House Republicans Vote for Increased Oversight on Iran Deal
The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed Republican-proposed legislation that would create greater oversight on the Iran nuclear deal and restrict President Barack Obama’s ability to lift sanctions on Iran.
The ‘Iran Terror Finance Transparency Act’ passed by 191 to 106, with almost every yes vote coming from Republicans and almost ever no for Democrats. At least 137 members missed the vote after Speaker Paul Ryan gaveled to a close to keep the House on schedule, according to AP.
Rep. Eliot Engel, the highest ranking Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Committee and an opponent of the Iran deal, said the bill seemed to be aimed at embarrassing Obama by establishing requirements that would be impossible to meet. “We should go back to the drawing board rather than ramming through a partisan measure,” he said. “It would make it impossible for the United States to meet its obligations under the JCPOA. Rather than holding Iran’s feet to the fire and strengthening oversight, we seem to be going down the same path we’ve taken with the Affordable Care Act.”
The White House announced that the president will veto the bill if it reaches his desk.
President Obama dedicated a single line for the Iran deal in his final State of the Union address on Tuesday. “As we speak, Iran has rolled back its nuclear program, shipped out its uranium stockpile, and the world has avoided another war,” the president said.
Secretary of State John Kerry addressed Iran’s compliance with the nuclear agreement in a speech laying out the administration’s foreign policy agenda for 2016. “As agreed, Iran is now well on its way to dismantling critical elements of its nuclear facilities. Just yesterday the foreign minister reported to me that the calandria of the plutonium nuclear reactor is now out. And in the next hours it will be filled with concrete and destroyed,” Kerry said. “All of their enriched material has been put on a ship and taken out and gone to Russia for processing. That shipment that was taken out in one day more than tripled our previous timeline of two to three months for Iran to be able to acquire enough weapons-grade uranium for one weapon, and it is an important part of the technical equation that will bring the breakout time to at least one year for the next ten years.”