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July 1, 2015

Posts in "Iran"

May 10, 2015

House to Consider 20-Week Abortion Ban This Week

UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 9: Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., leaves the House Republican Conference meeting at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington on Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A new version of Rep. Trent Franks’ abortion bill returns this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republicans are aiming to reconsider this week the so-called “pain capable” abortion bill, which would prohibit abortions, in most cases, after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

The bill was pulled in late January after a number of Republican women pushed back against the legislation, particularly the provisions requiring women to have reported rape to law enforcement to be eligible for an abortion after 20 weeks. Leaders haven’t released the final language of the bill, but they seemingly have worked out the issues — though it wouldn’t exactly be the first time they’ve miscalculated where the conference is on the issue.

Full story

April 14, 2015

Top House Democrats Warming to Senate’s Iran Bill

Pelosi, D-Calif., and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., leave a news conference on the DHS funding bill in the Capitol's Will Rogers hallway, February 27, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Pelosi and Hoyer are open to the Senate’s Iran bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The top two House Democrats are warming to the Iran legislation that will likely come to their chamber floor if it passes the Senate.

On Tuesday afternoon, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer signaled — to a gaggle of reporters and in a written statement, respectively — they aren’t dead-set against a bill that had just sailed, 19-0, out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Full story

Boehner: Corker Bill to Move Before Iran Deal Finalized (Video)

Boehner wouldn't rule out additional steps to stop or even stymie a deal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Boehner wouldn’t rule out additional steps to stop or even stymie a deal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

As the Senate prepares to take up legislation that would let Congress reject a nuclear agreement with Iran, Speaker John A. Boehner reaffirmed Tuesday he’s waiting for that bill with open arms.

“Congress absolutely should have the opportunity to review this deal,” Boehner said Tuesday. “We shouldn’t count on the administration, who appears to want a deal at any cost.” Full story

April 10, 2015

House Democrats Forced to Choose Sides in Iran Debate

The White House wants House members like Israel to get behind the Iran nuclear deal. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The White House wants House members like Israel to get behind the Iran nuclear deal. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Democrats on the fence about the White House’s proposed nuclear deal with Iran will be asked next week to close ranks and get behind the president.

With the House and Senate getting back to work on April 13 after a two-week recess, most of the legislative action is set to be in the Senate, where the Foreign Relations Committee will begin marking up its bill giving Congress power to override President Barack Obama’s emerging deal to disarm Iran.

But Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, has made it clear that, short of the White House dramatically changing course, he would support the House acting on similar legislation, perhaps even taking up the Senate’s product (assuming it passes). Full story

April 7, 2015

Boehner: Obama Knows Deal Leads to Nuclear Iran

Iran Deal

Boehner released a statement Tuesday condemning the “deal” with Iran. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s no surprise that Speaker John A. Boehner isn’t happy with the Obama administration’s Iranian nuclear deal, but his level of discontent seems to be mounting.

While Boehner refrained from saying much of anything about the nuclear negotiations during his trip to Israel last week, the Ohio Republican is stepping up his criticism after President Barack Obama acknowledged Tuesday that, under the framework, Iran would be about a year away from a nuclear bomb for the first 13 years of the agreement — and would be able to produce a weapon almost immediately after that. Full story

April 1, 2015

In Israel, Boehner Dials Down Anti-Iran Nuclear Deal Rhetoric

Netanyahu and Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, left, walk through Statuary Hall, after the PM addressed a joint meeting of Congress in the House chamber, March 3, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call) Copyright 2015 CQ-Roll Call, Inc.

Boehner, left, and Netanyahu last month in the Capitol. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

When Speaker John A. Boehner announced he would lead a congressional delegation to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, many believed it was another effort to undermine the efforts of President Barack Obama’s administration to negotiate a nuclear deal with Iran.

But fans of the Boehner-Netanyahu bromance might have been disappointed by the two leaders’ news conference Wednesday; it lasted all of four minutes, and Boehner said less than 200 words — none of them in opposition to an Iranian nuclear deal, and hardly any of them even substantive.

Boehner avoided the word “Iran,” opting for a more ambiguous allusion to threats in general. (The Ohio Republican, who has been leading a congressional delegation around the Middle East, said the message members received while in the region was, “You can’t continue to turn your eye away from the threats that face all of us.”)

But Boehner didn’t exactly offer his most full-throated defense of Netanyahu’s position that a nuclear deal with Iran is a bad idea. In fact, Boehner noted the United States and Israel “may have political disagreements from time to time,” though he immediately followed that pronouncement by saying, “the bonds between our two nations are strong and they’re going to continue to be strong.”

