Things did not go well today for Neocons “Tehran” Tom Cotton and Marco “Big Gulp Rubio.
I told you earlier that Sens. Cotton and Rubio sandbag GOP leaders with poison pill amendments to Iran bill. Senate Majority Leader Mitch “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.”
I posted that the Septuagenarian Ninja Turtle, Mitch McConnell, needs to take out his ninja sword and slay this out-of-control monster to make an example of him. And that is what he did. Senate overwhelmingly approves Iran review bill in 98-1 vote:
Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) filed a motion to end debate after Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Cotton tried to force a vote on an amendment requiring Iran to recognize Israel’s right to exist as part of a final deal.
The move was a reversal of the open amendment process Republican leadership pledged to bring to the Senate.
Rubio slammed the decision not to allow his amendment requiring Iran to support Israel as part of a deal to come up for a vote, saying that some senators are “terrified” of voting against it.
“Apparently there are senators terrified of voting against that amendment, so they’d rather not have a vote at all. So I am deeply disappointed by the direction this has taken,” he said.
But, he added that he would support the final bill, suggesting that it was better than nothing.
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Rubio’s remarks separate him from his presidential rival Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) who said on Wednesday that the legislation is a “bad bill.”
But Cruz voted in favor of the bill after voting against ending debate on it.
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Cruz was joined in voting against ending debate by fellow GOP Sens. Charles Grassley (Iowa), Tom Cotton (Ark.), Jerry Moran (Kansas), Mike Lee (Utah) and Dan Sullivan (Alaska).
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) was absent for the vote.
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The Senate voted overwhelmingly to approve the legislation allowing Congress to review a nuclear deal with Iran in a 98-1 vote.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) was the only senator to oppose the bill. He said in a statement that he objected that the deal was not to be presented to the Congress as a treaty.
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The Senate bill would require a competed deal to be submitted to Congress, which could then vote to approve or disapprove the nuclear deal within 30 days. Sanctions on Iran could not be lifted during this consideration.
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Passage of the legislation clears the way for U.S. negotiators to continue to work on a nuclear deal with Iran ahead of a June 30 deadline with little fear of interference from Congress. Negotiators reached a framework agreement in April.
A vote to disapprove a nuclear deal with Iran would not kill it. President Obama could veto such a measure, and the House and Senate would then need two-thirds majorities to override his veto.
The administration initially opposed the legislation, arguing it could interfere with negotiations with Iran. The White House changed course after it became clear that the bill had strong support from Democrats.
The legislation will now move to the House. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) suggested that passing the legislation would allow House lawmakers to “hold President Obama’s administration accountable.”
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The White House indicated it would sign the bill, as long as it is not changed with amendments opposed by the administration in the House.
“The president said he would sign it in its current form. The president also made clear if amendments were added to that bill that would endanger a deal coming together that prevented Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon that we would oppose it,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz told reporters traveling on Air Force One.
An overwhelming majority of House Democrats are lining up in support of President Obama’s negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. 150 House Dems back Obama on Iran talks:
One hundred and fifty members, including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), are urging the administration to “stay the course” and “exhaust every avenue” in its bid to craft a diplomatic deal to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran.
“If the United States were to abandon negotiations or cause their collapse, not only would we fail to peacefully prevent a nuclear armed Iran, we would make that outcome more likely,” the Democrats wrote to Obama Thursday in a letter spearheaded by Reps. Jan Schakowsky (Ill.), Lloyd Doggett (Texas) and David Price (N.C.).
While the letter is addressed to the White House, the message sends a warning shot to GOP leaders that Democrats could likely sustain a presidential veto if the Republicans vote to disapprove a deal negotiated by the U.S., Iran and five other nations.
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In their Thursday letter, the Democrats are pushing hard for a diplomatic victory while warning that a failure of the negotiations could lead to war. The party’s widespread support for that message suggests that, even if Republicans reject an Iran deal, the Democrats have the numbers to sustain a presidential veto.
“War itself will not make us safe,” the lawmakers wrote. “We must allow our negotiating team the space and time necessary to build on the progress made in the political framework and turn it into a long-term, verifiable agreement.”