Attempt to force Senate rejection of Iran deal fails

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WASHINGTON, D.C. Republican Senate leaders Tuesday made a second unsuccessful attempt to advance a resolution of disapproval against the Iran nuclear deal and bring it to the Senate floor for a final vote.

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Like the previous attempt last week, the second effort also fell short of the 60 votes needed to break a filibuster, as the 42 Democratic senators who originally supported the nuclear pact did not break ranks.

Few expected that they would. But the second vote forced Senate Democrats up for re-election next year, such as Sens. Michael Bennet of Colorado, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Ron Wyden of Oregon, to go on record again in favor of the deal, which polls show many Americans oppose.

“The American people are entitled to … know where their elected senators stand,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in justifying the second, largely symbolic vote. “No amount of saying this is over makes it over.”

McConnell is ratcheting up pressure on Democrats who support the deal by forcing them to take more votes. Another measure he is proposing would block President Barack Obama from lifting sanctions until the Iranian regime recognizes Israel as a state and releases Americans captive in Iran. That vote could come as soon as Thursday.

But Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, who is not seeking re-election, criticized McConnell in remarks on the Senate floor Tuesday for scheduling a vote that he considered doomed from the outset.

“The Republican leader doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to avoid a shutdown. The Republican leader has not scheduled any budget votes today. Instead, the Senate will waste precious time on another failed vote,” Reid said.

Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, defended the need for a second vote, citing changed circumstances on the international front.

“The nuclear deal looks worse each day, as Russia, which is supposed to help check Iran’s cheating, conspires with its top terrorist state to back the Assad regime,” Royce said in an interview.

Royce urged senators to reconsider their support of the deal, noting, “Russian tanks are being delivered to Syria this week.”

TNS

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