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August 3, 2015

Posts in "Iran"

July 28, 2015

Watch Live: House Hearing on Iran Nuclear Deal

The House Foreign Affairs Committee holds a Tuesday hearing on the Iran nuclear deal announced earlier this month. Secretary of State John Kerry, Energy Secretary Ernest J. Moniz and Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew are expected to testify.

Coverage begins at 10 a.m. Full story

By JM Rieger Posted at 9:57 a.m.
Foreign Policy, Iran, Videos

July 24, 2015

Despite White House’s Iran Blitz, Democrats Struggle With Backing Deal

The State Department isn't saying whether Kerry plans to testify May 29. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Kerry is making frequent visits to Capitol Hill to sell lawmakers on the Iran nuclear agreement (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Democrats were briefed on the Iran nuclear deal Thursday afternoon by Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Energy Earnest J. Moniz, but many sounded as undecided when they came out as when they went in.

“I’m working through it,” said Rep. Eliot L. Engel, D-N.Y., the ranking member of the Foreign Affairs Committee. “That’s why we have 60 days.” Full story

July 22, 2015

Amid Skepticism on Hill, Obama Steps Up Iran Deal Lobbying

UNITED STATES - JUNE 11: House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., makes his way to the House floor through the media pack, who were waiting for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor on Wednesday, June 11, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

McCarthy says it’s not just Republicans objecting to the Iran deal.  (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With the United Nations Security Council officially backing the Iran deal earlier this week, the Obama administration is picking up its congressional outreach efforts in order to quell a potential August mutiny over the nuclear agreement.

While it would take a two-thirds majority in the House and Senate to stop the deal, Republican opposition has been immediate and steadfast — and Democratic support seems shaky, at best. Full story

July 16, 2015

Return to Normal: Pelosi’s Got Obama’s Back on Iran (Video)

Pelosi stopped short of saying she wouldn't support a continuing resolution. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Pelosi enthusiastically endorsed the Iran nuclear deal Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House’s top Republican and Democrat switched normal roles during the “fast-track” debate, with President Barack Obama relying on the GOP, rather than his own party, to carry his trade package across the finish line.

But when it comes to the president’s nuclear agreement with Iran, it’s back to normal for Speaker John A. Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi: She’s backing Obama, he isn’t.

Full story

July 14, 2015

On Capitol Hill, Hillary Clinton Enthusiastic About Iran Deal (Video)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton addresses the media in between meetings on Capitol Hill with House and Senate Democrats in Washington, Tuesday, July 14, 2015. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton addresses the media in between meetings on Capitol Hill with House and Senate Democrats Tuesday (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Former secretary of State and presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton had already planned to spend Tuesday on Capitol Hill courting fellow Democrats, but the timing worked out so she had a platform to share her stance on the emerging nuclear deal with Iran, too.

Speaking before the microphones mid-morning, following a meeting with the full House Democratic Caucus, Clinton told reporters President Barack Obama had called her late the night before to give her advance word an agreement had been reached. Full story

Boehner Hates Iran Nuclear Deal, but Does It Matter? (Video)

UNITED STATES - JANUARY 8: Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, holds his weekly press conference in the Capitol on Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Boehner doesn’t like the Iran nuclear deal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The time it took for Speaker John A. Boehner to surmise that he wasn’t going to like the Iranian nuclear deal may best be measured in seconds. But absent a revolt from Democrats, there doesn’t seem to be much the Ohio Republican and the rest of the GOP can do.

Just hours after the Obama administration announced that a deal had been struck, Boehner trashed the agreement Tuesday during a GOP leadership news conference. The speaker said, in his view, “from what I know of it thus far,” the deal was “unacceptable” and would pave the way for a nuclear Iran. Full story

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)

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

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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

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