Is the pending deal with Iran over its nuclear program a treaty – or not? What powers does the Constitution give the President, and what powers does it give the Senate?
There are three places in the Constitution that address treaties with other nations. The first is the most relevant to this discussion. It is easy to recall where it is: just remember the numbers 2-2-2: It is Article II, Section 2, Clause 2. [The President] “shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur…” That clearly makes a treaty conditional upon the concurrence, or affirmative vote, of two thirds of the Senators voting. Both the President and the Secretary of State are former Senators, presumably well-acquainted with that stipulation. So on what basis can they claim that Senate approval of this proposed deal is not required? Read more