WASHINGTON — Democrats and Republicans backing a bill to give Congress a chance to review a nuclear deal with Iran insisted Tuesday that it be passed free of controversial add-ons that they claim could scuttle negotiations with Tehran, draw a presidential veto or leave lawmakers with no say on a national security threat.
As written, the legislation would block President Barack Obama from waiving congressional sanctions for at least 30 days while lawmakers weigh in on any final deal the U.S. and five other nations can reach with Iran. And it would stipulate that if senators disapprove the deal, Obama would lose authority to waive certain economic penalties — an event that would certainly prompt a presidential veto.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid warned GOP presidential hopefuls in the Senate not to use it as a “platform for their political ambitions.” He said the full Senate should pass the bill with the same bipartisanship that occurred in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which unanimously approved the measure 19-0.
The alternative to the bill is not a better bill, he said, “it is a deal without any meaningful congressional input.”
The bill has gained the tacit approval from Obama. He says he will sign it as written, but the White House warns that he will reconsider if the measure is substantially changed.
More than 50 amendments have been introduced so far — all by Republicans.
Democrats have threatened to withdraw their support if un-related amendments distort the bill.