Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Howard L. Berman (D-CA) said Thursday the committee will mark up the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act (H.R. 2194) (IRPSA) on October 28.
Later that day, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer was pressed by Chief Deputy Republican Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), and “committed to moving the bill quickly to a vote once it is passed out of the committee.”
When he introduced the bill last Spring, Berman made it clear:
“I fully support the Administration’s strategy of direct diplomatic engagement with Iran, and I have no intention of moving this bill though the legislative process in the near future,” Berman continued. “In fact, I hope that Congress will never need to take any action on this legislation, for that would mean that Iran at last has complied with the repeatedly-expressed demand of the international community to verifiably suspend its uranium enrichment program and to end its pursuit of nuclear weapons once and for all.”
So why are these people talking about passing these sanctions without the administration asking for it, while continually undermining current negotiations? (Day 2 of talks wrapped in Vienna today.)
Both are under pressure to move the bill, and both are looking to pass the onus onto the other. Ultimately only the Obama administration would lose out because Berman and Hoyer are acting at cross purposes with it.