WASHINGTON — Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri could cast a pivotal vote on a bill that the White House has said violates President Barack Obama’s right to conduct foreign policy, and could effectively kill the nuclear deal with Iran.
Introduced by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, would require congressional review of any Iranian nuclear deal and prohibit the lifting of sanctions for at least 60 days.
White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough warned in a letter to Corker last month that the bill could have a “profoundly negative impact on the ongoing negotiations” and “potentially prevent any deal from succeeding.”
The bill now appears to be one vote shy a veto-proof majority in the Senate. And McCaskill, a moderate Democrat, is on the fence.
She is one of a handful of centrist Democrats who has bucked her party before on votes crucial to Republicans’ agenda in the Senate – or to Democratic efforts to block the GOP. Recently, she sided with Republicans in a failed attempt to override Obama’s veto of a bill approving construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline.