March 04, 2015

In Letter To Majority Leader McConnell, Kaine Objects To Partisan Handling Of Iran Review Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and co-sponsor of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, joined nine of his Senate colleagues in sending a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to object to the bill’s partisan handling, which defies regular order by bypassing the committee process and going directly to the Senate Floor for debate and vote.

Joining Kaine in sending the letter were Senators Robert Menendez, Heidi Heitkamp, Bill Nelson, Joe Donnelly, Angus King, Benjamin Cardin, Christopher Coons, Charles Schumer and Richard Blumenthal.

Full text of the letter is below:

The Honorable Mitch McConnell

Majority Leader of the United States Senate

317 Russell Senate Office Building

Washington, DC 20510

Dear Majority Leader McConnell:

As supporters of S. 615, the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, we object to you bypassing the committee process by bringing this bipartisan legislation—under a new bill number—directly to the floor for debate and a vote outside of the regular order of the Senate.   

 

On a day defined by serious discourse about Iran's illicit nuclear weapons program, at a moment when legislators are contemplating the most serious national security issue of our time, we are disappointed that you have proceeded outside of regular order which suggests that the goal of this maneuver is to score partisan political points, rather than pursue a substantive strategy to counter Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

 

The deadline for a political framework agreement with Iran is March 24 and a final agreement is not expected to be reached until the end of June.  There is no immediate or urgent need to circumvent the Committee process and we are disappointed that you’ve pursued this partisan course of action. 

 

We remain committed to working on this bill in a bipartisan manner.  As such, and as a result of your actions, we will only vote for this bill after it has gone through the regular mark-up process in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and after the March 24th deadline for the political framework agreement. 

 

Sincerely,

 

Robert Menendez

United States Senator

 

Tim Kaine

United States Senator

 

Heidi Heitkamp

United States Senator

 

Bill Nelson

United States Senator

 

Joe Donnelly

United States Senator

 

Angus S. King, Jr.

United States Senator

 

Benjamin L. Cardin

United States Senator

 

Christopher A. Coons

United States Senator

 

Charles E. Schumer

United States Senator

 

Richard Blumenthal

United States Senator

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