Democrats rose up and handed Mitch McConnell a humiliating defeat. Senate Democrats blocked the Iran disapproval resolution from moving forward by a vote of 58-42.
The vote went as expected with all Republicans plus four Democrats supporting the resolution, and the rest of the Democrats plus the two Independents voted no. Without the 60 votes needed for advancement, the bill was blocked.
Before the vote, Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) preemptively whined about Democrats, “Just a few short months ago, Senators of both parties came together to pass a bipartisan bill based on an important principle: that the American people, through the Congress they elect, deserve a say on one of the most important issues of our time. We rallied around that principle, voting 98-1 to ensure the American people would have a real say on any deal with Iran. What a tragedy it would be then if, at the very last moment, some of those same Senators decided to filibuster to prevent the American people from having a real say on this incredibly important issue. I know some of our colleagues are currently under immense pressure to shut down the voice of the people. But I ask colleagues to reflect on the gravely serious nature of the issue before us. I ask colleagues to consider the expectations they set with their constituents when they voted for the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act.”
Senate Minority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) placed all of the blame where it really belongs:
That is why I am once again putting forward my consent to skip cloture and all procedural votes and move to a vote on final passage this evening. Every Senator in this body should understand that if they are forced to vote on cloture it is because Senator McConnell, not Democrats, wanted them to. The idea that Democrats are somehow trying to stop debate or keeping us from a final vote is foolish.
Let’s be clear about who is moving to end debate: it is the Republican leader and he alone who is moving to end debate. It is the Republican Leader who filed a procedural motion last night to end debate.
Actions speak louder than words – Democrats acted to get this bill to the floor and debate it. Democrats are ready to vote on final passage. But if we are forced to vote on cloture, all Senators should understand that the cloture vote will then become the defining vote that determines whether the resolution of disapproval moves forward to the President’s desk. Vote no on cloture. A vote against cloture is a vote for the Iran agreement – plain and simple.
Mitch McConnell set himself up for this failure by refusing to allow a clean up or down final vote. McConnell’s game was to make Democrats go on record in support of the deal. His plan backfired because the anti-war position is the more popular in the country. Democrats are happy to block the deal.
Republicans continue to try to play power games that are based on power that they don’t have. Republicans don’t have sixty votes, but they still try to ram their unpopular agenda down the throats of Democrats.
Senate Democrats continue to rise to the challenge, as Mitch McConnell’s poor leadership has resulted in another Republican defeat.
McConnell can schedule some different votes and continue to play games, but he only has a week, and Democrats aren’t going to budge.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association