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Senate Democrats Block Measure To Reject Iran Nuclear Deal
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Senate Democrats Block Measure To Reject Iran Nuclear Deal

Politics

Senate Democrats Block Measure To Reject Iran Nuclear Deal

Senate Democrats Block Measure To Reject Iran Nuclear Deal
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The Senate blocked a measure to reject the Iran nuclear deal Thursday. Meanwhile, the House is working on a parallel, but separate, legislative track to voice Republican opposition to the Iran deal.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

A measure rejecting the nuclear deal with Iran has been defeated, at least for now. Senate Democrats blocked the GOP resolution from passing this afternoon. In the House, Republicans will be expressing their opposition to the nuclear deal in a different way. NPR's Ailsa Chang reports on two chambers that are now totally out of sync.

AILSA CHANG, BYLINE: Senate Democrats knew going into this debate that they were going to win this fight. The only decision before them was a luxurious one. When should they make their move? Should be before or after a measure to reject the Iran deal gets to the President's desk? Today, Democrats chose to kill the measure so Obama would never have to veto it. Here's Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid.

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HARRY REID: Our allies, our ngeotiating partners around the world, should know that today's outcome was clear, decisive and final.

CHANG: Of course, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell still has until September 17 to try today's vote again. But Democrat Dick Durbin of Illinois says he won't get a different result.

DICK DURBIN: He wants to drag this out at a time when we have precious little time for that kind of political exercise.

CHANG: Its true. Congress needs to move on to other matters this month, like how to keep the government funded. But for now, as long as nothing seems destined to get to the President's desk, House speaker John Boehner has chosen to split from the Senate and try things his way.

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JOHN BOEHNER: We'll use every tool at our disposal to stop, slow and delay this agreement from being fully implemented.

CHANG: Except for one thing. With enough Senators to keep the deal alive, there's not much the House Republicans can do to stop anything right now. So this week, they're holding three symbolic votes to tell the world how much they hate the Iran agreement - a vote to slam the president for not disclosing all relevant documents from the negotiations, a vote to stop the lifting of sanctions against Iran and a vote on a resolution to approve the nuclear deal. Now, that vote is destined to fail, which left Republican David Brat of Virginia scratching his head.

DAVID BRAT: The people want us to get a plan where Iran doesn't get a bomb. That should be the substance. So I'm not sure if we've achieved that yet.

CHANG: At this point, maybe the only thing Republicans have achieved is being able to say the President went forward with an Iran deal even though the majority of Congress opposed it. Ailsa Chang, NPR News, the Capitol.

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