While the White House is warming to the Corker-Cardin bill, which would permit Congress to review the recent nuclear agreement with Iran on Iran’s nuclear program, Florida senator Marco Rubio is stirring the soul and sensibilities of his Senate colleagues by demanding seven additional amendments be considered for a vote on passage of the Corker-Cardin bill.
Rubio’s amendments, which are jeopardizing the fragile bill, include: Iran’s recognition of Israel; the release of Americans held in captivity in Iran; an insistence President Obama submit proposals to the United Nations (UN) to Congress; and the requirement current non-economic sanctions imposed on Iran remain in place.
Although no breakthrough appeared certain, the amendments appear to have the GOP senators deeply divided. At the moment, there exists no solid consensus behind Rubio: Foreign Relations Committee Chairman, Bob Corker (R-TN), has been unable to dislodge Rubio from his stance and Senate Majority Whip, John Cornyn (R-TX), favors voting on Rubio’s amendments.
Senator Rubio: Your amendments are effectual and your unabashed devotion to Israel is praiseworthy; however, this is an unnecessary display of power.
Mr. Rubio has distinguished himself as an unyielding supporter of Israel. Rubio’s answers regarding his position are crisp, direct, articulate, and, above all, offer moral clarity on a particularly contentious issue. The mere fact the White House has accented to the Corker-Cardin bill implicitly guarantees Congress will have a voice on the fate of the Iran nuclear deal.
Rubio’s recalcitrance is no mundane habit: There is every reason to share his concerns over Iran’s historic deceit, but as deficient, almost amateurish, an agreement the Iran nuclear pact is for the vulnerable people in the Middle East, it is not irreversible and can be rejected if allowed for a vote.
A man of Rubio’s worthy authority should understand he will stand a fair chance of being demonized or shunned if he chooses to appear as either shallow or doctrinaire. Rubio is better served by avoiding a self-inflicted wound and earning a reputation for hauteur by appearing too rigid on a bill which could hand his presidential aspirations a severe blow and handing democrats an issue to savage him.
By abandoning or modifying his amendments, Rubio can gain a victory in a floor vote on the Corker-Cardin bill. Despite Rubio’s reservations, the Senate is controlled by the GOP and Rubio has little to fear in any outcome.