President Donald J. Trump simultaneously can advance his policy agenda, fortify the rule of law, and paint vulnerable Democrats into a corner. How? Rather than kill Obama’s legacy projects unilaterally, Trump should invite Congress to help him scrap the Iran nuclear deal, the Paris agreement on so-called global warming, and the related Clean Power Plan (CPP). This will force vulnerable Democrats on Capitol Hill to vote on these calamitous measures.
Trump should transmit to the Senate the Iran nuke accord and the Paris climate pact. He should ask the upper body to vote on these international measures as treaties, requiring 67 votes for passage. Neither will reach that threshold, and both will fail — but not before senators vote on each proposal.
This is how these international items should have been handled. Instead, Obama dubbed the Iran deal an “executive agreement,” which automatically went into effect, unless Congress killed it, subject to his veto. This cockeyed procedure — which Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell and former speaker John Boehner inexplicably allowed — made the Iran deal impossible to kill.
Even worse, the Paris treaty became binding upon America on November 4, after 55 foreign CO2-producing nations adopted it. Rather than seek the Senate’s consent, Obama outsourced its authorization to parliaments overseas.
These assaults on the rule of law aside, the deals are dreadful on the merits.