WASHINGTON (JTA) — For the second time in a week, the U.S. House of Representatives rejected a bid to insert language into a bill that would ban dealings with Iran.
Democrats on Thursday evening attempted to return to the Finance Committee a bill facilitating "crowd funding," a business money-raising system, to insert language banning the issuance of securities to businesses that have Iran dealings.
The motion to recommit, initiated by Rep. Rush Holt (D-N.J.), failed 237-187, along party lines — the exact number that defeated a similar motion to recommit on a bill a week earlier that allows Rio Tinto, a company with Iran ties, to stake a claim in an Arizona copper mine.
A spokesman for Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), who authored the crowd funding bill, told JTA that Republicans rejected the motion because the sale of securities to companies with Iran ties is "already prohibited by existing law."
Democrats say that much of Congress’ work involves re-legislating existing law as a means of blocking loopholes, and that this was the aim of the motion to recommit.
"This simple mechanism — at this crucial time, to help stop Iran — failed on a completely party-line vote, with the House GOP uniformly voting against," the National Jewish Democratic Council said in a statement. "They literally chose big business over the critical need to extend Iran sanctions where possible."