White House desperation on Iran deal

Thomas Lifson
Somebody leaned hard on Steny Hoyer, the second-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives, and possible successor to Nancy Pelosi. As Minority Whip, the Maryland Democrat is in charge of marshalling votes, keeping his party members in line. So he is not somebody who easily says "never mind" when he takes a strong public position. Yet something like that just happened. Anna Palmer and John Bresnahan of Politico report:

House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer withdrew his support at the last minute for a resolution calling for additional sanctions on Iran, according to a source familiar with the discussions.

Hoyer (D-Md.) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), along with Reps. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and Elliot Engel (D-N.Y.), chairman and ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, had been trying to craft a nonbinding House resolution calling for more punitive measures against the Islamic Republic.

The resolution called for Iran to allow "including no-notice inspections of all suspect sites, including military facilities, and full access to all Iranian personnel, scientists and technicians associated with Iran's nuclear program" by International Atomic Energy Agency officials.

Make no mistake: serious threats (or major bribes) had to come into play in order to get Hoyer to swallow his pride and lose face in this way:

"Mr. Hoyer decided now was not the time to move forward with a resolution given implementation talks have not yet wrapped in Vienna," Hoyer spokeswoman Stephanie Young said.

Hoyer was personally involved in crafting the resolution, which was originally scheduled to be released Wednesday night, according to the source familiar with the discussions. Hoyer then asked for it to be delayed until Thursday morning, but then withdrew his support for the measure.

"Mr. Hoyer believes Congress has the right to express its views on what should be included in a final agreement, but that the timing was not right to move forward this week," Young said.

This kind of pressure being exercised at the same moment that Obamacare is dragging down the Congressional Democrats means that Valerie Jarrett is seriously concerned about not just the Iran deal but the perception of presidential authority slipping away. Sooner or later, we'll see what kind of price was paid to Hoyer in order to induce him to abase himself this way. In the short run, the White House gets its way. But there is a longer term set of effects that will unfold.

Hat tip: Cliff Thier

Somebody leaned hard on Steny Hoyer, the second-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives, and possible successor to Nancy Pelosi. As Minority Whip, the Maryland Democrat is in charge of marshalling votes, keeping his party members in line. So he is not somebody who easily says "never mind" when he takes a strong public position. Yet something like that just happened. Anna Palmer and John Bresnahan of Politico report:

House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer withdrew his support at the last minute for a resolution calling for additional sanctions on Iran, according to a source familiar with the discussions.

Hoyer (D-Md.) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), along with Reps. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and Elliot Engel (D-N.Y.), chairman and ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, had been trying to craft a nonbinding House resolution calling for more punitive measures against the Islamic Republic.

The resolution called for Iran to allow "including no-notice inspections of all suspect sites, including military facilities, and full access to all Iranian personnel, scientists and technicians associated with Iran's nuclear program" by International Atomic Energy Agency officials.

Make no mistake: serious threats (or major bribes) had to come into play in order to get Hoyer to swallow his pride and lose face in this way:

"Mr. Hoyer decided now was not the time to move forward with a resolution given implementation talks have not yet wrapped in Vienna," Hoyer spokeswoman Stephanie Young said.

Hoyer was personally involved in crafting the resolution, which was originally scheduled to be released Wednesday night, according to the source familiar with the discussions. Hoyer then asked for it to be delayed until Thursday morning, but then withdrew his support for the measure.

"Mr. Hoyer believes Congress has the right to express its views on what should be included in a final agreement, but that the timing was not right to move forward this week," Young said.

This kind of pressure being exercised at the same moment that Obamacare is dragging down the Congressional Democrats means that Valerie Jarrett is seriously concerned about not just the Iran deal but the perception of presidential authority slipping away. Sooner or later, we'll see what kind of price was paid to Hoyer in order to induce him to abase himself this way. In the short run, the White House gets its way. But there is a longer term set of effects that will unfold.

Hat tip: Cliff Thier