While testifying before the House of Representatives on the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran, Secretary of State John Kerry would not commit to following the law should Congress override a threatened presidential veto.
Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA) asked what the administration would do if Congress overrides a veto and rejects the deal. “You strongly do not want us to override a presidential veto, but if we do that triggers certain American laws,” Sherman asked, “I’d like to give you an opportunity — you don’t want us to do it, you think it’s terrible policy, you think the rest of the world would be against us — but lets say Congress doesn’t take your advice, we override a veto. And the law that’s triggered then imposes certain sanctions. Will you follow the law even though you think it violates this agreement clearly and even if you think it’s absolutely terrible policy?”
Secretary Kerry said he could not answer that question. “I can’t begin to answer that at this point without consulting with the president and determining what the circumstances are,” he responded.
Sherman interrupted, asking, “So, you’re not committed to following the law if you think it’s a bad law?”
“No,” Kerry said, “I said I’m not going to deal with a hypothetical, that’s all.”
Congressman Sherman’s time had expired and the exchanged ended.
WATCH: (The transcribed portion of the exchange begins at 4:26)