As evening approached in the Senate's budget vote-a-rama, lawmakers found some common ground on Iran. A 100-0 vote followed.
Sen. Mark S. Kirk, R-Ill., and Banking Committee ranking Democrat Sherrod Brown of Ohio ultimately teamed up on an amendment designed to make it easier to punish the Iranian regime with revived and new sanctions in the event the president can't certify Iran is complying with any agreement.
Kirk called the amendment "the key Iran vote of this session of Congress."
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is scheduled to take up legislation just after the April recess spearheaded by Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and ranking member Robert Menendez, D-N.J., that's designed to give Congress a role in approving whatever agreement may be announced between the United States, Iran and the other negotiating partners.
Sen. Barbara Boxer, a senior member of the Foreign Relations panel, was also involved in the Kirk-Brown amendment.
"I hope we can all vote for this because it doesn't do anything to cause disarray in the negotiations. What it says is if there is a deal and there's a break-out by Iran, we'd have a very quick way to restore sanctions," the California Democrat said on the floor just before the vote.
The amendment could have gone through by voice vote, but Kirk appeared to insist on a roll call vote, and it was unanimous.
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