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John McCain Entertains ‘Nuclear Option’ to Reject Iran Deal (Video)

McCain is adamant that the defense policy bill should be bipartisan. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
McCain is adamant that the defense policy bill should be bipartisan. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. John McCain said Friday he would be willing to look at using the “nuclear option” to advance legislation against the Iran deal.  

“I think it would set a dangerous precedent, but frankly … I’m in favor of exploring it. The seriousness of the impact of this agreement I think … argues for us to look at any possible option that we can,” the Arizona Republican said on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show. “I’m not sure I want to change the rules of the Senate because we won’t always be in the majority.”  

McCain, traveling Friday in New Hampshire with Sen. Lindsey Graham as his friend from South Carolina campaigns for the GOP presidential nomination, was quick to hedge.  

“I do want to say I argued strenuously against what Harry Reid did, and so … there would be some certain charges, legitimately, of me being a hypocrite if I were willing to go back and use that for my own purposes, you see what I mean?” McCain said. “I’ve got to be consistent.”  

In November 2013, then-Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., established a new Senate precedent to provide that a filibuster of nominations for executive positions and judgeships short of the Supreme Court could be broken with just a simple majority of the Senate, instead of 60 votes.  

The resolution of disapproval against the international agreement with Iran regarding nuclear development had 58 votes in favor of limiting debate Thursday, two short of the 60 still needed to overcome the procedural hurdles for legislative business. Another vote on the same matter is set for next Tuesday evening.  

Even if the Senate were to pass the disapproval resolution with a simple majority of senators, it would still need to pass the House and then face President Barack Obama’s veto pen. Votes this week have shown there is not sufficient support for a veto override in either chamber.  

Hewitt said Graham had previously expressed opposition to the maneuver, which is being pushed by some conservative Republicans in the House .

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