Republican senators Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham have reportedly urged Donald Trump to submit both the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris Climate Agreement to the Senate, in a last-minute attempt to stop the US rejoining the accords once the president leaves office.
In a letter obtained by RealClearPolitics, Mr Cruz, from Texas, urged Mr Trump and US secretary of state Mike Pompeo to submit the accords to the Senate before President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated on 20 January.
Mr Cruz said that submitting the international agreements would trigger votes to ratify them, which are unlikely to pass with a tight Senate, as they would need the support of two-thirds of senators, according to iran-nuclear-deal-republicans-aim-to-block-biden-rejoining”>The Guardian.
The senator claims that if the accords fail to be ratified, it would effectively block Mr Biden from rejoining them, as he would have to contradict a recent decision from the Senate.
A senior congressional aide told RealClearPolitics that submitting the accords to fail in the Senate “would be the final nail in the coffin.”
In his letter to the president, Mr Cruz wrote: “I urge you now to remedy the harm done to the balance of powers by submitting the Iran deal and the Paris agreement to the Senate as treaties.”
He added: “Only by so doing will the Senate be able to satisfy its constitutional role to provide advice and consent in the event any future administration attempts to revive these dangerous deals.”
President Trump pulled the US out of the Paris Climate Agreement in 2017, while he abandoned the Iran nuclear deal the following year.
Mr Biden has pledged to rejoin the climate agreement on his first day in office, and has suggested that reviving the nuclear deal is also a top priority for his incoming administration.
The president-elect has said that he would rejoin the international agreements by signing executive orders, and not through Congress.
Mr Cruz’s letter came a week after Republican senator Lindsey Graham posted a series of tweets, where he said he had been working “to secure a vote in the US Senate regarding any potential decision to re-enter the Iran nuclear deal”.
South Carolina senator Mr Graham added: “The Senate should go on the record about whether it would support or oppose this decision.
“Also believe Senate should be on record in support or opposition to any decision to reenter Paris climate accord.”