Ohio Gov. John Kasich believes the Senate should invoke the so-called “nuclear option,” a procedure that would require 51 votes, not 60, to stop the Iran nuclear deal, he told CNN’s Jake Tapper.
“I think they ought to go to the nuclear option in the United States Senate,” Kasich said in an interview that aired Sunday on “State of the Union.” “It ought to be decided by 51 votes, not by 60 votes or some filibuster.”
The nuclear option would alter Senate rules so that only a simple majority is needed to push forward a resolution that rejects the deal.
“There ought to be a vote, and there ought to be extreme measures taken in the United States Senate to achieve it. It is really critical,” Kasich said.
“When it comes to a treaty this critical, one that I so strongly oppose, I think the Republicans in the sense ought to say that we are not going to permit this to be blocked because of a filibuster,” Kasich added.
Kasich’s remarks to Tapper seemed to strike a different tone than comments he made to conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt earlier this month, when he said he supported efforts to break the filibuster, rather than try to circumvent the procedure altogether.
Senate Democrats have already beaten back several measures to derail the agreement. On Thursday, Senate Republicans failed to get enough votes on an amendment that would have required Iran to recognize Israel and release Americans held in Iran before getting sanctions relief from the United States.
During CNN’s GOP debate earlier this week, Kasich claimed that if he became president, he would give the deal a chance, and not tear it up like some of his opponents say they would. But he maintains that he is a staunch opponent of the agreement.