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57 House Republicans Urge Senators to 'Go Nuclear' to Stop Iran Deal

Image: 57 House Republicans Urge Senators to 'Go Nuclear' to Stop Iran Deal
(Getty Images) Rep. Lamar Smith

By    |   Thursday, 17 Sep 2015 10:52 PM

Fifty-seven House Republicans urged Senate leaders to invoke the "nuclear option" to require only a majority of votes to reject President Barack Obama's deal with Iran on nuclear weapons.

"As Members of the House of Representatives, we respectfully urge the Senate to modify its rules to a majority-vote threshold of 51 senators to approve some legislation," the legislators said in a letter sent Wednesday to Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Democratic Minority Harry Reid.

The letter was written by Texas Rep. Lamar Smith, who began circulating it earlier this week. Other top House Republicans endorsing the document were House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia, Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul of Texas, and Rules Committee head Pete Sessions of Texas.

"Some pieces of legislation, like the Iran nuclear deal, are simply so consequential that they demand revisions to the Senate’s procedures," the letter said.

The current threshold is 60 votes, which the GOP majority has lacked in order to break a Democratic filibuster that would allow the Senate to vote to reject the deal.

The Democrats have blocked three attempts to break the filibuster this month, with the latest being on Thursday. The chamber had until then to vote on the deal.

The accord, reached in July, would pump as much as $150 billion into Iran's economy that has been held up over five years through crippling sanctions in exchange for curbs on it nuclear arsenal.

The House voted 269-162 last Friday to reject the agreement. No Republicans backed the deal, and 25 Democrats broke ranks to oppose it.

Obama has promised to veto rejection of the deal, and he now has the necessary Democratic votes to sustain an override.

Senate Democrats voted in 2013 when they were in the majority to prevent filibusters on many of Obama's nominees. GOP members were incensed and now fear the political ramifications of invoking the option.

McConnell has repeatedly said that he would not change the vote threshold since taking over the senate in January.

"Our request to eliminate the filibuster for some votes simply underscores that in a democracy the majority should decide," Smith's letter said. "The super-majority now required to advance legislation is 60 votes, which is not serving our country well."

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Fifty-seven House Republicans urged Senate leaders to invoke the "nuclear option" to require only a majority of votes to reject President Barack Obama's deal with Iran on nuclear weapons.
house, republicans, nuclear, option, iran, deal, senate
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2015-52-17
Thursday, 17 Sep 2015 10:52 PM
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