Dem wants more funds for Iran deal watchdog

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Sen. Chris CoonsChris CoonsAttorney general says she will defer to FBI on Clinton emails Lynch pressured to recuse herself after Clinton tarmac meeting Lynch meeting with Bill Clinton creates firestorm for email case MORE (D-Del.) pledged Wednesday to work to get more funding for the group responsible for making sure Iran doesn't cheat on the nuclear deal, suggesting President Obama's budget request doesn't go far enough. 

"As a member of the Appropriations Committee, I am committed to doing everything I can to increase funding for the [International Atomic Energy Agency] during the Appropriations process," he said in a statement. "However, this goal is made considerably more difficult by the administration’s low baseline request.”
 
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Coons, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, separately told reporters that while the president is supporting a "modest increase," it is less than the additional $10.6 million per year that the IAEA is requesting to help make sure Iran is complying with the nuclear agreement. 
 
Coons pointed to the president's fiscal year 2017 budget request — released Tuesday — in which the administration asks for nearly $191 million for the agency, compared to an estimated $186.07 million in the 2016 fiscal year.  
 
While the IAEA didn't specifically request that all of the extra funding come from the Obama administration, the U.S. government is the agency's biggest financial backer.
 
Coons stressed that "adequate, long-term funding" is crucial for the IAEA to be able to carry out its obligations under the Iran nuclear agreement. 
 
"The IAEA will be unable to attract the best and brightest scientists and utilize cutting edge technologies needed to stem proliferation around the world," he said. 

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