Tags: Iran | Media Bias | War on Terrorism | Iran | nuclear | Mitch McConnell | Bob Corker

GOP Sens. McConnell and Corker at Odds Over Iran Bill

By    |   Thursday, 30 Apr 2015 05:25 PM

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker of Tennessee are at an impasse over how to proceed with the Iran bill that is being crafted in the congressional chamber.

McConnell is supporting amendments that could hurt the survival chances of the legislation designed to give Congress the right to review any nuclear deal with Iran, even though he says he wants the measure to pass, The Hill is reporting.

Corker wants Senate Republicans to support a clean bill without any such amendments, or "poison pills," that could prevent it from passing and risk losing President Barack Obama's endorsement. Senate Democrats are also pushing for a clean bill, for the same reasons.

While McConnell has said that if the Iran nuclear bill passes it will be one of the biggest accomplishments of the current Congress, he's not doing anything to stop his fellow Republican senators from adding amendments to it that could prevent it from surviving.

As a result, Democrats are being forced to take risky votes on amendments, such as the two by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio — one that would make Iran have to recognize that Israel has a right to exist and another one that would force Iran to agree to release prisoners.

Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson wants the agreement to be considered a treaty, which would make the Senate approve the treaty with a two-thirds vote. McConnell supported it while Corker did not. It ultimately ended up failing.

Democratic and Republican strategists are both frustrated by McConnell's strategy out of fear that it will lead the bipartisan coalition behind the bill to fracture.

Republican strategist John Ullyot told The Hill that "[McConnell] risks poisoning the atmosphere of bipartisanship by forcing tough votes for Democrats. It's very tough to see now how this will get a veto-proof majority when he is putting Democrats in tough positions on votes."

Democrats complained that McConnell was forcing them to take on the tough job of derailing popular amendments, and some question if the Kentucky Republican is playing political games with the fragile situation.

"We can’t tell whether this is in the spirit of open floor debate on amendments or in the spirit of trying to make the Democrats look bad," said Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois. "I hope it comes to an end soon and this bipartisan bill is passed intact."

Democrats say they would normally support such amendments, but are rejecting them out of fear the they will lead to Obama ultimately rejecting the measure because they could threaten the negotiations with Iran.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest confirmed this point Wednesday when he said any bill that undermines the compromise that was passed in the Foreign Relations Committee or the negotiations will be vetoed by the president.

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker of Tennessee are at an impasse over how to proceed with the Iran bill that is being crafted in the congressional chamber.
Iran, nuclear, Mitch McConnell, Bob Corker, Senate, Republicans, at odds
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2015-25-30
Thursday, 30 Apr 2015 05:25 PM
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