Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 9, 2015

Ukraine Bill Could Attract Amendments on Iran Sanctions, Natural Gas Exports

John Thune

Thune said an aid package for Ukraine could draw amendments related to Iran. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Some Senate Republicans said the upcoming aid package for Ukraine could draw an amendment adding sanctions on Iran, although others cautioned against that approach.

“It could be,” Republican Conference Chairman John Thune, R-S.D., said when asked if such an amendment would come up. “I am sure there will be some interest.”

Thune said he had not heard of a member planning to offer an Iran sanctions amendment, but other Republicans said it could be a tempting legislative vehicle.

“Potentially,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said when asked about the possibility.

“The problem with Iran sanctions around here is they won’t even give us a vote on it,” Rubio continued. “We are always looking for opportunities to have a vote on that issue. That is another pressing national security concern, perhaps even more pressing than the situation in Ukraine.”

Thune and other Republicans also said to expect an amendment to expedite natural gas exports to Ukraine.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is currently working on an aid package for Ukraine following the incursion by the Russian military into Crimea after a popular uprising ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Republican-led House passed its Ukraine aid package Thursday and the Democratic-run Senate is expected to act on its proposal in the near future. The House measure would allow Ukraine to be eligible for up to $1 billion in loan guarantees under a State Department program, although it doesn’t include separate International Monetary Fund lending authority sought Thursday by President Barack Obama.

“Today, House Republicans acted swiftly to provide the Administration with authority to issue loan guarantees to Ukraine,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said in a release. “Russia’s invasion of a sovereign nation is a violation of international law and its legal commitments. Our actions today demonstrate that the United States stands in support of the Ukrainian people and their government. Time is of the essence, and I urge my colleagues in the Senate to pass this bill swiftly so we can provide the President with the tools he needs to help stabilize Ukraine.”

Republicans have been pushing for vote on a pending Iran sanctions bill sponsored by Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.

But Senate Majority Harry Reid, D-Nev., has been unwilling to take up the Iran measure because the White House doesn’t want any congressional action while negotiations with Iran to keep them from developing a nuclear weapon are ongoing.

Republicans sought to force a vote last month on the Iran sanctions bill in connection with a Democratic veterans bill, sponsored by Vermont independent Sen. Bernard Sanders, which would have improved health care and dental care, expand educational opportunities and helped the Department of Veterans Affairs address a disability claims backlog.

The GOP offered its own veterans bill — sponsored by Sen. Richard M. Burr, R-N.C. — that included much of the Sanders package and a provision on additional Iran sanctions.

The issue derailed the Sanders bill because Democrats, who control 55 votes in the Senate, could not win the Republican votes needed for the 60 votes required to overcome a procedural hurdle.

Some Republicans worried that if an Iran sanctions amendment were offered, the Ukraine aid package could suffer the same fate.

“As much as I am for Iran sanctions, no I don’t want to confuse the two national security crises,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. “I think I am sort of the Iran sanctions guy [in the Senate]. I would say ‘no, stand down.’

“The president is upping his game in the last 24 hours,” Graham continued. “Keep it up Mr. President. The House is moving; I like the way we are pushing back.”

Graham said he wouldn’t put too much stock in a vote scheduled for March 16 for the Crimean people to decide whether to secede from Ukraine. The Crimean regional government voted to secede Thursday.

“This effort to have a vote on the fate of the Crimea in two weeks is a joke,” Graham said. “Can you imagine voting against Putin with a tank outside your door?”

Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., said he too thinks the two issues should be kept on different tracks.

“I voted for our version of the VA bill because it had the Iran sanctions in it and I think we ought to do that,” Isakson said. “Ukraine is a specific issue based on Russian provocation. We probably should address it singularly.”

Comments (41)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

author email

  1. John Sage

    March 6, 2014
    6:18 p.m.

    How about if the Republicans offer an amendment censuring Obama and demanding his impeachment?

    That would fit right in with the rest of their hallucinations.

    Oh. And a Constitutional amendment prohibiting all abortions. And one outlawing Teh Gay…

    • Tom

      March 7, 2014
      6:02 a.m.

      I agree with Republicans prob 3/4 of the time but sanctions on Iran are the last thing we need….again. We’ve had opportunity to mend relations with them time and time again and we just hold our ground when they are giving us a fair deal. It happened with Bush in 2002, it happened with Obama in 2010/11. One of the only things I can say I approve that he has done is his most recent endeavor to repair, or should I say, restart relations with Iran.

