After defeat, Republicans are out to draw blood.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell got Democrats on the record Thursday opposing an amendment that would allow sanctions relief to Iran under the nuclear agreement only if the country releases four American hostages and formally recognizes Israel as an independent state. The vote—coming to an ad near you—failed 53-to-45, well short of the 60 votes needed to proceed.
Two of the Democrats who oppose the broader Iran nuclear pact—Sens. Ben Cardin and Bob Menendez—took to the floor before the vote, charging that McConnell’s amendment was a political ploy.
“As much as I would like to see the hostages released … and as much as I would like Israel to be recognized by Iran as a sovereign independent nation, I am not certain that I would want to give my imprimatur to the agreement, even under those conditions, which this amendment would do,” said Menendez.
“We shouldn’t be participating in this political battle,” said Cardin, who instead urged for working on a security package to Israel. “It’s clear that this Iran agreement will be implemented. Now it’s time for this body to stop taking show votes. Instead pivot to the serious work of addressing the problems with the deal.”