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Dems increasingly buck Obama on Iran

A growing number of Democrats are bucking the White House and pushing for more sanctions on Iran.

Ten House Democrats joined 53 Republicans on a letter sent Thursday to Senate leaders urging them to “act swiftly” on legislation. The House passed tough restrictions on Iran's energy sector by a 400-20 vote in July and has been waiting on the Senate since then.

“As negotiations in Geneva are underway, we feel it is important to keep the pressure on Iran to maximize U.S. leverage,” said the House lawmakers. “Indeed, it is because of tough U.S. sanctions against Iran that Tehran has come to the negotiating table. Security in the Middle East and around the world depends on strong U.S. leadership against a nuclear Iran.”

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Meanwhile in the Senate, Sen. Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseyMcConnell seeks to divide and conquer Democrats Senate filibuster fight throws Democrats' wish list into limbo Parliamentarian changes Senate calculus for Biden agenda MORE (D-Penn.), a former member of the Senate Foreign Relations panel, urged his colleagues on the Senate Banking Committee to move ahead and report out a sanctions bill. 

“Tough sanctions, that I have worked with colleagues from both parties to impose on the regime, are the prime reason there is any engagement at all,” he said. “At this time, I see no reason to let up the pressure.”

Republicans for their part have vowed to move ahead if the committee doesn't act. Sen. Mark KirkMark Steven KirkDuckworth announces reelection bid Brave new world: Why we need a Senate Human Rights Commission  Senate majority battle snags Biden Cabinet hopefuls MORE (R-Ill.), co-author of a 2011 sanctions bill, has said he could introduce sanctions as an amendment to a pending Defense bill while his co-author, Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezSchumer says Senate will vote on repealing 2002 war authorization The Hill's Morning Report - Biden-Putin meeting to dominate the week Sanders drops bid to block Biden's Israel arms sale MORE (D-N.J.), is also considering alternatives.

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