In symbolic vote, Rep. Ken Buck, House reject Iran deal |

In symbolic vote, Rep. Ken Buck, House reject Iran deal

Staff and wire reports

FILE - In this Aug. 6, 2015 file photo, President Barack Obama speaks in the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington. The president may have finally shed his summer curse, just in time for a daunting fall. The summer of 2015 has been among the most productive stretches of Obama's presidency. But the president returns to Washington with a full schedule and confrontations with Congress that will help determine whether his summer momentum is sustained or sputters. Atop the president's priority list is preventing Congress from blocking the Iran deal, which curbs Tehran's nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in sanctions relief. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

The Republican-led House cast largely symbolic votes Friday against the Iran nuclear deal and sought to restrict President Barack Obama's authority to lift sanctions against Tehran, one day after the Senate ensured the administration can implement the accord without congressional interference.

After three hours of hot-tempered debate, the House voted 269-162 to reject the deal; 25 Democrats broke with Obama to register their disapproval.

Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., joined fellow Republicans in voting against the deal.

"Today I voted against the deal itself. At least Americans who oppose this deal 2-to-1 will know who stands with them and who doesn't," Buck said in a news release.

The fate of the agreement on Capitol Hill, however, was sealed Thursday when Senate Democrats voted to uphold the accord with Iran, overcoming heavy GOP opposition to hand Obama a victory on his top foreign policy priority. The Senate action guaranteed any legislation disapproving of the accord will never reach Obama's desk.

Obama marked the end of House votes with a statement saying it is time to turn the page.

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"Now, we must turn to the critical work of implementing and verifying this deal so that Iran cannot pursue a nuclear weapon," the president said in a statement. "In doing so, we'll write the latest chapter of American leadership in the pursuit of a safer, more hopeful world."

During the debate, Democrats argued that the agreement would stabilize the Mideast, stop Iran from rushing to develop a nuclear bomb and offer a chance to end the standoff with Iran diplomatically, while retaining a U.S. threat of military action. They claimed House Republicans used their opposition to the nuclear deal to take a partisan shot at the president.

Republicans countered that the agreement's inspection regime against Iran, a state sponsor of terrorism, is weak and repeatedly recalled how Islamic extremists attacked America on Sept. 11, 2001. They said the deal will allow Iran to eventually possess a nuclear weapon and that the billions it will receive through sanctions relief will end up in the hands of terrorist groups that Tehran supports.

"This deal is far worse than anything I could have imagined," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "This is such a bad deal, the ayatollah won't even have to cheat to be steps away from a nuclear weapon."

Boehner said that it does not have a rigorous enough inspection regime, will allow Iran to keep thousands of centrifuges spinning and will leave the nation with a chance to become a nuclear-armed state in about a decade. He said all options remain on the table for the Republicans to stop the agreement, including a possible lawsuit.

"Never in our history has something with so many consequences for our national security been rammed through with such little support," Boehner said. "Today is Sept. 11 … Our fight to stop this bad deal is just beginning. We will not let the American people down."

Another vote

In a second vote, the House passed 247-186 a measure to suspend until Jan. 21, 2017 — a day after a new president is sworn into office — Obama’s authority to waive, suspend or reduce sanctions on Iran. The House measures could come up in the Senate next week, but would face a filibuster by Senate Democrats and Sept. 17 — the date slated for the close of congressional review of the deal — is less than a week away.