Dan Gilmore / Sep. 16, 2015

Senate Republicans Continue to Fight Iran Deal

With security at stake, it may be time for the GOP to deploy the nuclear option.

Congress has until Thursday to weigh in on Barack Obama’s deal with Iran. But Democrats filibustered the first vote last week, and when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made a motion to reconsider the nuclear deal Tuesday, Democrats once again blocked bringing the measure up for consideration in a 56-42 vote. “Democrats seem to think they can end the discussion by blocking an up-or-down vote, then turn around and pretend they care deeply about Israel and human rights,” McConnell said. “Well if they vote again to deny the American people a final vote, they’ll have a chance to test the theory. I will file on an amendment that would prevent the President from lifting sanctions until Iran meets two simple benchmarks: It must formally recognize Israel’s right to exist, and it must release the American citizens being held in Iranian custody.” Congress has the potential to exhibit its best qualities here in a pursuit for nuclear nonproliferation. There is little gained when, in the words of McConnell, one side tries to “win ugly.” But if Democrats want to play a partisan game, then these votes in the Senate get Democrats on record and lay the groundwork for some powerful campaign fodder come 2016. Meanwhile, “this debate will continue,” McConnell said. Commentator Charles Krauthammer and several Republican lawmakers are calling for extreme measures: With international security at stake, it may be time for Republicans to deploy the nuclear option to break the Democrat filibuster.

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