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Secretary Kerry to testify before Senate panel on Iran deal

Secretary Kerry to testify before Senate panel on Iran deal
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Secretary of State John KerryJohn KerryOvernight Energy: Treasury creates hub to fight climate change through finance | Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez introduce 'Green New Deal for Public Housing' | Blinken says US falling behind China as global leader on climate change The shipping industry needs to move in line with the Paris Agreement MORE and two other senior administration officials will testify next Thursday on the Iran deal before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Chairman Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerFox News inks contributor deal with former Democratic House member Senate GOP faces retirement brain drain Roy Blunt won't run for Senate seat in 2022 MORE (R-Tenn.) announced Thursday. 

It will be the Senate's first hearing on the nuclear agreement with Iran since it was unveiled Tuesday morning. Secretary of Energy Ernest MonizErnest Jeffrey MonizOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Supreme Court declines to hear challenge to Obama marine monument designation | Interior reverses course on tribal ownership of portion of Missouri river | White House climate adviser meets with oil and gas companies Moniz: Texas blackouts show need to protect infrastructure against climate change The Hill's Morning Report - Biden: Back to the future on immigration, Afghanistan, Iran MORE, who joined Kerry for negotiations, and Treasury Secretary Jack LewJacob (Jack) Joseph LewThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden argues for legislative patience, urgent action amid crisis On The Money: Senate confirms Yellen as first female Treasury secretary | Biden says he's open to tighter income limits for stimulus checks | Administration will look to expedite getting Tubman on bill Sorry Mr. Jackson, Tubman on the is real MORE will also testify. 

The top officials will face skeptical members of the panel, including some of the fiercest critics of the Iran deal — and two Republican presidential hopefuls. 

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Corker said on Tuesday he would withhold judgment on the deal until he reviews it, but that he would “begin with skepticism.” 

“Two years ago, we had a roguish country with a boot on its neck, and we went from dismantling their program to now managing their proliferation, and if the public comments that are being made are true, we're actually going to allow them to industrialize their nuclear program after year eight."

Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezBiden rebuffs Democrats, keeps refugee admissions at 15,000 Bottom line The Memo: Biden's five biggest foreign policy challenges MORE (D-N.J.) has offered the toughest criticism from the Democratic side, saying in a statement on Tuesday, “The bottom line is: The deal doesn’t end Iran’s nuclear program — it preserves it.” 

Congress has 60 days to review the deal, which would lift sanctions on Iran in exchange for limits on its nuclear program.

The hearing will be the first in a series of hearings the committee intends to hold on the deal, as Congress deliberates whether to vote on a resolution of approval or disapproval or to take no action. 

A resolution of disapproval would prevent the deal from going into effect. 

The administration can afford to lose no more than 12 Democratic senators in order for Congress to override a presidential veto of such a resolution. 

As of Wednesday afternoon, only 18 senators are either in support of the deal or leaning toward supporting it. Forty-nine Republican senators are either opposed to the deal or are leaning against it, according to a whip list kept by The Hill.