blog_thecable_full3

Iran sanctions bill “moving into high gear”

Iran sanctions bill “moving into high gear”

Lots of rumors today of movement on Chris Dodd‘s Iran sanctions legislation, which the administration may not be thrilled about as it pursues the U.N. track.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, and Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman John Kerry, D-MA, promised on Christmas eve to bring the bill to the floor, despite ongoing negotiations with the administration over tweaks to the bill.

Multiple Senate aides tell The Cable today that Reid, Kerry, and Dodd and working with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, Jon Kyl, R-AZ, Joe Lieberman, I-CT, as well as "other interested parties" to get the ball rolling, trying to figure out the timing for a vote, the structure, an agreement on amendments, etc.

One aide said something could surface tonight, before senators leave town. "We’re moving into high gear on this," another senior Senate aide close to the discussions said, but viewed an agreement tonight as unlikely.

A Senate leadership aide told The Cable earlier this week that Reid was sticking by his pledge to move the bill, regardless of what the administration wanted. "Senator Reid has been consistently pushing to get this done, but there’s no agreement in place at this time," another leadership aide said today. Several senators sent a letter to Obama yesterday urging him to get moving on implementing sanctions.