GOP scores procedural win by securing more funding to enforce Iran sanctions

GOP scores procedural win by securing more funding to enforce Iran sanctions
© Greg Nash

House Republicans on Wednesday scored a procedural victory by successfully amending a spending bill to include language that would increase funding to strengthen Iran sanctions.

Thirty-seven Democrats joined Republicans in voting for the motion to commit to change the bill, led by Rep. Tom GravesJohn (Tom) Thomas GravesHouse extends Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress for another year Modernize Congress to make it work for the people 5 Republicans who could replace Isakson in Georgia's Senate race MORE (R-Ga.), adding an additional $10 million for the Treasury Department's Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. The motion passed in a 226-195 vote.

“In yet another example of deep divisions among House Democrats, 37 of them just broke with their leadership to pass the Republican Motion to Recommit to increase the enforcement of sanctions on Iran,” Lauren Fine, a spokeswoman for House Minority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseLive updates on impeachment: Schiff fires warning at GOP over whistleblower Bottom Line Trump allies assail impeachment on process while House Democrats promise open hearings soon MORE (R-La.), said in a statement.

“It’s clear that even these 37 Democrats acknowledge their party’s Iran appeasement stance is wildly out of step with the views of the American public," she added.

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Democratic Reps. Cindy AxneCindy AxneIowa Democrat tops Ernst in third-quarter fundraising for Senate race Pelosi-backed group funding ads for vulnerable Democrats amid impeachment inquiry Centrist House Democrats press for committees to follow pay-go rule MORE (Iowa), Anthony Brindisi (N.Y.), Gil CisnerosGilbert (Gil) Ray CisnerosMORE (Calif.), Angie Craig (Minn.), Charlie CristCharles (Charlie) Joseph CristThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump's new controversy Florida Rep. Charlie Crist endorses Biden Pelosi says she'll no longer address anything Barr says MORE (Fla.), Jason CrowJason CrowBill introduced to give special immigrant visas to Kurds who helped US in Syria Congress set for showdown with Trump over Kurds Bipartisan lawmakers who visited Syrian border slam Trump's 'rash decision' MORE (Colo.), Joe CunninghamJoseph CunninghamConservative group unveils million ad campaign against Trump impeachment Club for Growth extends advertising against House Dems over impeachment Progressive freshmen jump into leadership PAC fundraising MORE (S.C.), Antonio DelgadoAntonio Ramon DelgadoProgressive Latino group launches first incumbent protection campaign Trump impeachment battle hits TV ads Pelosi-backed group funding ads for vulnerable Democrats amid impeachment inquiry MORE (N.Y.), Abby FinkenauerAbby Lea FinkenauerSecond-tier Democrats face do-or-die phase Freshman Iowa lawmaker engaged to Warren staffer Iowa Democrat tops Ernst in third-quarter fundraising for Senate race MORE (Iowa), Jared Golden (Maine), Vicente Gonzalez (Texas), Josh GottheimerJoshua (Josh) GottheimerProgressive group unveils first slate of 2020 congressional endorsements Hillicon Valley: Critics press feds to block Google, Fitbit deal | Twitter takes down Hamas, Hezbollah-linked accounts | TikTok looks to join online anti-terrorism effort | Apple pledges .5B to affordable housing Twitter takes down Hamas, Hezbollah-affiliated accounts after lawmaker pressure MORE (N.J.), Josh Harder (Calif.), Kendra HornKendra Suzanne HornHow centrist Dems learned to stop worrying and love impeachment Democrats, GOP dig in for public phase of impeachment battle House panel advances resolution outlining impeachment inquiry MORE (Okla.), Chrissy Houlahan (Pa.), Andy Kim (N.J.) and Conor Lamb (Pa.) all bucked party leadership in supporting the motion.

