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.
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.
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.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – When U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, a Republican, jolted Washington this week by inviting Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress, his office said it had been done “on behalf of the bipartisan leadership.”
In reality, it was among the most partisan moves so far by America’s newly Republican-controlled Congress. Fuming Democratic leaders in Congress have said they were not consulted, raising questions over whether Boehner had accurately characterized the nature of his invitation.
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.
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.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Democratic co-sponsor of a bill to impose new sanctions on Iran if there is no agreement on its nuclear program by July said on Friday he stood by the legislation in the face of 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,” Senator Robert Menendez said.
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.
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.
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.