House Republicans unanimously disapprove of the nuclear deal the Obama administration struck with Iran. They have long before it was completed. And it is now possible that a resolution to block the agreement won’t even receive a vote in the chamber.
This is not because Republicans have suddenly changed their mind, or because Democrats have come up with a way to stop them—this being the House and not the Senate, the minority has little power to derail legislation backed by the majority.
It is, once again, all about conservatives. Now that it’s clear opponents of the Iran deal don’t have the votes to block it, hard-liners in the House want Republican leaders to take a more confrontational approach than simply voting to disapprove of the deal—a resolution that would either die in the Senate or get vetoed by the president. Enough conservatives protested that they were able to force Speaker John Boehner to scrap plans for a procedural vote setting up debate on the Iran deal.
Our colleagues at National Journal reported that conservatives instead want to vote on a resolution declaring that the Obama administration hasn’t complied with legislation Congress passed earlier this year, which gave lawmakers the right to weigh in on the Iran agreement in the first place. The measure, authored by Representative Peter Roskam of Illinois, would declare that the administration hasn’t been transparent with Congress because it hasn’t sent details of the secret “side deals” that critics say were an unofficial part of the accord. The law giving Congress the power of review set a 60-day deadline for legislative action, but Roskam’s measure would challenge that by asserting the clock hasn't started, as a result of the administration not sending over the complete agreement.