Florida senator Marco Rubio went to the Senate floor on Wednesday to push for votes on amendments to legislation concerning a nuclear deal with Iran. "If you don't want to vote on things, don't run for office," Rubio said. "Be a columnist. Get a talk show."
Rubio has introduced several amendments, but he tried to get a vote on just two this afternoon. One amendment would prohibit sanctions relief for Iran until Iran had fully implemented all requirements outlined by the White House on April 2. The other amendment would require Iran's leadership to recognize Israel's right to exist.
Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland strongly objected to Rubio's Israel amendment, calling it a "poison pill" that would defeat the bill. The most important thing is to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, Cardin said, but "the Rubio amendment, although it's not intended to do that, would say, 'No that's not the most important thing. The most important thing is to negotiate the language about what Iran says about Israel, not their nuclear weapons program.'"
“I appreciate the senator from Maryland’s passion,” Rubio replied, but he defended the amendment and said that Cardin had simply made the case "for why we should not pass this amendment," not why the amendment shouldn't receive a vote at all.
Rubio explained that he had not introduced the amendments in committee because he had been given assurances that they would receive a vote on the Senate floor. "I was told ... by multiple members that the right place and the right time for me to offer this amendment would be on the floor, not in committee because the hope was to get it to the floor as quickly as possible," Rubio said.