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 ReidThe Hill's Morning Report - Sanders on the rise as Nevada debate looms Bottom line Harry Reid: 'People should not be counting Joe Biden out of the race yet' MORE (Nev.); Sen. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinDemocrats worried about Trump's growing strength Senate Democrats queasy over Sanders as nominee Schumer: Trump address 'demagogic, undignified, highly partisan' MORE (Md.), the ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee; and Sen. Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerBarr to testify before House Judiciary panel Graham won't call Barr to testify over Roger Stone sentencing recommendation Roger Stone witness alleges Trump targeted prosecutors in 'vile smear job' 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.
 
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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.