August 17, 2019

Key Democrats object to new Republican Iran measure

Senators Chuck Schumer and Ben Cardin, senior Democrats who oppose the nuclear agreement with Iran, will vote against a Republican effort to require new conditions before President Barack Obama could lift any sanctions under the deal, aides said on Wednesday.

After Senate Democrats twice blocked a disapproval resolution meant to kill the nuclear agreement, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell introduced amendments to the measure that would bar Obama from lifting sanctions on Iran unless it recognizes Israel's right to exist and releases American prisoners.

Democrats have argued for months that the agreement should not be tied to non-nuclear issues.

Schumer, the number three Democrat in the Senate, and Cardin, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, sided with Republicans and against fellow Democrats in the two previous procedural votes.

Under legislation Obama signed into law in May, Congress has until Thursday to pass a resolution disapproving of the nuclear agreement. If the resolution were to pass, it would cripple the deal by barring Obama from lifting many U.S. sanctions.

Schumer and Cardin remain opposed to the deal itself, their aides said.