  2. Stephen Barlow

    March 7, 2014
    9:44 a.m.

    SCUTTLING long overdue much needed healthcare for 13 years of WOUNDED WARRIORS who wait 1000 days for treatment because scuttling the Peace Process with Iran THAT IS WORKING is more important ISN’T ENOUGH TREASON for the Republicans.

    The RAPE GUARANTEE for women in the military, which is what SCUTTLING Gillibrand’s Military Sexual Assault protections amounts to, ISN’T ENOUGH SEXIST TREASON to perpetrate on our female warriors… these FASCISTS OF THE GOP are going to push to SUPPORT PUTIN on the Crimean package as well.

    ALl the UKraine needs to do is ASK for NATO to help Just like Kuwait did. We are TREATY BOUND to move forces from Afghanistan (saying f*ck you Karzai) 1000 miles to hold “joint Ukrainian-American ‘manuvers RIGHT ON THE RUSSIAN BORDER. We can land them on the Western Crimea and then we can watch Putin put up a “Crimean Wall”.

    Frankly, I think we should turn in our “World Police badge and just use ‘Putin Squads’ (you know… markedly American armed, supplied and controlled “local troops” to make policy changes anywhere on the globe we want.

    HEY!!! Let the Ukraine hire BLACKWATER with the aide package!!!! Then Putin would have no defence

    This would also be a great time to put a resolution before the entire UN to REMOVE THE SOVIETS, er Russian Federation from the Security Council. Because without THAT voice, Syria would fall.

  3. The truth is that ...

    March 7, 2014
    2:36 p.m.

    In a related article we find Debbie Wasserman-Schwartz’s lies about the Middle East exposed:

  4. Stephen Barlow

    March 7, 2014
    4:15 p.m.

    WOW!!! They cam make moves in 2 days that affect 200 people in the energy industry. But 40 MILLION people in poverty and it takes then 4 years to say NO with the SAME money!

  5. Anonymous

    July 4, 2015
    3:28 p.m.

    I have recently started a blog, the information you offer on this website has helped me tremendously. Thank you for all of your time & work. “The more sand that has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.” by Jean Paul.

  6. Anonymous

    July 7, 2015
    8:19 a.m.

    Very interesting topic, appreciate it for putting up.

  7. Anonymous

    July 9, 2015
    6:39 a.m.

    Rattling nice design and style and excellent content material, nothing at all else we need : D.

  8. Anonymous

    July 18, 2015
    9:07 a.m.

    Very interesting info !Perfect just what I was looking for!

  9. Anonymous

    July 19, 2015
    9:23 a.m.

    Hello! I simply wish to give a huge thumbs up for the nice info you will have here on this post. I will be coming back to your weblog for more soon.

  10. Anonymous

    July 21, 2015
    12:59 a.m.

    I’m really loving the theme/design of your site. Do you ever run into any web browser compatibility issues? A handful of my blog visitors have complained about my website not operating correctly in Explorer but looks great in Safari. Do you have any ideas to help fix this problem?

  11. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    5:49 a.m.

    Superb website you have here but I was curious if you knew of any user discussion forums that cover the same topics talked about in this article? I’d really love to be a part of community where I can get comments from other knowledgeable individuals that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Thanks a lot!

  12. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    5:35 p.m.

    I like your writing style genuinely enjoying this web site.

  13. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    5:36 p.m.

  14. Anonymous

    July 28, 2015
    10:09 a.m.

    Lovely website! I am loving it!! Will be back later to read some more. I am taking your feeds also

  15. Anonymous

    July 31, 2015
    10:45 a.m.

    A person essentially help to make severely posts I would state. This is the very first time I frequented your web page and thus far? I amazed with the research you made to create this actual put up amazing. Magnificent process!

  16. Anonymous

    Aug. 2, 2015
    5:36 p.m.

    I have been absent for a while, but now I remember why I used to love this blog. Thanks, I will try and check back more often. How frequently you update your web site?

  17. Anonymous

    Aug. 6, 2015
    8:43 a.m.

    so much wonderful info on here, : D.

  18. Anonymous

    Aug. 7, 2015
    5:32 a.m.

    I really like your writing style, wonderful info, thank you for putting up :D. “Faith is a continuation of reason.” by William Adams.

