Sen. Ted “Calgary” Cruz (R-TX) may no longer be the most hated man in the U.S. Senate after today. Freshman Neocon war monger “Tehran” Tom Cotton (R-AR) may have moved up to the number one spot with a bullet after sandbagging the Septuagenarian Ninja Turtle, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn) on a carefully crafted Iran compromise bill.
The GOP has created a monster that it cannot control.
You remember “Tehran” Tom Cotton. GOP Senators’ attempt to sabotage U.S. foreign policy is unprecedented:
“Bloody Bill” Kristol’s latest protégé, Sen. “Tehran” Tom Cotton (R-AR), Israel lobby’s fingerprints are all over Republican letter to Iran, really screwed the pooch this week with his open letter to Iran. Iran Letter Is Perfect Neoconservative Fiasco – NYMagazine.
Editorial page opinions universally condemned the 47 GOP senators. The top 10 trending Twitter topics in the United States early in the week listed “#47traitors” at the top. The senators who signed Cotton’s letter were called “TRAITORS” on the front page of the New York Daily News.
“Tehran” Tom Cotton and Marco “Big Gulp” Rubio sandbag McConnell, jeopardizing Iran bill:
Two junior conservatives blindsided Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Thursday by attempting to force a vote on an amendment that could derail the bipartisan Iran nuclear review bill.
Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who is running for president, surprised McConnell by leapfrogging ahead of colleagues waiting for chances to get votes on their amendments.
They used a procedural maneuver to force McConnell to schedule a vote on an amendment requiring Iran to recognize Israel’s right to exist as part of any nuclear deal.
McConnell’s only way of avoiding the controversial amendment would be to file a motion to end debate on the Iran Nuclear Review Act, which would block Republicans from offering any amendments to the bill.
It would also represent a reversal of McConnell’s intention to allow amendments on legislation in the GOP-controlled Senate after he criticized Democrats for not doing so when they held the chamber.
The GOP leader now faces a tough choice over whether to save the Iran bill from a poison-pill amendment or to cut off debate and move to a swift final vote on the legislation — despite earlier pledges to allow a robust floor debate.
Rubio’s amendment calling for Iran to recognize Israel as part of a nuclear deal with the United States is dangerous because Iran would never agree to it, and so it
might would doom the nuclear talks.
Democrats have said they will not shoulder the burden of defeating it, meaning that the amendment would likely be approved if it were to come up for a vote.
That would likely lead the White House to veto the Iran legislation.
Cotton refused to back down Thursday, insisting his colleagues weigh in on whether international negotiators take a tougher approach to Iran and call on it to recognize Israel.
“We need to vote. If you don’t want to vote, you shouldn’t have come to the Senate. If you’re in the Senate and you don’t want to vote, you should leave,” he said on the floor.
Back in the day a freshman back-bencher in the Senate would never have even considered sandbagging his party leadership this way, nor dare to embarrass them in a floor speech. This is bad form and insubordination.
Cotton and Rubio took advantage of McConnell’s decision not to block amendments to the underlying legislative vehicle, the Protecting Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Responders Act, in order to file the amendment.
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Cotton filed and made pending to the House vehicle an amendment requiring Iran to give up its nuclear facility before receiving any sanctions relief and to open its program to a fully verifiable inspections regime. He offered Rubio’s Israel proposal as a second-degree amendment to his own measure.
By offering their amendments to the House legislation, Cotton and Rubio jumped ahead of colleagues who were negotiating to amend the Iran review bill.
Under the Senate’s rules, the Senate must take up their amendments next unless a motion to end debate is presented and succeeds. Such a motion would need 60 votes.
Amendments that received votes earlier this week were offered to the compromise legislation hashed out by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn) and Sen. Ben Cardin (Md.), the panel’s ranking Democrat — not the underlying bill.
The Corker-Cardin compromise, which would empower Congress to review any deal struck with Iran before President Obama can waive sanctions, is a substitute amendment to the House firefighters bill.
Corker warned that Cotton’s gambit had “changed the dynamic significantly.”
He said that he had been working on scheduling votes on “a whole package of things” but that the path forward is now uncertain.
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“Sen. Cotton’s procedural move has forced Senator McConnell to decide whether to vote on poison pills or preserve the bipartisan Corker-Cardin compromise by filing cloture to end debate on the Iran bill,” said Adam Jentleson, Harry Reid’s spokesman.
“If Senator McConnell files cloture to end debate on the Iran bill, it will preserve the Corker-Cardin compromise by protecting it from poison pills — but filing cloture to end debate would also block further amendment votes if cloture is invoked,” he added.
What’s your move, Turtle Man?
UPDATE: These boy geniuses (sic) should realize that they have really stepped into a pile when Bibi Netanyahu’s embed blogger at the Neocon Washington Post, Jennfer Rubin, says that these freshmen senators go off the rails:
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) figured out a procedural maneuver to force a vote on amendment to make a deal contingent on recognition of Israel. It is obvious that Iran would never agree, and such a demand has never been included in any U.N. or U.S. sanctions provision or resolution. It’s a classic “poison pill” that will provoke a veto and wreck Corker-Menendez.
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Without Corker-Menendez, Congress is not entitled to get the entire deal and Obama could lift sanctions immediately, depriving anti-appeasement forces of time to make their case before Obama presents the deal as a fait accompli. Some voices on the right who misread the current situation in which Congress finds itself (powerless) have egged Cotton and Rubio on.
Or as Greg Sargent of the Post snarks, “Thus, Rubio and Cotton risk killing the Corker bill, which could make an eventual Iran deal more likely. Brilliant!”