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 loads up lame-duck agenda as House control teeters Congress moves to ensure the greater availability of explosives detecting dogs in the US McConnell sets key Kavanaugh vote for Friday 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 senator seeking information on FBI dealings with Bruce Ohr, former DOJ lawyer Election Countdown: O'Rourke brings in massive M haul | Deal on judges lets senators return to the trail | Hurricane puts Florida candidates in the spotlight | Adelson spending big to save GOP in midterms Senate Homeland chair vents Mueller probe is preventing panel from receiving oversight answers 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 HatchGOP leaders hesitant to challenge Trump on Saudi Arabia Congress should work with Trump and not 'cowboy' on Saudi Arabia, says GOP senator US to open trade talks with Japan, EU, UK 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 McConnellOvernight Health Care — Presented by Purdue Pharma — Trump says GOP will support pre-existing condition protections | McConnell defends ObamaCare lawsuit | Dems raise new questions for HHS on child separations Poll finds Dems prioritize health care, GOP picks lower taxes when it's time to vote The Hill's 12:30 Report — Mnuchin won't attend Saudi conference | Pompeo advises giving Saudis 'few more days' to investigate | Trump threatens military action over caravan 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 GrahamThe Memo: Saudi storm darkens for Trump Trump changes tone on Saudi Arabia amid mounting pressure Trump rebukes Saudis, but also gives them more time 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 CorkerOvernight Defense: Trump shifts tone on Saudis | New pressure from lawmakers | Trump: 'Certainly looks' like Khashoggi dead | Pompeo gives Saudis days to wrap up investigation | Trump threatens military action on border to stop migrants Trump changes tone on Saudi Arabia amid mounting pressure The Hill's 12:30 Report — Mnuchin won't attend Saudi conference | Pompeo advises giving Saudis 'few more days' to investigate | Trump threatens military action over caravan 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: Intel chief wants tech, government to work more closely | Facebook doesn't believe foreign state behind hack | New net neutrality lawsuit | Reddit creates 'war room' to fight misinformation Hillicon Valley: Russia-linked hackers hit Eastern European companies | Twitter shares data on influence campaigns | Dems blast Trump over China interference claims | Saudi crisis tests Silicon Valley | Apple to let customers download their data Overnight Defense — Presented by The Embassy of the United Arab Emirates — Senators seek US intel on journalist's disappearance | Army discharged over 500 immigrant recruits in one year | Watchdog knocks admiral over handling of sexual harassment case 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) MenendezTrump lowers refugee goal to 30,000, he must meet it Blame Senate, not FBI, for Kavanaugh travesty Dems urge tech companies to remove 3D-gun blueprints 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 MurphySaudi mystery drives wedge between Trump, GOP Overnight Defense: Trump worries Saudi Arabia treated as 'guilty until proven innocent' | McConnell opens door to sanctions | Joint Chiefs chair to meet Saudi counterpart | Mattis says Trump backs him '100 percent' Pompeo: Saudis committed to 'accountability' over journalist's disappearance 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 Defense: Trump says 'rogue killers' could be behind missing journalist | Sends Pompeo to meet Saudi king | Saudis may claim Khashoggi killed by accident | Ex-VA chief talks White House 'chaos' | Most F-35s cleared for flight Democrats torch Trump for floating 'rogue killers' to blame for missing journalist Election Countdown: O'Rourke brings in massive M haul | Deal on judges lets senators return to the trail | Hurricane puts Florida candidates in the spotlight | Adelson spending big to save GOP in midterms 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: Trump administration doubles down on climate skepticism | Suspended EPA health official hits back | Military bases could host coal, gas exports Trump poised to sign bipartisan water infrastructure bill Overnight Health Care — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — Senators face Wednesday vote on Trump health plans rule | Trump officials plan downtime for ObamaCare website | Lawmakers push for action on reducing maternal deaths 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.