The hits keep on coming.

Republicans continue slamming Obama and his administration over their capitulation to Iran on the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). As part of the spending bill Congress passed a law tightening restrictions on the VWP, which would mean that business people who traveled to Iran would not be eligible to have their visas waived and would have to apply for one like most of world.

Iran objected and signaled that it would consider such a restriction to be a violation of the nuclear deal. Secretary of State John Kerry reacted by writing a letter to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammmad Javad Zarif assuring him that the administration was prepared to waive the restriction for Iran.

First Rep. Robert Dold (R – Ill.) wrote a letter signed by 19 colleagues including House Ethics Committee chair Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) and House Oversight and Government Reform chair Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) that said it was “beyond belief” that the administration would allow Iranian complaints to “supersede a newly-enacted U.S. law designed to protect the American people from terrorism.”

Then Rep. Mike Pompeo (R – Kan.) wrote a letter to Kerry saying, “The Obama administration cannot allow individuals who are not American citizens, and who have connections to, or have traveled to Iran, come to our country without doing something as simple as applying for a visa.”

Pompeo and Sen. Tom Cotton (R –  Ark.) have been systematically poking holes in the administration’s case for the nuclear deal.

The latest Republican to rebuke the administration for caving is House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R – Calif.). Yesterday Royce wrote to Kerry and Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson:

Congress and the President strengthened the VWP in order to protect the national security of the United States. Iran is impacted by this new law because it is a U.S.-designated state sponsor of terrorism. The simplest way to eliminate this restriction is for Iran to end its support of terrorism. We are deeply concerned that this point was absent from your recent correspondence with the Iranian Foreign Minister and urge the Administration to press Tehran on this, as well as its recent missile tests and persistent jailing of Americans. The problem is with Iranian actions, not the new visa waiver law.

Two more committee chairs, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R – Va.) and House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R – Texas) signed Royce’s letter.

Republicans have been really good at attacking the administration over its latest capitulation to Iran but where have the Democrats been?

Jennifer Rubin wants to know.

Senate Democrats should stop writing meaningless letter expressing “profound concern.” They were either dupes or knew they were setting the country up for capitulation to Iran on many more fronts than just nukes. Hillary Clinton should be pressed to explain if she too was duped, or if she understood just how calamitous was the deal. Republicans should pick their nominee carefully, finding someone who can win and reverse our Iran policy. Voters should hold lawmakers who went along with this debacle responsible when they come up for reelection, be it 2016, 2018 or 2020. They have put American national security at risk and should not be returned to office.

Quite a few of the Democratic senators who supported the deal and refused to allow a vote on it wrote strong cases for not trusting Iran and being vigilant against Iranian cheating.

They supported at as not a great deal but the best that could be achieved under the circumstances and that must be enforced against expected Iranian cheating. (They were not supporting the same deal that Obama described as “I’ve had to make a lot of tough calls as President, but whether or not this deal is good for American security is not one of those calls. It’s not even close.”) If those senators were serious about enforcing the deal, this would be a good time to start by pushing back against the administration.

[Photo: House Foreign Affairs Committee / YouTube ]

[Note: This post was prepared prior to the Sabbath.]


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