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Tue Jun 25, 2019, 01:18 PM

McConnell stiff-arms Democrats on Iran

Source: Politico

McConnell stiff-arms Democrats on Iran

And Democrats are struggling with a response.

By MARIANNE LEVINE and BURGESS EVERETT 06/24/2019 07:46 PM EDT

Senate Democrats are agonizing over whether to block a must-pass defense bill in order to debate war with Iran, seeing a rare opportunity for leverage in the GOP-controlled Senate.

Despite a bipartisan push, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell shut down the possibility of a vote on an amendment that would require congressional approval for the use of military funds in Iran. In response, many Senate Democrats and even some Republicans are willing to stop the annual defense measure from getting a final vote if that’s what it takes.

Such a vote would open these senators up to attacks for voting against the military. But given the escalating tensions with Tehran, some argue that it’s a risk worth taking to prevent another costly war in the Middle East and reassert congressional oversight over foreign intervention.

“As far as I’m concerned, this is an integral part of the substance of this bill, this is about our national defense and security,” said Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). “The opportunity to have this kind of conversation on the floor and vote rarely happens in the Senate. This is the only bill we debate each year.”

Durbin said that “at this point” he would vote against ending debate and filibuster the legislation.

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Read more: https://www.politico.com/story/2019/06/24/iran-debate-senate-cornyn-1378449

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