Senator to Dems: You can't avoid Iran vote

Sen. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderThe Hill's Morning Report - How will Trump be received in Dayton and El Paso? McConnell faces pressure to bring Senate back for gun legislation Criminal justice reform should extend to student financial aid MORE (R-Tenn.) warned senators Monday that they're voting on a controversial Iran amendment to the energy funding bill — even if Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellAre Democrats turning Trump-like? House Democrat calls for gun control: Cities can ban plastic straws but 'we can't ban assault weapons?' Churches are arming and training congregants in response to mass shootings: report MORE (R-Ky.) has to force one.  

"It will have a vote, make no mistake about it," Alexander said. "The majority leader, any majority leader, has the right to file cloture on an amendment like the Cotton amendment." 
 
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Republicans are trying for a third time Monday evening to end a Democratic blockade on moving forward with the energy and water appropriations bill. 
 
Cotton's amendment threw the appropriations bill into limbo late last month. The amendment would prevent the U.S. government from purchasing Iran's heavy water, which can be used for nuclear reactors. 
 
Though it's not currently scheduled to get a vote, Democrats have repeatedly warned that it's inclusion would force President Obama to veto the bill. 
 
If McConnell has to file cloture, it would set up a procedural vote on Cotton's amendment for Wednesday.  
 
 
Both Alexander and Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinTrump administration urges Congress to reauthorize NSA surveillance program The Hill's Morning Report - More talk on guns; many questions on Epstein's death Juan Williams: We need a backlash against Big Tech MORE (D-Calif.) said they would keep talking ahead of Monday's vote to see if they could get a deal to break the logjam over the spending bill. 
 
But Feinstein warned that "not everybody gets their vote" and there are "some very strong feelings" among Democrats to keep blocking the energy bill until the fight over the Cotton amendment is resolved. 
 
"What has been an unusual thing is for one person to take down a bill," she said, adding that Cotton's amendment is "one senator essentially hitting at the Iran nuclear agreement." 
 
It's unlikely Cotton would be able to get 60 votes for his amendment. Alexander, who opposes the Iran nuclear deal, said he would vote against it.
 
He warned that if Cotton's amendment was added to the legislation and signed into law, it could result in Iran selling its heavy water to countries like North Korea instead of the United States. He said the proposal should go through the regular committee process.
 
Even if Cotton were to get the support of every Republican, he would still need six Democratic votes.