Depressing news of the day: Democratic sell-out edition
Greg Sargent reports:
Multiple Democrats on Capitol Hill are worried that House Democratic leaders are close to joining with House GOP leaders to support a bipartisan measure that could undermine the White House’s efforts to reach a long term deal curbing Iran’s nuclear program, I’m told by sources involved in discussions.
The worry is that Dem Rep. Steny Hoyer, the number two House Dem, may join with GOP Rep. Eric Cantor on a resolution or bill that will either criticize the current temporary deal with Iran, or call for a new round of sanctions, or set as U.S. policy some strict parameters on a final deal with Iran, such as opposition to any continued uranium enrichment, House Democratic aides say. House Dems and outside foreign policy observers have communicated such worries to Hoyer’s office, sources add.
Hoyer’s office confirmed to me that Cantor had produced a bill and shared it with him, but declined to discuss details. “Cantor has a bill, and it’s being reviewed by our office,” Hoyer spokesperson Stephanie Young said. “No decisions have been made.” Spokespeople for Cantor didn’t respond.
Any resolution or bill along these lines that has the support of any House Dem leaders would increase the pressure on Senate Democrats to pass a measure of their own, which the White House opposes. And some fear that a measure in the House itself — even if the Senate didn’t act — could have an adverse impact on international talks.
According to reports in the Hill and National Journal, Cantor and House GOP leaders are looking for a way to express opposition to, and put obstacles in the way of, the deal the Obama administration is pursuing. But now that a bill has been produced, and could be joined by Hoyer, that significantly ratchets up worries that Congress could very well act in a way that scuttles hopes for a long term deal.
Those wary of a possible Hoyer-Cantor measure point out that the two have previously collaborated on measures relating to U.S. policy in the middle east.
I've seen some discussions of this saying that, contrary to some assertions in Sargents piece, the congress playing bad cop gives the administration more leverage in a bigger deal. And that might make some sense if it weren't obvious that the Senate could easily derail any deal for real.
Opposition to peace is one thing that always has strong bipartisan support. This is not a good sign.