Sen. John Kyl’s (R-Ariz.) Iranian sanctions amendment, which the Republican Jewish Coalition urged its supporters to call their members of Congress about, went down to defeat in the Senate by a 51-42 margin last week.
Democrats who opposed the legislation, which would have prevented any funds in the massive appropriation bill from going to companies that help Iran import or export energy or energy-related goods or materials, said they didn’t necessarily object to the content of the amendment. But they felt it was not appropriate to pass such a sanction without proper hearing in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Some who spoke against it, including Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.) also felt the Obama administration deserved a chance to weigh in on what it felt would be the proper approach to sanctions before Congress made policy in the area.
Last fall, during the presidential campaign, two Iranian sanctions bills, including one sponsored by Obama, were blocked by Senate Republicans. Obama supporters charged then that the GOP was trying to deny Obama a legislative victory during the campaign.