The Providence Journal (R.I.), Sept. 12:

Under the Iran Nuclear Review Act, Congress has 60 days to either approve or disapprove of the agreement. Under the Constitution, the Senate must approve all treaties by a two-thirds vote. And while the Iran deal is not technically a treaty (though perhaps it should be considered as such), it is entirely appropriate – and surely what the Founders intended — that the Congress have a say on major international accords such as the Iran deal.

But there is something backwards in the way the law is set up. Rather than demand that twothirds of the Congress approve the deal, the bill simply requires a majority vote of either approval or disapproval. That means that, because President Obama can successfully veto a motion of disapproval so long as a third of the Senate votes to sustain the veto, it now takes two-thirds of senators to stop, rather than approve, the deal.

That’s a neat trick, and one seemingly designed to avoid accountability on the part of the executive branch. Because of this setup, the agreement looks likely to go through, as slightly more than a third of the Senate has indicated that it supports it. Got that? Because at least one-third of the Senate supports the deal, it will go through. So much for majority rule.

But wait: it gets worse. The Democrats in the Senate actually moved last week to filibuster the motion, not allowing a motion of disapproval at all. This shameful approach locks the Senate out of having any say on the accord, and simply allows the executive branch to ram through a deeply unpopular deal. So much for accountability.

On Friday, the House did vote overwhelmingly to reject the accord, 269 to 162, to little effect, given the Senate’s plans.

About that unpopularity: Though all four members of the Rhode Island delegation support the Iran deal, a new Pew poll finds that only 21 percent of Americans do, while 49 percent oppose it. (The rest have no opinion.) But, in truth, the public has an even more negative view than that. When only those who have heard about the Iran deal are polled, a whopping 57 percent oppose it.

It’s no wonder that some of the deal’s supporters are eager to avoid a public vote.