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 BluntGOP divided over impeachment trial strategy Overnight Health Care: Cigarette smoking rates at new low | Spread of vaping illness slowing | Dems in Congress push to block Trump abortion rule GOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial 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 JohnsonGOP divided over impeachment trial strategy White House releases rough transcript of early Trump-Ukraine call minutes before impeachment hearing Johnson opens door to subpoenaing whistleblower, Schiff, Bidens 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 HatchTrump awards Medal of Freedom to racing industry icon Roger Penske Trump holds more Medal of Freedom ceremonies than predecessors but awards fewer medals Trump to award Medal of Freedom to former Attorney General Edwin Meese 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 McConnellGOP divided over impeachment trial strategy On The Money: Trump asks Supreme Court to block Dem subpoena for financial records | Kudlow 'very optimistic' for new NAFTA deal | House passes Ex-Im Bank bill opposed by Trump, McConnell Top House Democrats ask for review of DHS appointments 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 GrahamGOP divided over impeachment trial strategy GOP eager for report on alleged FBI surveillance abuse Johnson opens door to subpoenaing whistleblower, Schiff, Bidens 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 CorkerLindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Nareit — White House cheers Republicans for storming impeachment hearing GOP senators frustrated with Romney jabs at Trump 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 CoatsHillicon Valley: Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract in court | State antitrust investigation into Google expands | Intel agencies no longer collecting location data without warrant Intelligence agencies have stopped collecting cellphone data without warrants: letter This week: Democrats churn toward next phase of impeachment fight 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) MenendezGraham blocks resolution recognizing Armenian genocide after Erdoğan meeting Trump encounters GOP resistance to investigating Hunter Biden Fairness, tradition, and the Constitution demand the 'whistleblower' step forward 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 MurphyOvernight Defense: Trump, Erdogan confirm White House meeting | Public impeachment hearings set for next week | Top defense appropriator retiring Fairness, tradition, and the Constitution demand the 'whistleblower' step forward Senate Democrat: Colleague was working on fantasy football trade instead of listening to Schumer 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 KaineOvernight Health Care: Trump officials making changes to drug pricing proposal | House panel advances flavored e-cig ban | Senators press FDA tobacco chief on vaping ban Senators press FDA tobacco chief on status of vaping ban Progressive freshmen jump into leadership PAC fundraising 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: BLM staff face choice of relocation or resignation as agency moves | Trump says he's 'very much into climate' | EPA rule would expand limits on scientific studies Democrats give Warren's 'Medicare for All' plan the cold shoulder Liz Cheney applauds Trump for pulling out of Paris climate agreement 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.