WASHINGTON -- Senate Democrats have voted against moving past debate on a resolution of disapproval of the Iran nuclear deal, a procedural move blocking an ultimate vote on the accord.
Four Democrats joined a united caucus of 54 Republicans in favoring of a motion invoking cloture, which would have ended debate on the measure. But cloture requires 60 votes, and 42 Democrats voted against moving forward.
Democrats say they consider the threshold for such a vote is 60 votes, given the stakes attached to the vote. Both parties say they hope to see an up-or-down vote at the end of the day.
"The issue before us is of immense consequence to our country. The American people are entitled to a real voice," said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky).
McConnell said the Senate will have "one more chance" to vote next week on the measure, before Congress' review period expires on September 17.
But the House Republican caucus does not believe that congressional review period has started, and will vote on a motion on Friday that will claim US President Barack Obama has not yet complied with a law requiring he submit the entire deal to Congress before that period begins.
If the vote stands, it saves Obama from having to veto a resolution of disapproval. Implementation of the agreement will then move forward.