Republicans line up against Iran nuke deal

Republican senators are upping their hostile rhetoric toward a deal on Iran's nuclear program days before a final deadline to lock down a long-term agreement.

"It seems to me that using the term 'negotiation' is a stretch," Sen. Roy BluntRoy BluntOvernight Regulation: Senate Banking panel huddles with regulators on bank relief | FCC proposes 2M fine on robocaller | Yellowstone grizzly loses endangered protection Overnight Finance: Big US banks pass Fed stress tests | Senate bill repeals most ObamaCare taxes | Senate expected to pass Russian sanctions bill for second time GOP senator: 'No reason' to try to work with Dems on healthcare MORE (R-Mo.), the vice chairman of the Senate Republican conference, said Wednesday from the Senate floor. "Two years ago, we said things that we would insist on. Two years later, none of those things appear to be things that are still being discussed in these Iranian so-called negotiations.”

Blunt is the latest Republican to weigh in as the Senate prepares to refocus on Iran when it returns from a week-long break after spending the past month debating trade and spending bills.

Negotiators currently face an end-of-the-month deadline, with the administration required to hand over the deal to Congress by July 9 or face a longer congressional review period.

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But, Sen. Ron JohnsonRon JohnsonSenate Republicans reluctant to rush vote on healthcare bill GOP sen: 'We should not be voting' on healthcare this week GOP at decisive moment on Planned Parenthood MORE (R-Wis.), a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, suggested that it's unlikely the administration will be able to get a "good deal" with Iran, adding that "I think we're being played.”

"I think a deal at this point would be very destabilizing. It would not be a good deal," he added.

Johnson, who faces a potentially tough 2016 reelection bid, pointed to the Iranian parliament's opposition to allowing U.N. inspectors access to military sites, saying that it "puts in doubt any kind of deal.”

Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin HatchTime to get Trump’s new antitrust cop on the beat Live coverage: Senate GOP unveils its ObamaCare repeal bill Grassley doesn't see how Judiciary 'can avoid' obstruction probe MORE (R-Utah) also took the Senate floor earlier this week, demanding that President Obama explain "what level of confidence he has negotiating with Iran given how it repeatedly violates the international community's mandates with impunity.”

The three Republicans were part of an overwhelming 98-1 vote to give senators the ability to review and vote on the finalized deal. Under the legislation, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellErnst polls supporters on Obamacare repeal plan Cornyn: Passing Senate healthcare bill by July 4 ‘optimistic’ Sasse has 'nothing to announce' on GOP ObamaCare repeal MORE (R-Ky.) can either bring up a resolution of approval, disapproval or do nothing.

Their remarks come ahead of a Foreign Relations Committee hearing to dig into what needs to be in a final deal.

The administration has also been forced to play defense this week, with both White House press secretary Josh Earnest and State Department spokesman John Kirby reiterating to reporters that Obama believes no deal is better than a bad deal.

But even Republican senators that had previously championed giving the administration room to reach a deal are raising their doubts.

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamSenate panel questions Lynch on alleged FBI interference The Hill's Whip List: Senate ObamaCare repeal bill Judiciary Committee to continue Russia probe after Mueller meeting MORE (R-S.C.), who is running for president, said that if he was the commander-in-chief he would walk away from the negotiations.

"I'd just walk away. It just amazes me that we don't, quite frankly," he said. "I think this deal is deteriorating before our eyes. … If something doesn't change this is a disaster in the making.”

Graham's comments are a sharp turn from his remarks during the Senate's debate on the Iran legislation, when he warned his Republican colleagues that "anyone that monkeys with this bill will run into a buzz saw.”

The South Carolina Republican has repeatedly said that a good deal would be a "blessing," while a bad deal would be "nightmare.”

Sen. Bob CorkerBob CorkerPolicymakers forget duty to protect taxpayers from financial failures Overnight Defense: GOP chairman moves ahead with 0B defense bill | Lawmakers eye 355 ship navy | Senate panel seeks answers on shoot down of Syrian jet Overnight Cybersecurity: Trump tweetstorm on Russia probe | White House reportedly pushing to weaken sanctions bill | Podesta to testify before House Intel MORE (R-Tenn.), in a letter to President Obama, called the reported concessions that the administration has made to Iran as part of the talks "breathtaking.”

Corker, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, was instrumental to getting the Iran review legislation through the Senate.

Sen. Dan CoatsDan CoatsThe Memo: GOP pushes Trump to curb Mueller attacks Merkley: Trump 'absolutely' tried to intimidate Comey Coats: Trump seemed obsessed with Russia probe MORE (R-Ind.) said that he fears "that this administration is so seemingly, desperately eager for a legacy that it will choose to define any Iranian deal at all as a great success for diplomacy."

Republicans aren’t alone in doubling down on their doubts ahead of the the June 30 deadline. Sen. Bob MenendezRobert MenendezBipartisan group, Netflix actress back bill for American Latino Museum The Mideast-focused Senate letter we need to see Taiwan deserves to participate in United Nations MORE has taken to the Senate floor on a near weekly basis to lay out his concerns.

The New Jersey Democrat said last week that he is “increasingly concerned” about the “moving of goalposts that move increasingly in the direction of Iran.”

Menendez has been a leading critic of the administration’s negotiations with Iran, while his Democratic colleagues have offered more tempered views.

Sen. Chris MurphyChris MurphyDems push for more action on power grid cybersecurity Senate panel demands Trump's legal rationale for shooting Syrian jet Dems limited in their ability to slow ObamaCare vote MORE (D-Conn.) told reporters earlier this month that "everybody knew that the final stages of the negotiations were going to be difficult.”

And Sen. Tim KaineTim KaineLive coverage: Senate Dems hold talkathon to protest GOP health plan Trump supporter who lost tight Va. governor primary weighs Senate run Northam defeats Sanders-backed candidate in Va. gov primary MORE (D-Va.) added that he’s “trying to avoid having too many opinions on details that leak out.”

Sen. Tom CarperTom CarperDems push for more action on power grid cybersecurity Overnight Energy: Lawmakers challenge Trump's proposed EPA cuts Overnight Energy: Tillerson maintains support for Paris deal despite Trump decision MORE (D-Del.) also suggested that he would hold his judgement on a potential final deal until lawmakers see the agreement. He said that a final deal must block Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, allows for "intrusive" inspections, and staggered sanctions relief.

"We are closing in, I hope, on a historic nuclear agreement with Iran," Carper said, adding that he believes negotiators are "hard at work."

—Updated at 6:13 p.m.