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 CorkerRNC says ex-Trump ambassador nominee's efforts 'to link future contributions to an official action' were 'inappropriate' Lindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Nareit — White House cheers Republicans for storming impeachment hearing 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 CardinThe Secure Act makes critical reforms to our retirement system — let's pass it this year Lawmakers honor JFK on 56th anniversary of his death Senate Democrats ask Pompeo to recuse himself from Ukraine matters 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 to campaign with Biden in New Hampshire Kerry endorses Biden in 2020 race: He 'can beat Donald Trump' New Hampshire parochialism, not whiteness, bedevils Democrats MORE, Energy Secretary Ernest MonizErnest Jeffrey MonizAl Franken to host SiriusXM radio show Two years after Harvey's devastation, the wake-up call has not been heeded Biden under pressure from environmentalists on climate plan 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 KingHillicon Valley: House passes anti-robocall bill | Senators inch forward on privacy legislation | Trump escalates fight over tech tax | Illinois families sue TikTok | Senators get classified briefing on ransomware Senators want FERC to protect critical infrastructure from Huawei threats Senators sound alarm on dangers of ransomware attacks after briefing 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 McConnellDemocratic challenger to Joni Ernst releases ad depicting her as firing gun at him Senate confirms eight Trump court picks in three days The case for censuring, and not impeaching, Donald Trump 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) MenendezGOP senator blocks Armenian genocide resolution The job no GOP senator wants: 'I'd rather have a root canal' Senate passes legislation supporting Hong Kong protesters 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 CoonsSenate confirms eight Trump court picks in three days Lawmakers call for investigation into program meant to help student loan borrowers with disabilities Senators defend bipartisan bill on facial recognition as cities crack down 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: Trump clashes with Macron at NATO summit | House impeachment report says Trump abused power | Top Dem scolds military leaders on Trump intervention in war crimes cases Trump administration releases 5M in military aid for Lebanon after months-long delay Senate Democrats ask Pompeo to recuse himself from Ukraine matters 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 RubioRubio places hold on number-two Interior nominee over offshore drilling Rubio on Chris Pratt water bottle story: 'I too was caught with a single use plastic water bottle' House votes to sanction Chinese officials over treatment of Uighurs 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 JohnsonSenators sound alarm on dangers of ransomware attacks after briefing Push to investigate Bidens sets up potential for Senate turf war Overnight Defense: Trump clashes with Macron at NATO summit | House impeachment report says Trump abused power | Top Dem scolds military leaders on Trump intervention in war crimes cases 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 BarrassoTrump announces restart to Taliban peace talks in surprise Afghanistan visit Centrist Democrats seize on state election wins to rail against Warren's agenda Eleven GOP senators sign open letter backing Sessions's comeback bid 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 IsaksonJohnny IsaksonSenate confirms eight Trump court picks in three days The Hill's Morning Report - Dem dilemma on articles of impeachment Loeffler plans to spend million on Georgia Senate campaign 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.