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 Dean BluntElection security bill picks up new support in Senate Overnight Defense: Fallout from tense NATO summit | Senators push to block ZTE deal in defense bill | Blackwater founder makes new pitch for mercenaries to run Afghan war Hillicon Valley: DOJ appeals AT&T-Time Warner ruling | FBI agent testifies in heated hearing | Uproar after FCC changes rules on consumer complaints | Broadcom makes bid for another US company | Facebook under fire over conspiracy sites 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 JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonJuan Williams: Putin wins as GOP spins GOP senator: Harley-Davidson is right to move some production overseas GOP senator: Trump’s policies doing 'permanent damage' 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 Grant HatchDon't place all your hopes — or fears — on a new Supreme Court justice The Hill's Morning Report — Trump’s walk-back fails to stem outrage on Putin meeting On The Money: Fed chief lays out risks of trade war | Senate floats new Russia sanctions amid Trump backlash | House passes bill to boost business investment 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 McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate GOP breaks record on confirming Trump picks for key court Senate Democrats block resolution supporting ICE The Hill's Morning Report — Trump’s walk-back fails to stem outrage on Putin meeting 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 Olin GrahamTrump’s damage control falters Trump: 'I think I did great at the news conference' George Will calls Trump ‘sad, embarrassing wreck of a man’ 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 CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerTrump’s damage control falters Trump says Russia doesn’t pose threat, contradicting intelligence director Fed Chair Powell's charm offensive touts a booming economy 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 CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsTrump’s damage control falters FBI director says Russian influence efforts are ‘very active’ Hillicon Valley: EU hits Google with record B fine | Trump tries to clarify Russia remarks | Sinclair changing deal to win over FCC | Election security bill gets traction | Robocall firm exposed voter data 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 (Bob) MenendezCNN anchors break into laughter over comedian's alleged prank call to Trump Comedian claims he tricked Trump while impersonating Dem senator Schumer: Obama 'very amenable' to helping Senate Dems in midterms 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 MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphySenate Dems rip Trump after Putin news conference Dems launch pressure campaign over migrant families Sunday shows preview: Trump readies for meeting with Putin 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 KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineDem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick Election Countdown: Latest on the 2018 Senate money race | Red-state Dems feeling the heat over Kavanaugh | Dem doubts about Warren | Ocasio-Cortez to visit Capitol Hill | Why Puerto Ricans in Florida could swing Senate race Green Day's 'American Idiot' climbs UK charts ahead of Trump visit MORE (D-Va.) added that he’s “trying to avoid having too many opinions on details that leak out.”

Sen. Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperOvernight Energy: Fewer than half of school districts test for lead | Dems slam proposed changes to Endangered Species Act | FEMA avoids climate change when discussing plan for future storms Dems slam proposed changes to Endangered Species Act Full interview: Democratic candidate Kerri Evelyn Harris discusses her Senate campaign in Delaware 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.