Cruz wants delay in Iran review period because of 'side deals'

Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzFive takeaways from money race Club for Growth: Anti-Trump spending proved to be 'good call' Republicans, it's time to stop asking 'What would Reagan do?' MORE is pushing to delay the start of Congress's 60-day review period for the Obama administration's nuclear deal with Iran.

The Texas Republican argues the review period should not begin until after the administration hands over "side" deals between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).  

Cruz, who is running for president, introduced a resolution on Thursday arguing that President Obama didn't hand over all materials — including the side deals — to Congress. As a result, he said the 60-day clock shouldn't have started to tick. 
Cruz says that under the terms of the review legislation Congress overwhelmingly passed earlier this year, any side deals were included as parts of the deal that had to be turned over to lawmakers. 
The Cruz legislation states: "The 60-calendar day period for review of such agreement in the Senate cannot be considered to have begun until the Majority Leader certifies that all of the materials required to be transmitted under the definition of the term 'agreement' under such Act, including any side agreements with Iran and United States Government-issued guidance materials in relation to Iran, have been transmitted to the Majority Leader."
The State Department interprets the review period as having begun on July 20, meaning that lawmakers have until mid-September to try to pass legislation on the deal.
Delaying the start of the deal would give more time for opponents of the deal to pressure a handful of key Senate Democrats after they return from the August recess in September. 
The two bilateral agreements between Iran and the IAEA have become a focal point of Republican opposition to the deal, as well as a point of concern for some Democrats who have suggested they want a better understanding of the deals. 
The push from Cruz comes as Sen. Tom CottonTom CottonCotton not ruling out 2020 White House bid GOP senators avoid Trump questions on rigged election GOP chairman demands number of immigrants granted accidental citizenship MORE (R-Ark.) and Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kansas), who first raised questions about the "side" deals, wrote to Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman and Energy Secretary Ernest MonizErnest MonizFederal task force recommends safety upgrades for gas storage Energy secretary: ‘We got it right’ on Iran deal Overnight Energy: Trump visits Flint | GOP chairman defends subpoenas in climate probe MORE on Thursday requesting the two administration officials clarify when, and if, they've read the two agreements between Iran and the IAEA. 
While McConnell hasn't specifically called for delaying the review period, he, as well as House Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerTrump may pose problem for Ryan in Speaker vote Conservatives backing Trump keep focus on Supreme Court Vote House Republicans out MORE (R-Ohio), Cotton and Pompeo asked Obama to turn over the agreements earlier this month. 
They said that not having them "leaves Congress blind on critical information regarding Iran’s potential path to being a nuclear power and will have detrimental consequences for the ability of members to assess the JCPOA." 
McConnell said on Thursday that he had yet to receive the documents from the White House, adding that the delay is "simply not acceptable."  
The administration, which has said they don't have the text of agreements, has pledge to brief lawmakers on the substance of the deals during closed-door briefings as they try to get Congress to back the long-term nuclear deal.