Senate Democrats on Thursday blocked a Republican effort to scuttle the Iran nuclear deal, delivering the Obama administration a long-awaited, major foreign policy victory.
But with Republicans in both chambers dead set on taking further shots to eviscerate the deal, and potentially even dragging it to court to block its implementation, the Iran deal debate may not be over.
The vote on the procedural motion was 58 to 42, falling two votes short of the 60 votes needed to consider the resolution rejecting the agreement.
In recent days, the deal’s opponents secured the votes to override President Obama’s promised veto of any move to dismantle the deal. The successful filibuster of the resolution of disapproval now ensures Obama won’t have to rely on his veto pen to preserve a major piece of his foreign policy agenda.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said the Senate will vote on the resolution of disapproval one more time before the Sept. 17 deadline to see “if any folks want to change their minds.” But he seemed to accept that there was no way to block its implementation by Congress.
“If we want to do anything further about this Iranian regime, bring me a bill with enough cosponsors to override a presidential veto,” McConnell told his colleagues after Thursday’s vote. “Otherwise, the American people will give us their judgment about the appropriateness of this measure a year from November.”
But in the House, Republicans don’t want to wait until the election to take aim at the pact from another angle.
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Thursday said House Republicans will “use every tool at our disposal to stop, slow and delay this agreement from being fully implemented,” including suing Obama to keep him from carrying out the deal.
“That is an option that is very possible,” Boehner said.
SOURCE: Karoun Demirjian
The Washington Post