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Dan Gilmore / Sep. 18, 2015

Senate Democrats Defeat McConnell’s Iran Amendment

Even if there is time for Republican leaders to deploy the nuclear option…

For Senate Democrats, the discussion over the deal granting Iran nuclear power is done. They will not entertain any further discussion on the subject. On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that he would seek some concessions after the body that is supposed to advise the president on matters of diplomacy was blocked from considering the Iran deal. Specifically, he wanted Iran to release Americans held prisoner in the country and recognize Israel’s right to exist before any money frozen by sanctions flowed back to it. But when he tried to bring the measure up for vote Thursday, 45 Senate Democrats voted against the bill in a procedural vote, blocking consideration of that amendment too. As Ed Morrissey wrote at Hot Air, “McConnell would have done better to restrict the amendment to the fate of US hostages, whose disregard in these talks is indefensible. Recognition of Israel by the mullahs not only is a poison pill, but who’d believe them if they actually complied? Its inclusion allowed Democrats a political out for blocking it.” As we’ve said before about this 114th Congress, the Republican wave came in with a roar last November. With a majority in both chambers, many commentators said much could be done for the cause of Liberty. But the lawmakers haven’t made most of the opportunity. Now, one of the most critical votes dealing with foreign policy, one with implications for years to come, slipped from out of Republican hands. Even if there is time for Republican leaders to deploy the nuclear option, they don’t have the fortitude to do it.

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