Iran nuclear deal faces first test

The first test for President Obama’s nuclear framework with Iran will come Tuesday when the Senate Foreign Relations Committee considers legislation that will allow Congress to review and vote on a final deal.

Only two Democrats on the panel are expected to vote for the bill, unless Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerVoters will punish Congress for ignoring duty on war and peace GOP senator reviving effort to rein in Trump on tariffs Trump draws bipartisan fire over Brennan MORE (R-Tenn.), the panel’s chairman, agrees to several significant changes.

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Corker has spent the last several days negotiating a possible package of changes with Sen. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinBusinesses fear blowback from Russia sanctions bill Dems ask Mnuchin to probe Russian investment in state election tech Hillicon Valley: Trump officials deliver show of force on election security | Apple hits trillion | How fake Facebook groups manipulated real activists | Senate group seeks new Russia sanctions MORE (Md.), the ranking Democrat on the committee. They met face to face for the first time Monday but spoke by telephone throughout the recent two-week congressional recess.

Corker said Monday he was optimistic about the prospect of a managers’ package that would address concerns raised by Democrats on his committee.

He suggested one option might be to change the definition of the 60-day review period currently in the legislation, during which time Obama would not be able to waive sanctions after reaching a final deal.

“The integrity of the process is 100 percent intact. There may be some definitions about the 60 days,” he said when asked whether such a change would water down the legislation.

 “There’s no way to pass a bill without strong bipartisan support,” he added.

Democratic backing for the legislation has wavered in recent days, with the White House mounting a furious lobbying campaign to minimize the number of Democratic defections.

Secretary of State John KerryJohn Forbes KerryVoters will punish Congress for ignoring duty on war and peace Trump draws bipartisan fire over Brennan Hillicon Valley: Trump revokes Brennan's security clearance | Twitter cracks down on InfoWars | AT&T hit with crypto lawsuit | DHS hosts election security exercise MORE, Energy Secretary Ernest MonizErnest Jeffrey MonizThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — Mueller indicts 12 Russian officials for DNC hack | Trump does damage control after bombshell interview Pope to meet with oil execs to discuss climate change: report Rick Perry's travel cost Energy Department ,560 during first 7 months in office: report MORE and Treasury Secretary Jack LewJacob (Jack) Joseph LewOvernight Finance: US reaches deal with ZTE | Lawmakers look to block it | Trump blasts Macron, Trudeau ahead of G-7 | Mexico files WTO complaint Obama-era Treasury secretary: Tax law will make bipartisan deficit-reduction talks harder GOP Senate report says Obama officials gave Iran access to US financial system MORE met with House lawmakers Monday afternoon to urge them to oppose any bill they believe would undermine talks with Iran.

The three Cabinet officials will meet with senators Tuesday.

Corker’s bill is co-sponsored by eight Democrats as well as Sen. Angus KingAngus Stanley KingOvernight Energy: Judge revives clean water rule | Keystone XL pipeline to get new environmental review | Nominee won't say if he backs funding agency Trump nominee won't say if he supports funding agency he was selected to run Trump draws bipartisan fire over Brennan MORE (Maine), an independent who caucuses with the Democrats.

It will surely win approval in Corker’s committee, and  it should have enough support to break a Democratic filibuster on the Senate floor.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told reporters Monday after speaking with Corker that the House will take up the bill if it passes the upper chamber.

“If he is able to get his agreement out of the Senate, it is my intention to bring it to the floor of the House and move it,” he said, adding that Corker believes the legislation “is moving very strongly.”

What’s unclear is whether either the House or Senate could overcome a promised veto from the White House. A two-thirds vote in both chambers would be necessary to do so, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP leader criticizes Republican senators for not showing up to work Reforms can stop members of Congress from using their public office for private gain Name change eludes DHS cyber wing, spurring frustration MORE (R-Ky.) needs at least four more Democratic votes.

In the House, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) opposes the bill, which could make it difficult to win the dozens of Democratic votes necessary to get a two-thirds majority in that chamber.

