It looks as though Senate Democrats are easing up on pushing for new sanctions in Iran. This decision was made and will need to avoid President Obama and his eagerness to veto new legislations.
Sen. Bob Menendez announced at a Senate hearing that he and his democratic allies have written a letter to the a President about how they plan to hold off on the legislation that he helped write.
Menendez states that there needs to be more time and that, “We will not support passage of the Kirk-Menendez bill on the Senate floor until after March 24, and only if there is no political framework agreement.”
The legislation’s goals are to set up new sanctions in Iran to help curb it’s growing nuclear program that has been in development. The soft deadline for the outlining of the new legislation is due on March 24, and the final deadline will be at the end of June.
While there is a soft deadline that needs to be met in March, Menendez wants to give the Obama Administration till after this time to decide if the new sanction bill is truly needed. While the Obama Administration is deciding, Menendez and 9 other Democratic Senators released a letter that was signed by all of them stating that they support the bill.
This decision really depends on if the Democrats decide to stay with it or reject the bill at the last minute. If enough Democrats decide to not sign the legislation then it could prevent the 54-seat Republican Party from gaining the majority vote that it needs.
Obama, in the State of the Union Address said he was ready to veto any bill that dealt with disrupting nuclear talks, so it is clear that he will be ready to veto this legislation, but if enough Senators support the bill then they could override the President’s veto with a two-thirds majority vote. This could further the tension between the President and Congress.
In the State of the Union Address Obama stated, “New sanctions passed by this Congress, at this moment in time, will all but guarantee that diplomacy fails — alienating America from its allies; making it harder to maintain sanctions; and ensuring that Iran starts up its nuclear program again. It doesn’t make sense.”
Republican lawmakers believe that if Iran walked away from the sanction bill then they never really were interested in the first place, and that more sanctions may show that the US means business.
Sen. Richard Shelby stated on Tuesday that, “It’s clear that sanctions brought Iran to the negotiating table and the threat of future sanctions represent Iran’s only incentive to successfully conclude an agreement here.”