Republicans and Democrats Dispute Iran Sanctions Delay
WASHINGTON – With the House still unable to pass Iran sanctions legislation, Members of Congress are disputing the source of delay, naturally based on party lines. Representative Ted Lieu (D-CA) told Jewish Insider, “I assign blame to the Republican leadership because they control the House and the Senate. It is a very hyper-technical issue that I don’t understand why it hasn’t been resolved. If the Republican leadership in the House wanted to, they could simply reintroduce the exact Senate bill in a House bill and pass that. It is not clear why there is this hold up. We need to act on this quickly.”
Two weeks ago, the Senate passed in an overwhelmingly bipartisan fashion 97-2 sanctions that targeted both Tehran and Moscow. However, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) insisted there were no ideological problems holding up the bill. “Once the chairman (Ed Royce) says, we’re moving it, it’s going to move. They are just tied up with other issues, but it has nothing to do with any problem. I wish they would do this because we are getting a lot of press inquiries about the hold-up. There is no issue. Whenever the time is right, they are going to do it,” she noted.
Iran sanctions legislation is one of AIPAC’s top priorities. On Wednesday, the organization issued an “action alert” calling its supporters to call their representatives and support H.R. 1698. For Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-NY), President Trump is to blame for the delay. “We really should see the same type of bipartisan cooperation in the House to pass the exact same sanctions bill. This must be the President has – I’m sure -talked to the leadership in the House,” he said.
Next week, Congress will be in recess for the July 4 holiday, further postponing the issue. If lawmakers are unable to pass the bill by the end of July, the legislation will face the month-long August recess.