As debate begins on a bill that would give Congress some say on the Iran nuclear deal, senators running for president will be trying to make their mark on the legislation to demonstrate their foreign policy credentials.
At the same time, colleagues are cautioning against any grandstanding that could disrupt the carefully crafted bipartisan balance that has been struck to get the deal passed and approved by the White House, The Washington Post
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is seeking votes on seven amendments, including a demand that Iran acknowledge Israel's "right to exist" and a requirement that Iran releases all American prisoners before the deal is activated.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has introduced an amendment that would require the nuclear deal to be approved by Congress in order to go into effect.
"It is imperative that, at the very least, the president obtain majority support for his deal from both Houses of Congress before moving forward," Cruz said in a statement, according to the Post.
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has not taken a high profile stance on the measure, but earlier in the month had voted with Rubio for an unsuccessful amendment that would have strengthened anti-terrorism language in the bill.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker said that while he hasn't discussed amendments with the lawmakers, he will be working to maintain the delicately crafted balance to sustain the bill's support.
"I'm going to do everything that I can as one senator to try to maintain and an appropriate balance so that we can have a very strong vote," Corker said, according to the Post.
The legislation currently on the table would give Congress 30 days to review the deal with Iran. President Barack Obama would have the power to waive sanctions that were imposed by the executive branch but would be forced to keep in place sanctions previously set out by Congress.
If Congress ultimately rejected the deal, then the congressional sanctions would remain in place indefinitely. But if Congress fails to come to a consensus, the president would have the power to fully implement the deal.
Having been unanimously passed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the bill will advance to the Senate floor this week with the expectations that it will be easily passed by a bipartisan majority.
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham has warned colleagues not to tip the apple cart.
"Anybody that monkeys with this bill is going to run into a buzz saw," Graham told reporters last week, according to the Post. "I don't want to monkey around with this thing to make political points. I want to try to get a process that we can approve a good deal or kill a bad one."
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