Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzDemocrats pounce on Cruz's Supreme Court comments Brent Budowsky: An epic battle for the future of Congress Cruz: Precedent exists for keeping Supreme Court short-staffed MORE is planning to use a highway funding bill to add sink a long-term Iran nuclear deal reached earlier this month.
Cruz threatens to tie Iran deal to highway bill
The Texas Republican, who is running for president, will offer an amendment to the bipartisan, six-year roads bill that "ensures no Iranian nuclear deal unless Iran recognizes Israel and frees American hostages," his office said on Tuesday.
The Senate passed legislation earlier this year that allows them to review and vote the White House's final nuclear bargain with Iran. But, at the time, lawmakers rejected a Republican-led push to require Tehran to publicly support Israel and release three Americans currently being held.
Democrats, and the administration, argued that while the two provisions are important, they are separate issues. The measures also likely would have derailed negotiations on the long-term deal because Iran would have rejected them.
According to a copy of Cruz's amendment provided to The Hill, Obama will be prohibited from lifting or reducing statutory sanctions until Iran has met the two requirements.
Cruz and many other Senate Republicans have been vocally critical of the deal on Iran's nuclear program, reached earlier this month.
President Obama on Tuesday said that the administration is "not going to relent" on getting the three Americans released, or on trying to get the Iranian government to help locate former FBI agent Robert Levinson.
But Cruz slammed the White House, saying that it hasn't gone far enough.
"President Obama, John KerryJohn KerryThe Atlantic Council's questionable relationship with Gabon’s leader State Dept. months late on explaining Clinton aide's missing emails The evidence backs Trump: We have a duty to doubt election results MORE, Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonClinton slams GOP senator for questioning Duckworth’s heritage Obama: Michelle 'will never run for office' Economy grows at faster 2.9 percent rate in the third quarter MORE couldn't even be bothered to say before we even begin a conversation, release four hostages currently languishing in a hell hole," he said. "Those four hostages have been abandoned by the federal government."
The Texas Republican went a step further, suggesting that the Iran nuclear deal could lead to "tens of millions of Americans dying."
"The projections are that one nuclear head in the atmosphere over the Eastern seaboard could result in tens of millions of Americans dying," he told reporters, when asked what the greatest risk of the deal was. "That's what is at risk… that millions of Americans will be murdered by radical theocratic zealots."