Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's actions in regards to a bill that would delay any deal the United States strikes with Iran over its nuclear weapons program could have two Democrats who co-signed the bill vote against it.
According to a Politico report
, Democrat Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey said Wednesday he might not have any other option than to vote against a motion to bring the bill to a vote on the Senate floor next week.
Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine also voiced his concerns, saying, "The effort by the Republican leadership to force the bill to the floor prior to full committee consideration is contrary to the important interests at stake. Premature action also disrespects the ongoing work to build a broad coalition of colleagues in support of this bill."
The potential rebellion by the two Democrats stems from McConnell's decision to push for the bill in question to be voted on in the Senate chamber before going through a committee, in this case the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. McConnell has pledged that all proposed legislation will first be cleared in committees before landing on the Senate floor.
The proposal in question would send a preliminary agreement in the Iran deal to Congress for approval.
"There is no emergency; this deal — if there is one — won't be concluded until almost summer. Let's do this the right way," Menendez said, according to Politico. "If this is the process, then I will have no choice but to use my voice and vote against any motion to proceed to the bill."
Republicans pounced on the Iran matter after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Congress
on Tuesday the threat Iran poses is very real, and the deal in the works between Iran and a group of six countries that includes the U.S. is not a good one.
McConnell and members of the GOP want to finalize legislation that could potentially stop the deal before it goes into affect.
"We think the timing is important," McConnell said, reports Politico. "We think it will help the administration from entering into a bad deal. But if they do, it will provide an opportunity for Congress to weigh in."
Secretary of State John Kerry, meanwhile, defended the Iran negotiations
in the face of criticism after Netanyahu's speech in the House chamber.
"We continue to be focused on reaching a good deal, the right deal, that closes off any paths that Iran could have towards fissile material for a weapon and that protects the world from the enormous threat that we all know a nuclear-armed Iran would pose," Kerry said Wednesday.
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