Presidential races

Kasich pushes for Senate ‘nuclear option’ on Iran deal

Ohio Gov. John Kasich wants Senate Republicans to invoke the “nuclear option” to shoot down Democrats’ attempts to block a vote against the nuclear deal with Iran.

Such a move would not prevent President Obama from vetoing a disapproval vote from the Senate, but it would give lawmakers an opportunity to vote, Kasich said.

{mosads}Democrats acted earlier this month to filibuster the GOP’s bill to block the Iran deal, and Republicans could not muster the 60 votes needed to overcome the challenge.

But Kasich, who is vying for the GOP nomination for president, said Republicans should use the so-called nuclear option to declare that, under the Constitution, the measure only needs a 51-vote majority.

“When it comes to a treaty this critical, one that I so strongly oppose, I think the Republicans in the Senate ought to say that we are not going to permit this to be blocked because of the filibuster,” Kasich said on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday.

“There ought to be a vote, and there ought to be extreme measures taken in the United States Senate to achieve it. It is really critical.”

Kasich had not previously mentioned a desire to use the nuclear option.

At Wednesday’s debate, Kasich came out as far more moderate on the Iran deal than many of his challengers.

He said that although he vehemently opposes the deal, unlike other candidates, such as Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), he would not immediately repeal the agreement.

Instead, Kasich pledged to enforce the deal strongly and wait to evaluate whether it should be changed.

“You have to be steady,” he said. “If they cheat, you slap the sanctions back on. If they help Hamas and Hezbollah, we slap the sanctions back on. And if we find out that they may be developing a nuclear weapon, then the military option is on the table.”

Tags 2016 presidential election Iran deal John Kasich Sunday shows

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