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The White House on Thursday expressed confidence that the Iran nuclear agreement will take effect, despite a last-ditch effort by House Republicans to oppose it.
"They essentially had 60 days to play the spoiler," White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters. "Congress's opportunity to play that role will expire next week. That will be good news, and it will mean the international community can move forward with implementing the agreement.”
Lawmakers face a Sept. 17 deadline to vote on the deal before the Obama administration can begin taking steps to implement it.
Earnest dismissed a complicated legislative scheme set up by House Republicans to derail the agreement known as “the Tortilla Coast gambit,” named after a Capitol Hill restaurant popular with conservative lawmakers.
Instead of taking a single vote to disapprove of the agreement, the House plans to take three votes, including a vote to approve of the deal.
The plan is intended to put House Democrats in an awkward position by forcing them to vote against the White House if they oppose the agreement.
It also sets the stage for a possible lawsuit over side deals between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency over Tehran’s past efforts to pursue a nuclear weapon.