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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Senators and Foreign Policy, Then and Now

Julie Hirschfeld Davis reports at The New York Times:
The White House has berated Senate Republicans for writing to Iran’s leaders warning them against a nuclear agreement with President Obama, saying their letter skirts the Constitution and sends a dangerous and conflicting message.
In a lengthy and harshly worded statement released late Monday, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., a Senate veteran of more than three decades and a former chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said he could recall no other instance in which senators had written to the leaders of another country, “much less a foreign adversary,” to say the president had no authority to strike a deal with them
On June 16, 2008, Jeff Zeleny reported at The New York Times:
As Mr. Obama arrived in Michigan for a campaign stop on the economy, he shared details of his morning telephone call with Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari. On Sunday, Mr. Zebari had a face-to-face meeting with Senator John McCain of Arizona, the presumptive Republican nominee.

Among the issues being discussed with the two presidential candidates is the long-term security accord between Iraq and the United States. While the Bush administration would like to see an agreement reached before the summer’s political conventions, Mr. Obama said today that he opposed such a timetable.

“My concern is that the Bush administration, in a weakened state politically, ends up trying to rush an agreement that in some ways might be binding to the next administration, whether it’s my administration or Senator McCain’s administration,” Mr. Obama said. “The foreign minister agreed that the next administration should not be bound by an agreement that’s currently made.”