GOP Didn't Expect Iran Letter Backlash

McCain blames snowstorm for lack of discussion
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 12, 2015 12:49 AM CDT
Updated Mar 12, 2015 5:00 AM CDT
GOP Didn't Expect Iran Letter Backlash
Tom Cotton, who circulated the letter at a weekly luncheon, speaks in Jonesboro, Ark.   (AP Photo/Danny Johnston, File)

Some of the 47 Republican senators who signed a controversial letter to Iran's leaders seem a little surprised that people are making a big deal out of their bypassing of President Obama during nuclear negotiations. Sen. John McCain, who signed the letter warning that any deal could be canceled when Obama is out of office, now says it probably should have been given more consideration. "Everybody was looking forward to getting out of town because of the snowstorm," he tells Politico. "I think we probably should have had more discussion about it, given the blowback that there is." But none of the senators have withdrawn their support for the letter, which was circulated by Sen. Tom Cotton at a weekly lunch, the Wall Street Journal reports.

"I think it's a way in which Congress can express the serious concerns that we have about the direction this is headed," Sen. John Thune tells the Journal, calling the angry reaction "a little over the top." Sen. Bob Corker, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was one of the seven Republican senators not to sign it. A Corker aide tells the Washington Post that the senator is focusing on getting support for a bipartisan bill for congressional review of any nuclear deal with Iran. Other top Senate aides tell the Daily Beast they're surprised by the reaction to what they describe as a "cheeky" reminder to Iran and the public of the role Congress should play in the talks. (Read more Iran stories.)

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