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News: Politics

McConnell: Any North Korea deal should be submitted to Congress

The Hill logo The Hill 6/12/2018 Jordain Carney
John Barrasso, Mitch McConnell are posing for a picture © Provided by The Hill

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday said that the administration should submit any deal with North Korea to Congress.

"I think there would be widespread interest in Congress for having involvement. ... [If] the president can reach a significant agreement with North Korea, I hope it takes the form of a treaty," McConnell told reporters.

McConnell noted there was "precedent" for the administration making a deal without a treaty and what route they end up taking "will be up to them, but I do believe they'll need to come to Congress in some form."

McConnell's comments come after Trump and North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un held a historic meeting in Singapore. The two men signed an agreement committing the United States to unspecified "security guarantees" in exchange for a denuclearized Korean Peninsula.

Several GOP senators signaled earlier Tuesday that they believe any final agreement should be sent to Congress for its approval.

"Yeah, assuming there is a final agreement, they've indicated that they would bring that agreement to us in the form of a treaty," GOP Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), the Foreign Relations Committee chairman, told The Hill.

Sending any agreement to the Senate in the form of a treaty would require the deal to get bipartisan support and win over two-thirds of the chamber. The Obama-era State Department rankled congressional Republicans when it defined the Iran nuclear deal as a "nonbinding agreement" instead of a treaty.

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) added that both countries are "early in the process" but if the administration is able to lock down an agreement it should be sent to Congress.

"I think when you're talking about something as profound as maybe ending a war that we've been in for about 70 years. ... I think it should take congressional action to solidify it," he added.

GOP Sen. John Cornyn (Texas), the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, said separately on Tuesday that he believed the administration "should" submit the deal to Congress and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said on NBC's Today that he not only wanted "to see the details, I want to vote on them."

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo indicated earlier this month that the administration intended to give a document to Congress for their approval.


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