Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 28, 2014

Posts in "Iran"

October 22, 2014

McCarthy Calls Iran Nuclear Deal Reports ‘Worrisome’

mccarthy 075 090914 445x296 McCarthy Calls Iran Nuclear Deal Reports Worrisome

McCarthy: No rubber stamp on Iran nuclear talks. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated, 2:27 p.m.: Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy vowed Wednesday that House Republicans will not sit idly by while the Obama administration unilaterally negotiates a resolution with Iran over that country’s nuclear program.

The Obama administration, according to news reports, is considering sweetening its offer to Iran in the ongoing negotiations, allowing the regime to operate 4,000 centrifuges, up from an earlier 1,300.

The White House and the State Department have not commented on the the reports, which originated with an Iranian news agency.

But the development has set off alarms with lawmakers like McCarthy, who called the news “worrisome.” The California Republican promised “extensive oversight” of the administration’s handling of the Iranian negotiations.

The Senate’s No. 2-ranked Republican, Texas Sen. John Cornyn, also warned the president against overstepping his authority on the Iran deal.

“The American people will not tolerate a President who wheels and deals with a radical regime behind their backs and dodges congressional oversight every chance he gets,” the Texas Republican said in a statement. “Any agreement with Iran to provide further relief from U.S. sanctions must be done in conjunction with Congress in an open and transparent way to ensure it advances America’s national security.”

Here’s McCarthy’s full statement:

Recent reports have suggested the Obama Administration believes it can negotiate a deal with Iran and provide significant sanctions relief to the Iranian regime without Congressional support. This Administration has a long record of ignoring and threatening to ignore Congress.

While this unilateralism alone is distressing, it is made even more worrisome in light of additional reports that the Administration may be willing to yet again make significant concessions to the Iranians in the nuclear negotiations. As the President and his team know full well, there is overwhelming, bipartisan concern on Capitol Hill about Iran’s nuclear and missile programs, its sponsorship of terrorism, its promotion of instability throughout the region, and its appalling human rights record. Congress will not simply look the other way if the Administration agrees to a deal that does not make sufficient progress in rolling back Iran’s nuclear program. Although the precise mechanics of Congressional approval or disapproval will depend on what exactly the President decides to do, the nature of the agreement, and a variety of other factors, I can promise that Congress will conduct extensive oversight regarding the details of any deal or extension of the current Joint Plan of Action.

Separate from the conduct of the nuclear negotiations, I remain concerned the Administration lacks an effective strategy to combat Iran’s malign influence throughout the region. Whether in Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, or Yemen, Iran’s support for terrorism and its destabilizing activities threaten the interests and security of the United States and its key allies and partners in the region. I look forward to the Administration consulting with Congress about how to confront this grave threat.

Related stories:

Foreign Affairs to Examine Iran’s Nuclear Compliance

House GOP May Act on Senate Iran Sanctions Bill

Roll Call Election Map: Race Ratings for Every Seat

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.

September 17, 2014

Pelosi Backs Obama, but Says ‘We Just Don’t Whip War Votes’ (Video)

pelosi 139 091114 445x296 Pelosi Backs Obama, but Says We Just Dont Whip War Votes (Video)

Pelosi: “We just don’t whip war votes.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Democratic leaders aren’t whipping votes on the continuing resolution and an amendment to give President Barack Obama authority to arm Syrian rebels against the terrorist group the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL.

But Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi used her regularly-scheduled Wednesday morning news conference to make an impassioned case for members to support their president.

“I don’t know how the vote will turn out,” the California Democrat said. “It’s not a vote we whip. We just don’t whip war votes. But I do think that, as members weigh the factors, that they will, I think, give points to the president for all that he has done, diplomatically, politically, humanitarian-wise and ask for this distinct piece.” Full story

January 29, 2014

After State of the Union, Members Mixed: Roll Call Gets Reaction from Statuary Hall (Video)

sotu tw027 012814 445x297 After State of the Union, Members Mixed: Roll Call Gets Reaction from Statuary Hall (Video)

Media and members of Congress gather in Statuary Hall after the State of the Union. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Members of the House who flooded Statuary Hall Tuesday night after President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address kept on message, an illustration of an unshifting partisan divide.

During Roll Call’s first-ever video livestream following a presidential address, Editor-in-Chief Christina Bellantoni interviewed six lawmakers to gauge areas of compromise they see with the president. Democrats heaped praise on Obama; Republicans weren’t interested in playing along.

Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., said he liked the president’s address because it lauded accomplishments over the last few years and told Americans to “look: don’t be depressed, don’t be down.” If the question was, Hoyer said, “is America better off than it was five years ago,” the answer was, according to Hoyer, “absolutely yes.”

Full story

January 14, 2014

Cantor Eyes Iran Bill as Democrats Splinter

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

Sign In

Forgot password?

Or

Subscribe

Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...