House Democrats’ top foreign policy legislator slammed Republican leaders on Tuesday, calling talk of bringing up a Senate bill to toughen sanctions on Iran a political move.
Foreign Affairs ranking member Eliot L. Engel, who with the panel’s chairman co-sponsored the more stringent House-passed Iran sanctions bill, said GOP leaders are simply trying to undermine President Barack Obama and prove that they are more supportive of Israel.
“Republican leadership in the House ought to be more concerned with implementing the sanctions than concerned with trying to embarrass the administration,” the New York Democrat said. “I’m interested in a real coalition. I think sometimes the Republicans are more interested in scoring brownie points against the administration, trying to box the administration into a corner.”
Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., defended the deliberations, telling CQ Roll Call on Tuesday that there has been “a lot of pressure building that we should act,” despite warnings from the administration that doing so could undermine diplomatic talks with Tehran, splinter the international coalition and increase the likelihood of war.
“I believe strongly that we ought to have in place sanctions that will occur when the Iranians inevitably break their word. We can’t trust the Iranians,” Cantor said. “This president has continued to say, ‘Now’s not the time.’ So I’m hopeful we can work with our Democratic counterparts both in the House and the Senate to get something done.” Full story