Senate will move to approve Iran, Russia, N Korea sanctions: Corker

Press TV – US lawmakers appear to have reached a deal on imposing new sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea after a push to add in Pyongyang threatened to complicate the bill’s path forward, a report says.

“The Senate will move to approve the Iran and Russia sanctions it originally passed six weeks ago, as well as the North Korea sanctions developed by the House,” Republican Senator Bob Corker, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said on Wednesday evening, The Hill reported.

Corker said lawmakers had “an agreement that will allow us to send sanctions legislation to the president’s desk,” after discussions with Republican House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

The North Korea sanctions will stay in the legislation, a spokesman for McCarthy confirmed.

US House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) (L) and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) talk to reporters following the weekly House GOP Conference meeting at the Republican National Committee headquarters on Capitol Hill on July 18, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by AFP)

The Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act – Russia sanctions were attached to it — overwhelmingly passed in a 98-2 vote in mid-June, was held up in the House of Representatives after Republicans proposed that North Korea sanctions be included in the bill.

The new deal could ensure the approval of the legislation for a second time before lawmakers leave in mid-August for a summer break.

Corker said he expects the House will address the issue of additional North Korea legislation after they return from the August recess.

“Going forward, the House has committed to expeditiously consider and pass enhancements to the North Korea language, which multiple members of the Senate hope to make in the very near future,” Corker said.

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The Republican-controlled House in a 419-3 vote passed the bill to impose new sanctions against Iran, Russia and North Korea on Tuesday despite opposition from US President Donald Trump. But the decision by House Republicans to impose new sanctions against Pyongyang had gotten pushback from senators, who are working on their own sanctions bills.

Republican Senator Bob Corker (left), the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, and Senator Ben Cardin, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee

Both Corker and Senator Ben Cardin, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, said on Wednesday that they lobbied House lawmakers to leave North Korea out of the Senate-passed sanctions bill but could not succeed. Senators had voiced concerns that adding North Korea could slow down the bill.

Corker told reporters earlier on Wednesday senators wanted broader action against North Korea.

“As you know in the Senate one person can keep anything from happening immediately and as I mentioned I happen to have some senators who want to weigh into North Korea. …But it’s not going to turn into a cluster. We’ll solve it,” he stated.

The bill hit a roadblock immediately after passing the Senate on June 15, when House lawmakers said the legislation violated a constitutional requirement that all revenue bills start in the House.