While Watching the Other Hand

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned the U.S. that it was negotiating a bad deal with Iran that could spark a “nuclear nightmare,” drawing a rebuke from President Obama. Netanyahu made his case against Obama’s Iran diplomacy in a speech to Congress.

Obama responded from the Oval Office, declaring Netanyahu had offered “nothing new.”

“The alternative that the prime minister offers is ‘no deal’, in which case Iran will immediately begin once again pursuing its nuclear program, accelerate its nuclear program without us having any insight into what they are doing and without constraint,” he said.

However, Iran’s foreign minister rejected Obama’s claim that a 10-year nuclear deal offered the best hope of avoiding an atomic-armed Tehran. Mohammad Javad Zarif was speaking in Switzerland, where he and Secretary of State John Kerry are meeting to set up a framework for a deal to rein in Tehran’s nuclear program by a March 31 deadline.

Shortly after Netanyahu’s speech, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate would begin debating on a bill next week that would force Obama to send any final nuclear deal with Iran to Congress for its’ approval.

“We think the timing is important,” McConnell said. “We think it will help prevent the administration from entering into a bad deal. But if they do, it will provide an opportunity for Congress to weigh in.”

But all this appears to be a smoke-screen for what was really happening on Capitol Hill…

The House approved funding for the Department of Homeland Security through September, after initial attempts by the GOP to make funding contingent on blocking actions on immigration last November by Obama in which he bypassed Congress. The final bill passed was a Senate measure, stripped of language attacking Obama’s executive order lifting the deportation for millions of illegal aliens.

It’s Arizona Congressman Matt Salmon, who perhaps said it best: “If we aren’t going to fight now, when are we going to fight back?”

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