By Julian Pecquet - 01/10/14 10:30 AM EST
An Iran sanctions bill opposed by the White House continues to gain traction in Congress, with 59 senators officially signing on as of Friday morning — just one shy of a filibuster-proof majority.
Another five lawmakers, all Republicans, signed on as co-sponsors on Thursday. Only two Republicans have so far abstained: Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), both of whom are libertarian-leaning members critical of U.S. involvement in the Middle East.
The drip-drip of co-sponsorships is putting pressure on Senate Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to buck the White House and schedule a vote on the bill. The bill would slap new sanctions on Iran's energy sector if it reneges on a preliminary deal reached in November or fails to agree to a final deal that bars it from enriching uranium, which the Obama administration says would imperial nuclear talks.
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