US Senate Republicans are seeking to revive a bill that would impose new sanctions on Iran and will bring the United States “closer to war with Iran.”
The Huffington Post reported on Tuesday that Republicans are dragging the upper chamber to a halt in an effort to force a vote on the bill that would tighten sanctions on Iran amid nuclear talks between Tehran and major world powers.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez and Sen. Mark Kirk are lead sponsors of the Senate sanctions bill.
GOP Senator Jerry Moran on Monday blocked votes on military sexual assault legislation by demanding that an amendment on Iran sanctions be added to the bills.
Senate Republicans on Tuesday pulled the same move with different legislation.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said that Iran sanctions would be included in the Republican alternative to a military veterans bill offered by Sen. Bernie Sanders.
“We’ve been trying for months to get a debate and a vote on the Kirk-Menendez Iran sanctions bill,” McConnell told reporters on Tuesday.
“We’ll be discussing it at length on the floor on why we should go forward with that legislation and why we ought to get a vote on it, because it’s a very time sensitive matter,” he added.
The Iran sanctions bill died last month after the White House launched a full court press to kill the bill, which had garnered the backing of 59 senators.
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid indicated there will be no vote on the legislation.
"I've had 10 Democratic chairs write to me saying this is not the time for sanctions," Reid said.
US President Barack Obama strongly opposed the bill, warning that he would veto the legislation if it is passed.
“Let me be clear: if this Congress sends me a new sanctions bill now that threatens to derail these talks, I will veto it,” Obama said.
The White House has warned that the passage of new sanctions would represent a “march toward war” and challenged those members of Congress who support the bill to acknowledge that they favor military action against Iran.
“If certain members of Congress want the United States to take military action, they should be up front with the American public and say so,” National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said.