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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 GravesQAnon proponent Marjorie Taylor Greene wins Georgia House race Live updates: Democrats seek to extend House advantage On The Money: Trump gambles with new stimulus strategy | Trump cannot block grand jury subpoena for his tax returns, court rules | Long-term jobless figures rise, underscoring economic pain 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 ScaliseTop Republicans praise Trump's Flynn pardon Richmond says GOP 'reluctant to stand up and tell the emperor he wears no clothes' New RSC chairman sees 'Trumpism' as future 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 losses underscore Democrats' struggles with attracting rural voters Democrats face increasing pressure to back smaller COVID-19 stimulus On The Money: Powell says 'concerning' rise in COVID-19 cases could hinder economic recovery | House Democrats withdraw appeal in case over Trump's New York tax returns | Initial jobless claims dip to 751,000 MORE (Iowa), Anthony Brindisi (N.Y.), Gil CisnerosGilbert (Gil) Ray CisnerosMORE (Calif.), Angie Craig (Minn.), Charlie CristCharles (Charlie) Joseph CristFlorida Democrat introduces bill to recognize Puerto Rico statehood referendum Anna Paulina Luna wins Florida GOP primary in bid to unseat Charlie Crist The feds should not spend taxpayer dollars in states that have legalized weed MORE (Fla.), Jason CrowJason CrowGiffords launches national Gun Owners for Safety group to combat the NRA House approves .2T COVID-19 relief bill as White House talks stall Lawmakers grill Pentagon over Trump's Germany drawdown MORE (Colo.), Joe CunninghamJoseph CunninghamObama: You lose people with 'snappy' slogans like 'defund the police' GOP Rep. Dan Newhouse tests positive for COVID-19 Colorado Democrat Ed Perlmutter tests positive for coronavirus MORE (S.C.), Antonio DelgadoAntonio Ramon DelgadoMaloney vows to overhaul a House Democratic campaign machine 'stuck in the past' Rundown of the House seats Democrats, GOP flipped on Election Day Next Congress expected to have record diversity MORE (N.Y.), Abby FinkenauerAbby Lea FinkenauerIowa losses underscore Democrats' struggles with attracting rural voters Here are the 17 GOP women newly elected to the House this year Incoming Iowa GOP lawmaker tests positive for coronavirus MORE (Iowa), Jared Golden (Maine), Vicente Gonzalez (Texas), Josh GottheimerJoshua (Josh) GottheimerDemocrats face increasing pressure to back smaller COVID-19 stimulus Democrat Gottheimer wins reelection in New Jersey Cook Political Report shifts 8 more House races toward Democrats MORE (N.J.), Josh Harder (Calif.), Kendra HornKendra Suzanne HornWhat should Biden do with NASA and the Artemis Program? Here are the 17 GOP women newly elected to the House this year Rundown of the House seats Democrats, GOP flipped on Election Day 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 LipinskiHouse votes to condemn alleged hysterectomies on migrant women Five things we learned from this year's primaries Hispanic Caucus campaign arm endorses slate of non-Hispanic candidates MORE (Ill.), David Loebsack (Iowa), Elaine LuriaElaine Goodman LuriaChamber-endorsed Dems struggle on election night Overnight Defense: How members of the Armed Services committees fared in Tuesday's elections | Military ballots among those uncounted in too-close-to-call presidential race | Ninth US service member killed by COVID-19 Luria holds onto Virginia House seat MORE (Va.), Tom MalinowskiThomas (Tom) MalinowskiFive things to know about Antony Blinken, Biden's pick for State Malinowski beats back GOP challenge in New Jersey House race Phil Murphy says no coronavirus outbreaks in New Jersey linked to Trump fundraiser MORE (N.J.), Sean Patrick Maloney (N.Y.), Ben McAdams (Utah), Lucy McBathLucia (Lucy) Kay McBathMaloney vows to overhaul a House Democratic campaign machine 'stuck in the past' Record number of Black women elected to Congress in 2020 McBath wins rematch against Handel in Georgia House race