Senate GOP Forced to Delay Vote on Iran Nuclear Deal

Image: Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) Holds A News Conference Day After His Midterm Election Victory
Senate Minority Leader U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) answers questions during a press conference at the University of Louisville Nov. 5, in Louisville, Ky.Win McNamee / Getty Images

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Senate Republican leadership will postpone consideration of a bill that would require Congressional approval of any Iran nuclear deal, citing Democratic opposition to moving on the bill before the deal's deadline at the end of March.

"While the original schedule would have allowed for a committee markup and vote on the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 before final floor consideration, it is clear that Senate Democrats will filibuster their own bill - a bill they rushed to introduce before the White House cut a deal with Iran," a Senate GOP leadership aide tells NBC News.

"So, instead, the Senate will turn next to the anti-human-trafficking legislation while Democrats decide whether or not they believe they and Congress as a whole should be able to review and vote on any deal the President cuts with the leaders of Iran," the aide said.

The vote was scheduled for next Tuesday.

The bill lost support of key Senate Democrats who are co-sponsors of the bill after Republicans announced they were fast-tracking consideration of the measure while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was still in the Capitol for his address to Congress on Tuesday.

“In trying to rush ahead with this vote, Leader McConnell was injecting politics into the U.S.-Israel relationship, just as Speaker Boehner did before him," Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), said.

A group of 10 Senate Democrats announced their opposition to the move in a letter to McConnell on Wednesday.

"The deadline for a political framework agreement with Iran is March 24 and a final agreement is not expected to be reached until the end of June," the group of 10 Senators led by Sen Robert Menendez (D-NJ) wrote in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), "There is no immediate or urgent need to circumvent the Committee process and we are disappointed that you've pursued this partisan course of action."

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