A Dem losing faith in Obama's Iran policy?

A leading Democrat said something very interesting about President Obama yesterday, though few seem to have noticed. The Iran Sanctions Bill was finally passed by Congress and President Obama signed off on it yesterday. The bill has been long in coming and is meant to dissuade Iran from pursuing its nuclear weapons program. The Wall Street Journal has a fine report on the particulars of the bill, but the most interesting part of the column was what was said by Howard Berman, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

The new U.S. law still provides the White House with waiver powers for firms operating in Iran's energy sector, according to lawmakers who drafted the bill. But it incorporates a number of new measures that significantly raise the political pressure on the White House not to offer blanket waivers to companies or countries.

The White House, for example, now is required to report to Congress the names of any companies in violation of the investment restrictions on the energy sector.

It is also required to report to lawmakers on what national-security interests are served by granting waivers. The legal exemptions are now only good for 12-month periods.

"This waiver has the name-and-shame effect and a political cost for the White House," said Howard Berman (D., Calif.), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Does that kernel not reveal a great deal about how the White House is viewed by at least one influential Congressman? Perhaps congressmen are losing faith in this President's "engagement policy" toward our most dangerous adversary.

Congress is finally shining a spotlight on the White House and not placing a great deal of faith in its willingness to enforce the sanctions. It would have been far better not to grant those waivers, but at least Howard Berman is firing a shot across the bow when he says their use will have a political cost for the White House. Will the pro-Israel community (including many more Christians than Jews) be willing to call out the President if he fails to competently enforce the law? Will various congressmen? Will people be willing to shame the President for dropping the ball?

Maybe the Congressman finally had enough of the  President's pattern of behavior regarding Iran and how the administration has (via its minions in Congress) obstructed, delayed, weakened and filled with loopholes the sanctions bill. Obama has ignored serial deadlines regarding Iran, downgraded the penalties Iran would face for failure to abide by UN Resolutions, and generally followed a policy of appeasement and accommodation towards the mullahs.

Maybe Congress has finally reached the end of its tether and willing to call not just the Iranians to account but the President as well.

At the very least, there might be a little bit of a trust and faith issue at work.
A leading Democrat said something very interesting about President Obama yesterday, though few seem to have noticed. The Iran Sanctions Bill was finally passed by Congress and President Obama signed off on it yesterday. The bill has been long in coming and is meant to dissuade Iran from pursuing its nuclear weapons program. The Wall Street Journal has a fine report on the particulars of the bill, but the most interesting part of the column was what was said by Howard Berman, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

The new U.S. law still provides the White House with waiver powers for firms operating in Iran's energy sector, according to lawmakers who drafted the bill. But it incorporates a number of new measures that significantly raise the political pressure on the White House not to offer blanket waivers to companies or countries.

The White House, for example, now is required to report to Congress the names of any companies in violation of the investment restrictions on the energy sector.

It is also required to report to lawmakers on what national-security interests are served by granting waivers. The legal exemptions are now only good for 12-month periods.

"This waiver has the name-and-shame effect and a political cost for the White House," said Howard Berman (D., Calif.), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Does that kernel not reveal a great deal about how the White House is viewed by at least one influential Congressman? Perhaps congressmen are losing faith in this President's "engagement policy" toward our most dangerous adversary.

Congress is finally shining a spotlight on the White House and not placing a great deal of faith in its willingness to enforce the sanctions. It would have been far better not to grant those waivers, but at least Howard Berman is firing a shot across the bow when he says their use will have a political cost for the White House. Will the pro-Israel community (including many more Christians than Jews) be willing to call out the President if he fails to competently enforce the law? Will various congressmen? Will people be willing to shame the President for dropping the ball?

Maybe the Congressman finally had enough of the  President's pattern of behavior regarding Iran and how the administration has (via its minions in Congress) obstructed, delayed, weakened and filled with loopholes the sanctions bill. Obama has ignored serial deadlines regarding Iran, downgraded the penalties Iran would face for failure to abide by UN Resolutions, and generally followed a policy of appeasement and accommodation towards the mullahs.

Maybe Congress has finally reached the end of its tether and willing to call not just the Iranians to account but the President as well.

At the very least, there might be a little bit of a trust and faith issue at work.

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