Congress Is Rushing to Pass Iran Sanctions That No One Thinks Will Work

Ordinarily, expeditions like these are reserved for non-controversial bills. Is this an attempt to slip one past the American people?

The House is expected to take up and pass “a bill imposing tough new sanctions on Iran before the holiday recess.” Americans for Peace Now’s Lara Friedman reports that the bill maybe also pass the Senate quickly:

Today, at around noon, Senate leadership hotlined the bill. Meaning that barring any objections, the bill will be brought to the floor and passed without debate, without amendment, and without a roll-call vote. This is called unanimous consent — a move reserved, generally, for bills that are clear and non-controversial. [...]

It remains to be seen if the entire Senate will agree that a bill that would impact virtually every aspect of US policy (and policy options) related to Iran — now and for the foreseeable future — is clear and non-controversial. One can hope that at least one senator will be brave and conscientious enough to refuse the U/C request — something known as putting a “hold” on the bill. Holds, it should be recalled, are anonymous (and generally remain that way).

Barring that, it looks very possible that IRPSA [Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act], in some form, could become law before the end of the year, popular wisdom, good intentions, and good US policy be damned.

Matthew Duss is a Research Associate for The Progress Report and The Wonk Room at the Center for American Progress Action Fund.
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