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 Graves5 Republicans who could replace Isakson in Georgia's Senate race The Hill's Morning Report - Gillibrand drops out as number of debaters shrinks Democrats see golden opportunity to take Georgia Senate seat 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 ScaliseOn The Money: Senate panel scraps vote on key spending bill amid standoff | Democrats threaten to vote against defense bill over wall funding | Trump set to meet with aides about reducing capital gains taxes Overnight Energy: House moves to block Trump drilling | House GOP rolls out proposal to counter offshore drilling ban | calls mount for NOAA probe House GOP rolls out energy proposal to counter Democrats offshore drilling ban 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 AxneCentrist House Democrats press for committees to follow pay-go rule Ethanol fight divides key groups in Trump's base Former 'Apprentice' contestant ranks Trump next to Mother Teresa on women's issues MORE (Iowa), Anthony Brindisi (N.Y.), Gil CisnerosGilbert (Gil) Ray CisnerosMORE (Calif.), Angie Craig (Minn.), Charlie CristCharles (Charlie) Joseph CristPelosi says she'll no longer address anything Barr says GOP scores procedural win by securing more funding to enforce Iran sanctions Biz groups target Florida voters ahead of Democratic debates in Miami MORE (Fla.), Jason CrowJason CrowOvernight Defense: Trump ousts Bolton in shocker | Fallout, reaction from GOP senators | Senate spending talks in chaos | Dems eye vote to nix Trump border emergency Swing-seat Democrats oppose impeachment, handing Pelosi leverage Second Democrat representing Trump district backs impeachment MORE (Colo.), Joe CunninghamJoseph CunninghamOvernight Energy: House moves to block Trump drilling | House GOP rolls out proposal to counter offshore drilling ban | calls mount for NOAA probe House approves two bills to block Trump drilling Bill requiring carbon monoxide detectors in public housing passes House MORE (S.C.), Antonio DelgadoAntonio Ramon DelgadoMueller report fades from political conversation Assault weapons ban picks up steam in Congress The 11 House Dems from Trump districts who support assault weapons ban MORE (N.Y.), Abby FinkenauerAbby Lea FinkenauerLobbying world Finish the work of building a renewable fuels industry GOP scores procedural win by securing more funding to enforce Iran sanctions MORE (Iowa), Jared Golden (Maine), Vicente Gonzalez (Texas), Josh GottheimerJoshua (Josh) GottheimerThe Hill's Morning Report - US coastline readies for Hurricane Dorian to make landfall Swing-seat Democrats oppose impeachment, handing Pelosi leverage Republicans plot comeback in New Jersey MORE (N.J.), Josh Harder (Calif.), Kendra HornKendra Suzanne HornBlue Dog Democrats urge action on election security Centrist House Democrats press for committees to follow pay-go rule The Hill's Morning Report: Trump walks back from 'send her back' chants 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 LipinskiThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democrats clash over future of party in heated debate Warren endorses Lipinski challenger Marie Newman Ten notable Democrats who do not favor impeachment MORE (Ill.), David Loebsack (Iowa), Elaine LuriaElaine Goodman LuriaTen notable Democrats who do not favor impeachment Jewish Democratic congresswoman and veteran blasts Trump's 'disloyalty' comments Anti-Trump vets join Steyer group in pressing Democrats to impeach Trump MORE (Va.), Tom MalinowskiThomas (Tom) MalinowskiSwing-seat Democrats oppose impeachment, handing Pelosi leverage Democrats press FBI, DHS on response to white supremacist violence Second Democrat representing Trump district backs impeachment MORE (N.J.), Sean Patrick Maloney (N.Y.), Ben McAdams (Utah), Lucy McBathLucia (Lucy) Kay McBathGun epidemic is personal for lawmakers touched by violence House panel advances anti-gun violence legislation Jon Ossoff launching Georgia Senate campaign MORE (Ga.), Stephanie MurphyStephanie MurphyDemocrats ignore Asian American and Pacific Islander voters at their peril Blue Dog Democrats urge action on election security Lawmakers urge DNC to name Asian American debate moderator MORE (Fla.), Collin PetersonCollin Clark PetersonThe Hill's Morning Report - Can Trump save GOP in North Carolina special election? The 9 House Republicans who support background checks Congress must work together and solve humanitarian crisis at the border MORE (Minn.), Max RoseMax RoseNew York Democrat pens op-ed on why he opposes impeaching Trump New York college student detained in Russia for possession of medical marijuana Assault weapons ban picks up steam in Congress MORE (N.Y.), Brad SchneiderBradley (Brad) Scott SchneiderTrump's roller coaster August: a timeline House Democrats blur lines on support for impeachment Democrats press FBI, DHS on response to white supremacist violence MORE (Ill.), Kurt SchraderWalter (Kurt) Kurt SchraderBlue Dog Democrats urge action on election security The Hill's Morning Report: Trump walks back from 'send her back' chants House approves bill raising minimum wage to per hour 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 SherrillDemocrats ramp up calls to investigate NOAA Overnight Energy: House moves to block Trump drilling | House GOP rolls out proposal to counter offshore drilling ban | calls mount for NOAA probe The Hill's Morning Report - US coastline readies for Hurricane Dorian to make landfall MORE (N.J.), Elissa SlotkinElissa SlotkinLooking for electability in all the wrong places Mueller report fades from political conversation House Democrats urge Trump to end deportations of Iraqis after diabetic man's death MORE (Mich.), Abigail SpanbergerAbigail Davis SpanbergerTen notable Democrats who do not favor impeachment Centrist House Democrats press for committees to follow pay-go rule Gun debate to shape 2020 races MORE (Va.), Xochitl Torres Small (N.M.), Jefferson Van Drew (N.J.) and Susan WildSusan WildThe Hill's Morning Report - Congress returns: What to expect Hopes dim for passage of Trump trade deal Overnight Health Care — Sponsored by Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids — Senate panel advances bipartisan package on health costs | Grassley, Wyden in talks on deal to limit drug price increases | Court asks if blue states have standing in ObamaCare suit 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 QuigleyLawmakers point to entitlements when asked about deficits Mueller Day falls flat Mueller on Trump's WikiLeaks embrace: 'Problematic is an understatement' 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 PelosiThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump takes 2020 roadshow to New Mexico This week: House jump-starts effort to prevent shutdown Schumer, Pelosi push Trump to back universal background check bill 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 AmashAmash: 'Bolton never should have been hired' Romney: Bolton firing 'a huge loss' for nation Amash says Sanford presidential bid won't impact decision on whether he runs in 2020 MORE (Mich.), Thomas MassieThomas Harold MassieAirports already have plenty of infrastructure funding Overnight Defense: House votes to block Trump arms sales to Saudis, setting up likely veto | US officially kicks Turkey out of F-35 program | Pentagon sending 2,100 more troops to border House votes to block Trump's Saudi arms sale MORE (Ky.) and Don YoungDonald (Don) Edwin YoungThe Hill's Morning Report — The wall problem confronting Dems and the latest on Dorian House passes bill requiring CBP to enact safety, hygiene standards GOP scores procedural win by securing more funding to enforce Iran sanctions MORE (Alaska) — voted against the motion Wednesday.