Other Democrats who voted for it included Reps. Susie LeeSuzanne (Susie) Kelley LeeMORE (Nev.), Daniel LipinskiDaniel William LipinskiDemocrats unveil impeachment procedures The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden camp faces new challenges Booker endorses Lipinski challenger MORE (Ill.), David Loebsack (Iowa), Elaine LuriaElaine Goodman LuriaLawmakers under pressure to pass benefits fix for military families Pelosi-backed group funding ads for vulnerable Democrats amid impeachment inquiry Mass shootings have hit 158 House districts so far this year MORE (Va.), Tom MalinowskiThomas (Tom) MalinowskiDiplomat ties Trump closer to Ukraine furor Impeachment week: Trump probe hits crucial point Warren doubles down — to Democrats' chagrin, and Trump's delight MORE (N.J.), Sean Patrick Maloney (N.Y.), Ben McAdams (Utah), Lucy McBathLucia (Lucy) Kay McBathDemocrats will win back the Senate majority in 2020, all thanks to President Trump How centrist Dems learned to stop worrying and love impeachment DACA student at Yale petitions to protect mother recovering with cancer from deportation MORE (Ga.), Stephanie MurphyStephanie MurphyTrump administration unveils new plan for notifying public on 2020 election interference Overnight Health Care: House Dems clash over Pelosi drug pricing bill | Senate blocks effort to roll back Trump ObamaCare moves | Number of uninsured children rises House Democrats clash over Pelosi's drug pricing bill MORE (Fla.), Collin PetersonCollin Clark PetersonHow centrist Dems learned to stop worrying and love impeachment GOP lawmaker says House impeachment rules vote 'doesn't change anything for me' Majority of Americans see impeachment inquiry as fair: poll MORE (Minn.), Max RoseMax RoseHillicon Valley: Critics press feds to block Google, Fitbit deal | Twitter takes down Hamas, Hezbollah-linked accounts | TikTok looks to join online anti-terrorism effort | Apple pledges .5B to affordable housing Twitter takes down Hamas, Hezbollah-affiliated accounts after lawmaker pressure FBI chief says racist extremists fueling one another, making connections overseas MORE (N.Y.), Brad SchneiderBradley (Brad) Scott SchneiderHouse Democrat pushes back against concerns that impeachment inquiry could spark political backlash Dem Congressman discusses plan to keep the house blue The Hill's Morning Report - New impeachment battle: Pompeo vs. House Dems MORE (Ill.), Kurt SchraderWalter (Kurt) Kurt SchraderCaution for Democrats: Voters care more about drug pricing than impeaching Trump Here are the House Democrats who aren't backing Trump impeachment inquiry Centrist Democrats fret over impeachment gamble MORE (Ore.), Kim SchrierKimberly (Kim) Merle SchrierSwing-seat Democrats oppose impeachment, handing Pelosi leverage Second Democrat representing Trump district backs impeachment House Democrats inch toward majority support for impeachment MORE (Wash.), Mikie SherrillRebecca (Mikie) Michelle SherrillHillicon Valley: Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract in court | State antitrust investigation into Google expands | Intel agencies no longer collecting location data without warrant Bipartisan bill to secure election tech advances to House floor Our commitment to veterans can help us lead for all Americans MORE (N.J.), Elissa SlotkinElissa SlotkinOvernight Health Care: Walden won't seek reelection | Senate Dems to vote this week to overturn Trump ObamaCare moves | Largest children's migrant shelter to close | Vulnerable Republicans balk at drug pricing bill House passes third bill aimed at preventing foreign election interference Avoiding the snake in the grass: Let's not allow impeachment to divide us MORE (Mich.), Abigail SpanbergerAbigail Davis SpanbergerClub for Growth extends advertising against House Dems over impeachment NRCC campaign prank leads to suspicious package investigation Overnight Health Care: Walden won't seek reelection | Senate Dems to vote this week to overturn Trump ObamaCare moves | Largest children's migrant shelter to close | Vulnerable Republicans balk at drug pricing bill MORE (Va.), Xochitl Torres Small (N.M.), Jefferson Van Drew (N.J.) and Susan WildSusan WildOvernight Defense: Protests at Trump's NYC Veterans Day speech | House Dems release Pentagon official's deposition transcript | Lawmakers ask Trump to rescind Erdogan invite Bipartisan House members call on Trump to rescind Erdoğan invitation The Hill's Morning Report - Congress returns: What to expect MORE (Pa.).

