House Democratic leaders are quickly jumping on board legislation empowering Congress to review an emerging nuclear deal with Iran.
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) endorsed the Senate bill on Tuesday, shortly after it passed unanimously through the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
And House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who had rejected an earlier version of the Senate proposal, said she’s also open to supporting it.
“They certainly produced a bill that would be more palatable to our members,” Pelosi told reporters in the Capitol. “Most of us don’t think that any legislation is necessary or should be there, [but] from what I’ve seen so far, it’s pretty innocuous.”
Hoyer’s endorsement was more full-throated.
“I believe that Congress has a responsibility to review any final agreement with Iran, and this bill will achieve that goal — setting up a carefully-constructed review period to ensure that a deal meets expectations and prevents Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon,” he said in a statement.
Pelosi had come out in staunch opposition to an initial version of the Senate bill, sponsored by Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.). Echoing President Obama, she’d warned that the legislation could undermine the ongoing talks over Iran’s nuclear program as negotiators face a June 30 deadline for finalizing a deal.
The new Senate bill, a compromise hashed out between Corker and Sen. Ben Cardin (Md.), the ranking Democrat on the committee, shortens the timeline of Congress’s review of the deal, from 60 to 30 days, and empowers Congress with a vote of approval.
Obama had threatened to veto the initial Corker bill, but White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Tuesday that the president would sign the Corker-Cardin compromise.