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Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

As Reid Obstructs, Republicans Demand Vote On Bipartisan Iran Sanctions

Today in Washington, D.C. - Feb 26, 2014
The Senate reconvened at 9:30 AM today. Following 2 hours of morning business, the Senate resumed post-cloture consideration of S. 1982, Democrats’ veterans benefits bill. Yesterday, the Senate voted 99-0 to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to (i.e. cut off debate and take up) S. 1982.

Also yesterday, Democrats continued using the new cloture rules they created by using the nuclear option to break the Senate rules to change the rules to confirm more judicial nominees. The Senate confirmed 3 district court nominees to courts in northern California and eastern Arkansas.

The House reconvened at 10 AM. The House will address:
H.R. 3308 — "To require a Federal agency to include language in certain educational and advertising materials indicating that such materials are produced and disseminated at taxpayer expense."
H.R. 1944 — "To protect private property rights."
H.R. 3865 — "To prohibit the Internal Revenue Service from modifying the standard for determining whether an organization is operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare for purposes of section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986."
H.R. 2804 — "To amend title 5, United States Code, to require the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs to publish information about rules on the Internet, and for other purposes."

Yesterday the House passed the following bills:
H.R. 1123 (295-114) — "To promote consumer choice and wireless competition by permitting consumers to unlock mobile wireless devices, and for other purposes."
H.R. 1211 (410-0) — "To amend section 552 of title 5, United States Code (commonly known as the Freedom of Information Act), to provide for greater public access to information, and for other purposes."
H.R. 1232 (Voice Vote) — "To amend titles 40, 41, and 44, United States Code, to eliminate duplication and waste in information technology acquisition and management."
H.R. 1423 (Voice Vote) — "To provide taxpayers with an annual report disclosing the cost and performance of Government programs and areas of duplication among them, and for other purposes."
H.R. 2530 (Voice Vote) — "To improve transparency and efficiency with respect to audits and communications between taxpayers and the Internal Revenue Service."
H.R. 2531 (Voice Vote) — "To prohibit the Internal Revenue Service from asking taxpayers questions regarding religious, political, or social beliefs."

Iran Sanctions Modification by Sec of State John Kerry
Five days ago, US Secretary of State John Kerry approved the waiver to lift sanctions and then sent it to Congress on Monday to ratify (agree) or deny. The Senate democrat leadership is delaying a vote.

Politico reports, “Senate Republicans are demanding a vote on new Iran sanctions as part of an unrelated bill. Still miffed that they didn’t get an Iran vote as part of a 2013 defense bill, the GOP has rolled sanctions language authored by Sens. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) into its alternative to the Democratic veterans benefits’ bill written by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). By calling for the Senate to vote on a substitute written by Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Republicans are hoping to force Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) into holding a vote that he has repeatedly spurned in recent months. ‘We’ve been trying for months to get a debate and a vote on the Kirk-Menendez Iran sanctions bill,’ Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters 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.’ The sanctions legislation would impose conditional economic penalties on Iran if the country fails to follow through on an interim deal or pulls out of ongoing global negotiations to permanently curtail its nuclear ambitions in return for some sanctions relief.”

On the Senate floor this morning, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said, “It is no exaggeration to say that this is one of the most significant foreign policy challenges of our time, and one we simply have to get right. That’s why a strong bipartisan majority has sought to pass legislation here in the Senate that puts teeth into the negotiations that have followed November’s interim agreement. And that’s why Republican senators — and hopefully some Democrats senators as well — will continue to press the Majority Leader to allow a vote on this legislation before these negotiations end. The Nuclear Weapon-Free Iran Act is a perfectly reasonable bill. It doesn’t disrupt ongoing negotiations. It simply provides an incentive for Iran to keep its commitment under the interim agreement. It says that if Iran doesn’t keep its word, then it faces even tougher sanctions than before. In other words, it puts teeth into the talks that are already taking place. And it’s a recognition of the success we’ve already had as a result of prior sanctions. After all, there’s good reason to believe that sanctions are what brought the Iranians to the table in the first place. So it just stands to reason that if the Iranians break this interim deal, they should face even tougher sanctions than before.... And let me just repeat that strong bipartisan majorities in both houses of Congress agree with that concept.”

Indeed, last summer, the House voted 400-20 to pass this bill, "overwhelmingly approv[ing]” it, as The New York Times put it. In the Senate, the bill was introduced by Sens. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) and has 58 cosponsors, including 15 Democrats. Additional background info on this vote and the Senate's Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2013.

But now that the White House has resisted this bill, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is refusing to allow a vote on it!

As Leader McConnell said, “[T]here’s simply no good reason for the Majority Leader to prevent a vote on this crucial legislation. There is no excuse for muzzling the Congress on an issue of this importance to our own national security, to the security of Israel, our closest ally in the Middle East, and to international stability more broadly. This is that rare issue that should unite the two parties in common purpose. And there’s no question that it would if the Majority Leader would simply drop his reflexive deference to a President whose foreign policy is focused on withdrawing from our overseas commitments. A foreign policy that, at worst, poses a serious threat to our own security and that of our allies.”

Tags: Democrats, delaying vote, Iran Sanctions, John Kerry, Sec. of State, agreement to ease sanction on Iran,  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 1:34 PM - Post Link


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