Depending on your perspective, the Senate is looking for pass a “foundationally” solid bipartisan Iran bill, in the words of Sen Lindsey Graham, or a watered down nothing burger that really does nothing but allow the Senate to express their disapproval of Obama’s Iran deal, without the teeth to stop it.
That’s a de-fanged Congress, at best, and it’s likely why some Republicans, including those running for President who are offering amendments that may prove to be bill breakers, per this Roll Call report.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has already filed seven amendments, some with the backing of Republican colleagues. They include a proposal to require certification that Iran has recognized Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state and another to require certification that the Iranian government has released all detained Americans.
Neither of those are certifications Obama would likely be able to make, and critics of such requirements say they fall outside the scope of the current talks with Iran.
Sen. Mark S. Kirk, R-Ill., joined Rubio on each of those amendments, and the two senators also came together in issuing an April 20 statement about Iran’s pursuing espionage charges against Jason Rezaian of The Washington Post.“This case is just the latest example of the true nature of the Iranian regime. The Obama Administration should demand Mr. Rezaian’s immediate release along with all other Americans wrongfully imprisoned in Iran prior to concluding a nuclear deal with this brutal regime,” Kirk and Rubio said.
Sen Ted Cruz has offered an amendment, as well.
There was no shortage of amendments filed even before the Senate adjourned for the week, including by other 2016 GOP presidential hopefuls.
For instance, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has drafted an amendment with Republican Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania designed to require lawmakers to approve any final deal reached with Tehran, rather than establish a process for expressing disapproval, as currently drafted.
“The amendment is designed to put the power where it should be: in the hands of Congress,” Cruz spokeswoman Amanda Carpenter said in a statement. “The President should be required to receive affirmative congressional approval of any Iran deal, rather putting the onus on Congress to stop it.”