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Iran Bill Sets Up Political Tests

Iran Bill Sets Up Political Tests

WASHINGTON — Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker is slated to tee up a bill Tuesday that will put members on the spot about a potential deal over Iran’s nuclear program.

The Tennessee Republican’s bill appears to have broad bipartisan support, but whether there are 67 votes in the chamber to nix a promised veto by President Barack Obama is unclear. Still, when the committee marks up the bill Tuesday and Wednesday, 19 senators will face a slew of votes that will force them to think hard about global affairs, regional ramifications in the testy Middle East — and their own political fates.

The panel’s action on the much-anticipated bill comes amid sweeping support for a diplomatic resolution to Tehran’s atomic program. A recent Reuters/Ipsos poll found only 5 percent of Democrats support moving ahead with a solely military plan to keep Iran from getting the bomb. Only 11 percent of Republicans prefer a way ahead that features only US military force, according to the poll.

That means, when it comes time for panel members to hold a final vote on the Corker bill, they essentially will be casting a vote to establish a mechanism under which Congress would defy an overwhelming majority of American voters.

Corker’s bill would require the president to submit to Congress, by the fifth day after reaching any deal with Tehran, the text of the pact. Obama also would have to submit a report that would be prepared by Secretary of State John Kerry assessing the ability to verify Iran’s compliance.

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