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Jan 29, 2015

U.S. Senate panel advances Iran sanctions bill

WASHINGTON, Jan 29 (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate Banking
Committee voted 18-4 on Thursday to advance a bill that would
toughen sanctions on Iran if international negotiators fail to
reach an agreement on Tehran’s nuclear program by the end of

However, the bill is not expected to come for a vote in the
full Senate until at least March 24, after a group of senators,
in the face of President Barack Obama’s threat to veto the
measure, reached an agreement to hold off for two months to
allow time to reach a diplomatic solution.

Jan 29, 2015

U.S. lawmakers seek to end restrictions on travel to Cuba

WASHINGTON, Jan 28 (Reuters) – Eight Republican and
Democratic U.S. senators will introduce legislation on Thursday
to end restrictions on U.S. citizens’ travel to Cuba, the first
effort in Congress toward ending the U.S. embargo since
President Barack Obama moved to normalize relations last month.

The bill would end legal restrictions on travel to the
island by U.S. citizens and legal residents, according to a
statement about the senators’ plans.

Jan 27, 2015

U.S. Democrats hold off on new Iran sanctions vote -for now

WASHINGTON, Jan 27 (Reuters) – Key Democratic U.S. senators
said on Tuesday they would put off supporting new Iran
sanctions for at least two months, after a threat by President
Barack Obama to veto a bill he said could scuttle talks with
Tehran over its nuclear program.

With Republicans holding 54 seats in the 100-member chamber
and needing 67 votes to override a veto, they would need
significant support from Obama’s fellow Democrats to pass the
bill against Obama’s wishes.

Jan 27, 2015

Menendez, other U.S. Senate Democrats, to hold off on new Iran bill – for now

WASHINGTON, Jan 27 (Reuters) – U.S. Senator Robert Menendez,
co-sponsor of legislation that would tighten sanctions on Iran
over its nuclear program, said on Tuesday he and other
Democratic senators would not back passage of the bill until
after March 24 and only if there is no framework agreement with

President Barack Obama has said voting now for more
sanctions, which are strongly supported by Republican lawmakers,
could upset talks now under way with Iran. He has pledged to
veto any bill imposing new sanctions during the talks.

Jan 26, 2015

U.S. democratic senators set resolution countering push for tougher Iran sanctions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democratic U.S. senators introduced a resolution on Monday opposing more sanctions on Iran unless nuclear talks fail or Tehran breaks an agreement, countering a push for tougher sanctions backed by Republicans that President Barack Obama has pledged to veto.

“For those who agree that the sanctions bill in the Banking Committee is detrimental, this resolution provides an option in support of diplomacy,” Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, a leading co-sponsor of the resolution with Senator Chris Murphy, said in a statement.

Jan 21, 2015

U.S. Congress invites Netanyahu for Iran speech, Obama blindsided

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress on Iran without consulting President Barack Obama, and the White House questioned whether protocol had been violated.

Setting up a diplomatic showdown on an issue that has sharply divided Obama and congressional Republicans, Boehner announced the invitation the day after Obama pledged in his State of the Union address to veto Iran sanctions legislation being developed in Congress.

Jan 21, 2015

U.S. Congress invites Netanyahu, Obama blindsided

WASHINGTON, Jan 21 (Reuters) – U.S. House of Representatives
Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday invited Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress without consulting
President Barack Obama, and a White House spokesman questioned
whether protocol had been violated.

An Israeli official said Netanyahu, whose relationship with
Obama has often been tense, was looking into the possibility of
meeting with Obama when he comes to Washington to address a
joint session of Congress on Feb. 11.

Jan 16, 2015

U.S. senators will push ahead with Iran sanctions bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The sponsors of a bill to impose new sanctions on Iran if there is no agreement on its nuclear program by July said on Friday they would push ahead with the legislation, despite warnings that it could torpedo international negotiations.

“All I’m saying is let us put in prospective sanctions that don’t get imposed… until July,” Democratic U.S. Senator Robert Menendez said at a news conference in his home state of New Jersey.

Jan 15, 2015

Exclusive: U.S. lawmakers push ahead on Iran sanctions – senior senator

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican and Democratic U.S. lawmakers will press ahead with a plan for more sanctions on Iran, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said on Wednesday, despite White House warnings that they risked derailing nuclear talks.

Lawmakers, who say they fear Obama administration negotiators may not take a hard enough line with Tehran, are also at work on a separate bill to have Congress approve any final agreement on Iran’s nuclear program, Senator Bob Corker, the chairman, told Reuters in an interview.

Jan 12, 2015

17 on Cuba prisoner list set free before US-Havana deal announced

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Seventeen of the Cuban prisoners freed under an agreement with the United States had been let go before the two countries announced the deal on Dec. 17, a Cuban dissident leader said on Monday.

According to a copy of the list of 53 names obtained by Reuters from a congressional source, the released prisoners include, among others, members of prominent protest groups such as the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) and the Ladies in White.

    • About Patricia

      "Patricia Zengerle covers foreign policy and national security on Capitol Hill for Reuters. She recently covered the 2012 campaign and the White House and had been an editor in Washington, D.C., an editor in London, and a correspondent in Miami, Pittsburgh and New York. You can follow her on Twitter @ReutersZengerle"
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