WASHINGTON - The US Senate passed a bipartisan bill that would give Congress review rights over the White House’s Iran nuclear deal .
The vote was 98-1. The bill is expected to pass in the Republican-led House of Representatives and has President Barack Obama’s support.
The White House originally opposed the bill, proposed by Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Corker, a Republican, until some of its provisions were revised in a compromise deal with the committee’s ranking democrat, Ben Cardin last month.
Corker shut off attempts by fellow Republicans to insert stronger language into the bill.  “Without this bill, there is no review ,” he warned during the debate.
Senator Robert Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, said that the proposal is intended to ensure that Iranian negotiators know that sanctions relief depends on Congressional oversight of their compliance with a deal’s terms.
“It is not a prize for signing on the dotted line,” he said.
The measure would bar Obama from suspending Congressionally enacted economic sanctions against Iran while lawmakers review a deal .
After threatening to veto an earlier version of the measure, Obama agreed to accept it after Republicans and Democrats agreed on revisions.
“We’re getting closer to making sure Congress can review any potential agreement with Iran , and Iran , by its words and its actions, is showing exactly why we need this type of accountability,” House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, told reporters last week.
The Senate didn’t allow votes on amendments sought by Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, who are 2016 Republican Presidential contenders.
Rubio said he was disappointed that his amendment to force Iran to publicly recognise Israel didn’t get a vote. He said it was important because easing sanctions on Iran will provide an influx of money for the Islamic Republic to fund terrorism.
“The prime target of the terrorism they sponsor is the state of Israel,” Rubio claimed, adding, “I am disappointed by the direction this debate has taken.”
The Senate also didn’t allow for a vote on a proposal by freshman Senator Tom Cotton, who drew criticism from Democrats for writing an open letter to Iran’s leaders — signed by 46 other Republicans — stating any deal with Obama couldn’t be counted on because a future President or Congress could overturn it.
The compromise, worked out by Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Corker, a Tennessee Republican, and Maryland Senator Ben Cardin, the panel’s top Democrat, cut from 60 days to as few as 30 days the time Congress would have to review a final deal with Iran .
The measure also removed language requiring Iran to renounce ties to terrorist groups before sanctions could be lifted, a provision White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest had called unrealistic.