Senate Dems introduce Iran sanctions extension
© Haiyun Jiang

Senate Democrats are rolling out an extension of a law imposing sanctions on Iran, setting up a likely fight over this issue once lawmakers return to Washington. 

Lawmakers announced Friday that they had introduced legislation to extend the Iran Sanctions Act — currently set to expire at the end of the year — through 2026.
 
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The legislation has the backing of 14 Democrats, including Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidVoters need to feel the benefit, not just hear the message Schumer-McConnell dial down the debt ceiling drama Mellman: Are independents really so independent? MORE (Nev.); Sen. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinIt's time for Congress to guarantee Medigap Health Insurance for vulnerable Americans with kidney disease Senators call for Smithsonian Latino, women's museums to be built on National Mall Democrats plow ahead as Manchin yo-yos MORE (Md.), the ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee; and Sen. Charles SchumerChuck SchumerDemocratic frustration growing over stagnating voting rights bills Schumer mourns death of 'amazing' father Feehery: The honest contrarian MORE (N.Y.), who is expected to be the next Senate Democratic leader. 
 
“It is essential that Congress keep Iran’s feet to the fire to make sure they do not violate the [nuclear deal]," Schumer said in a statement. "This bill would provide the sanction authority that helps us do just that."
 
Cardin added that he hopes Congress will be able to move the legislation quickly once lawmakers return to Washington in September. 
 
"It is clear that we need to reauthorize the Iran Sanctions Act before the end of the year," he said. "Doing so is vital if the United States wants to retain a credible deterrent of snapback sanctions."
 
Despite bipartisan support in the Senate for extending the act, which includes sanctions targeting Iran's missile activities, lawmakers are split over how to renew the law.
 
Sens. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerCheney set to be face of anti-Trump GOP How leaving Afghanistan cancels our post-9/11 use of force The unflappable Liz Cheney: Why Trump Republicans have struggled to crush her  MORE (R-Tenn.), the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee; Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezFive ways Senate could change Biden's spending plan Spending bill faces Senate scramble Republicans raise concerns over Biden's nominee for ambassador to Germany MORE (D-N.J.); Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioRepublicans struggle to save funding for Trump's border wall Rubio: Dropping FARC from terrorist list threatens Colombians, US security This Thanksgiving, skip the political food fights and talk UFOs instead MORE (R-Fla.); Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonGraham emerges as go-to ally for Biden's judicial picks China draws scrutiny over case of tennis star Peng Shuai Biden says he's 'considering' a diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics MORE (R-Ark.); Joe ManchinJoe ManchinKlobuchar confident spending bill will be finished before Christmas Democratic frustration growing over stagnating voting rights bills Key senators to watch on Democrats' social spending bill MORE (D-W.Va.); and Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) also introduced Iran-related legislation this week after months of negotiations. 
 
While that would extend the sanctions act for 10 years, it also goes further than the Democrats' bill by including new mandatory sanctions and limitations on a president's ability to use national security waivers. The dueling proposals come roughly a year after the completion of the Iran nuclear agreement, which lifts certain sanctions on the country in exchange for curbing its nuclear program.
 
Meanwhile, Sens. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineDemocrats plow ahead as Manchin yo-yos Senate advances defense bill after delay Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by Boeing — Senators to take up defense bill Wednesday MORE (D-Va.) introduced legislation earlier this year that would let the Iran Sanctions Act expire in approximately eight years if Iran complies with the nuclear deal.