House Passes Sanctions on Iran, Russia and North Korea

After procedural delays, bill sent to Senate

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., accused Iran, Russia and North Korea of seeking to undermine the United States after the House passed a bill Tuesday aimed at imposing sanctions on the three nations. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A bill aimed at imposing sanctions on Iran, Russia and North Korea passed the House 419-3 Tuesday after being held up by technical delays for weeks. But its fate in the Senate remains unclear.

The bill was largely lauded by leadership as a bipartisan effort.

“These bad actors have long sought to undermine the United States and disrupt global stability,” House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said in a statement. “Our job in Congress is to hold them accountable.”

House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, who was among those lawmakers who worked to reach a compromise before the bill was brought to the floor, said earlier Tuesday he expected it to pass “overwhelmingly.”

Voting against the measure were three House Republicans known to break with the majority: Reps. Thomas Massie, Justin Amash and John J. Duncan Jr.

The sanctions come in response to reports of Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential elections and Russia’s actions in Ukraine, Crimea and Syria, Hoyer said. The bill also imposes new sanctions over Iran’s ballistic missile program.

But Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker said the addition of North Korea to the bill creates complications that would disrupt timing in the upper chamber because it adds additional language to legislation already passed by the Senate.

While leadership praised bipartisan efforts on the bill, it did not escape some of the usual blame game among lawmakers inside the Capitol.

House leadership and Foreign Relations Committee members said they spent weeks coming up with a compromise after the bill stalled in the House, when it was determined that the bill had to originate there, not the Senate, because it was considered a revenue bill.

At one point, Democrats accused Republicans of using parliamentary procedure to further hold up the bill.

Then, Republicans blamed the minority party for not allowing unanimous consent after language in the bill stripped the minority of the ability to bring resolutions of disapproval should the president opt to ease sanctions on Russia or the other countries.

That matter was resolved in the latest version of the bill voted on by the House Tuesday.

It is not clear if President Donald Trump plans to veto the bill. Hoyer said if he does, Congress will likely override the veto.

Contact Rahman at remarahman@cqrollcall.com or follow her on Twitter at @remawriter

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