Republicans are clashing over the best strategy for confronting President Barack Obama over his attempts to strike a nuclear deal with Iran, as GOP leaders try to build enough Democratic support to override a threatened veto.
Adding to the murkiness is a heightened Democratic reluctance to rebuke their president and mixed messages from the Israelis about what exactly they want Congress to do on Iran.
Two key Senate committees will soon move separate proposals, one to increase sanctions and the other to require congressional approval of any Iran deal. The lead sponsors of those bills — Republican Sens. Mark Kirk of Illinois and Bob Corker of Tennessee, respectively — are racing to rack up supporters and recruit Democratic co-sponsors in what is quickly emerging as a turf war of sorts between the Banking Committee and the Foreign Relations Committee.
In the middle of it all are Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and his leadership team, who are closely monitoring the legislative developments. Senior Republicans and sources familiar with the process said both proposals would get floor votes in some fashion and portions of them could be merged into a final product, perhaps one as an amendment to another.
Those sources insisted that leadership will not write a bill and put it directly on the floor, but rather will work out the final legislation there.