Iran Sanctions Bill Is ‘Coming,’ Kirk Says

Stacy Kaper, National Journal
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Stacy Kaper, National Journal
Dec. 18, 2013, 4:02 a.m.

Sen­at­or Mark Kirk of Illinois told re­port­ers on Tues­day that he’s op­tim­ist­ic an Ir­an sanc­tions bill will come out soon and that mem­bers in­volved can push it for­ward.

“It’s com­ing,” said Kirk, the lead Re­pub­lic­an work­ing on the bi­par­tis­an pen­al­ties meas­ure, after vot­ing on un­re­lated budget le­gis­la­tion. “I was just talk­ing to Sen­at­or Schu­mer about pro­gress. Hop­ing to do that and to work it out with Bob Men­en­dez.”

Kirk said that the tim­ing of a bill rol­lout and any con­sid­er­a­tion in the Sen­ate will be up to his top Demo­crat­ic part­ner on sanc­tions, Sen­ate For­eign Re­la­tions Com­mit­tee Chair­man Robert Men­en­dez of New Jer­sey, and of course Sen­ate Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Harry Re­id (D-Nev.).

“The tim­ing will be up to Harry and Bob,” he said. “It’s com­ing up.”

Kirk said his goal is to keep his ex­pec­ted Demo­crat­ic co­spon­sors like Men­en­dez and Sen­at­or Chuck Schu­mer of New York con­tent and united. “But ob­vi­ously for me it’s to work closely with ma­jor­ity part­ners who con­trol tim­ing and when things can be offered,” he said. “We are in pretty good shape.”

Kirk sought to de­bunk per­cep­tions that in­tense Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion lob­by­ing has had a chilling ef­fect on in­ter­ested mem­bers, par­tic­u­larly Demo­crats.

“The ad­min­is­tra­tion lob­by­ing has been dis­ap­point­ing to me,” he said. “I al­ways read much more clas­si­fied stuff in the New York Times than any­thing they give in the brief­ings.”

Kirk said he was push­ing to roll out a sanc­tions bill this week, be­fore law­makers ad­journ for the year.

“I’m hop­ing,” he said. “I’m go­ing to be very wel­ded to my part­ner Bob Men­en­dez to make sure that he’s happy and that the Men­en­dez-Kirk brand is one in which two guys are back-to-back against the Ir­a­ni­ans.”

This art­icle was pub­lished in Glob­al Se­cur­ity News­wire, which is pro­duced in­de­pend­ently by Na­tion­al Journ­al Group un­der con­tract with the Nuc­le­ar Threat Ini­ti­at­ive. NTI is a non­profit, non­par­tis­an group work­ing to re­duce glob­al threats from nuc­le­ar, bio­lo­gic­al, and chem­ic­al weapons.

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