Graham Threatens to Block Defense Bill Over Iran Sanctions Vote

One of the bill’s biggest supporters is threatening to pull his support, jeopardizing a bipartisan plan to pass the measure before year’s end.

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) listens during a press conference on Capitol Hill March 7, 2013 in Washington, D.C.
National Journal
Stacy Kaper
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Stacy Kaper
Dec. 11, 2013, 9:03 a.m.

Lind­sey Gra­ham is typ­ic­ally one of the Sen­ate’s strongest sup­port­ers of the Na­tion­al De­fense Au­thor­iz­a­tion Act, but he threatened Wed­nes­day to vote against the bill un­less he is as­sured a vote on Ir­an sanc­tions.

“My de­cision about the de­fense bill will be linked to wheth­er or not we get a guar­an­tee to vote on the Ir­a­ni­an sanc­tions, if we can in­tro­duce them,” the South Car­o­lina Re­pub­lic­an told re­port­ers Wed­nes­day. “If you can con­vince me that there will be an­oth­er path for­ward oth­er than the de­fense bill, that will go a long way to shape my think­ing.”

Un­der an agree­ment reached between Armed Ser­vices Com­mit­tee lead­ers, Con­gress would fast-track the an­nu­al de­fense au­thor­iz­a­tion bill, hav­ing both cham­bers vote on identic­al bills and re­fus­ing amend­ments in both cham­bers.

That’s a dif­fi­cult pro­pos­i­tion in the Sen­ate, be­cause many mem­bers would hop­ing to use the bill as a vehicle for their de­fense-re­lated agenda.

Gra­ham, who is a strong ad­voc­ate for sanc­tions and for the au­thor­iz­a­tion bill, prom­ised he’d vote against the lat­ter un­less guar­an­teed a vote on the former. “I need a guar­an­teed vehicle to get this done. I think it’s that im­port­ant to our na­tion­al se­cur­ity,” he said Wed­nes­day.

Gra­ham’s hes­it­a­tion adds an­oth­er com­plic­a­tion for the fast-track pas­sage plan, an ef­fort to get the le­gis­la­tion fin­ished be­fore the House’s sched­uled de­par­ture Fri­day.

Oth­er sen­at­ors — in­clud­ing Re­pub­lic­ans Tom Coburn and Rand Paul — are ob­ject­ing to the bar­ring of amend­ments, and Sen. Mitch Mc­Con­nell has yet to say wheth­er he’ll back the plan, in part over con­cerns about bring­ing for­ward Ir­an sanc­tions le­gis­la­tion.

What We're Following See More »
SAYS TRUMP JUST ATTACKING REPUBLICANS
Former Top Aide to McConnell Says GOPers Should Abandon Trump
2 days ago
THE LATEST
“YOU CAN’T CHANGE HISTORY, BUT YOU CAN LEARN FROM IT”
Trump Defends Confederate Statues in Tweetstorm
3 days ago
WHY WE CARE
CEOS HAVE BEEN FLEEING FOR THE EXITS
Trump to End Business Councils
3 days ago
THE LATEST
FROM STATEMENT
McConnell: “No Good Neo-Nazis”
4 days ago
THE LATEST
NO FORMAL LEGISLATIVE EFFORT
CBC Members Call for Removal of Confederate Statues from Capitol
4 days ago
THE LATEST

"Members of the Congressional Black Caucus are reviving calls to remove Confederate statues from the Capitol following the violence at a white nationalist rally in Virginia." Rep. Cedric Richmond, the group's chair, told ABC News that "we will never solve America's race problem if we continue to honor traitors who fought against the United States." And Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson said, “Confederate memorabilia have no place in this country and especially not in the United States Capitol." But a CBC spokesperson said no formal legislative effort is afoot.

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login