The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a hearing with Cabinet secretaries to review the agreement over Iran’s illicit nuclear program. President Obama said, “this deal meets every single one of the bottom lines that were established when we achieved a framework earlier this spring.” There are many questions the administration should answer to establish whether that is the case and, ultimately, whether this agreement is good for America.
Background: On May 23, 2015, the Senate passed the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2015, a two-month extension of highway funding through July 31. H.R. 22 (Hire More Heroes Act of 2015) will be used as the revenue shell for the highways legislative package. On July 21, a perfecting amendment was filed in the Senate.
On Wednesday, the Social Security and Medicare trustees released their annual reports on the state of the country’s two largest entitlement programs – accounting for 42 percent of federal spending last year. The news is sobering. Both programs will experience spending growth well in excess of GDP growth over the next two decades, largely due to the retirement of baby boomers. Within two decades, the trustees project that Social Security expenses will equal about 6.0 percent of GDP and Medicare expenses will equal about 5.4 percent of GDP.
This morning, six major powers including the United States announced an agreement to initiate curbs on Iran’s nuclear program in return for sanctions relief, including on Iran’s crude oil exports. This could allow the country to export up to one million barrels of additional crude oil per day, according to the Energy Information Administration. As a June 23 report by the Energy and Natural Resources Committee noted, “lifting sanctions will boost Iranian oil exports at a time when federal law and regulations generally prohibit American oil exports.”