The amendment would let the American people express their expectations about what a final agreement should look like. Without clear guidance, there is the danger that Obama might be so eager to negotiate any deal that he agrees to a poor one.
The Obama administration appears to have conceded that Iran can maintain a uranium enrichment capability under a final agreement. The bipartisan amendment corrects this error by stating that Iran must dismantle its enrichment capabilities.
These are the sorts of policy debates we need to have in public, not behind closed doors. The No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, Richard J. Durbin, has said on many occasions that if you don’t want to fight fires, don’t become a firefighter; and if you don’t want to vote on tough issues, don’t run for Congress. As a medical doctor, I would add, “physician, heal thyself.” Let the American people, through the senators they elect, express their position on whether to hold Iran to its nuclear promises.
It is time for America to hold Iran accountable. If Reid or any other Democrat thinks otherwise, they can vote against that amendment. If Obama disagrees with the majority of Senators, let him veto the bill. Then the American people will know who is genuinely interested in a nuclear-free Iran, and who is just talking tough for the cameras.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.