Rep. Mike Waltz (R-Fla.) advocated for amending the bill ahead of the vote, making the case that Treasury's anti-terrorism office could play an important role in pushing back on Iran’s aggression amid heightened tensions between Washington and Tehran.

“This office plays a key role in countering our most critical national security threats by implementing sanctions. As a Green Beret, I have fought in the war on terror and can tell you that this office is vital to the safety of our nation and preventing war,” he said during debate. 

“In light of our current threats, this office requires an additional $10 million to accomplish its goals. This motion will implement sanctions policy towards Russia, North Korea, ISIS and particularly the Iranian regime,” he added.

Rep. Mike QuigleyMichael (Mike) Bruce QuigleyPelosi: Trump tweets on Yovanovitch show his 'insecurity as an imposter' Five takeaways from ex-ambassador's dramatic testimony Overnight Defense: Ex-Ukraine ambassador offers dramatic day of testimony | Talks of 'crisis' at State Department | Trump tweets criticism of envoy during hearing | Dems warn against 'witness intimidation' | Trump defends his 'freedom of speech' MORE (D-Ill.) pushed back, arguing that the Republican motion was hypocritical for GOP members to put forth because members of the party supported amendments that would have made cuts to the account. He pointed to an amendment offered by Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.).

“How in the world can we take your MTR seriously?” he said on the floor, referring to the motion to recommit.

“Just a few moments ago on an amendment proposed by Mr. Banks from Indiana, you voted yes on two amendments that would cut this account by 14 percent, a cut of $23.5 million.” 

But despite Quigley’s pushback, Democratic leadership members were unable to whip enough lawmakers against the last-minute change.

Republicans have repeatedly utilized the procedural tool in an attempt to highlight divisions within the Democratic caucus. The passage of Wednesday’s motion marks the third time this year they’ve successfully picked off enough members across the aisle to make last-minute changes to a bill.

Top GOP lawmakers are looking to use the strategy to place moderate Democrats up for reelection next year in swing districts in a difficult position.

Republicans had their first success with the procedural move in February when they amended a bill on Yemen to include language condemning anti-Semitism.

Shortly after, they also managed to amend Democrats' landmark gun control bill to include language requiring that Immigration and Customs Enforcement be alerted if an immigrant without legal status tries to purchase a firearm.

Following the passage of the second motion, Democratic leaders attempted to crack down on members splitting with the party on the procedural votes, with Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiLouisiana governor wins re-election Dynamic scoring: Forward-thinking budgeting practices to grow our economy Pelosi: Trump tweets on Yovanovitch show his 'insecurity as an imposter' MORE (D-Calif.) warning would-be defectors that Democratic resources are best reserved for those who vote with the party, according to multiple media reports.

Meanwhile, three Republicans — Reps. Justin AmashJustin AmashTrump allies assail impeachment on process while House Democrats promise open hearings soon Hoyer: We are going to move as fast 'as the facts and truth dictate' on open hearings Conway spars with Wallace on whether White House will cooperate with impeachment inquiry after formal vote MORE (Mich.), Thomas MassieThomas Harold MassieGOP lawmaker says newly-released Butina was jailed due to 'Russophobia' O'Rourke gun confiscation talk alarms Democrats Scalise blasts Democratic legislation on gun reforms MORE (Ky.) and Don YoungDonald (Don) Edwin YoungThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Dems release first transcripts from impeachment probe witnesses GOP lawmaker head-butts MoveOn camera Hundreds turn out for London's first transgender equality march MORE (Alaska) — voted against the motion Wednesday.