Dems to McConnell: Pass 'clean' extension of Iran sanctions

Senate Democrats are demanding Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHouse to act on debt ceiling next week White House warns GOP of serious consequences on debt ceiling Lindsey Graham: Police need 'to take a firm line' with Sept. 18 rally attendees MORE bring up a straight 10-year extension of key Iran sanctions once lawmakers return to Washington next month.

Seven Democrats — led by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) — sent a letter to the Kentucky Republican asking that he "prioritize" a clean extension of the Iran Sanctions Act during the Senate's end-of-year session. 
 
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"Passing this vital legislation before its expiration is crucial to ensuring with the utmost certainty that the United States will continue to have the sanctions enforcement mechanism our national security demands," they wrote in Wednesday's letter, a copy of which was also sent to Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) who chairs the Banking Committee. 
 
McConnell said last year that any Iran proposal would need to have 67 votes — enough to overcome a potential veto — before he would allow it to get floor time. 
 
The Iran Sanctions Act will expire at the end of the year without congressional action. Though there is wide-spread support for extending ISA, lawmakers are deeply divided over what should be included in an extension. 
 
Top Democrats, including Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidDemocrats say Biden must get more involved in budget fight Biden looks to climate to sell economic agenda Justice Breyer issues warning on remaking Supreme Court: 'What goes around comes around' MORE (D-Nev.) and Sens. Charles SchumerChuck SchumerBiden discusses agenda with Schumer, Pelosi ahead of pivotal week CEOs urge Congress to raise debt limit or risk 'avoidable crisis' If .5 trillion 'infrastructure' bill fails, it's bye-bye for an increasingly unpopular Biden MORE (N.Y.) and Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinOvernight Defense & National Security: War ends, but finger pointing continues Harris presides over Senate passage of bill assisting Americans fleeing Afghanistan Senate panel votes to repeal Iraq war authorizations MORE (Md.), introduced an extension that would run through 2026 earlier the year. 
 
 
Republicans want to tie the ISA extension to broader penalties against Iran amid lingering fallout over last year's separate nuclear agreement with Iran, and a string of recent missile tests by that country. 
 
A proposal backed by Sen. 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, as well as GOP Sens. Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonOvernight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley becomes lightning rod on right Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Senate Democrats ding Biden energy proposal MORE (Ark.), Dan Sullivan (Alaska) and Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioMilley says calls to China were 'perfectly within the duties' of his job Overnight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley becomes lightning rod on right MORE (Fla.), and Democratic Sens. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinBriahna Joy Gray: Push toward major social spending amid pandemic was 'short-lived' Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Emissions heading toward pre-pandemic levels Biden discusses agenda with Schumer, Pelosi ahead of pivotal week MORE (W.Va.) and Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezBiden threatens more sanctions on Ethiopia, Eritrea over Tigray conflict Failed drug vote points to bigger challenges for Democrats Overnight Defense & National Security — Blinken heads to the hot seat MORE (N.J.) — who both opposed the nuclear agreement — would extend the sanctions for 10 years.
 
It would also include mandatory new sanctions and limitations on a president's ability to use national security waivers. Sen. Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyottePoll: Potential Sununu-Hassan matchup in N.H. a dead heat  Democrats facing tough reelections back bipartisan infrastructure deal Sununu seen as top recruit in GOP bid to reclaim Senate MORE (R-N.H.) separately tied an extension to sanctions on Iran's ballistic missile program. 
 
Cardin told reporters last month that while he thinks lawmakers will be able to come to do a deal there's a "risk factor" to waiting until the lame-duck session to try to move the sanctions extension. 
 
"There's a risk factor that the leadership may not want it to go by itself, and they might very well put it with other provisions that may be unacceptable," he said. "There's a lot of interest in Congress to deal with Iran, and if that holds up that debate and we're in lame-duck session then it's possible everything could fall."
  
Democratic Sens. Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowSanders says spending plan should be .5T 'at the very least' Senators call on Taiwan for aid in automotive chip shortage Photos of the Week: Infrastructure vote, India floods and a bear MORE (Mich.), Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleyDemocrats revive filibuster fight over voting rights bill Senate backers of new voting rights bill push for swift passage Stacey Abrams backs Senate Democrats' voting rights compromise MORE (Ore.), Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenWant a clean energy future? Look to the tax code Democrats brace for toughest stretch yet with Biden agenda Lawmakers lay out arguments for boosting clean energy through infrastructure MORE (Ore.), Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHarris, CBC put weight behind activist-led National Black Voter Day Seven takeaways from California's recall election Live coverage: California voters to decide Newsom's fate MORE (Minn.), Martin HeinrichMartin Trevor HeinrichOvernight Equilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by Schneider Electric — Deadly Ida floodwaters grip southeast US David Sirota: Seven Democrats who voted against fracking ban trying to secure future elections Deadly extreme heat has arrived: here's how policymakers can save lives MORE (N.M.), and Brian Schatz (Hawaii) also signed Wednesday's letter.