Democrats defeat latest GOP effort on Iran nuclear deal

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democrats have turned back the latest GOP effort to undermine the Iran nuclear deal. Democrats blocked a measure aimed at maintaining sanctions unless Iran recognizes Israel and releases American hostages.

The vote was 53-45, short of the 60 votes needed to advance to a final vote. Two previous votes against the Iran deal have resulted in similar outcomes.

Thursday’s vote saw Democrats even more united, as several who oppose the Iran deal nonetheless voted with their party, rejecting GOP majority attempts to use the issue to political advantage.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid calls the vote “a waste of the Senate’s time.”

But Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the deal aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear program actually strengthens it and that Congress should say “no.”