An alliance of national security hawk Sens. Marco Rubio and Tom Cotton to pass amendments to the Iran bill — including one requiring Tehran to acknowledge Israel's "right to exist" — has stalled the legislation with a surprise procedural tactic, The Washington Post reports.
On Thursday, Cotton tried to get straight majority votes on the amendments while Rubio was presiding over the Senate, the Post reports.
"Right now we're a little balled up," Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn told the Post.
"But, I think there is some hope that we can get unstuck and start getting some votes on amendments and work forward to a conclusion. It's going to take a little while for everybody to cool down and keep talking."
Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland and Tennessee GOP Sen. Bob Corker, who want to protect the bill
that gives Congress 30 days to review the administration's nuclear pact with Iran — were caught "off-guard" by the Rubio-Cotton tactic.
"There was no notice to either one of us," Cardin told the Post, explaining the maneuver to get straight majority votes on the amendments "takes away some of that flexibility to get more members' input. So, it makes it more complicated."
But Rubio's willingness to ally himself with Cotton, R-Ark. — who penned an open letter
to Iranian leaders aimed at derailing the nuclear pact — shows the White House contender is trying to avoid getting outflanked by opponents, the Post reports.
One of those opponents is GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush, who told the Post: "I don’t know if that kills the bill and you have no legislative oversight."
Corker said the Cotton-Rubio maneuver "changed" the "context" of the proceedings, but Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, another presidential candidate, blamed the logjam on Democrats.
"Right now, Democrats are blocking amendments because the Democrats don't want to vote on a requirement that Iran recognize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state," he told the Post.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will have to decide whether to try to end debate on the Iran bill, shielding it from amendments — or to hold votes on those amendments, the Post reports.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.