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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 CorkerSaudi mystery drives wedge between Trump, GOP Dem Senator: Congress will act on death of Saudi journalist Democrats torch Trump for floating 'rogue killers' to blame for missing journalist 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 CardinSaudi mystery drives wedge between Trump, GOP Overnight Defense: Trump worries Saudi Arabia treated as 'guilty until proven innocent' | McConnell opens door to sanctions | Joint Chiefs chair to meet Saudi counterpart | Mattis says Trump backs him '100 percent' Turkish police have 'certain evidence' missing Saudi journalist was killed: report 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 KerryKerry decries ‘broken’ Washington Christine Blasey Ford has a credibility problem Mellman: Why Kavanaugh should withdraw MORE, Energy Secretary Ernest MonizErnest Jeffrey MonizPompeo: Kerry's conversations with Iran 'unseemly and unprecedented' The Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — Mueller indicts 12 Russian officials for DNC hack | Trump does damage control after bombshell interview Pope to meet with oil execs to discuss climate change: report MORE and Treasury Secretary Jack LewJacob (Jack) Joseph LewOvernight Finance: US reaches deal with ZTE | Lawmakers look to block it | Trump blasts Macron, Trudeau ahead of G-7 | Mexico files WTO complaint Obama-era Treasury secretary: Tax law will make bipartisan deficit-reduction talks harder GOP Senate report says Obama officials gave Iran access to US financial system 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 KingCollusion judgment looms for key Senate panel People have forgotten 'facade' of independent politicians, says GOP strategist Senate poised to confirm Kavanaugh after bitter fight 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 McConnellGraham: I hope Dems 'get their ass kicked' for conduct around Kavanaugh Saudi mystery drives wedge between Trump, GOP Overnight Defense: Trump worries Saudi Arabia treated as 'guilty until proven innocent' | McConnell opens door to sanctions | Joint Chiefs chair to meet Saudi counterpart | Mattis says Trump backs him '100 percent' 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) MenendezTrump lowers refugee goal to 30,000, he must meet it Blame Senate, not FBI, for Kavanaugh travesty Dems urge tech companies to remove 3D-gun blueprints 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 CoonsDem senators urge Pompeo to reverse visa policy on diplomats' same-sex partners 15 Saudis identified in disappearance of Washington Post columnist The Senate needs to cool it 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 MurphySaudi mystery drives wedge between Trump, GOP Overnight Defense: Trump worries Saudi Arabia treated as 'guilty until proven innocent' | McConnell opens door to sanctions | Joint Chiefs chair to meet Saudi counterpart | Mattis says Trump backs him '100 percent' Pompeo: Saudis committed to 'accountability' over journalist's disappearance 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 RubioSaudi mystery drives wedge between Trump, GOP Overnight Defense: Trump worries Saudi Arabia treated as 'guilty until proven innocent' | McConnell opens door to sanctions | Joint Chiefs chair to meet Saudi counterpart | Mattis says Trump backs him '100 percent' Dems can use subpoena power to reclaim the mantle of populism 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 senator seeking information on FBI dealings with Bruce Ohr, former DOJ lawyer Election Countdown: O'Rourke brings in massive M haul | Deal on judges lets senators return to the trail | Hurricane puts Florida candidates in the spotlight | Adelson spending big to save GOP in midterms Senate Homeland chair vents Mueller probe is preventing panel from receiving oversight answers 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 BarrassoWhy grizzly bear hunting season isn’t happening Trump poised to sign bipartisan water infrastructure bill Dems to force health care vote weeks before Nov. midterms 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 IsaksonHouse conservatives want ethics probe into Dems' handling of Kavanaugh allegations Senate eyes Kavanaugh floor vote next week Trump blasts Tester at Montana rally: 'He loves the swamp' 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.