Ryan wants to ‘get moving’ on Iran, Russia sanctions

Reuters– U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan said on Thursday he backs efforts to quickly move legislation to impose new sanctions on Russia and Iran that passed the Senate nearly unanimously but was stalled by a procedural snag in the House.

Ryan said Representative Ed Royce, the Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, “has indicated he wants to get moving on this quickly, and we want to honour that.”

The Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act, which also includes new sanctions against Russia, passed the Senate 98-2 last week, a vote that looked like it might complicate President Donald Trump’s desire for warmer relations with Moscow.

But the measure must still pass the House before it can be sent to Trump to sign into law, or to veto. The House parliamentarian found the legislation violated a constitutional requirement that any bill that affect revenues for the government must originate in the House, something known as a “blue slip” violation.

Democrats said they were sceptical about the explanation, noting that previous “blue slip” issues had been resolved in a matter of minutes.

Ryan said the House Ways and Means and Foreign Affairs committees were currently reviewing the bill. He said he did not yet know if it would go through the formal markup debate and amendment process.

Democrats have said referring the bill for hearings and markups to committees could also delay it for months.

Asked if he supported the policy in the bill, Ryan said he supported sanctions.

(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jeffrey Benkoe)