The House of Representatives voted down the Iran deal 162-269 today and also voted to block President Obama from repealing sanctions.
Obama, though, ignored Democratic defections and hailed the House smackdown as a victory for his deal nonetheless.
All Republicans but one voted against the P5+1 deal — libertarian Rep. Tom Massie (R-Ky.) voted “present.”
Twenty-five Democrats voted against the deal: Reps. Brad Ashford (D-Neb.), Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.), Tony Cardenas (D-Calif.), Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), Lois Frankel (D-Fla.), Gwen Graham (D-Fla.), Gene Green (D-Texas), Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.), Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), Grace Meng (D-N.Y.), Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.), Donald Norcross (D-N.J.), Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.), David Scott (D-Ga.), Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Albio Sires (D-N.J.), Juan Vargas (D-Calif.), and Filemon Vela (D-Texas).
“Ultimately the risks inherent in this deal outweigh the rewards. I cannot in good conscience vote for the agreement,” said Sinema, a member of the Blue Dog Coalition of moderate Dems.
“At the end of the deal, Iran will have the tools, knowledge, and money to be an internationally recognized, empowered and legitimized threshold nuclear state. This newly created power and legitimacy will make deterring the regime’s aggression more difficult,” she said.
“The deal will go forward. We must now enforce vigilantly the provisions of the agreement and execute a comprehensive strategy that strengthens our security and supports our allies in the region. That means no sanctions relief until Iran verifiably meets its obligations, clear and painful consequences for any Iranian violation of the deal, and robust and sustained support for the monitoring regime during the life of the agreement and after.”
On the measure to block Obama from implementing sanctions relief, Graham and Vargas voted with Republicans. That passed 247-186.
Obama, though, said the votes were “the latest indication that the more members have studied the historic deal that will prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, the more they have come out in support of it.”
“As we conclude the most consequential national security debate since the decision to invade Iraq, I am gratified that the lawmakers, led by Democratic Leader Pelosi, who have taken care to judge the deal on the merits are joining our allies and partners around the world in taking steps that will allow for the implementation of this long-term, comprehensive deal,” Obama said. “Now, we must turn to the critical work of implementing and verifying this deal so that Iran cannot pursue a nuclear weapon. In doing so, we’ll write the latest chapter of American leadership in the pursuit of a safer, more hopeful world.”
Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) noted on the House floor that “those that are opposed to [the deal] are bipartisan. Those that support this all come from one place.”
McCarthy stressed that the GOP chairman and Dem ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee were also on the same side.
“They took their years of expertise, they read through it, they did the hearings, and they came to the same conclusion,” he said.
“The American public always asks us for bipartisanship. This has brought us together. But it’s not just in this House, it’s almost in the majority of houses across America. You see, in the latest poll only 21 percent of the American people actually approve of the deal—49 percent opposed—more than 2:1. Only 2 percent of Americans are confident that Iran will abide by the agreement. Why? Because they never have before. Iran has a history of not living up to their promises.”