McCarthy declined to say whether Republicans would have enough votes to override an expected veto.

 “I think they are going to have a very high number,” he said of the Senate.

It might come down to how Corker handles amendments and whether he and Cardin, who only became the Foreign Relations panel’s ranking Democrat with Sen. Robert MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezDems urge tech companies to remove 3D-gun blueprints Dem senators introduce resolution calling on Trump to stop attacking the press Booming economy has Trump taking a well-deserved victory lap MORE’s (D-N.J.) indictment earlier this month, can reach a deal. Menendez is one of the co-sponsors on the Corker bill.

  “The key question is whether Corker and Cardin can arrive at a compromise mark that incorporates the most essential Democratic concerns,” said Dylan Williams, the vice president of government affairs at J Street, a self-described pro-Israel, pro-peace advocacy group.

One crucial amendment, sponsored by Democratic Sen. Chris CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsGraham: Flynn should lose security clearance On The Money: Senators propose 'crushing' Russia sanctions | Trump calls for food stamp work requirements in farm bill | China tells US to 'chill' on trade | Apple hits trillion in value Let’s honor public service MORE (Del.), would remove a provision requiring the administration to certify as part of its agreement that Iran no longer supports terrorist organizations, such as Hezbollah.

Another, sponsored by Democratic Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyFormer Teacher of the Year wins Connecticut primary Live results: Wisconsin, Minnesota, Vermont, Connecticut hold primaries The Hill's Morning Report — Signs of trouble for Republicans in House special election MORE (Conn.), would allow Obama to waive sanctions against Iran during a 60-day congressional review period if keeping them in place would scuttle a final deal.

As of late Monday, there was no deal on either measure, but Corker expressed optimism that elements of those amendments could be addressed to build a veto-proof coalition.

The Foreign Relations Committee is scheduled to begin voting on amendments at 2:15 p.m. Tuesday.

The panel has scheduled a business meeting for Wednesday and could continue the markup if it doesn’t hold a final vote on Tuesday. Senators have filed nearly 50 amendments to the legislation, although not all of them are expected to receive votes.

A senior Republican aide said the bill is unlikely to reach the Senate floor for several weeks, which could give Corker and Cardin more time to get a deal.

That could be more difficult if GOP members on the Foreign Relations panel succeed in adding amendments that would toughen any deal with Iran.

Florida Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioGOP looks to injure Nelson over Russia comments Rubio’s pro-family, conservative family leave policy promotes stability Dems make history in Tuesday's primaries MORE (R), who on Monday launched his campaign for president in 2016, has proposed an amendment that would require Iran to accept Israel’s right to exist.

Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonHillicon Valley: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey sits down with The Hill | Drama over naming DHS cyber office | Fallout over revoking Brennan's security clearance | Google workers protest censored search engine for China Name change eludes DHS cyber wing, spurring frustration Trump draws bipartisan fire over Brennan MORE (R-Wis.) has offered an amendment that would treat the emerging nuclear deal similarly to a treaty by requiring a two-thirds vote of the Senate and House to approve it.

Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoOvernight Energy: Trump EPA to defend Obama smog rule | Wheeler gets warmer welcome before Senate | Animal rights groups sue Interior over pro-hunting council EPA’s Wheeler gets warmer welcome at Senate hearing Trump has no plans to endorse in Tennessee GOP governor's race: report MORE (R-Wyo.) has filed four amendments, including one prohibiting any federal funding from being used to implement a nuclear agreement with Iran until Congress passes and the president signs a resolution of approval.

Sen. Johnny IsaksonJohn (Johnny) Hardy IsaksonOvernight Defense: Questions mount over Trump's Iran tweet | House, Senate unveil compromise defense bill | Bill includes Russia sanctions waivers, limits on Turkey's access to F-35 | Endangered species measures dropped Senate confirms Trump's VA pick despite opposition from some Dems This week: House GOP heads for the exit MORE (R-Ga.) has offered an amendment requiring that U.S. hostages held in Iran from 1979 to 1981 and their families receive compensation.

Jordan Fabian and Mike Lillis contributed.