  19. Anonymous

    Aug. 7, 2015
    9:07 a.m.

    Thank you a lot for sharing this with all people you actually recognise what you’re speaking about! Bookmarked. Please additionally consult with my web site =). We can have a hyperlink alternate agreement between us!

  20. Anonymous

    Aug. 9, 2015
    9:56 p.m.

    Wow! Thank you! I permanently needed to write on my blog something like that. Can I implement a fragment of your post to my blog?

  21. Anonymous

    Aug. 18, 2015
    6:29 a.m.

    Hello! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a group of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us beneficial information to work on. You have done a outstanding job!

  22. Anonymous

    Aug. 24, 2015
    12:08 p.m.

    I dugg some of you post as I thought they were very useful very helpful

  23. Anonymous

    Aug. 30, 2015
    1:13 a.m.

    Thank you for another informative blog. Where else could I get that type of information written in such an ideal way? I’ve a project that I am just now working on, and I’ve been on the look out for such information.

  24. Anonymous

    Sept. 3, 2015
    11:08 a.m.

    js0gOn Thanks again for the article.Much thanks again. Awesome.

  25. Anonymous

    Sept. 7, 2015
    11:29 p.m.

    Those are yours alright! . We at least need to get these people stealing images to start blogging! They probably just did a image search and grabbed them. They look good though!

  26. Anonymous

    Sept. 8, 2015
    5:30 a.m.

    Wow! Thank you! I continually needed to write on my blog something like that. Can I implement a portion of your post to my site?,347837940,title,Czarter-jachtow-shine,index.html

  27. Anonymous

    Sept. 13, 2015
    3:57 a.m.

    Hey! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a collection of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us valuable information to work on. You have done a marvellous job!

  28. Anonymous

    Sept. 17, 2015
    2:57 a.m.

    I do enjoy the way you have framed this challenge and it does indeed present us a lot of fodder for thought. Nonetheless, because of what precisely I have seen, I basically hope as the actual commentary stack on that people stay on issue and in no way get started on a soap box involving the news of the day. Still, thank you for this exceptional point and while I do not really concur with it in totality, I respect your perspective.

  29. Anonymous

    Sept. 17, 2015
    8:10 p.m.

    This is a very good tips especially to those new to blogosphere, brief and accurate information… Thanks for sharing this one. A must read article.

  30. esurance quote

    Sept. 20, 2015
    10:26 a.m.

    Try discounts up to 40 percent on auto or home insurance, get quotes by zip code from top insurance companies.

  31. state farm auto quote

    Sept. 21, 2015
    10:22 a.m.

    Whats amazing post here. I will turn attention on your description.

  32. amica homeowners insurance

    Sept. 22, 2015
    3:51 p.m.

    Save more with us and online auto insurance comparison.

  33. amax dallas tx

    Sept. 22, 2015
    5:55 p.m.

    Also I suggest everyone try our huge discounts on auto or home insurance

  34. Anonymous

    Sept. 22, 2015
    10:56 p.m.

    Nice post. I was checking continuously this blog and I am impressed! Extremely useful info particularly the last part :) I care for such information a lot. I was seeking this particular information for a very long time. Thank you and good luck.


    Sept. 23, 2015
    11:32 a.m.

    Choose our best quotes from mutual home and auto insurance companies. Save on policies!

  36. Anonymous

    Sept. 23, 2015
    5:22 p.m.

    You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and extremely broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

  37. Anonymous

    Sept. 26, 2015
    3:16 p.m.

    Howdy, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one and i was just wondering if you get a lot of spam remarks? If so how do you reduce it, any plugin or anything you can recommend? I get so much lately it’s driving me crazy so any support is very much appreciated.

  38. Anonymous

    Oct. 2, 2015
    6:01 a.m.

    acerca de El Fuerteventura atronera Ese cosmonauta experimentado, Aquel geodesta se alcohola Un yen eoceno. Cual Fuerteventura arrebola El acerista maligno

  39. Anonymous

    Oct. 6, 2015
    5:34 a.m.

    Hello! I just would like to give a huge thumbs up for the great info you have here on this post. I will be coming back to your blog for more soon.

  40. omega insurance company

    Oct. 7, 2015
    10:43 a.m.

    Compare Omega insurance quotes on auto or car policy, save time and money here!

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...