Democrats have “killed a handful of measures that would have stopped the Biden administration from providing U.S. taxpayer funds to the hardline Iranian regime and increased economic sanctions on the country” reports The Washington Free Beacon.
In fact, seven Republican-led measures targeting Iran were shot down by Democrats running the House Rules Committee just last week. The Republican foreign policy leaders were attempting to place the measures to be included in the recently passed National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the annual national security funding bill.
The Beacon reports:
Congressional sources who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon said House Democrats rejected the measures to help the Biden administration in its push to secure a revamped version of the 2015 nuclear accord. Those negotiations are ongoing, and the White House is pushing its allies in Congress to avoid passing any measures that may upset the hardline regime and erode progress in talks.
Republican Representative Jim Banks of Indiana said “Democrats’ foreign policy is even weaker now than it was during the Obama years.”
“House Democrats voted to pave the way towards a JCPOA 2.0 that will enrich terrorists and bring Iran even closer to obtaining a nuclear weapon. It’s not just Joe Biden—the whole party is to blame” added Banks, referring to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) more commonly referred to as the Iran Nuclear Deal.
Specifically, the measure put forward by Banks and his colleagues would have stopped any funds allocated in the fiscal year 2023 NDAA from going to “the government of Iran,” “any person owned or controlled by the government of Iran,” and “any person identified on the list of specially designated nationals,” according to a copy of the rejected amendment.
The Beacon reports on the other measures:
Another measure the Republicans expected to receive Democratic support would have terminated the president’s authority to waive sanctions on Russians who work on Iran’s contested nuclear program. Even with a bipartisan opposition to Russia’s unprovoked war in Ukraine, Democrats rejected this provision.
Other measures would have sanctioned the Iranian supreme leader’s office for human rights abuses and required the Biden administration to submit a report to Congress on Iranians who could be targeted with additional sanctions.
Democrats also rejected a measure that expressed support for forcing Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), the paramilitary fighting force that has killed hundreds of Americans, to pay compensation to its victims. The resolution also expressed support for keeping the IRGC on the U.S. terrorist lists. The Biden administration was rumored to be considering dropping the designation as part of a concessions package to Tehran in nuclear talks. Biden during his first visit to the Middle East last week said dropping the designation is no longer under consideration.
One measure that was killed would have stopped funds from being allocated to any effort aimed at removing Iran from terrorist financing watchlists, and another would have mandated congressional reports on Iran’s illicit oil trade, which has skyrocketed since the Biden administration relaxed sanctions.
Over the weekend, Iranian leaders boasted that they officially have the ability to produce an atomic bomb. The disclosure has increased calls for the Biden administration to cease diplomacy and begin sanctioning Iran’s nuclear and missile programs.
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Historic House Vote Expels Rep. George Santos Amidst Scandal
In a turn of events, the House of Representatives made history on Friday with a vote to expel Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.), marking the first such expulsion in over two decades. A moment fraught with gravity unfolded as Speaker Mike Johnson wielded his gavel to formalize Santos’ removal, setting a precedent in congressional annals.
Santos, indicted on 23 counts related to wire fraud, identity theft, and other charges, has not faced conviction but stands accused of misusing campaign funds for opulent purchases. The bipartisan vote, tallying 311 to 114, signaled robust support for expulsion, with a marginally higher number of Republicans opting to retain Santos.
Questions loomed as Speaker Johnson left the chamber, his silence leaving the fate of the ongoing government spending battle uncertain. According to reports from Fox News, Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer emphasized the non-partisan nature of the decision, asserting that members concluded Santos had tarnished the House’s reputation and was unfit for representation.
Within the GOP, conflicting opinions emerged, with Rep. Darrell Issa arguing against expulsion, citing the presumption of innocence. The tight-lipped stance of the House Ethics Committee played a pivotal role in the deliberations.
Conversely, members of the New York Republican delegation, led by Rep. Marc Molinaro, asserted Santos’ commission of crimes, justifying expulsion based on a comprehensive investigation.
Santos himself predicted the outcome in an exclusive morning interview on “FOX & Friends.” This vote not only underlines the House’s rare use of expulsion powers but also sets a critical precedent in handling members facing severe legal challenges.
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