After Blocking Out Some Conservatives, House Passes Iran Review Bill

The House easily passed a bill today imposing congressional review over a proposed nuclear deal with Iran after party leadership blocked changes proposed by conservatives.

Members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus had proposed a series of amendments in an attempt to “strengthen” the bill, which the Senate previously passed, but House Speaker John Boehner and his leadership team prevented any debate.

“While I have many reservations about the Iran review bill that the House passed today, my goal has always been to ensure that Congress has the ability to thwart a bad deal,” said Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., of the House Freedom Caucus in a statement to The Daily Signal. “While this legislation is far from perfect, key decision-makers have indicated a real willingness to address some of the concerns through other legislation if necessary.”

Boehner and his team feared allowing votes on contentious amendments would imperil a fragile bipartisan agreement.

Just 19 Republicans ultimately voted against the bill. The final vote was 400-25.

“My colleagues and I have one goal: stop a bad deal,” Boehner, R-Ohio, said in a statement. “The bipartisan legislation the House passed today is the only way Congress will have that opportunity.”

In a nod to conservatives, Boehner did allow a vote on a separate bill to toughen sanctions against Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed group that the U.S. considers a terrorist organization.

The House passed that bill, which gives the Treasury Department 90 days to toughen sanctions against any U.S. financial institution that aids Hezbollah or its media arm.

The Iran review legislation—which President Obama supports and is expected to sign—would give Congress 30 days to review a nuclear pact with Tehran.

Under the legislation, Congress could offer only a resolution disapproving the deal. If the House and Senate could get enough votes to overcome a presidential veto—which is considered doubtful—Obama would have to leave the congressionally mandated sanctions in place.

House conservatives had pressed to change the bill.

Senate Version ‘Not Strong Enough,’ So House Conservatives Seek Changes to Iran Bill

One proposed change was to specify that a resolution of disapproval not be subject to a filibuster in the Senate if Obama were to veto it and an override vote was needed.

Another amendment would have required that any breach of a nuclear deal by Iran be reported to Congress, and that the legislation clarify that the stipulation apply to any sort of violation, not just one the administration considers “significant.”

And yet another would have mandated that the director of national intelligence certify Iran has “dismantled its ballistic weapons development and research programs.”

But in the end, House leadership stopped those changes from having a chance at happening.

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