House shelves plans for vote on Iran sanctions

House Republicans are moving away from a proposal to adopt new Iran sanctions.

Republicans had floated the idea in recent days in order to put pressure on the Democratic-controlled Senate to buck the White House and vote on its sanctions bill. The partisan move irked traditionally pro-Israel Democrats, such as House Minority Whip Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerHoyer heads to the heartland on a ‘listening tour’ Conservatives fear end-of-year ‘Christmas tree’ spending bill Dem leaders increasingly bullish about retaking House MORE (D-Md.) and Rep. Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelHouse passes bill to revoke passports of terror suspects North Korean defector to Congress: Invest more in information campaigns to stop Pyongyang Bipartisan lawmakers push Tillerson to relist North Korea as state terror sponsor MORE (D-N.Y.), however, and the idea appears to have been at least temporarily shelved.

“We're not talking about that at this point in time,” Hoyer told The Hill on Thursday.

Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerTrump's pick for Federal Reserve chief is right choice at right time The two-party system is dying — let’s put it out of its misery One year later, neither party can get past last year's election MORE (R-Ohio) said he's trying to find a bipartisan accommodation that could make Congress's concerns about the nuclear talks clear.

“There’s an awful lot of bipartisan discussions about Iran,” Boehner told reporters during his weekly press conference on Thursday. “We’ve got concerns about the interim agreement, and I think a lot of members on both sides of the aisle would like to state the House’s position more clearly in terms of what we’d like to see in the final agreement. So those conversations are continuing.” 

The White House has launched a full-court press to prevent a vote in the Senate, which the administration says could derail ongoing negotiations and lead to war. The bipartisan legislation, filed by Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Mark KirkMark KirkHigh stakes as Trump heads to Hill Five things to watch for at Trump-Senate GOP meeting Giffords, Scalise highlight party differences on guns MORE (R-Ill.), has the public support of 59 members. The House passed its own sanctions bill on a 400-20 vote over the summer.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) had worked with Hoyer and Engel on a resolution calling for new sanctions, if Iran fails to agree to a final deal that dismantles its nuclear infrastructure. Hoyer pulled his support in December amid heavy lobbying from the White House.

Republicans hope to get Hoyer and other crucial Democrats back on board some kind of Iran resolution, but Engel has made clear a vote on a sanctions bill wasn't the way to get there. 

Please send tips and comments to Julian Pecquet: jpecquet@thehill.com

Follow us on Twitter: @TheHillGlobal and @JPecquetTheHill