The House formally began seven hours of floor debate on the Iran deal after easily clearing a procedural vote to initiate proceedings on Thursday.

House GOP leaders changed course Wednesday on an original plan to vote on a resolution disapproving of the Iran deal after hearing an earful from conservatives at a morning conference meeting.

The vote on the rule, which establishes guidelines for floor debate, must pass first in order for the House to debate a bill. Some conservatives had suggested on Wednesday that enough Republicans frustrated with the leadership’s initial strategy would derail the rule.


But Thursday’s rule passed easily on a vote of 243-186.

Under the rule, the House will debate three measures regarding the Iran deal over the course of seven hours. 

The first, a resolution stating that President Obama didn’t provide Congress with all the documents related to the Iran deal and therefore violated the congressional review law, will get two hours of debate and a vote later on Thursday afternoon.

The House will then proceed with three hours of debate on a measure approving the Iran deal. Lawmakers will wait to vote on it on Friday, which falls on the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Also Friday, the House will vote on a bill preventing President Obama from lifting Iran sanctions during the rest of his time in office. The sanctions measure will also get two hours of floor debate.