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House Republican Tells Senate to Go ‘Nuclear’ Over the Iran Deal

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With the Iran deal disapproval now facing a real filibuster threat in the Senate, a call has come from across the Capitol for the Senate to go nuclear.  

Rep. Steven Palazzo, a Republican from Mississippi, has written to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., encouraging the leader to effectively change the Senate’s rules with a simple majority to allow just 51 senators to overcome procedural hurdles and get legislation disapproving the international agreement with Iran to President Barack Obama’s desk, forcing a veto.  

But, that is the Senate’s “nuclear option.”  

With the announcement by Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., that she supports the agreement, there are 42 senators favoring it, making it increasingly likely the Republican-led measure to upend it will fall short of even getting out of the Senate.  

“Minority Leader Harry Reid was willing to use this tactic to push through something as simple as judicial nominees despite the objections of Republicans, it is time that Republican leadership utilizes the procedure as a matter of national and global security,” Palazzo wrote in his letter to McConnell.  

There has been no appetite for expanding the changes to the way the Senate handles nominations to legislate business among Republicans in the chamber.  

But that’s not true of Republican presidential contenders who haven’t served in the Senate on matters like getting Obama legislation to repeal Obamacare.  

That is similar to the Iran deal disapproval measures being considered in the House and Senate this week in that neither has any chance of surviving a veto through an override vote.  

While Palazzo’s letter will go nowhere, it could be a rhetorical harbinger for conservatives running against Washington.  

“The President’s deal threatens not only the safety and security of our allies in the Middle East, it also threatens the United States,” wrote Palazzo. “As the duly-elected representatives of the United States, we simply cannot put our citizens and our allies in what we know to be real and serious danger. Accordingly, the time for decorum having passed, it is vital that you institute the ‘nuclear option’ to require a 50+1 majority for the passage of this motion of disapproval.”

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