Floor Action

Senators endorse Iran sanctions in budget vote

Senators unanimously approved an amendment Thursday that backs bolstering sanctions against Iran if President Obama can't verify that the country is following a nuclear deal. 

The wave of support came after the amendment, offered by Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), was amended. 

 

The Illinois Republican's amendment originally supported restoring rolled-back sanctions, as well as applying new sanctions, if Iran violated the interim deal currently in place or a long-term agreement on its nuclear program. 

 

The final amendment supports reimposed and new sanctions against Iran if Obama "cannot make a determination and certify that Iran is complying" with an agreement. 

 

The amendment establishes a "deficit-neutral reserve fund," meaning that it can't add to the deficit, and is nonbinding, but it does get senators on the record on Iran sanctions. 

 

Kirk is behind a separate piece of legislation that would ratchet up sanctions against Iran. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said earlier this week that lawmakers would take up that bill if a deal isn't reached. 

 

Negotiators are currently facing an end-of-the-month deadline to reach a framework agreement for a long-term nuclear deal, with a final deadline at the end of June. 

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