As was widely expected, the first attempt by Senate Republicans to block the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran failed, falling two votes short of a cloture vote that would’ve allowed them to bypass a filibuster. This 42-58 vote was the same as would be expected in the vote on the bill itself, which would be well short of what is needed to override a presidential veto.
The vote was pretty much entirely on party lines, with all the Republicans and four Democrats voting to end debate on the bill, and all remaining Democrats and Independents voting for the debate (and by extension the filibuster) to continue.
Majority Whip Sen. John Cornyn (R -TX) appeared unfazed, and promised more votes aimed at killing the deal, insisting “it will be all Iran next week” and that there was still plenty of time to convince more Democrats to vote against the pact. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R – KY) also confirmed there will be “at least” one more vote next week.
The 60-day Congressional review process expires next Thursday, September 17, and barring anything really unforeseen, there is no reason to expect any changes. Even if the Republicans muster the 60 votes to bypass the filibuster, they are far from the 67 needed to override the veto.
AIPAC, the Israel Lobby which invested tens of millions of dollars in lobbying to kill the deal, try to present the failed vote as a partial victory, saying that the narrow majority proved that Congress “rejects the profoundly flawed nuclear deal.”
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