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GOP sources: We held sanctions bills

Republican sources in the U.S. Senate acknowledged placing a hold on legislation toughening sanctions on Sudan and Iran.

“There was widespread objection among Republicans to the bills being hot-lined,” a Republican aide told JTA on Thursday, using a term that describes bypassing committee hearings for consideration by the full Senate. “Without deliberative process, the possible implications of these bills are unknown.”

The three bills, passed overwhelmingly in the U.S. House of Representatives, would tighten sanctions against Iran until it rolls back its suspected nuclear weapons program; assist U.S. groups and states divesting from Iran; and tighten sanctions against Sudan until it allows in peacekeepers to police Darfur, where hundreds of thousands of civilians have been massacred by government-allied militias.

Senators may anonymously place an indefinite “hold” on legislation, keeping it from reaching the floor for a vote. Sens. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) and Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) are among those favoring the hold.

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