- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Any final deal President Trump signs with North Korea should come to Congress for ratification as a treaty, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday, adding his powerful voice to the calls for Congress to weigh in.

Mr. McConnell left the window open for some other method of congressional approval, but said he preferred the treaty route, which would elevate the deal to binding law that couldn’t be wiped away by a future administration.

“Which route the administration takes will be up to them, but I do believe they’ll need to come to Congress is some form,” he said.

Senators also seemed to tamp down on Mr. Trump’s suggestion that he was canceling joint military exercises with South Korea.

Sen. Cory Gardner, Colorado Republican, said Vice President Mike Pence had suggested that the exercises won’t be halted.

“Exercises will continue with South Korea. [We] look forward to further comment and clarification from the president when he gets here,” Mr. Gardner told reporters.

Mr. Trump was jetting back Tuesday from Singapore, where he and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un signed a pledge to denuclearize the peninsula.

Mr. Gardner said that pledge was an important step.

But the pledge was short on specifics, leaving a number of issues still to be worked out in future negotiations.

Mr. McConnell said whatever emerges should come to Congress.

The most binding option is a treaty, which would require a two-thirds vote in the Senate for ratification.

Other possibilities include the clunky method Congress used to review President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran. Under that arrangement, Congress could reject the deal but the president could veto the rejection, and unless Congress could get two-thirds support in both chambers to overturn the veto, the deal took effect.

That method, however, left the Iran deal an executive agreement, making it easy for Mr. Trump to erase it by his own executive authority earlier this year.


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