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Marco Rubio and Rand Paul, at Odds on Iran, Come Together for Sanctions Vote

For the moment, the debate over preconditions for the Iran deal was sidestepped.
Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida, speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., on Friday, Feb. 27, 2015.

Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida, speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., on Friday, Feb. 27, 2015.

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee's final vote on watered-down Iran sanctions was anti-climatic—a 19-0 show of bipartisanship, following backchannel talks that calmed possible opponents. The debate was so bereft of arguments that a skeptic of harsher sanctions bills, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, made no statement at all. According to Paul's office, he simply had nothing to add.

That left the brief discussion of the sanctions to more vocal supporters—Florida Senator Marco Rubio in particular. On his first full day as a presidential candidate, Rubio got to hear committee chairman Bob Corker of Tennessee say that he "contributed heavily, especially on the issues related to Israel."