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May 4, 2015

Posts in "Iran"

April 30, 2015

Corker Predicts No More Amendments to Iran Bill (Updated) (Video)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 2:58 p.m. | Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker predicted there was no hope for additional amendments to his bill to provide for review of the Iran agreement — and that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s next step would be to limit debate.

“Mitch has a decision now about filing cloture. My sense is, you’ll need to talk with him, but that’s what he’s going to do,” the Tennessee Republican said of his Kentucky counterpart’s likely next move. Senate Republicans announced no further floor votes for the week.

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April 28, 2015

Iran Bill Sponsors Face Down Amendments

Corker, R-Tenn., listens to other senators during the news conference on Ukraine on Wednesday, April 30, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Corker’s Iran bill now has the backing of 67 senators. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As senators look to start processing amendments to the bipartisan bill ensuring congressional review of an Iran nuclear deal, the bill’s level of support has reached a magic number of sorts.

As of Tuesday, 66 senators have joined with Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., in backing the legislation, which got out of the committee with unanimous support. Leaders in both parties said they looked to get the floor debate on amendments underway.

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By Niels Lesniewski Posted at 3:41 p.m.
Iran, Policy

April 24, 2015

Iran Bill Supporters Seek to Avoid Contentious Amendments

Corker will manage floor debate on the Iran review legislation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Corker will manage floor debate on the Iran review legislation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Supporters of the Senate’s Iran legislation know they have to do a delicate dance on the floor.

With Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., promising an open-amendment process for the bill negotiated by Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and ranking Democrat Benjamin L. Cardin of Maryland, the advocates for the carefully crafted compromise know they will have to bat back unwanted amendments — including some they might support — to stave off the return of a veto threat from President Barack Obama.

“The White House has made very plain that they dropped their veto threat for the bill as constituted,” Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., said. “Look, I was one of the co-sponsors, but there might be amendments that would cause me to withdraw. If there are amendments that try to take what has been scrupulously nonpartisan and make it partisan, you’re going to see a lot of people who are on the bill moving off of it.”

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April 17, 2015

Cruz Iran Letter Uses the Royal ‘We’ — Briefly

( Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Cruz has concerns about Iran. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Ted Cruz fired off a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry Friday that declared “we” are making requests for the countries involved in the Iran talks — even though no other senators signed the letter.

The Texas Republican, who is seeking his party’s nomination for president in 2016, said without congressional approval or Senate consent to ratification of a treaty, any final agreement between the P5+1 negotiators and the Iranians could be null and void with a future administration.

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By Niels Lesniewski Posted at 4:17 p.m.
2016, Iran, Ted Cruz

April 14, 2015

A Busy and Bipartisan Tuesday

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

For all the talk of the death of bipartisanship, Tuesday’s busy legislative day in the Senate provided quite the counter-argument.

A little more than a day after returning from a two-week recess, the legislative dam burst, with senators making significant headway on sticky issues such as the Iran nuclear deal, a rewrite of the No Child Left Behind law, a replacement for the payment formula for doctors who treat Medicare patients and possibly even the confirmation process for Loretta Lynch, President Barack Obama’s nominee for attorney general. Full story

Unanimous Foreign Relations Vote Puts Iran Bill on Warpspeed

Corker (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Corker claims the White House are “spinning” on perceived adjustments in the legislation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

In the end, it was unanimous.

After weeks of negotiations on language, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee backed legislation to provide for congressional review of any final deal on Iran’s nuclear program on a 19-0 vote, winning the support of senators from Rand Paul, R-Ky., to Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and everyone in between.

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By Niels Lesniewski Posted at 5:07 p.m.
Iran

Watch Live: Senate Committee Debates Iran Nuclear Framework

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee meets Tuesday to mark up Sen. Bob Corker’s legislation creating a 60-day congressional review period of any nuclear agreement reached between Iran, the United States and five other countries.  Full story

Senate’s To-Do List Keeps Getting Longer (Video)

McConnell outlined an extremely busy legislative calendar. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

McConnell outlined an extremely busy legislative calendar. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A debate over Iran may highlight the Senate’s agenda, but it already seems like there might be too much to do.

