On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, from Nevada, called for sanctions against Iran, contrary to the President’s stated position.
“The Senate must be prepared to move forward with a new bipartisan Iran sanctions bill, when the Senate returns after Thanksgiving recess,” Reid said. “And I am committed to do so.”
The group of 14 senators announced their plan to forge bipartisan legislation, shortly after Reid’s pledge to let a sanctions bill move.
The senators in the group are John McCain (R-Ariz.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.).
A Joint statement released by the Senators said, “A nuclear weapons capable Iran presents a grave threat to the national security interest of the United States and its allies, and we are committed to preventing Iran from acquiring this capability,” Furthermore they said, “We will work together to reconcile Democratic and Republican proposals over the coming weeks and to pass bipartisan Iran sanctions legislation as soon as possible.”
Considering the large bipartisan majorities that have passed sanctions bills in the past, it shouldn’t be that difficult. However, there are some Democrats, particularly Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who have indicated they want to back Obama’s wishes and not pass new sanctions.
President Obama had spent a good part of this past week lobbying senators in order to prevent the passage of any new sanctions on Iran.