Iran nuclear deal faces first test

The first test for President Obama’s nuclear framework with Iran will come Tuesday when the Senate Foreign Relations Committee considers legislation that will allow Congress to review and vote on a final deal.

Only two Democrats on the panel are expected to vote for the bill, unless Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerTrump announces, endorses ambassador to Japan's Tennessee Senate bid Meet the key Senate player in GOP fight over Saudi Arabia Trump says he's 'very happy' some GOP senators have 'gone on to greener pastures' MORE (R-Tenn.), the panel’s chairman, agrees to several significant changes.

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Corker has spent the last several days negotiating a possible package of changes with Sen. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinAmerica is in desperate need of infrastructure investment: Senate highway bill a step in the right direction Financial aid fraud is wrong — but overcorrection could hurt more students Democrats denounce Trump's attack on Cummings: 'These are not the words of a patriot' MORE (Md.), the ranking Democrat on the committee. They met face to face for the first time Monday but spoke by telephone throughout the recent two-week congressional recess.

Corker said Monday he was optimistic about the prospect of a managers’ package that would address concerns raised by Democrats on his committee.

He suggested one option might be to change the definition of the 60-day review period currently in the legislation, during which time Obama would not be able to waive sanctions after reaching a final deal.

“The integrity of the process is 100 percent intact. There may be some definitions about the 60 days,” he said when asked whether such a change would water down the legislation.

 “There’s no way to pass a bill without strong bipartisan support,” he added.

Democratic backing for the legislation has wavered in recent days, with the White House mounting a furious lobbying campaign to minimize the number of Democratic defections.

Secretary of State John KerryJohn Forbes KerryThe Memo: O'Rourke looks to hit reset button #FreeAustinTice trending on anniversary of kidnapping in Syria Warren faces lingering concerns about her ability to beat Trump MORE, Energy Secretary Ernest MonizErnest Jeffrey MonizBiden under pressure from environmentalists on climate plan Pelosi, Clinton among attendees at memorial reception for Ellen Tauscher 2020 is the Democrats' to lose — and they very well may MORE and Treasury Secretary Jack LewJacob (Jack) Joseph LewHogan urges Mnuchin to reconsider delay of Harriet Tubman bill Mnuchin says new Harriet Tubman bill delayed until 2028 Overnight Finance: US reaches deal with ZTE | Lawmakers look to block it | Trump blasts Macron, Trudeau ahead of G-7 | Mexico files WTO complaint MORE met with House lawmakers Monday afternoon to urge them to oppose any bill they believe would undermine talks with Iran.

The three Cabinet officials will meet with senators Tuesday.

Corker’s bill is co-sponsored by eight Democrats as well as Sen. Angus KingAngus Stanley KingNew intel chief inherits host of challenges Senators ask for committee vote on 'red flag' bills after shootings Top Democrat: 'Disqualifying' if Trump intel pick padded his résumé MORE (Maine), an independent who caucuses with the Democrats.

It will surely win approval in Corker’s committee, and  it should have enough support to break a Democratic filibuster on the Senate floor.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told reporters Monday after speaking with Corker that the House will take up the bill if it passes the upper chamber.

“If he is able to get his agreement out of the Senate, it is my intention to bring it to the floor of the House and move it,” he said, adding that Corker believes the legislation “is moving very strongly.”

What’s unclear is whether either the House or Senate could overcome a promised veto from the White House. A two-thirds vote in both chambers would be necessary to do so, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSocial media never intended to be in the news business — but just wait till AI takes over Ex-CIA chief worries campaigns falling short on cybersecurity Two-thirds of Americans support assault weapons ban: Fox News poll MORE (R-Ky.) needs at least four more Democratic votes.

In the House, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) opposes the bill, which could make it difficult to win the dozens of Democratic votes necessary to get a two-thirds majority in that chamber.

McCarthy declined to say whether Republicans would have enough votes to override an expected veto.

 “I think they are going to have a very high number,” he said of the Senate.

It might come down to how Corker handles amendments and whether he and Cardin, who only became the Foreign Relations panel’s ranking Democrat with Sen. Robert MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezHouse passes temporary immigration protections for Venezuelans Senate panel advances bipartisan bill to lower drug prices amid GOP blowback Democrats pledge to fight Trump detention policy during trip to border MORE’s (D-N.J.) indictment earlier this month, can reach a deal. Menendez is one of the co-sponsors on the Corker bill.

  “The key question is whether Corker and Cardin can arrive at a compromise mark that incorporates the most essential Democratic concerns,” said Dylan Williams, the vice president of government affairs at J Street, a self-described pro-Israel, pro-peace advocacy group.

One crucial amendment, sponsored by Democratic Sen. Chris CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsThe United States broken patent system is getting worse Biden faces scrutiny for his age from other Democrats Democrats press FBI for details on Kavanaugh investigation MORE (Del.), would remove a provision requiring the administration to certify as part of its agreement that Iran no longer supports terrorist organizations, such as Hezbollah.

Another, sponsored by Democratic Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyOvernight Defense: US, Russia tensions grow over nuclear arms | Highlights from Esper's Asia trip | Trump strikes neutral tone on Hong Kong protests | General orders ethics review of special forces White House eyes September action plan for gun proposals Trump phoned Democratic senator to talk gun control MORE (Conn.), would allow Obama to waive sanctions against Iran during a 60-day congressional review period if keeping them in place would scuttle a final deal.

As of late Monday, there was no deal on either measure, but Corker expressed optimism that elements of those amendments could be addressed to build a veto-proof coalition.

The Foreign Relations Committee is scheduled to begin voting on amendments at 2:15 p.m. Tuesday.

The panel has scheduled a business meeting for Wednesday and could continue the markup if it doesn’t hold a final vote on Tuesday. Senators have filed nearly 50 amendments to the legislation, although not all of them are expected to receive votes.

A senior Republican aide said the bill is unlikely to reach the Senate floor for several weeks, which could give Corker and Cardin more time to get a deal.

That could be more difficult if GOP members on the Foreign Relations panel succeed in adding amendments that would toughen any deal with Iran.

Florida Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy Trump crosses new line with Omar, Tlaib, Israel move Top Foreign Affairs Republican: 'It would benefit all of us' for Omar, Tlaib to visit Israel MORE (R), who on Monday launched his campaign for president in 2016, has proposed an amendment that would require Iran to accept Israel’s right to exist.

Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonGOP senators call for Barr to release full results of Epstein investigation FBI Agents Association calls on Congress to make 'domestic terrorism' a federal crime Senators renew request for domestic threats documents from FBI, DOJ after shootings MORE (R-Wis.) has offered an amendment that would treat the emerging nuclear deal similarly to a treaty by requiring a two-thirds vote of the Senate and House to approve it.

Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoIf Democrats want gun control, they must first concede defeat Conway: Republican concerns about gun reform 'all reconcilable' Five proposals Congress is eyeing after mass shootings MORE (R-Wyo.) has filed four amendments, including one prohibiting any federal funding from being used to implement a nuclear agreement with Iran until Congress passes and the president signs a resolution of approval.

Sen. Johnny IsaksonJohn (Johnny) Hardy IsaksonGeorgia senator discharged from hospital after fall Georgia senator hospitalized after fall Senate GOP raises concerns about White House stopgap plan to avoid shutdown MORE (R-Ga.) has offered an amendment requiring that U.S. hostages held in Iran from 1979 to 1981 and their families receive compensation.

Jordan Fabian and Mike Lillis contributed.