The two sole Republicans who haven't endorsed a new Iran sanctions bill tell The Hill they could still vote for it if it comes to the floor.
Sens. Rand PaulRand PaulTrump, GOP fumble chance to govern GOP senators pitch alternatives after House pulls ObamaCare repeal bill Rand Paul takes victory lap on GOP health bill MORE (R-Ky.) and Jeff FlakeJeff FlakeOvernight Regulation: Senate moves to strike Obama-era internet privacy rules Overnight Tech: Senate votes to eliminate Obama internet privacy rules | FCC chief wants to stay out of 'political debate' on fake news | Wikileaks reveals new CIA docs Senate votes to block internet privacy regulations MORE (R-Ariz.) say they're giving the Obama administration time to reach a nuclear deal with Iran, but their patience has limits.
Flake's office said Congress will need to take action if negotiators don't soon reach agreement on the technical details of the deal reached in Geneva late last year. Implementation doesn't start until then.
“Talks on implementation of the Nov. 24 agreement are ongoing, but time is running out,” Flake's office said. “If Iran is simply using this as another stalling tactic, further congressional action will be warranted.”
A total of 59 senators — 43 Republicans and 16 Democrats — have so far endorsed the bipartisan bill from Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.).
The bill would slap new restrictions on Iran's energy sector if the country reneges on its commitments under the preliminary deal reached in November or fails to agree to a final deal that bars the country from enriching uranium. The White House says the sanctions could derail nuclear talks and is pressing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) not to hold a vote.
Please send tips and comments to Julian Pecquet: email@example.com
—This post was updated at 2:50 p.m.