Republicans intend to “hammer” Senate Democrats next month if they do not allow a vote on a measure disapproving President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, according to The Hill.
Republicans, who oppose the deal unanimously, need the support of six Democrats to break a filibuster by Democrats, while the deal's supporters need 41 Senate votes to block the measure of disapproval. So far, 30 Senate Democrats have committed to voting in favor of the Iran agreement, and only two Democrats have broken ranks.
If the resolution is filibustered, it would be a major victory for the White House, which wouldn’t have to resort to a presidential veto to keep the Iran deal alive.
However, opponents of the deal warned that Senate Democrats would pay a political cost for such a move.
“Democrats will be setting themselves up for a further political hit if they deny the people the opportunity —the people meaning members of Congress — to vote on it,” said Allen Roth, the president Secure America Now, which opposes the Iran agreement. “I think it’ll be handing a political gift to the Republicans.”
In an interview with the Associated Press this week, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) called it “stunning” that Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) would be pushing the idea of a filibuster.
A vote to cut off debate would be hypocritical, he argued, after the Senate voted 98-1 earlier this year to allow it to review the agreement.
“All but one senator voted in favor of having the right to vote on the final deal, so then to turn right around and filibuster it to me is very inconsistent and I think would be confusing to the people they represent,” Corker told the AP.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) warned this week that Reid “wants to deny the American people a voice entirely by blocking an up-or-down vote on this terrible deal.”
Republicans are using the Iran vote to attack Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), whom The Hill calls “the only real vulnerable Democrat running for reelection next year.”
“If Sen. Michael Bennet filibusters or votes for the Iran deal we will make sure voters know he supported a nuclear deal that threatens our national security,” Andrea Bozek, a spokeswoman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said in a statement.