MORE (Ga.), Stephanie MurphyStephanie MurphyWhy it's time for a majority female Cabinet Democrats scramble on COVID-19 relief amid division, Trump surprise Bank lobbying group launches ad backing Collins reelection bid MORE (Fla.), Collin PetersonCollin Clark PetersonDeLauro wins Steering Committee vote for Appropriations chair Democrats were united on top issues this Congress — but will it hold? A louder voice for women everywhere MORE (Minn.), Max RoseMax RoseGOP sees path to House majority in 2022 Bickering Democrats return with divisions Here are the 17 GOP women newly elected to the House this year MORE (N.Y.), Brad SchneiderBradley (Brad) Scott SchneiderElection scrambles prospects for next COVID-19 relief bill Democrats call for IRS to review tax-exempt status of NRA 189 House Democrats urge Israel to 'reconsider' annexation MORE (Ill.), Kurt SchraderWalter (Kurt) Kurt SchraderHouse members race to prepare for first-ever remote votes The 14 Democrats who broke with their party on coronavirus relief vote House votes to condemn Trump Medicaid block grant policy MORE (Ore.), Kim SchrierKimberly (Kim) Merle SchrierRep. Kim Schrier defends Washington House seat from GOP challenger House approves .2T COVID-19 relief bill as White House talks stall Pelosi: House will stay in session until agreement is reached on coronavirus relief MORE (Wash.), Mikie SherrillRebecca (Mikie) Michelle SherrillDemocratic Women's Caucus members split endorsements for House campaign chief Overnight Defense: Armed Services chairman unsold on slashing defense budget | Democratic Senate report details 'damage, chaos' of Trump foreign policy | Administration approves .8B Taiwan arms sales Democratic House chairman trusts Pentagon won't follow 'unlawful orders' on election involvement MORE (N.J.), Elissa SlotkinElissa SlotkinBickering Democrats return with divisions Questions swirl at Pentagon after wave of departures Overnight Defense: Another Defense official resigns | Pentagon chief says military 'remains strong' despite purge | Top contender for Biden DOD secretary would be historic pick MORE (Mich.), Abigail SpanbergerAbigail Davis SpanbergerManchin: Ocasio-Cortez 'more active on Twitter than anything else' Divided citizenry and government — a call to action for common ground House progressives tout their growing numbers in the chamber at climate rally MORE (Va.), Xochitl Torres Small (N.M.), Jefferson Van Drew (N.J.) and Susan WildSusan WildDemocratic Women's Caucus members split endorsements for House campaign chief Democratic Rep. Susan Wild wins reelection in Pennsylvania Congress must act to end US military aid to the Philippines 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 QuigleyThis week: Congress races to wrap work for the year GSA offers to brief Congress next week on presidential transition Democrats debate fate of Trump probes if Biden wins 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 PelosiPressure builds for coronavirus relief with no clear path to deal Top GOP senator warns government funding deal unlikely this week Houston will send residents checks of up to ,200 for pandemic relief 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 AmashIncoming GOP lawmaker shares video of hotel room workout, citing 'Democrat tyrannical control' Rundown of the House seats Democrats, GOP flipped on Election Day Romney congratulates Biden after victory MORE (Mich.), Thomas MassieThomas Harold MassieCheney seeks to cool tensions with House conservatives House in near-unanimous vote affirms peaceful transfer of power Ron Paul hospitalized in Texas MORE (Ky.) and Don YoungDonald (Don) Edwin YoungOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump administration proceeds with rollback of bird protections despite objections | Trump banking proposal on fossil fuels sparks backlash from libertarians | EU 2019 greenhouse gas emissions down 24 percent Incoming Congress looks more like America Trump banking proposal on fossil fuels sparks backlash from libertarians MORE (Alaska) — voted against the motion Wednesday.