Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 30, 2015

Iran Sanctions Held Up by Competing Senators, Chamber Schedule

Johnson initially indicated he would not craft an Iran sanctions bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Johnson initially indicated he would not craft an Iran sanctions bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Though many senators have made public demands for new sanctions on Iran, the effort in the chamber has been fractured by an apparent committee turf war and members offering competing proposals.

Even if senators were able to coalesce around a single proposal, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and negotiators on a defense bill have cut off  the opportunity to amend it.

Technically, the Senate Banking Committee has jurisdiction over sanctions legislation. Chairman Tim Johnson, D-S.D., said last week he would be working on his own framework, after initially indicating he would not draft a bill in light of the multilateral agreement between Western powers and Iran on the country’s nuclear program.

Those with Foreign Relations Committee ties are working on their own bills as well. Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Robert Menendez, D-N.J., is working with Illinois Republican Mark S. Kirk, while Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is working with John McCain, R-Ariz., and others.

“I was just talking to a Banking member on the other side of the aisle. You know, Banking has the jurisdiction but the committee members themselves will tell you that, obviously, it is a foreign policy issue. So trying to all of the sudden get into the issue … of Iran is difficult for Banking members who don’t sit on the Foreign Relations Committee,” said Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., the top Republican on Foreign Relations and an active member of the Banking Committee.

“I know that our staff is obviously, right now this very second while we’re talking, involved with all of their staffs to try to figure out the best piece of legislation, first,” Corker told CQ Roll call late last week. “At present, let’s face it, Harry [Reid]’s going to block anything from occurring between now and the end of the year. He’s pretty much stated that. So I think the general belief is, unless there’s some breakthrough momentarily, that whatever we do will be done after the first of the year, if it’s done now.”

Reid previously said he would move an Iran sanctions bill between the Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks, but that declaration largely was designed to clear the way for defense negotiators to come to agreement. Had they not, the fate of the defense authorization bill would have been in doubt. The Senate still needs to pass the legislation this week in order for it to become law, which has happened every year for more than 50 years.

McCain, who said he is working with Graham, expressed frustration over what he believed was a move from the Democrats to back away from the duo’s efforts.

“There was one vehicle but we’re not sure that the Democrats are going to stick with it — so the rest of us, Sen. Graham and I and others are working on a piece of legislation,” McCain said, when asked whether he was concerned that once the defense authorization bill passes, supporters of increased sanctions would lose their avenue to passage.

Menendez and Kirk were expected to unveil their legislation last week, but the Illinois Republican underwent emergency surgery to remove his gallbladder and has not returned to Washington since.

Comments (18)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

author email

  1. StoptheWars

    Dec. 18, 2013
    12:17 a.m.

    Israel and AIPAC have their stooges scrambling to make peace with Iran difficult, and war for Israel possible.

    This country has become a joke.

  2. Change Iran Now

    Dec. 18, 2013
    10:11 p.m.

    The big smiles and soft talk nowadays, in stark contrast to their former premier Ahmadinejad, should never mislead negotiators and the public that these Iranian leaders are bad guys in the mode of Ghadaffi, Morsi, Mubarak dictators. Let no one lower their guard when facing an unexpected outreach, soft tone, big smile and contrite words of Iran. Deeds not words are needed.

  3. Anonymous

    July 4, 2015
    4:25 a.m.

    Well I really enjoyed reading it. This information procured by you is very practical for proper planning.

  4. Anonymous

    July 4, 2015
    12:17 p.m.

    Lovely just what I was searching for.Thanks to the author for taking his clock time on this one.

  5. Anonymous

    July 9, 2015
    9:06 a.m.

    You made a few nice points there. I did a search on the issue and found most persons will have the same opinion with your blog.

  6. Anonymous

    July 12, 2015
    2:18 p.m.

    Excellent web site. A lot of useful information here. I’m sending it to a few friends ans additionally sharing in delicious. And obviously, thank you to your effort!

  7. Anonymous

    July 18, 2015
    5:51 a.m.

    Deference to article author, some excellent information .

  8. Anonymous

    July 18, 2015
    6:35 a.m.

    Hi, I think your site might be having browser compatibility issues. When I look at your website in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, fantastic blog!

  9. Anonymous

    July 21, 2015
    12:41 a.m.

    Does your website have a contact page? I’m having a tough time locating it but, I’d like to send you an e-mail. I’ve got some ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great blog and I look forward to seeing it improve over time.

  10. Anonymous

    July 21, 2015
    5:21 a.m.

    This is very interesting, You are a very skilled blogger. I’ve joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your great post. Also, I have shared your web site in my social networks!

  11. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    5:30 a.m.

    Hello there, I found your web site by way of Google while searching for a comparable subject, your web site came up, it seems great. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

  12. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    10:35 a.m.

    I like this site very much, Its a very nice post to read and get information.

  13. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    11:24 p.m.

    Yay google is my king assisted me to find this outstanding website ! .

  14. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    12:03 a.m.

    Very instructive and wonderful complex body part of content, now that’s user friendly (:.

  15. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    5:19 p.m.

    It’s really a great and helpful piece of info. I am glad that you shared this helpful info with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

  16. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    9:48 p.m.

    I simply couldn’t leave your web site prior to suggesting that I really enjoyed the standard info an individual supply to your guests? Is gonna be back continuously in order to check out new posts

  17. Google

    July 26, 2015
    8:13 a.m.

    Sites of interest we have a link to.

  18. bespoke storage

    July 29, 2015
    5:55 p.m.

    one of our guests not long ago advised the following website

Sign In

Forgot password?



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

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...