The Cable

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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 ...

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.

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.

Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at josh.rogin@foreignpolicy.com.

Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.

A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.

Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C. Twitter: @joshrogin

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