US Senate Democrats block disapproval bill on Iran nuclear deal

Vote 2 shy of 60 needed to move to final vote; Obama praises historical “victory for diplomacy”; House passes Resolution 411 in legal move against deal

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United States Senate Democrats have blocked the Republicans resolution to disapprove the Iran nuclear deal made with world powers Thursday. The vote, 58-42, was two votes short of the 60 needed to move to a final vote.

The nuclear deal will move on, and President Obama will be able to begin lifting sanctions on Iran in the next coming weeks.

President Obama praised the Senate, calling the move a “historical step” and a “victory for diplomacy”. Obama stated on Thursday evening, “the Senate took an historic step forward and voted to enable the United States to work with our international partners to enable the implementation of the comprehensive, long-term deal that will prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. This vote is a victory for diplomacy, for American national security, and for the safety and security of the world.”

He spoke of the negotiating process, and how “For nearly two years, we negotiated from a position of strength to reach an agreement that meets our core objectives. Since we concluded these negotiations, we have had the most consequential national security debate since the decision to invade Iraq more than a decade ago. Over the last several weeks, the more members studied the details of this deal, the more they came out in support… If you’ve got a majority of the Congress that doesn’t like the Iran deal, that begins to suggest you’ve got a majority of Congress that wants to lean in on this and be more provocative” adding that “Today, I am heartened that so many Senators judged this deal on the merits, and am gratified by the strong support of lawmakers and citizens alike. Going forward, we will turn to the critical work of implementing and verifying this deal so that Iran cannot pursue a nuclear weapon, while pursuing a foreign policy that leaves our country, and the world, a safer place.”

Following Obama’s speech congratulating the vote, the House of Representatives approved legal measures challenging the Obama Administration, offered by Republican Congressmen Mike Pompeo and Lee Zeldin. The vote occurred just two hours after the Senate vote.

The House voted 245-186, passing House Resolution 411, which claims that Obama did not comply with section 2 of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015. Under the law, the House Parliamentarian may not recognize the 60-day congressional review period until all agreements related to the nuclear deal (side agreements) are given to Congress. By the law, Obama would not be permitted to lift sanctions against Iran until Congress completely reviews the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and votes to disapprove or approve based on reviewing all documentation.

Republicans have asked for all “side agreements” and documentation during the 60 day period time of review of the nuclear deal, the Obama Administration claiming all was given to Congress, a White House spokesman stating on Thursday that, “we’ve been clear that the included all the documentation that was in the possession of the United States government.”