On a near unanimous vote, the Senate approved a bill Thursday to the require that Congress review any final nuclear deal with Iran.
The bipartisan “Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act” passed on a vote of 98-1.
The legislation, offered by Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), requires the president to submit any final nuclear deal with Iran to Congress — with the potential that lawmakers could reject the agreement — before being allowed to lift any sanctions.
“The Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act offers the best chance for our constituents, through the Congress they elect, to weigh in on the White House’s negotiations with Iran,” Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said on the Senate floor Thursday before the vote. “And make no mistake, they need to have that opportunity.”
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) was the lone “no” vote and his objection was that he’d like to be voting on the Iran deal as a treaty.
“A nuclear-arms agreement with any adversary—especially the terror-sponsoring, Islamist Iranian regime—should be submitted as a treaty and obtain a two-thirds majority vote in the Senate as required by the Constitution,” he said in a statement.
The House will take up the legislation next. In a statement after the vote, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said the bill would “hold President Obama’s administration accountable.”
“This important, bipartisan legislation will ensure that Congress has a role in reviewing any potential agreement regarding Iran’s nuclear weapons program,” he said. “Our goal is to stop a bad agreement that could pave the way to a nuclear-armed Iran, set off a regional nuclear arms race, and strengthen and legitimize the government of Iran – which threatens Israel and other allies in the region, as well as supports terrorism throughout the Middle East.”