McConnell: Senate will extend Iran sanctions in lame-duck
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFlorida Democrat hits administration over small business loan rollout The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Dybul interview; Boris Johnson update Schumer says nation will 'definitely' need new coronavirus relief bill MORE (R-Ky.) said Wednesday that the Senate will vote to extend sanctions on Iran sanctions before the end of the year. 

"Yes, we are going to pass that," he told reporters, asked about the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA). "We're going to take up the House bill. I think it's already held at the desk. And we're going to pass it." 
 
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The House voted Tuesday 419-1 to extend the ISA, currently set to expire before 2017, for 10 years.
 
Senate Republicans had initially hoped to pass an ISA extension as part of a broader bill of new sanctions on Iran amid lingering fallout over the Iran nuclear agreement and a string of ballistic missile tests. 
 
A proposal backed by Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, as well as GOP Sens. Tom Cotton (Ark.), Dan Sullivan (Alaska) and Marco Rubio (Fla.), and Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Bob Menendez (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.
 
But that proposal had gained pushback from some Democrats, and Corker acknowledged on Wednesday that the Senate would pass a "clean" 10-year extension. 
 
 
The White House has tussled with lawmakers over the timing of an extension, but held off issuing a veto threat. Asked about the law last month, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said "I won’t prejudge at this point about whether or not the President would sign that bill." 
 
"I would just make the point that the kind of authority that Congress is saying the executive branch should have to confront Iran is the kind of executive authority that we already have and have already used to confront Iran for their support for terrorism, for their ballistic missile program, and for frequent and repeated violations of basic human rights," he added.