After a last-minute compromise earned the Obama administration’s support, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously passed a bill that would increase Congressional oversight of any comprehensive nuclear deal with Iran Tuesday.
The bill, authored by Senators Bob Corker (R-TN) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) will now head to the Senate floor, where it is likely to pass the final hurdle and be signed into law.
The move earned quick praise from the pro-Israel AIPAC lobby, which urged quick action by the full Senate to adopt the legislation and called on the House to take action on similar congressional review legislation.
In recent weeks, the White House campaigned hard against the original text of the legislation, which it said undermined the possibility of reaching any negotiated agreement with Iran.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the White House would withhold final judgment on the bill while it works its way through Congress, wary that potential changes could be made in committee that would render it unpalatable. But he said the White House could support the compromise in its current form.
“Despite the things about it that we don’t like, enough substantial changes have been made that the president would be willing to sign it,” Earnest said.
At the same time, Cardin stressed during the powerful Senate committee’s Tuesday meeting that language still remained in the legislation that required the president to make regular reports to Congress regarding both Iran’s state sponsorship of terror as well as its extensive record of domestic human rights abuses.