The Turtle Man’s last-ditch effort to derail the P5+1 world powers nuclear agreement with Iran was thwarted today by the Honey Badger, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, the true master of the Senate. Senate Dems stonewall Iran resolution, handing victory to Obama:
Senate Democrats blocked a resolution disapproving the Iran nuclear deal for a third time Thursday, sealing a major foreign policy victory for President Obama.
Senators voted 56-42 against ending debate on the resolution of disapproval, falling short of the 60 votes needed on the procedural motion.
Democratic Sens. Ben Cardin (Md.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Bob Menendez (N.J.) and Charles Schumer (N.Y.) for a third time bucked Obama and voted “no” on the deal.
The vote came just hours ahead of the deadline for lawmakers to pass a resolution on the deal. With neither chamber of Congress expected to take another vote on Iran, the administration is poised to protect the agreement after months of intense lobbying aimed at solidifying Democratic support.
Opponents of the deal appeared to acknowledge defeat ahead of Thursday’s vote.
* * *
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) suggested that Republicans were wasting precious floor time with only a handful of working days left ahead of an end-of-the-month deadline to avoid a government shutdown.
“Senator McConnell has decided to waste an entire week on something that has already been decided, twice,” he said. “Despite the fact that the government will be shut down in a matter of days, the world’s greatest deliberative body is doing a show vote.”
Reid previously offered to let the Senate move to a final vote on the Iran nuclear deal if Republicans would agree to setting a 60-vote threshold for final passage.
While McConnell rejected the deal, it’s gained at least one Republican supporter: Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who said he wants to take a final vote “and not just have endless cloture votes.”
“Take it,” he said, referring to Reid’s offer. “Let’s get to a final vote. We’ve seen the end of this movie already.”
But McConnell appeared to be sticking to his strategy — even after his attempt to force a tough vote on Democrats failed.
The Honey Badger also defeated the Turtle Man and the GOP’s Gimmicks-R-Us Shoppe latest gimmick. Dems block amendment linking Iran deal to Israel:
Democrats on Thursday blocked a last-ditch effort from Republicans to stop the Iran nuclear deal by linking the agreement to Israel and American prisoners.
Senators voted 53-45 on an amendment from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) that would have prevented President Obama from lifting sanctions on Iran until the country releases American prisoners and publicly recognizes Israel’s right to exist. Sixty votes were needed to move forward.
Under the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, Thursday is the final day for Congress to approve a resolution stopping the nuclear deal, though some conservatives dispute that deadline.
With Democrats having held firm in the Senate, it appears the nuclear pact — negotiated by the United States and other world powers — will begin taking effect next month.
While the amendment vote Thursday was intended to be politically tough for Democrats, the 42 Dems who are in favor of the Iran deal voted against the Republican leader’s amendment.
Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who are among a small group of Democrats who oppose the Iran deal, also joined supporters in voting “no.”
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who also opposes the Iran deal, was the only Democrat to vote for the amendment.
* * *
[McConnell’s] tactics drew pushback from his fellow Republicans.
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said that while he supports releasing hostages and Iran supporting Israel, “should a whole agreement be based on those two items? No.”
Flake at one time was considered the Republican most likely to support Obama’s diplomatic pact, though he ended up coming out against it. He added that while he would support McConnell’s amendment for the procedural vote, he would vote against it if it were to come up for a final vote.
It’s not the first time Israel has tied up the Senate. Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) earlier this year tried to force a vote on an amendment linking support to Israel to the Iran review bill.
But their move effectively shut down debate, with Democrats, and some Republicans, arguing that their amendment was a poison pill for the legislation.
The Obama administration, and Democrats who support the deal, have long argued that the pact is focused solely on Iran’s nuclear program and does not address other areas of concern, including the country’s support for terrorist groups.
Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) doubled down on that position Thursday, saying that when it comes to the agreement, the issue has already been “decided” in the Senate.
“What the Republican colleagues are doing right now is very, very cynical,” he added. “They’re taking serious issues and turning them into pawns in a political issue.”
And then the Honey Badger handed the Turtle Man his ass: “You’ve been served!“