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 »
TO BE VOTED ON NEXT MONTH
Pai Officially Announces Intent to Scrap Net Neutrality Rules
2 hours ago
THE LATEST
SAYS HE’S UNAWARE OF ACCUSATIONS
Conyers Denies Settling Harassment Claims
3 hours ago
THE LATEST
SPEAKER SAYS IN LETTER
Mugabe Resigns, Ending Impeachment Debate
3 hours ago
THE LATEST
HAITIANS TO BE MOST AFFECTED
White House to End TPS Program
3 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"The Trump administration is ending a humanitarian program that has allowed some 59,000 Haitians to live and work in the United States since an earthquake ravaged their country in 2010, Homeland Security officials said on Monday. Haitians with what is known as Temporary Protected Status will be expected to leave the United States by July 2019 or face deportation. ... About 320,000 people now benefit from the Temporary Protected Status program, which was signed into law by President George Bush in 1990."

Source:
MAKES PERMANENT A PREVIOUS INJUNCTION
Federal Judge Blocks Sanctuary Cities Order
3 hours ago
THE LATEST

"A federal judge on Monday permanently blocked President Donald Trump's executive order to cut funding from cities that limit cooperation with U.S. immigration authorities. U.S. District Court Judge William Orrick rejected the administration's argument that the executive order applies only to a relatively small pot of money and said Trump cannot set new conditions on spending approved by Congress. The judge had previously made the same arguments in a ruling that put a temporary hold on the executive order."

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