The Senate on Thursday afternoon overwhelmingly approved legislation allowing Congress to review a potential nuclear agreement with Iran. The vote was 98-1, as lawmakers came together across party lines to assert their role in a key foreign-policy decision.
The only senator to oppose the legislation was Tom Cotton, the freshman Republican from Arkansas who has campaigned against the Obama administration’s negotiations with Iran and was blocked from offering amendments to the bill. The House is expected to take up—and likely pass—the measure in the coming weeks.
Passage of the legislation still won’t make it easy for Congress to reject the Iran deal. Under a compromise worked out by Senators Bob Corker, the Tennessee Republican, and Benjamin Cardin, a Maryland Democrat, lawmakers would have 30 days to approve, disapprove, or take no action on a final nuclear agreement. If Congress failed to act, the deal would take effect. And any vote of disapproval would be subject to a presidential veto, meaning that President Obama would need the support of just 34 senators to sustain an agreement. The White House dropped its opposition to the bill last month, and Obama is expected to sign it.