Mitch McConnell Says He Will Force Democrats to Vote on Iran Recognizing Israel

Mitch McConnell
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin
Washington, DC

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) says he has devised a strategy to force Democrats to vote on the Iran nuclear deal as is, or face a procedural vote that would make Democrats vote on whether the Iran accord should be tied to the release of four American hostages and the recognition of Israel as a sovereign state.

McConnell announced his plan late Tuesday and said that if Democrats continued to filibuster the resolution of disapproval on the Iran deal, he would introduce the new bill Thursday and force a vote on the amendment. McConnell hopes that his strategy will force Democrats to drop the filibuster in order to avoid an unpopular vote.

On Tuesday, Democrats continued their filibuster after a vote to end debate and vote on the disapproval resolution failed 56-42, with Republicans needing 60 votes to end the debate.

“Now the president has so far resisted linking his deal — a deal that failed to end Iran’s enrichment program while leaving it as an American-recognized nuclear threshold state — to other aspects of Iran’s conduct,” Sen. McConnell said Tuesday from the Senate floor. “But linkage is appropriate and in this negotiation it would have been wise to have linkage.”

“Either way, this debate will continue. This is a debate with a very long shelf life,” he added.

The legislation tying the Iran deal to recognition of Israel was originally offered by Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), a Republican nominee for President, and Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR). Sen. McConnell initially rejected such an idea, saying that the proposal was a “poison pill” and that Democrats would never vote on the amendment.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said Wednesday that Democrats would block an effort by McConnell to bring up a vote on Iran’s recognition of Israel and the release of American hostages.

“We’ve seen this strategy before, it never works,” Reid said, according to The Hill. “If the Republican leader has his way, all the Senate will do for the rest of this week is take yet another failed vote on Iran.”

Regardless of Republicans’ “future plans, it will not prevent President Obama and his administration from implementing the Iran agreement,” Reid insisted.