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September 17, 2008

Sanctions amendment could be folded into defense bill

There is a chance that a comprehensive Iran sanctions package spearheaded by Senator Chris Dodd could be be among the amendments folded into a omnibus “manager’s amendment” to the Defense Authorization this week. A whopping 234 amendments have been filed in total, but it is unlikely many of them will be considered. The question of which of these amendments will be singled out for a vote or included as part of a manager’s amendment is being negotiated behind the scenes as we speak.
The White House has more or less threatened to veto S.3001 if the Dodd bill or other Iran related amendments are included. Yet given that this is “must pass legislation” for a Congress anxious to ditch Washington for the campaign trail (targeted adjournment is Sept 26), and given Bush’s lame duck stature, don’t count on W. saving the day. While the Dodd version is far better than its predecessors this year, it still includes some objectionable provisions. Among other things, the measure would legalize state divestment and do away with our remaining imports from Iran, such a dried fruits and rugs.

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