Republican presidential candidate and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is pushing hard for votes on amendments to a carefully crafted bill that would allow Congress to review any nuclear deal with Iran — including a politically charged rider forcing Tehran to recognize Israel.
"If you don't want to vote on things, don't run for office," Rubio said in challenging his fellow senators, the Weekly Standard reports.
But Politico reports that the Israel amendment gives Democrats a dilemma: they want to look strong on defending Israel and yet loyal to President Barack Obama, who could threaten to veto the measure if it's significantly amended.
Rubio has seven amendments he's aiming to pass, and the Israel recognition issue isn't the only difficult one, Politico notes: one demands the release of Americans held in Iran, another requires Obama to submit any United Nations proposals to Congress, and still another aims to keep economic sanctions on Iran.
"I want a vote on all of my amendments," Rubio said.
But Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland, top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, slammed the Israel amendment as a "poison pill" that would defeat the White House-supported bill.