House GOP leaders dug in their heels Wednesday, expressing grave concerns about the Iran nuclear deal ahead of a crucial closed-door briefing on the accord.
While the agreement struck by President Obama “may have been applauded at the United Nations, I think he faces serious skepticism here at home,” Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) told reporters after a GOP conference meeting.
“Let me just assure you that members of Congress will ask much tougher questions this afternoon when we meet with the president’s team,” he added. “Because a bad deal threatens the security of the American people and we’re going to do everything possible to stop it.”
Boehner sidestepped a question about comments by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a 2016 presidential candidate, that the GOP’s concerns about the deal are being drowned out by Donald Trump’s run for the White House.
“I’ll let Lindsey’s words speak for themselves,” Boehner said.
“I continue to see more concerns on our side and the other side of the aisle,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said.
He cited comments from Sen. Bob Menendez (N.J.), the deal’s most vocal Democratic critic, that the accord “preserves” Iran’s nuclear program and a Washington Post/ABC News poll from Monday that found 64 percent of respondents are not confident the deal will prevent a nuclear Iran.
“Of all the issues we have before us, this is the most critical,” according to McCarthy. “We have to get this right because the world will never be the same.”