow themselves to be distracted from their important work. But distracted they are.

At a time when all obstacles should be cleared from this peace path, Congress insists on throwing up roadblocks, impeding the peace process. It is simply outrageous that Congress cannot stand with the president to ensure a safer world. Ripping pages from their partisan playbooks on Obamacare and budget sequestration, the Republicans try to apply them to foreign policy. They restrict the president's actions but offer no credible alternative. Instead, they offer overheated, hyperbolic rhetoric about standing tough and being strong. Their words are petty and pandering and ultimately diminish the credibility of our governing institutions.

In an inexplicable capitulation to the basest of Republican partisanship, Democrats joined Republicans to elbow themselves up to the negotiating table, where they neither belong nor fit. On April 14, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously approved a bill that would require Congress to review, and then vote on, the final text of a nuclear deal.

The bill is likely to be passed by both chambers. It shouldn't get that far. It should be stopped. We're all for transparency and for congressional oversight of presidential actions, but the framework agreement is neither the right issue nor the right time for Congress to be meddling. The added steps introduce needless, perhaps dangerous, uncertainties into the negotiating process.

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