Ten senators tell McConnell they object to fast tracking Iran bill


WASHINGTON (JTA) – Ten senators who caucus with Democrats are objecting to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s plan to bring the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 directly to the Senate floor for a vote, thereby bypassing the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The senators, among them Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), sent a letter to McConnell urging him not to fast track the bill, but rather to allow for negotiations with Iran to continue until at least the March 24 deadline for a political framework agreement. Because a final agreement is not expected until June, there is no reason to rush the vote, the senators wrote.

“We are disappointed that you have proceeded outside of regular order, which suggests that the goal of this maneuver is to score partisan political points, rather than pursue a substantive strategy to counter Iran’s nuclear ambitions,” the senators wrote.

The senators also wrote they would only vote for the bill after it has gone through regular procedures and been debated by the Foreign Relations Committee. Signing the letter were Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Bill Nelson (D-Fl.), Joe Donnelly (D-In.), Angus King (I-Me.), Chris Coons (D-De), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)

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