Home/Daniel Larison/Rubio and His Irrelevant Corker-Cardin Amendments

Rubio and His Irrelevant Corker-Cardin Amendments

Rubio hectored many of his Senate colleagues over their preference not to sink the Corker-Cardin bill by adding irrelevant and potentially deal-killing amendments:

“If you don’t want to vote on things, don’t run for the Senate,” Rubio said on the floor Wednesday afternoon. “Everyone who runs for office knows that what we are called to do is vote on issues that sometimes we’re uncomfortable on. There is a microphone here on your desk. Come here and explain to the world why you are voting against a deal that requires Israel to have a right to exist.”

If Rubio’s trying to persuade other senators to support his amendments, he’s going about it in a very odd way. The amendments he has proposed are at best irrelevant to Iran’s nuclear program, so the requirements he wants to add have no business being part of this legislation. It will be very easy for other senators to explain that Rubio’s amendments are designed to sabotage diplomacy with Iran. It may be harder for Rubio to justify wasting everyone else’s time with his grandstanding.

Rubio would be more credible in lecturing other senators on the duties of being a senator if he had been a member of the chamber for more than a few years, but the funny thing here is that Rubio is the one who doesn’t want to vote on the bill as it stands. While claiming that he wants to “strengthen” the bill, he is proposing measures that everyone can see would ruin any chance that Obama would sign it. It is actually Rubio who is doing his best to avoid casting an “uncomfortable” vote. It’s not that his colleagues don’t want to vote on these amendments. Most of them seem prepared to vote against them, and they have already voted against some proposed by Sen. Barrasso. It’s that most of them don’t want to be bothered with amendments that have no place in a debate over a nuclear deal.

The report refers to the possibility that presidential candidates’ ambitions might wreck the Iran bill, but it seems more likely that the candidates that choose to use the bill as an occasion to show off their hard-line views will look ridiculous.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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