Congressional Republicans are wasting no time in planning an angle of attack on the six-power deal with Iran curtailing its nuclear program while lifting economic sanctions. Fortunately, they have a very tough path forward in taking an effective stand against the deal. Under the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act passed in April,
Congress can pass a resolution approving the deal, reject it with a vote of disapproval or do nothing. A vote of disapproval would need 60 votes to get past a Senate filibuster and 67 to override the inevitable presidential veto. It would be foolish to say they face insurmountable odds. Stuff happens. But the likelihood that they can sandbag the agreement is very slim indeed.
Senator Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who guided the review act to passage, told Jonathan Weisman and Julie Hirschfeld Davis:
“In the end, those who believe this truly is going to keep Iran from getting a nuclear weapon will vote for it. Those who believe that is not the case, and the world is not going to be safer—in some ways it may pave the way for them to get a nuclear weapon—will vote against it.”
To bolster their chances, writes Alexander Bolton at The Hill, they're hoping they can win the PR war with the American public and give some fence-straddling congressional Democrats reason to join the opposition to the agreement:
Some Senate Republicans are thinking about moving a motion of approval of the deal, believing it would put Democrats in a tough spot ahead of next year’s elections. Such a move in the upper chamber could lead to less than half of the Senate backing the president, allowing for more favorable headlines for the GOP. The House, however, is more likely to pass a resolution of disapproval.
A third option is to move legislation sponsored by Menendez and Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) placing new sanctions on Iran, which the Banking Committee passed earlier this year and has Democratic support.