The amendment, which needed 60 votes to pass, failed by a vote of 53-45 on Thursday.
The amendment was filed several times in the past by Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) but blocked personally by McConnell, who had affirmed that Cruz’s further amendments concerning the Iran deal were “not in order.”
Republican presidential candidates and senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) returned from Wednesday night’s CNN debate in California for the vote, while Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rand Paul (R-KY) missed the vote.
McConnell’s Thursday amendment, seemingly serving a productive purpose, was warily dismissed as “too little, too late” by Republicans and a “waste of time” by Democrats.
"Almost exactly two years ago, Senator Cruz introduced legislation that would prevent negotiations with Iran unless Iran recognized Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state and released all American hostages.”
Nick Muzin, senior advisor to Sen. Ted Cruz
Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) tweeted Thursday,
Republicans are turning the world’s greatest deliberative body into a show vote Senate.
In another tweet he wrote,
This is a disgrace. Republicans are wasting time.
Nick Muzin, Cruz’s senior advisor and deputy chief of staff, wrote to The Daily Wire in an email that “almost exactly two years ago, Senator Cruz introduced legislation that would prevent negotiations with Iran unless Iran recognized Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state and released all American hostages.”
Muzin said that Cruz had re-filed different versions of the legislation four more times:
Each time, that legislation never saw a vote. The last time was in July, when Senator Cruz sought to attach an amendment to the highway bill, and Leader McConnell blocked it from a vote. For Senator Cruz, these pre-conditions should have come before any negotiations with Iran, so we could have negotiated from a position of strength. They are not a way to make President Obama's catastrophic nuclear deal with Iran somehow acceptable. The vote that occurred on Thursday was too little, too late, and was mainly a show vote that was obviously doomed to fail. Senator Cruz wishes that Senate leadership had been serious about actually stopping the Iran deal when it had the opportunity to do so.
McConnell’s past actions beg the question, was his last-ditch effort to file his Thursday amendment a hoax?
Brian McGuire, McConnell’s press secretary, did not respond to The Daily Wire’s request for comment in time for editing.