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As expected, House rejects Iran nuclear deal

Published Sep. 12, 2015

WASHINGTON — Following the playbook of their crusade against the Affordable Care Act, congressional Republicans on Friday showed no sign of letting up in their effort to pressure the White House over the Iran nuclear accord, even after the Senate effectively settled the matter and blocked a Republican resolution aimed at stopping the deal.

The House, as expected, rejected President Barack Obama's deal with Iran overwhelmingly, a vote that was sharply along partisan lines.

Some House Republicans also said they were contemplating a lawsuit that would claim that the White House failed to disclose the full details of the nuclear accord as required by a law adopted last spring. And the Senate has scheduled a repeat vote Tuesday, trying to bait any wavering Democrats to switch their position.

Senate Democratic leaders said they were confident their ranks would hold. But there was some exasperation as they recognized that they would be in for a protracted battle, at least through the 2016 presidential and congressional elections.

"This highlights one of the great problems we have wrestled with over the last couple of years, which is nothing is ever over," said Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the senior Democrat on the House Select Committee on Intelligence.

On Friday, House Republicans began venting their rage by forcing Democrats to vote on a resolution approving the Iran agreement rather than on the long-anticipated measure disapproving the accord — a maneuver intended to show how little support the deal had in the Republican-controlled chamber, and to force Democrats to be on record in backing the agreement.

The measure in support of the deal failed with 244 Republicans and 25 Democrats voting against it and 162 Democrats in favor.

All Republican House members from Florida voted against the deal. Democrats from Florida who voted against it were Ted Deutch of Boca Raton, Lois Frankel of West Palm Beach, Gwen Graham of Tallahassee and Alcee Hastings of Miramar.

Democrats from Florida who voted in favor of the deal were Corrine Brown of Jacksonville, Kathy Castor of Tampa, Alan Grayson of Orlando, Patrick Murphy of Jupiter, Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Weston and Frederica Wilson of Miami.

While the vote demonstrated Republican opposition, it also showed the success of an effort by Democratic leaders to build support for the Iran deal. The 162 Democrats in favor was comfortably above the 146 needed to sustain a presidential veto in the event Republicans had managed to pass a bill rejecting the accord. In the Senate, Democrats also have a margin to sustain a veto.