By Kristina Wong - 02/06/14 01:54 PM EST
Although momentum has stalled, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is not giving up hopes on a bill that would impose additional sanctions on Iran should it fail to comply with an agreement to halt its nuclear weapons program.
“What we should do immediately is pass the Kirk-Menendez bill,” he said Thursday morning at an event hosted by Empact America.
The Republican Senate caucus is planning to use every parliamentary trick in the book to push Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to bring the bill to a vote, The Daily Beast reported Thursday.
“This … is a final warning to Harry Reid that if Democrats want to block this bipartisan legislation, they will own the results of this foreign policy disaster,” one senior GOP senate aide told the Daily Beast.
President Obama has threatened to veto the bill, which currently has the support of 59 senators, one short of a filibuster-proof majority.
“It speaks volumes that [Reid] will not let it come to a vote,” Cruz said, who is a co-sponsor of the bill.
Cruz said the administration should be doing a lot more, such as issuing a strong threat to use force if necessary.
“The surest way to avoid war is a policy of strength,” said the conservative senator, adding the administration should undo the recent easing of sanctions immediately, not just if Iran fails to comply.
“The threat of a nuclear Iran presents the gravest national security threat to America in the world,” he said. “If somebody tells you they want to kill you, as a fairly elementary principle, you should believe them.”