Senate Majority Leader Delays Vote on Iran Bill

Feeling the heat from Democrats, Sen. McConnell agrees to reverse course on a plan to move forward next week with a controversial Iran bill.

Ben Ariel,

Mitch McConnell
Mitch McConnell
Reuters

Feeling the heat from a Democratic rebellion, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has decided to reverse course on a plan to move forward next week with a controversial Iran bill, The Huffington Post reported Thursday.

McConnell spokesman Don Stewart confirmed that the GOP leader is pulling the bill from next week's schedule.

The bill, introduced by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-TN), would give Congress 60 days to review - and potentially reject - any deal that scales back sanctions on Iran.

The measure has bipartisan support, but Democrats said on Wednesday they would vote against the bill if it is brought up next week, insisting the bill should come to a vote until after the March 31 deadline for a deal.

Democratic co-sponsors of the bill vowed to block it, which left Republicans without the assurance of a veto-proof margin on it. The White House has already threatened a veto.

"While the original schedule would have allowed for a committee markup and vote on the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 before final floor consideration, it is clear that Senate Democrats will filibuster their own bill -- a bill they rushed to introduce before the White House cut a deal with Iran," said Stewart, according to The Huffington Post.

Corker seemed relieved that McConnell is willing to wait.

"The strongest signal we can send to the U.S. negotiators is having a veto proof majority in support of Congress weighing in on any final nuclear deal with Iran," Corker said in a statement.

"This week, our bipartisan legislation gained momentum with four additional Democrats offering their support for the bill. I greatly appreciate the Majority Leader's commitment to getting the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act across the finish line by allowing the vote to occur at a time when we will more likely generate a veto proof majority."

Some Republicans had already cautioned McConnell about trying to rush the legislation, noted The Huffington Post. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said Wednesday that keeping Democrats on the bill was crucial.

"I understand Mitch wanting to move forward, but this is not about partisan politics to me. This is about world order," Graham said. "I don't want to create a problem for Democrats. If we have to wait until after the 24th -- they insisted upon that -- I'm willing to wait, as long as I know that there will be bipartisan support for a review of the deal."




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