Republicans Expected to Buck Conservatives on Iran Bill

Republicans Expected to Buck Conservatives on Iran Bill Republicans Expected to Buck Conservatives on Iran Bill

House Republican leaders are unlikely to allow amendments to the Senate-passed Iran bill, bucking a clutch of conservatives who wanted to change the language, Politico reported citing multiple sources familiar with internal planning.

The move all but assures passage of the legislation when it comes up for a House vote, probably today. It was approved by the Senate last week, 98-1. Republican leadership was expected to discuss its plans at a closed-door party meeting on Wednesday.

Members of the House Freedom Caucus, led by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), are pushing for Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) to allow amendments. A group of conservatives believe the legislation is too weak.

But leadership aides say the decision not to entertain amendments is all but final.

Allowing amendments would be a politically perilous move. Many of the changes under discussion would be difficult for members of both parties to vote against. But any amendment to the bill would sink the legislation, which was crafted with input from Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and the White House.

Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), a Senate candidate, released a list of amendments he is prepared to offer. One would require that Iran to “pay reparations for all US servicemen killed or harmed in Iraq due directly or indirectly to the (alleged) involvement of any Iranian funded or supported groups.” Another would bar the lifting of sanctions on Iran until it is certified that it has shuttered its nuclear program. Another DeSantis proposal would require Iran to allow the International Atomic Energy Agency into “all Iranian military sites at any time.” The Republican also wants the Obama administration to make the “negotiating record” available for review by members of Congress.

“This legislation, unfortunately, is inadequate to the task and stated mission: it virtually assures that Congress will be unable to prevent a very bad deal from being agreed to and implemented between Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany),” Freedom Caucus members write in a letter they are currently circulating.