Sen. Bob Corker’s efforts to get broad support for bipartisan legislation to provide a role for Congress in reviewing a final international agreement with Iran about nuclear weapons appears to have paid dividends. And the Corker legislation seems to be on an expedited path to the floor after a markup set for Tuesday afternoon. Full story

April 13, 2015

Senate Returns to an Immediate ‘Doc Fix’ Deadline

The Senate is facing a post-recess time crunch on the doc fix. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Senate is facing a post-recess time crunch on the ‘doc fix.’ (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Lawmakers will already be facing a time crunch when the Senate returns Monday.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has been withholding payments to doctors treating Medicare patients to give Congress a window to work through a long-term resolution to the Sustainable Growth Rate problem that sees physicians regularly facing draconian cuts in payment rates without a patch known as a “doc fix.”

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April 9, 2015

Boxer Wants Corker to Delay Iran Review Legislation

Boxer is latest to back medical marijuana legislation in the Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Boxer asked Corker to delay debate on his Iran legislation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As Foreign Relations Committee Democrats begin to float amendments to legislation designed to give Congress a voice in a nuclear security agreement with Iran, one of them is asking the panel’s chairman to delay the measure entirely.

“To force Congress to weigh in now on the Iran nuclear talks before a final deal has been completed would be a reckless rush to judgment. It would undermine negotiations at a critical moment and could derail a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to deal with this looming threat,” Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., wrote in a letter dated Wednesday to Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn.

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By Niels Lesniewski Posted at 10:58 a.m.
Iran, Policy

April 7, 2015

Rand Paul’s Message to Iran

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., makes his way through the basement of the Capitol before a vote on the Senate floor, December 12, 2014. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

CQ Roll Call interviewed Paul about Iran policy in January. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ahead of his rollout of his presidential campaign, Sen. Rand Paul’s team is already pushing back against charges that the Kentucky Republican is weak on Iran.

“The Washington machine is worried that our message is resonating across all 50 states. These attacks are false. Senator Rand Paul has voted for Iran sanctions and continues to believe that Iran should be forbidden from acquiring nuclear weapons,” senior adviser Doug Stafford said in a statement. “Senator Paul will oppose any deal which does not guarantee Iran giving up its nuclear ambition.”

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Rand Paul Biography: The CQ Profile

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As Rand Paul launches his bid for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, he aims for nothing less than to transform his party, driven by his belief the GOP must “evolve, adapt or die.”

The son of libertarian folk hero Ron Paul, the former House member from Texas who lost three presidential campaigns, Rand Paul says he represents “a unique brand of conservative constitutionalism that also reaches out to new people” and can draw into the party minorities, liberals and independents.

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April 6, 2015

McConnell Skeptical of Iran Deal After Leading Freshmen on Middle East Trip

McConnell and several freshmen senators meet with King Abdullah II of Jordan. (Courtesy Royal Hashemite Court)

McConnell and several freshmen senators meet with King Abdullah II of Jordan. (Courtesy Royal Hashemite Court)

Fresh off a trip to the Middle East, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reaffirmed Monday afternoon that his chamber would weigh in legislatively regarding the framework agreement between the United States, Iran and other nations involved in the negotiations.

“Last week I led a Senate delegation to Israel, Jordan, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Iran’s support of Hezbollah, the Assad regime, Shia militias in Iraq, Houthi insurgents in Yemen — along with its ongoing nuclear ambitions — reveal an ongoing effort to both expand the Iranian sphere of influence throughout the greater Middle East and undermine America’s standing and presence in the region,” McConnell said in a statement. “These issues, along with Iran’s determination to expand its ballistic missile and conventional military capability, are of grave concern to me; moreover, the concerns of our allies and partners were raised throughout our visits.”

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April 2, 2015

GOP Hawks Quick to Blast Iran Framework (Video)

 (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Not long after President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry separately announced a framework agreement for a nuclear deal with Iran, one GOP senator was already likening it to appeasement.

“Neville Chamberlain got a better deal from Adolf Hitler,” Sen. Mark S. Kirk of Illinois said in a statement. “Under today’s deal, the United States and its international partners will dismantle the sanctions regime against Iran, while Iran, the world’s biggest exporter of terrorism, will be allowed to keep vast capabilities to make nuclear weapons.”

Full story

By Niels Lesniewski Posted at 4:34 p.m.
Iran, Policy

March 27, 2015

What Senators Read About During Vote-a-Rama: Iran Deal

One of Iran’s most notable former diplomats, the ex-spokesman for the nation’s nuclear negotiation team, wrote the most popular book spotted on the Senate floor during the annual vote-a-rama. Full story

By Hannah Hess Posted at 12:50 a.m.
Budget, Iran

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