Marco Rubio recently introduced amendments to a Congressional oversight bill that will make a deal with Iran much more difficult. He defended the move, explaining that a bad deal will almost certainly lead to war. Nevertheless, the plan could backfire, leaving Congress with less say on the final agreement.
There still isn’t a deal with Iran on the table, but Marco Rubio says that he knows the framework and he doesn’t like it.
“I don’t think the president’s plan is a good one,” he explained to Jim Geraghty at the National Review Institute Ideas Summit. According to the Washington Post, Rubio has been positioning himself as a foreign policy hawk in the run-up to the 2016 election, taking a hard stance on Iran.
“The argument the White House uses is if you’re not in favor of this deal, you are in favor of war. I would argue that a bad deal almost guarantees war, because Israel is not going to abide by any deal that they believe puts them and their existence in danger.”
The Obama administration has been negotiating to force Iran to provide evidence it is not building a nuclear weapon in exchange for removal of U.S.-imposed sanctions.
Earlier, Marco Rubio teamed up with fellow hawk Senator Tom Cotton to introduce two amendments to a bipartisan bill that will give Congress more oversight over the final Iran agreement. Rubio would force Iran to recognize the state of Israel, and its right to exist, as part of a deal.
According to the Hill, 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.”
The two senators followed up by using what CNN called a “procedural sneak attack” to force Congress to give a simple majority vote on the amendments (usually it would take 60 votes to approve an amendment.) Politicians on both sides of the aisle were frustrated by the move, fearing it would destroy the fragile bipartisan coalition supporting the bill or lead to an automatic veto from the President.
Marco Rubio and Cotton remained steadfast in support of what their colleagues called “poison pill” amendments. Senator Cotton accused Congress of being afraid of tough votes.
“If you don’t want to vote, you shouldn’t have come to the Senate. If you’re in the Senate and you don’t want to vote, you should leave.”
Now, the politicians are regrouping, CNN reports no action is expected until next week.
After a few complications, U.S. and Iranian negotiators set back the deadline on a deal with Iran to July of this year, leaving Marco Rubio and others time to place obstacles before the finish line.
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