Tags: Iran | iran | economic | sanctions | bill | senate | republicans

Senate GOP Debates What to Do Next With Iran Sanctions Bill

By    |   Friday, 30 January 2015 06:24 PM

Now that an Iran economic sanctions bill has made it out of committee, Senate Republicans are debating how to proceed.

Some are arguing that the measure should go straight to the Senate floor for a vote, and some argue that the GOP should proceed more cautiously to ensure enough Democratic support to override a veto by President Barack Obama, The Hill is reporting.

"I think it has been heartbreaking to see how few Democrats, even to this day, are willing to stand up to the Obama administration when it comes to the threat of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons capability," said Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who wants to see a vote happen immediately.

"Sooner is going to be better," said Republican Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma. "Right now is when we need it; as time goes by that is interpreted by our friends and enemies around the world as hesitation."

Republican Sen. John McCain, who is the new chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, thinks a veto-proof bill should be the priority.

The measure will enact economic sanctions on Iran, if the current talks on Iran's nuclear program fail. It was co-authored by Republican Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois and Democrat Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey, and it passed the Senate Banking Committee Thursday, with six Democrats supporting it.

Ten Democrats sent a letter to Obama on Tuesday saying that they will support the measure if a deal is not struck with Iran by March 24, which is when the framework for the deal to curtail Iran's nuclear program is set to be reached.

Republican Sens. Bob Corker of Tennessee and Richard Shelby of Alabama both support waiting until March 24.

Shelby added that whatever Republicans decide that "we have to be together about it."

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said that the Senate should also consider what should be done if Iran walks away from the talks "and what happens if they want to cheat before March 24."

Obama has argued against Congress imposing sanctions at this point, saying that doing so could "jeopardize the possibility of... providing a diplomatic solution to one of the most difficult and long-lasting national security problems that we've faced in a very long time." 

China, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States are all part of the talks.

The point of contention is whether or not Iran should be allowed to continue enriching uranium to use for nuclear power as it dismantles its nuclear program. If an agreement is met, sanctions against Iran will be eased.

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Now that an Iran economic sanctions bill has made it out of committee, Senate Republicans are debating how to proceed.
iran, economic, sanctions, bill, senate, republicans
Friday, 30 January 2015 06:24 PM
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