The US Senate is set to vote Thursday on legislation that would allow Congress to review a nuclear deal with Iran. The bill's co-sponsor, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), said Tuesday that he expects an “overwhelming vote” in favor of the bill.
Corker also said he believes that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will file cloture – a parliamentary procedure aimed at bringing debate to a quick end – thus preventing the Senate from voting on two so-called “poison pill” amendments that would require Iran to recognize Israel as part of the deal.
“My sense is that cloture is going to be filed,” Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters. “My sense is that Thursday there's a very strong chance that we'll get an overwhelming vote.”
The future of the Corker-Menedez Iran bill was thrown into question last week after Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) used a procedural tactic to try to force a vote on the “poison pill” amendments. Rubio's amendment requires Iran to publicly support Israel's right to exist. Cotton’s amendment would force Iran to “give up its nuclear facility before receiving any sanctions relief and to open its program to a fully verifiable inspections regime.”
According to reports, Democrats argued that amendments would likely pass — but would also kill the bill by provoking a veto if it were approved.
A deal between Republican and Democratic senators was reached three weeks ago to support the Corker-Menendez bill. "We have reached a bipartisan agreement that keeps the congressional review process absolutely intact, full of integrity," Corker, who is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told MSNBC in an interview.
Corker is hoping to gain wide Democratic backing for the bill, and aims for 67 senators in favor, which would make the bill impervious to US President Barack Obama's veto that he has threatened to use.