Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois, the lead Republican working on a bipartisan Iran sanctions bill, told reporters Tuesday that he’s optimistic the measure will come out soon and that members involved can push it forward.
“It’s coming,” he said Tuesday, after voting on an unrelated budget measure. “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.
“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 Sen. 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.”
What We're Following See More »
Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump 49%-44% in a new CNN/ORC poll out Monday afternoon. But it's Gary Johnson's performance, or lack thereof, that's the real story. Johnson, who had cleared 10% in some surveys earlier this fall, as he made a bid to qualify for the debates, is down to 3% support. He must hit 5% nationwide for the Libertarian Party to qualify for some federal matching funds in future elections.
While the organization praised him for being "perhaps the most pro-LGBT presidential nominee in the history of the Republican Party," the Log Cabin Republicans refused to endorse Donald Trump for president. The organization, which is the largest gay organization in the United States, said that Trump failed to earn its endorsement because he surrounded himself with anti-LGBTQ people "and committed himself to supporting legislation such as the so-called 'First Amendment Defense Act' that Log Cabin Republicans opposes."
Energy Secretary Ernesto Moniz is warning Congress "that Congress and businesses need to act with more urgency to work out a medley of challenges in promoting nuclear power." A number of nuclear plants are currently on track to close around 2030, unless their licenses are extended from 60 years to 80 years, something that could jeopardize the success of the Clean Power Plan. Moniz called on Congress to pass legislation creating interim storage facilities for used nuclear power.
Donald Trump has said he received a $17 million insurance payment in 2005 following Hurricane Wilma, which he claimed did severe damage to his private club in Florida. However, an Associated Press investigation could not find any evidence of the large-scale damage that Trump has mentioned. Additionally, Trump claimed that he transferred some of the $17 million to his personal account thanks to a "very good insurance policy."