The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted unanimously Tuesday afternoon to pass Sen. Bob Corker’s (R-TN) bipartisan Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, sending the legislation to the full Senate for final approval.
The bill gives Congress time to review the deal after President Obama finalizes negotiations with Iran prior to any sanctions on Iran being lifted and gives Congress the power to reject or approve the final nuclear negotiation.
“This legislation is exactly the congressional review we’ve been working on since day one,” touted Corker during the committee hearing.
Even Democrats voiced concerns over the Administration’s framework deal with the Iranian regime. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) said he was concerned on the divergent understanding of the agreement, timing and pacing of sanctions relief, the ability to snap back sanctions and the ability for snap inspections.
Referencing the bipartisan measure, Menendez said, “I hope [it] will be a broad strong bipartisan vote.” He added, “In my view the way to send a message to Tehran about our expectations is for Congress to put politics aside” and pass this legislation.
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) voiced in support for the bipartisan bill struck with Corker. “I believe this bill has been changed from a point to which I did not support it, to a point in which I can,” Boxer said.
Additionally, Democrats Sen. Joe Donelly (D-IN), Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), and Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) helped co-sponsor the legislation.
President Barack Obama’s White House has said it will not veto the legislation as it has been reworked in committee, according to the New York Times.
Cardin said he had positive communications with the Administration. “I think the Administration has been very open about trying to get where we are today,” said Cardin.
Corker said he believes the White House changed its view on this legislation after finding out how many Senators, especially from its own party, support the bipartisan measure.