Former secretary of State and presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton had already planned to spend Tuesday on Capitol Hill courting fellow Democrats, but the timing worked out so she had a platform to share her stance on the emerging nuclear deal with Iran, too.
Speaking before the microphones mid-morning, following a meeting with the full House Democratic Caucus, Clinton told reporters President Barack Obama had called her late the night before to give her advance word an agreement had been reached.
Clinton called the culmination of the months-long negotiations an “important step” forward in curbing Iran’s nuclear capabilities, but she stressed enforcement would be crucial, and should be conducted “vigorously and relentlessly.”
She said the international community must “treat this as an ongoing enforcement effort,” and was one she would personally take seriously if elected president.
There is “a lot of concern about bad behavior” from Iran, Clinton continued. “We have to immediately … look to see how we build a coalition” to watch for “bad behavior” in “other arenas.”
She suggested she supported the agreement framework based on what she currently knew, but stopped just short of giving it a full-throated endorsement.
She did not take questions from the press.
Congress will have 60 days, once the deal is submitted, to review the 80-page agreement and vote to approve or disapprove of the plan. Republicans are lining up in opposition, with most Democrats suggesting they are eager to back it.
In any case, even if the GOP-controlled Congress formally gives the agreement the thumbs down, Obama has vowed to veto any legislation that would block him from moving forward.
It’s not likely lawmakers would be able to harness the necessary two-thirds majority threshold to override that veto if it came to that.
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