On Thursday, Senate Democrats blocked cloture on debate over the resolution to disapprove the non-deal Iran “deal,” or JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action).
The Senate is effectively hamstrung. As of now, no Senate vote is foreseeable on the disapproval resolution. The mainstream media are visibly crowing over this as a big win for Obama.
Republican leader Mitch McConnell has vowed to push for a vote again next week. But there’s no reason at this point to think the outcome will be any different. Obama has the votes to prevent cloture in the Senate; he needs 41 and has 42. The vote on the disapproval resolution itself doesn’t look like it will be happening.
(McConnell could invoke the so-called “nuclear option,” and have a simple majority of Republicans change the rule for cloture on this one cloture vote. In that case, he could reach cloture with a simple majority, instead of needing 60 votes to force a floor vote on the disapproval resolution. McConnell has consistently deflected calls for that tactic, however.)
A legal option?
But what if, as Lori Lowenthal Marcus outlines, Congress could stall the entire process with a lawsuit arguing that the 60-day clock for Congress to deliberate on the JCPOA never started – because Obama failed to provide all of the relevant documents on the JCPOA’s implementation?