Netanyahu, for his part, was characteristically chummy with Boehner — he repeatedly referred to him as “John” — and the recently re-elected prime minister hammered home the strong, special bond between Israel and the United States.

“In this violent and unstable region, where states are imploding and fanaticism is exploding, one thing remains rock solid: Our friendship, our alliance, our partnership,” Netanyahu said.

“So let me use this opportunity of your visit to reiterate something that I’ve said before but needs to be said again and again,” Netanyahu said. “The people of Israel know that we have no better friend in the world than the United States of America. And the American people should know that they have no better friend in the world than the state of Israel.”

Meanwhile, nuclear negotiations with Iran continue and White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday the United States would not “abruptly” walk away from Iran talks for sake of arbitrary deadline if progress continues to be made.

The United States and Iran are part of a group of nations discussing a more permanent loosening of sanctions against Iran in return for downgrading much of its most enriched uranium and opening up nuclear facilities to inspections.

Netanyahu thrashed that potential agreement during his joint address to Congress in March, and Boehner has previously signaled he is skeptical of any deal that could be reached between Iran, Germany and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council.

Steven T. Dennis contributed to this report.

Related:

Boehner, House Delegation to Meet Netanyahu in Israel (Updated)

Netanyahu Speech Lives Up to Controversial Expectations (Video)

Democrats Facing Choice Between Obama, Netanyahu (Updated)

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March 30, 2015

CODELs: Boehner to Israel, McCarthy to Tunisia, Pelosi to Asia

McCarthy, R-Calif., participates in the press conference announcing House GOP leadership for upcoming session of Congress on Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call) Copyright © 2014 CQ-Roll Call, Inc.

McCarthy and his delegation were in Tunisia before heading to Ukraine. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Not everybody gets to travel overseas during the two-week House recess  just ask Louie Gohmert.

However, many of those lawmakers who are participating in high-profile congressional delegations, or CODELs, will come back to Capitol Hill armed with new insights into some of the biggest policy issues facing Congress this year. Full story

March 29, 2015

Boehner Promises Sanctions Action if Iran Talks Fail

Boehner is in a tough spot. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Boehner said he’ll remain speaker “until I’ve had enough.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Speaker John A. Boehner, in an interview that aired Sunday, said the House will act quickly to tighten sanctions on Iran should the administration’s nuclear talks with the Islamic republic fail.

The Ohio Republican told CNN he’s skeptical the Obama administration will reach a deal with Iran to rein in the country’s nuclear program. Full story

March 24, 2015

Boehner ‘Baffled’ by Reports of Israeli Intelligence Leaks to House Members (Video)

Speaker John A. Boehner said he was “a bit shocked” by Wall Street Journal reports that Israeli officials were actively working to undermine U.S. efforts to curtail Iran’s nuclear program through diplomacy.

In particular, Boehner said he was “baffled” by allegations Israelis were spying on closed-door talks and leaking intelligence to members of Congress. Full story

March 12, 2015

Steve Cohen: Netanyahu’s Campaign Ad Turns Congress Into ‘Theater’ (Video)

Before Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to a joint meeting of Congress last week, many House Democrats expressed concerns that the prime minister intended to use his appearance to advance his own political fortunes ahead of Tuesday’s Israeli elections.

Days later, Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., said their suspicions were correct. Full story

March 3, 2015

Netanyahu Speech Lives Up to Controversial Expectations (Video)

In January, when Speaker John A. Boehner invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak before Congress, it caused the type of controversy and media attention normally reserved for a declaration of war, not a speech that’s little more than a glorified press release.

But by the time Netanyahu showed up Tuesday, the furor surrounding his address had eased somewhat, overshadowed by a battle — and capitulation — over funding the Department of Homeland Security and blocking President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration. Full story

February 26, 2015

Some Democrats May Skip It, but Netanyahu Speech Is Still a Hot Ticket

Dozens of House Democrats are planning to skip Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress on March 3, and they’re hoping their absence will send a strong signal.

One of those Democrats is Rep. John Yarmuth of Kentucky. Full story

October 22, 2014

McCarthy Calls Iran Nuclear Deal Reports ‘Worrisome’

McCarthy signals a post-election vote authorizing use of military force. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

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

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September 17, 2014

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

 UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 11: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., holds her weekly on camera press conference in the Capitol on Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

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)

Media and members of Congress gather in Statuary Hall after President Barack Obama's State of the Union address in the House Chamber of the Capitol. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

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

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