Senator Tom Cotton’s (R-Ark.) efforts to derail the bi-partisan, Congressional review bill for any agreement reached with Iran are failing, along with Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-Fla.). Both parties in the Senate have agreed that debate on the bill is over, though, despite many other amendments not making it to the floor for a vote thanks to Cotton’s efforts. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky,) is expected to finish up consideration of the bill, freeing it from partisan gridlock.
According to Politico, Cotton tried to force a vote on an amendment of his that would have required Iran to disclose the history of its nuclear program and shut everything down. Given that the U.N. negotiations aren’t heading in that direction, such an amendment would have caused President Obama to veto the bill.
In other words, Cotton still doesn’t understand how this works, and he clearly doesn’t understand that the U.S. is working with other countries that are part of the U.N. to reach a deal with Iran. Cotton seems to think that the whole thing is between just the U.S. and Iran, and that Congress can influence what Iran will ultimately be required to do in return for lifting economic sanctions.
Rubio wanted to require that Iran formally recognize Israel as a state. It was Cotton that derailed that, too. Democrats were starting to consider how to accommodate Rubio’s amendment, but Cotton pushed Democrats away from considering any further amendments. Because of that, even McConnell couldn’t ask for a vote on Rubio’s Israel amendment.
Republicans were hoping to force Obama’s hand by shoving harsher instructions for the negotiations onto him. So Cotton’s tactic pretty much just screwed over fellow Republicans, because now that won’t happen either.
Politico reports that Sen. Bob Corker said he thought Cotton may finally understand the full impact of what he’d done after having to sit at a lunch with his colleagues as they found out they weren’t getting votes on their amendments. Cotton’s spokeswoman, however, says he was simply using “parliamentary tactics” to “fight for” stronger legislation.
So, it comes down to this: Cotton is just another maverick who thinks he sees a bigger picture, but really only sees what he wants to see. The true bigger picture doesn’t matter to him. He’s not only trying to cause problems for Obama, he’s also causing problems for his fellow Republicans. We don’t need more of this childishness. We need less.