Congressman Vern Buchanan

Representing the 16th District of Florida

Buchanan “Appalled” by Senate’s Refusal to Debate Iran Deal

Sep 14, 2015
Press Release
Urges McConnell to “Break the Filibuster” With Rules Change

“It’s time to play hardball… too much is at stake

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan urged Sen. Mitch McConnell today to use his power as Senate Leader to bypass a partisan filibuster and bring the Iran nuclear arms deal to the Senate floor for debate. The U.S. House rejected the deal last week, but Senate obstructionists blocked the agreement from even coming up for debate, let alone a vote.

“The Senate’s refusal to debate or vote on the most important nuclear arms agreement in decades is appalling and a national embarrassment,” Buchanan said in a letter delivered to McConnell today. “As Senate leader, you have the power to revise Senate rules and circumvent the filibuster – which is precisely what Sen. Harry Reid did when he was the Majority Leader in 2013.”

“National security is too important to be held hostage by partisan obstructionists who won’t even allow a debate on the issue,” Buchanan said in the letter. “It’s time to play hardball and break the filibuster – too much is at stake.”

Buchanan noted that when Sen. Harry Reid was majority leader, he changed the rules to circumvent the filibuster on judicial appointments. Reid was also prepared to use it to place people on the National Labor Relations Board. “That’s exactly what I’m asking you to do, except this is in the interest of national security, not about a judgeship or appointment to the NLRB.”

“Whether Congress can change its rules for debate was addressed in 1892 when the Supreme Court (in United States v. Ballin) made clear that the Senate leader has the authority to set the rules for debating important matters before that chamber,” Buchanan wrote in his letter. “In that case, Justice Brewer noted: ‘The Constitution empowers each house to determine its rules of proceedings.’”

Buchanan also appealed directly to Senator McConnell on Facebook and Twitter.

Full letter to McConnell HERE.