Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) will force a recorded vote Wednesday morning on a Biden administration nominee who Cruz says lied to Congress about details surrounding the new Iran nuclear agreement, according to a notification sent by Cruz’s office to members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC).
The vote to advance Barbara Leaf, a veteran Democratic Middle East hand who is nominated to serve as the State Department’s assistant secretary for Near Eastern affairs, will serve as the first recorded congressional vote tied to a new Iran deal as it starts to roll out, which the Biden administration is expected to announce soon.
“Leaf was a key player in the Biden administration hiding the details of their new Iran deal from SFRC and Congress more generally—until it was too late to shape it,” Cruz’s office wrote in an email sent Tuesday to SFRC members and obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. “They were working on a weaker ‘less for less’ agreement since the very beginning of the Biden administration, all the way back in February 2021. They now plan to announce it as a ‘take it or leave it’ bad deal.”
Cruz is forcing the recorded vote to signal mounting Republican frustration with the Biden administration’s efforts to skirt congressional review of the deal and keep details surrounding it secret. Cruz has been blocking Leaf’s confirmation since last year due to her refusal to answer questions related to the Biden administration’s Middle East policy, including about the Iran deal.