Congress could hold off on passing additional sanctions against Iran until January, aides told the Associated Press.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., might introduce a resolution on Thursday that outlines what should be in a final agreement with Iran regarding its nuclear program. The hope is that House members would vote on the legislation in the short window they have left to complete their work for the year.
The House is scheduled to adjourn Friday. It passed additional sanctions against Iran earlier this year, and Cantor’s legislation would be nonbinding. Before leaving town, House members still have to tackle the budget deal unveiled on Tuesday and the National Defense Authorization Act.
In the Senate, aides said that Majority Leader Harry Reid has mentioned holding votes on additional sanctions in January. Republican senators and and some Democrats have called for extra sanctions against Iran, despite a public push by the Obama administration to get senators to hold off out of a fear that congressional interference could unravel progress being made over Iran’s nuclear program.
Aides said Reid was hoping to hold off on voting before the Senate adjourns next week to avoid interfering with the defense authorization bill. But Minority Leader Mitch McConnell could try to demand a vote on sanctions in exchange for supporting a push to pass the defense authorization passed this year. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has also threatened to vote against the bill unless he gets assurances that a vote on sanctions will take place.