McConnell takes first step toward Iran vote
© Greg Nash
Senators on Wednesday took the first step toward a vote on the Iran nuclear deal.
 
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP moves to rein in president's emergency powers Republicans up for reelection fear daylight with Trump Overnight Energy: Students around globe demand climate action | EPA bans consumer sales of deadly chemical in paint strippers | Green New Deal set for Senate vote MORE (R-Ky.) received unanimous consent to take up a House-passed shell bill, which the Senate will use as its vehicle for a resolution of disapproval on the Iran nuclear deal. The chamber will turn to the legislation when it reconvenes in September.
 
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After the August recess, senators will have less than two weeks to vote on the Iran deal before the Sept. 17 deadline. 
 
 
"The debate we're going to have in a matter of weeks, I want it to be … dignified," he said. 
 
A senior Democratic aide suggested that senators were reaching an agreement on proceeding to the Iran legislation on Sept. 8 "due to the intense time crunch" that month. The aide added that McConnell "cannot afford to be on any bill besides Iran when the Senate reconvenes."
 
The procedural step on Iran legislation comes amid growing support for the deal from Senate Democrats.
 
Sens. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyDems shift strategy for securing gun violence research funds The Hill's 12:30 Report: O'Rourke jumps into 2020 fray Overnight Defense: Senate breaks with Trump on Yemen war | Shanahan hit with ethics complaint over Boeing ties | Pentagon rolls out order to implement transgender ban | Dem chair throws cold water on Space Force budget MORE (D-Conn.) and Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyPatrick Leahy sits at center of partisan judicial nominations Schwarzenegger blasts Trump budget for taking money from 'poor little kids' Democratic appropriators demand list of military projects that would be defunded for wall MORE (D-Vt.) came out in support of agreement on Wednesday, with Sens. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineDem senator wants Trump to extend immigration protections to Venezuelans Pentagon sends Congress list of projects that could lose funds to Trump's emergency declaration The Hill's Morning Report - 2020 Dems grapple with race, gender and privilege MORE (D-Va.), Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerHispanic civil rights icon endorses Harris for president California AG Becerra included in Bloomberg 50 list Climate debate comes full circle MORE (D-Calif.) and Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonEx-House Intel chair: Intel panel is wrong forum to investigate Trump's finances The Hill's Morning Report - Trump budget reignites border security fight 2020 party politics in Puerto Rico MORE (D-Fla.) saying they would support the Iran deal on Tuesday. 
 
Still, many Senate Democrats are undecided, and opponents of the deal intend to pressure them over the recess.
 
So far no Senate Democrat has said publicly that they will vote against the deal. President Obama will need the support of at least 34 Senate Democrats to sustain the expected veto of the Iran bill.